Hardy 42 Hybrid Review by Aquaholic

“A spirited sea-going motor vessel.”


This is a Hardy 42 but this is a particularly special Hardy 42. This is a Hardy 42 Hybrid. There’s some very, very clever engineering to this one. And actually, some very clever customisation as well which I’m going to show you.

So this was built for a customer for a specific purpose, what he wanted to do with this was to take it across the channel, take it into the Rhine, take it right down through Europe, down to the Mediterranean and then back up through the French canal system, so this had to be built to a very specific brief.

“There’s some very, very clever engineering to this one”

And if we come on around here, I’m going to start at the top and work my way down and explain to you what’s been done. One of the most fascinating things is the hybrid system and we’ll certainly look at that in detail but I’ve got to show you some other stuff first.

Credits: Nick Burnham

And it starts right up here on the top because if you want to do that route, then you need to be under 3.5 metres tall and that’s why this is hinged. Now they hinge these anyway as standard but this is hinged lower down so that when it drops down it gets right down to this level here. Up here as well, you’ll notice that these screens all have little knurled knobs on them so these can fold down. And this entire console here, you’ll see these hinges at the bottom, you can take these seats off. This flips through 180 degrees and drops down and it means that this becomes the highest point of the boat and that trip becomes viable. So as I say, it’s a custom build, very specific and very, very good at doing exactly what it was built to do.

So this is the flybridge on the boat, of course. So we’ve got seating down both sides, you’ve got the console here in the centre and the twin hound seats. The idea of this was for the owner and his family to spend up to three years on this boat during the cruise. So it’s absolutely ideal for that because it’s a very manageable size but there’s a lot of space on it because it’s an aft cabin layout and I’m going to show you that.

The aft cabinet is down inside here, that is a life raft. And the other thing that’s changed on here, these Hardy 42s, they’ve been in production for a while and they never used to have these aft doors so that’s a direct way into the cabin. They always used to just have the side doors which this has still got, but that really does open it out. Means, you come straight in through here. We’re going to take a walk around the boat first of all and then we’ll head in through one of those side doors. You can see the hybrid badge on the side just here, that is the big news with this but it’s not the only news.

These are very seaworthy boats and you can see they’ve got nice high rails around them, they’re very practical, and they’re very manageable. And dare I say it, they’ve got a bit of a little ship feel really with these raised walkways and the way the whole shape of the boat is. So if you stand up here [on the bow], you’ve got things like a proper bollard here, as well as the cleats.

And if you look back, you can see just how sort of business-like it is. You notice as well on the top there, solar panels. So when you’re away from the boat, those will keep a bit of trickle charge going into it.

“It’s got solar panels”

We’ll head on back down here [to the door] and we’ll go inside and you’ll start to see some of the practical detailing that has been done in order to facilitate spending a lot of time on board. The most obvious thing is that this teak on the outside which is a synthetic material is echoed through the interior. I’ll leave my shoes there in a minute. So that this becomes completely practical through here.


Throughout the whole boat, they’ve gone for a slightly different finish on the lower decks, as you can see and this is the saloon area. So what they’ve done with this, again, you can see some of the thought that’s gone into it because they’ve put this lovely telescopic leg onto here so that it can be dropped down. That’s for two reasons, it means that it becomes another bed if it’s needed for occasional use but also with that drop-down and the cushions on it, it’s a great relaxing place to be. 

There’s a TV that drops down from here. They put that up there deliberately because if you put a Hi-Lo TV into here, of course, it robs space and they needed as much space as possible on the boat in order to be able to facilitate what they wanted to use it for.

So this is all a load of storage across here and down here [cabinetry]. I’ll just show you this while we’re here actually because the chart showed me this. This [Hardy 42] is this model. There’s a new model coming out I think next year which looks like that. And the flagship [Hardy] is here as well, this is a [Hardy] 65, this is a wonderful machine. I hope you can see that. Hopefully, we’ll get into one of those one day.

So I think what we are going to do from here, is we’ll go forward [to the VIP cabin] first of all and work our way back and then we’ll finish off with the engine and the helm position, that’s particularly impressive because of the hybridisation systems on there.

