When you think about big, custom North Carolina fishing yachts, certain areas immediately come to mind: Oregon Inlet, Wanchese, Manteo, Manns Harbor, Harkers Island and Beaufort. I’ve never heard anyone suggest Ocean Isle as a custom-boat mecca. Its reputation tends more toward small boats with its shallow waters. Thanks to Island Style’s Q42 Express, that reputation will undergo a dramatic change.
We ran this boat while 20-knot winds pummeled the Barta Boys & Girls Club tournament in Beaufort this past July. Not a day I’d choose to head offshore, but a perfect time to test the mettle of a new boat.
The ability to navigate the shallows around Island Style’s home port helps the boat’s all-around performance as well. Lowering the shaft angle to 8.9 degrees and sporting a somewhat tight prop-tip clearance, this vessel features a 38-inch draft with thrust closer to horizontal. This gives the boat better fuel economy and time to plane. Although tunnel hulls sometimes run noisier than standard bottoms due to the vortex of turbulence spilling off the propeller tips and hitting the surrounding tunnel, this doesn’t happen on the Island Style. The company deadens the sound by glassing lead and rubber composite tiles into the hull above the tunnels.
The Island Style 42 topped out at 40.9 knots, turning 2,285 rpm and burning 90 gph with its twin Caterpillar 865 hp C15 Acert diesels. Dropping back to a 28-knot cruise speed uses about 52 gph total, which means you’ll get about a 300-mile range out of the 635-gallon fuel capacity – with a cushion. Idle speed at 600 rpm uses 2 gph, pushing it along at 7.7 knots, and displays two distinct clear alleys on either side of the centerline and very moderate white water.
Island Style uses advanced construction techniques, like cold-molding its hulls with epoxy and okoume plywood and molding all decks and parts of composite-cored fiberglass. Additionally, this 42 shed lots of weight by using the new E-Plex electrical distribution and monitoring system by Bass Products. Yet the Island Style 42 looks very traditional, with distinct flowing lines, a teak and holly interior, teak cockpit, coaming, covering boards and toe rail. And in keeping with what most guys find attractive – it sports lots of beautiful curves! Speaking of gorgeous, with its dramatic LED accent lighting, this boat literally stops traffic on the dock at night.
The ubiquitous mezzanine is missing in favor of the older-style cockpit modules. However, other innovations abound, like the tuna tubes built into one of the livewells. All of the livewells boast intake and outflow pressure controls to keep your baits as healthy as possible. Two insulated in-deck fish boxes augment the one in the transom – with two of three plumbed for ice from the Eskimo ice maker. The modules also house a bait-prep center, refrigerator and freezer boxes and tons of tackle storage.
The salon left plenty of headroom above my 6-foot, 4-inch frame, as did the oblique double berth in the forward cabin. Island Style outfits this space with lovely veneers and rich fabrics – all tastefully but not garishly presented.
I find it rare to have headroom in the engine compartment of an express boat – no matter its size. Even with the bridge deck lowered to its closed position, this 42 provides a solid six feet of headroom.
For a first time at bat, Island Style owner Scott Quaintance, operations manager Dennis Denzin and naval architect Donald Blount hit it out of the park!
**POWER……T 865 hp Caterpillar C15 Acert diesels**
Island Style Custom Yachts / Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina / 910-279-4590 / www.islandstyleyachts.com