Boat Test – Renaissance Prowler 42

Key Features

  • Flush deck from bow to stern
  • Walkthrough transom with integrated dive platform
  • Single- or double-row helm seating for 3 or 6 with flip-up bolsters and folding armrests
  • Lounge seating forward with folding armrests, cup holders, and coffin boxes beneath
  • Deluxe console with space for full-sized head
  • Custom color-coordinated upholstery
  • Twin fully insulated 500 qt. aft fish boxes with diaphragm pumps
  • Twin 55 gal. pressurized transom live wells with aquarium windows and lighting
  • 18 heavy-duty stainless steel rod holders
  • Forward and aft LED spreader lights

With quad 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboards, the Prowler 42 can hit speeds approaching 70 mph.

Mission Statement

Renaissance designed the Prowler 42 to be a luxury catamaran that can be set up for offshore fishing, day boating or myriad on-water activities, including diving, cruising or a combination of them all. Thanks to high-tech, weight-saving composite construction, the boat can be powered by as few as two outboards or as many as four like our test model. The added space that comes with a 12’ (3.66 m) beam gives the boat a wealth of space in the bow and cockpit areas.






renaissance prowler42 running

Distinguishing Features

  • Large Catamaran Center Console
  • Asymmetrical Sponsons. The twin hulls of the Renaissance Prowler 42 are each asymmetrical between their port and starboard halves, much as we see on racing cats. The sponsons have twin steps, 26-degrees of deadrise at the stern, a 55-degree entry at the bow, and strakes placed to provide lift to enhance efficiency.
  • Walkthrough Transom. The catamaran design allows for a centrally positioned walkthrough to the stern, which is welcome for diving, snorkeling, or just hanging out at the sandbar.
  • 55-Gallon (208 L) Live wells. Custom-built for the boat, the live wells are in the aft corners of the cockpit and designed with rounded corners, a blue finish inside, and windows in the sides for easy checks.
  • Single-Level Decks from Bow to Stern. From the cockpit to the bow, the deck is all the same height so anglers can work a fish anywhere in the boat.


Renaissance Prowler 42 OBS Multihulls Magazine


This view from the stern shows the passage to the stern and the wide decks to each side of the console.



The Renaissance Prowler 42 has a LOA of 41’ 10’’ (12.75 m), a beam of 12’ 0’’ (3.66 m), and a draft of 18’’ (.46 m). Bad timing prevented us from testing this boat, but the Evinrude techs certainly have. With 50% fuel and four people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 10,235 lbs. (4,643 kg).


Evinrude reports that with quad 300-hp E-TEC G2s turning 15 ¼ x 26 4-bladed props, the Prowler 42 reached her top speed of 66.7 mph at 5700 rpm. At that speed, 98.3 gph was burned for a range of 275 miles.


Best cruise was 28.8 mph at 3000 rpm. At that speed, the fuel burn was reduced to 31.3 gph while still holding back a 10% reserve. The Prowler 42 reached time-to-plane in 4.5 seconds.


Features Inspection

The Stern. One of the advantages of the Evinrude is the clean stern that the motors help create. Evinrude outboards have integrated hydraulic steering pumps and an on-board tank for the two-stroke oil. As a result, there are no hydraulic cylinders, rams or hydraulic hoses to clutter up the stern. The only things visible are the mounting bolts and the protective rigging hose around the electrical cables and fuel lines, which gives the Prowler 42’s stern a squeaky-clean look.



The Evinrude E-TEC G2s are a next-generation design that makes for some of the cleanest rigging around, since the steering system and 2-stroke oil reservoirs are mounted inside the outboard itself.


The Engines

The Renaissance Prowler 42 is available with the 2-stroke performance and efficiency of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard, owing to the technology inherent in these next-generation engines. These outboards use a state-of-the-art direct-injection system that combines an efficient combustion-chamber design with placement of the spark plugs near the fuel injectors in each cylinder.



This image shows a cutaway view of an Evinrude E-TEC G2 combustion chamber with yellow arrows indicating the injected spray of fuel and the spark plug.


Built-in steering, trim and tilt simplify rigging and eliminate hydraulic lines and extraneous equipment, while electronic throttle and shift control simplifies rigging as well.