So down here is the galley, so we’ve got all the electric cooking on here. And then you’ve got, of course, sink or sinks rather underneath here. And then that one is storage for the crockery, it’s all very nicely laid out and then more storage down underneath there and down underneath here. But what is nice is that if we look over onto the other side of the boat then, this is like a utility area on this side. So what you have here is things like the washing machine, we have a fridge there, and a freezer up above it, and in fact, I didn’t show you but there’s another fridge up in the saloon and then more storage over in places like this and a little coffee area.

There are two doors forward, that is into the day heads and that is into the forward cabin. We’re going here and you can see there’s another door back into that head, so this can be ensuite at night. Again, a load of storage, so shelving, and hanging space, it’s what you need keeping in mind the ambition for this boat. And then twin berths up here in the front of the hatch overhead. So that is that!

I’ll show you that heads as well. That’s the door from that utility area and you’ve got a separate shower there with a rotating screen. So that’s a lower deck at the forward end but I mentioned it on our cabin boat.

If we head on back, so we’ve got side doors here, over here, and that’s the door that we saw from the aft deck so you get a load of air and light into here, that’s really nice. We head on back here then, this is the owner’s cabin. Again, loads more storage as we go on through here for glasses that sort of stuff. And that’s for sort of you know heavy weather coats and things you don’t want to necessarily take into the cabins. And then that is the owner cabin right at the stern of the boat, so nice and private, very big, full beam of the boat, of course. You can see the windows on either side and then again a ton of storage all the way around here, all the way around here. This owner then went for a hanging locker here. They can do different things here so if you want to recess the area like a dressing area or a TV putting in, there’s a lot of customisation with Cockwells who are building these now, that’s a really lovely cabin. And this one of course also has its own ensuite, that’s over here and then the shower area is in through there.

So that is that! But of course, the bit we’re really interested in I think with this boat is that hybrid system. Let’s go and take a look at that. So if we come around here back up into this saloon area, then we head on forward. This is the lower helm and this seat when you’re in port, you slide that seat forward so you can get access to the door when you’re out at sea. This slides back, there’s a little lever underneath just like a car and that drops back like that. These are also suspension seats, you can see how they’ve got the suspension units on them. So they’re designed for when you’re offshore, you have got some very comfortable seating there when you’re out at sea.

So this then, I think is where things get really interesting. So we’ve got an Empirbus System here which is all the switching for everything on the boat, it’s controlled through here. And in fact, you can access this from an app.

“It’s got an Empirbus System that can be accessed from an app”

So you can go on and have a look when you’re away from the boat and see if the bilge has been running, you could be going down to the boat to switch the fridges on, all the air con on, all that sort of stuff, how the boat will set up when you arrive, lights on and that sort of thing, so that’s really great!

But this is the big news over here, this is giving us all the flow of the Electrical Systems. And this is flashing a bit which is annoying because it’s not doing that in real life. Can I get that so it stops? Okay, no. But hopefully, you can see it well enough. So at the minute, we’re on shore power and you can actually see the shore power coming in and then into the main system and then you can see exactly what’s coming out, you can see where it’s going. So this is going through 5.3 amps coming out of here to things like the lights or domestic systems. And then over here, you’ve got the battery banks for the engine.

Now there are two engines on this boat, there’s an electric engine and there is the diesel engine. The diesel engine is controlled conventionally here and this one controls the electric engine. And I’m going to show you (because this is all fired up and ready to go, that’s why that little light there is flashing on and off) just how quiet this is.

“There’s two engines on this boat, the electric and diesel engine”

So if I gently nudge it into gear, take up the slack on the ropes, and if you can see the boat is moving forward slightly, there we go. That now ticks over ahead and we can build the revs up a little bit. I don’t know if you even hear that, it’s virtually silent, just a very gentle whine in the background, and that’s now running at cruising speeds.

Obviously, we’re tied up to the boat, so the boat’s not going anywhere. Otherwise, we’ll be heading off down there at a decent lick. Now what is particularly interesting I think is to talk about the kind of range and so forth that you get with that because the diesel engine is a single 440 Yanmar, we’ll look at that in just a moment, and that’s giving the boat about 16 knots flat out and cruising at 8 to 12 and that’s a 600-mile range.

