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Powerplay 42’ Performance Open At Miami Show: Inside Fifty Shades Of

By today—the fourth day of the 2015 Miami International Boat Show—you’ve probably seen most of the high-performance boats, engines and aftermarket hardware you came to see at the annual event, which closes tomorrow afternoon. But if you haven’t visited the Powerplay Powerboats exhibit inside the convention center, it’s definitely worth a stop for the latest version of 42′ Performance Open powered by a pair of 350-hp Yamaha outboard engines.

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A clever (though just for the Miami show) name for an intriguing model.

Tom Mason, the owner of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., custom center console company, gave me a tour of the stepped-hull 42-footer dubbed “50 Shades Of” for the color of its hull (the vinyl applied name is just for the show and will come off when the boat goes back to its owner). And the boat, the prototype for which on display last year in relatively rough form outside the Miami Show (read the story), boasts details and features that are intelligently planned—and flat-out cool—to make life easy and comfortable for owners and their guests.

Start at the stern of the boat and check out the platform between the outboards, which makes it for easy boarding and debarking, as well as access to the water for swimmers. From there you can step into the rear of the cockpit to find port and starboard lounges that, thanks to their quickly removable seat backs, can be rear- or forward-facing.

While you’re in the rear cockpit, take a close look at the rigging wells for Yamaha outboards. Powerplay manufactured them in a split-level configuration so that the bolts for the outboard brackets could find purchase in four– and three-inch-thick sections of the transom.

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For a look at a few of the clever features inside the Powerplay 42′ Performance Open, check out the slideshow above.

According to Mason, the attractive composite sole decking cleans up easily and without blemishes—you’ll notice the decking as you stroll to the helm station to find power bolsters with flip-up armrests. The dash is well-equipped, but the most compelling features at the helm station are the battery switches in their own little locker. Having the switches in that location likely will keep owners from forgetting to turn them off.

So large is the cabin inside the console of the 42-footer that it has separate head locker—divided by a hinged and locking door—from the queen-size V-berth. According to Mason, the 42′ Performance Open is the only center console in the segment with that cabin/head locker set up. (The stand-up shower even has its own curtain.) When passengers just need a place to sit belowdeck, the aft section of the berth flips up to create a bench.

An uber-comfy lounge ahead of the console is pretty much standard fare on most of today’s performance-oriented (as opposed to angling) center consoles, and the 42′ Performance Open has a good one. But it’s made even better—and raised far above the norm—by flip-up armrests on its port and starboard sides.

With a top end in the mid-50-mph range, the 42′ Performance Open isn’t going to blow you away with its top end, though I suspect—without having spec sheet to go by—a tall, beamy and relatively heavy boat that is flat-out loaded with clever and compelling features. If you think you’ve seen it all in Miami and you’re looking for something intriguing, carefully thought out and well-designed, it’s worth a visit to the Powerplay booth. You’re almost out of time.

Related Story: Countdown to Miami: Inside the 2015 Boat Show