New Design. The new engine design starts with a block and heads that have been configured to maximize combustion, reduce fuel consumption, and effectively lower emissions. The 300 horsepower is from a normally aspirated 3.4l, 74-degree V6 that will rev to 6000 rpm and turns a reduction gear case of 1.85:1. The bore and stroke of the cylinders measure 3.85” by 3.00’’.


All Cylinders are fed by direct, in-cylinder fuel injection. Fuel is delivered inside the combustion chamber, rather than in the intake manifold, resulting in more accurate – and more efficient – fuel delivery. A special electronic oil-injection system squirts lube at the same time to lubricate the engine’s internal components. The resulting combustion is fired by BRP’s Fast Rise Inducted Ignition system that produces a higher energy, longer duration spark for improved fuel burn.



This demonstration unit illustrates the way the integrated steering works, using a helical gearing system that transforms up-and-down motion to side-to-side movement of the steering bracket (shown at top). The steering pump is compact enough that it all fits within the engine.


The lower unit is more streamlined, but also incorporates larger gears, made possible through a simplified electronic control system that uses a small solenoid to actuate the shift function. These and other elements help make the Evinrude E-TEC G2 engines some of the most fuel-efficient outboard engines, whether compared to other 2-stroke or 4-stroke outboards on the market.



The Evinrude E-TEC G2 300s have no dealer scheduled maintenance for five years or 500 hours, whichever comes first. The electronic oil level indicator is located at the helm and provides visual and audible indicators should the motors built-in 2-gallon (7.57 L) reservoir start to run low.


The maintenance free, magneto-style charging system produces 133-amps with an allotment of 50-amps being directed to the boat’s house battery and electrical components. The Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboard is also equipped with a very handy winterizing engine-fogging feature that occurs at the touch of a button, safeguarding motor storage for next season. Best of all, if a warm day comes along in December, she is ready to go back to work without delay.



This demonstration unit of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 lower unit is cut away to show off the robust gears that allow for more flexibility in prop size while contending with the substantial power and strong low-end torque.


The Cockpit

All Prowler 42s are custom-built to order, so some items were missing from our test model because the owner didn’t want them. For example, the owner didn’t want the padded filler cushion that fills in the 21” (.53 m)-wide opening from the stern into the cockpit. Normally, it would fill in the opening and have padding that matches the coaming panel that rings the cockpit. Additionally, the walkway between the transom and the motors is 2’4” (71.12 cm) deep so there’s space to stand and move about.



The Prowler 42’s cockpit has excellent space for fighting fish, dancing or whatever moves the crew.


Once in the cockpit, we measured the area from the transom to the prep station on the aft side of the helm seats at 7’3” (2.21 m) fore to aft and 11’3” (3.43 m) wide. We’ve seen another that measured 10’6” (3.20 m) fore and aft. Hatches in the cockpit deck lead to mechanical components and just ahead on each side are 500-quart (473 L) self-draining, insulated fish boxes. Deck height at the stern is 2’1” (64 cm).



The live wells have clear tops with gaskets and latches to let anglers pressurize the well to preserve baits when running is rough.


Heading Forward. Our test boat was equipped with the prep station abaft the helm seats. If an owner wants more seating, Renaissance offers a second set of bolsters for three passengers. Twin hatches open on tension hinges to reveal 30-quart (28 L) coolers. Below there are drawers on each side of dedicated slots for tackle trays.



Having the cooler hatch pads color matched to the boat shows that Renaissance understands color coordination.



In addition to the coolers, the prep station has a good assortment of drawers and compartments to keep fishing gear at the ready.


The Helm

At the Prowler 42’s helm, there are three individual captains’ seats with fold-up bolsters and armrests. The batteries are stored in the base of the leaning post and are easily accessible via a hinged hatch.



The bolsters and armrests for the three helm seats can be raised or lowered for individual comfort.



Here we see a different boat with the optional second set of bolster seats behind the helm.



Having the hatches for the compartment hinged at the top makes it much easier to check on or remove a battery.


