The Oyster 42 is an aft cockpit configuration with a package of amenities offered by Oyster's deck saloon concept, including the convenience of a safe deep cockpit and easy access below deck. The cockpit is ideally placed for protection in rough weather, since the deck saloon itself provides an effective breakwater, helping to deflect spray. On deck much time and effort has been committed to the design of the yacht's profile and styling, with the result that, from any angle, the 42 is a "classic" Oyster and a good-looking, graceful yacht by any standard. Although there are a number of center cockpit designs around in this size range, Oyster felt that the compromise required either in reducing headroom in the aft walkthrough - aft cabin or in the excessive freeboard needed to achieve acceptable headroom aft was just too great. Many aft cockpit designs achieve an owner's cabin aft by the use of a bridgedeck aft to give the required headroom. Oyster believes that this is the least satisfactory compromise of all, since the result can be a very exposed companionway entrance with a lot of steps, which is always inconvenient and sometimes dangerous. The Oyster 42 offers a really comfortable cockpit, with enough room for the whole crew to enjoy sailing in comfort and safety. A very large sprayhood has been designed to cover a large area of the cockpit. This provides very good protection to crew while allowing easy access below. The solid linkage steering system feels very direct and gives good control, making the 42 a pleasure to helm. The wheel is sized to allow easy access around the steering pedestal to the helming position. The cockpit also gives access to a huge, general purpose locker for gear stowage. The standard rig is a sloop. A fully-battened main and lazy jacks may be added for ease of handling. The mainsheet, kicker and topping lift lead back to the cockpit and, as an option, reefing controls may also be led aft, so almost all the sail handling functions can be handled from the cockpit. For those who want the ultimate in ease of handling, in-mast furling is also available and cutter gear is available on all rig variants. The rig is designed with twin spreaders and inboard chainplates, giving the dual advantage of a narrower sheeting base for improved windward performance and clearer side decks. A single centerline "babystay" is used, in preference to forward lower shrouds, for a cleaner deck, and to make it easier to run square "wing and wing" with a poled out headsail or spinnaker. Below deck the layout of the Oyster 42 features a large L-shaped galley to port, with a double guest stateroom aft. To starboard the yacht has a forward-facing chart table and day heads. Going forward the saloon makes best use of the yachts 12-foot 10-inch beam to create a spacious central living area that would do justice to a much larger yacht and, thanks to the deck saloon concept, is especially light and airy. The saloon table has a single leaf for casual use, but this unfolds to double the size of the table for dining in style when in harbor or at anchor. A pair of oversize hullports open for good athwartships ventilation in fair weather or in harbor. Two of the forward deck saloon windows also open, giving unbeatable ventilation when conditions allow. The owner's stateroom is located forward and is very spacious and well appointed for a yacht of this size. This cabin really is a home away from home, with a neat dresser and hanging locker, and the best use of storage space, light, and ventilation. The detailed design and sheer pedigree of the Oyster 42 makes her different from other yachts in this size range. Each yacht is built employing the same working practices and build quality as much larger models, and for this reason the new Oyster 42 cannot appeal to the broadest cross-section of owners in this size range, since, like so many things in life, quality is seldom inexpensive.