“The diesel engine is a single 440 Yanmar…giving the boat about 16 knots flat out and cruising at 8 to 12 and that’s a 600-mile range”

The Electric System is designed for inland use and that’s cruising therefore at about four, four and a half knots, something like that which is pretty much the speed limit in most inland areas. So it does that very comfortably and it will run for I think they said about three, three and a half hours at those sorts of speeds.

But what is interesting is that when it gets to twenty percent of power left, it kicks in the generator. And that can either run the engine directly, so it’s not running for batteries anymore, it’s running off the generator or it can charge those batteries or a combination of the two.

But if you stop and just put all that power from the generator to the batteries, it’ll take them back up to a hundred percent in about 45 minutes and that is brilliant because imagine you head off in the morning, three hours running, stop for a bit of lunch, fire up that generator, 45 minutes later you’re full of power and you’re another three hours ready to go. So that’s fantastic!

“The Electric System is designed for inland use…cruising at about 4 knots…it will run for about three and a half hours.”

Obviously, if you’re getting across the channel, it’s not going to get you that far, that’s when you run on the diesel and we need to go and have a look at those systems. So what we will do now, is we’ll come back around here [to the engine compartment] and we’ll lift the hatch down here.

Now the standard configuration in this boat is to have a pair of Yanmar, 440 horsepower engines. Because it has a hybrid system, this has a single engine fitted. And there it is, but I want to show you the hybrid system as well, so let’s get right down into there, that’s the 440 horsepower Yanmar diesel. As I say, it’s about 16 knots out of that one and you cruise it sort of between 8 and 12 knots, somewhere around there. But that’s the electric motor just there.

So it actually drives the shaft, so you’ve got the gearbox in the back of this one and the shaft going out behind and it drives the shaft via this belt. So that spins around, that belt spins the shaft and the way you go. There’s an electric clutch in there so that when you’re running on this one, it’s not spinning the electric engine obviously, unnecessarily.

But the other thing to look at down here is the battery banks, you can just see them over there. I come around here a bit, there we go. It’s a 48-volt system. In fact, another little trick of that is the fact that it has 48-volt bow stern thrusters. Very powerful bow stern thruster systems on it which make the boat incredibly manoeuvrable.

“This boat has a pair of Yanmar 440 horsepower engines.”

So those are the batteries, powering this and also powering the whole boat, in fact. And then we can look up through here and that then is the diesel-powered generator and that as I say, if you want to, you can run that a little bit like a hybrid car, you can run that and have that power the electric motor in which case it’ll keep going until you run out of diesel or you can use it to charge the battery banks and run that from the battery banks. So a lot of possibilities, a lot of redundancy and most of all, some seriously quiet and emission-free running. But as a boat fit for purpose and with the intention of what this was built for, you’ve got to admit that’s pretty clever, isn’t it? I think that’s fantastic!


I mentioned earlier that Cockwells down in Cornwall are building the Hardy range, now they built this boat and they’re doing some pretty clever stuff down there. So it’s going to be really interesting to see what comes out of the yard over the next few years. They do a lot of custom stuff I believe. They do superyacht tenders, for example, one-offs, I’ve seen from their stuff before, and it is really impressive.

So let’s close that one back down and I think that is about that. Let’s come back up to the helm. I’ll sit on this one I think and say huge thanks to Cockwells, they’ve organised this tour for us and huge thanks as ever to you guys for watching! We’ll look forward to catching you on another one of these, very soon. Take care, goodbye!

The Hardy 42 is just one of the many impressive models in the Hardy Motor Yachts range. For more information on the other range, check out the Hardy 50 review and YouTube review of the Hardy 65DS by influencer Jack Haines from Motor Boat & Yachting. To see the full list, here’s a complete overview of the Hardy range. If you believe this is the type of boat you’re seeking, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. If you want to know more, check out Aquaholic’s review on the Duchy 35Duchy Sport, and Duchy 27 – three of the magnificent models in the Duchy Motor Launches range.


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