The dash area has space for three 16” (40.6 cm) multifunction displays (our boat had Simrad touchscreens) beneath a recessed brow. Up top there is a centrally located compass. Just ahead of the steering wheel is the Evinrude ICON Touch engine display and, to either side are rows of flush-mounted accessory switches that illuminate when turned on. The trim buttons are in a smart location on the Evinrude binnacle just ahead of the digital throttle controls so the driver can adjust the motors individually with his throttling hand.


iDock. Just to starboard is the joystick for the Evinrude iDock system. It’s when she approaches the dock where she really shines, thanks to the E-TEC G2’s integrated steering working in conjunction with the iDock joystick to allow effortless docking. The system is dialed in, and everything moves exactly as expected.



Renaissance intends for the driver to operate from the center seat, but notice that the wheel is offset to port.



Instead of quadruple gauges for all four motors, the single Evinrude ICON Touch display provides all the engine data on a single screen.


Overhead, the hardtop on our boat is supported by a stout frame that provides plenty of grab points and our test model had rocket-launcher style rod holders and LED lights.



The rail on the underside of the hardtop is perfectly positioned for a passenger to reach up and hang on.



The rocket-launchers on the trailing edge of the hardtop have space for eight rods.


Forward Thinking. One of the benefits of a 12’ (3.66 m) beam is the space between the console and the gunwales that make it easy to move forward on the boat. They were 2’4” (.71 m) wide on both sides. Fresh and raw-water washdowns are driven by 5.2-gpm (19.68 lpm) pumps. There are rod holders on the starboard side of the console and the entrance to the console is to port.


Inside, there was a private head area with plenty of seated headroom and we were impressed by the clean rigging of all the helm components. Things can get complicated with four outboards, but Renaissance made everything easy to follow.



Even with the rod holders on the starboard side of the console, there’s plenty of space to pass in route to the bow.



For easy cleanups, there are washdown hoses in dedicated trays on each side of the boat at about amidships.



The console can be equipped with an electric flush head. Note that the access to the head compartment is through a two-part hatch which makes getting in and out easy.



Even though the boat has four engines, the rigging at the helm is seamanlike and tidy. Note that while there is no inner liner in the head compartment, the fiberglass has been sanded smooth and then covered with Flowcoat for durability.


The Bow. The front of the console on the Prowler 42 can be set up with two comfortably reclined chaise lounges that have folding armrests and elevated leg supports. Underneath the seats are two 950-quart (900 L) boxes for keeping the catch fresh. There are also 612-quart (579 L) in-deck fish boxes on each side. Larger coffin boxes are available as options. A full bolster and recessed powder-coated grab rail wrap around the bow area.



Two chaise-style seats on the front of the console could be the most comfortable spots on the boat.



Hinged armrests make the lounges on the front of the console even more comfortable.



The gasket (red arrow) on the underside of the console box fits into a dedicated slot (hand pointing), forming a tight seal. Renaissance says the coolers have held ice for 12 days in Florida heat. Note that the lid is backgelled.



Extra-large fish boxes on each side in the passageways are fully lined in smooth gelcoat on the inside and notice the openings have channels and drains.



Optional coffin boxes take up more space in the bow, but they offer more lounge space as well.



The longer coffin box has lockable space to stow lots of fishing rods.


The Foredeck. All the way forward, there are three hatches and 10” (25.4 cm) pull-up cleats. The outboard lockers have enough space for 1’8” (51 cm) round fenders and the forward hinged hatches have stainless gas struts to hold them up. In the center, the anchor locker hatch is hinged from the side and opens past vertical so it will stay open on its own.



The outboard lockers in the bow have gas struts to hold them open and the center anchor locker stays open on its own, all so crewmembers can use both hands to retrieve gear.


Construction. To keep the weight at a svelte 8,400 lbs. (3,810 kg) without power, Renaissance builds the Prowler 42 with high-tech composite foam, quad-axial fiberglass mat and vacuum-bagging for proper resin distribution. It is one of the few cat builders in class to do so.



The Prowler 42 should appeal to a wide variety of buyers looking for a big boat that feels even bigger and has tons of space for fishing, chartering, diving, etc. The efficient catamaran design can be powered with as few as two outboards or as many as four, which provides for plenty of options. The quad installation of the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 outboards seemed to be an excellent match for this boat, in the acceleration, the clean rigging at the transom, and digital throttle, shift, and steering control, and the color-matched panels on the outboards, which allow a custom look.

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