Bill Doherty grew up on the Indian River in Delaware, and boats were a part of his life from the beginning.
“My parents were boaters, and they got me going,” the 57-year-old funeral business owner says. “We boated on Indian River Bay and out into the Atlantic Ocean on a number of boats: a 17-foot Montauk, a couple of Grady-Whites.”
As an adult, his interest never waned. Doherty earned a captain’s license and owned a fleet of fishing boats of his own: a Blackfin 36 Express, a 45-foot Viking, a Regulator 26. “I do like to fish,” he says.
But there was also always a cruising component to his boating – thanks, again, to his parents. “They were super adventurous,” he says. “They ran a 22-foot Grady-White from Delaware to Stuart [Florida] and then out to the Bahamas and back. That’s more than I’d do.”
So, when Doherty went looking for another boat about a year ago, he had two seemingly divergent parameters. He wanted a boat that would fish 100 miles off the Delaware coast, chasing down tuna and marlin with a cockpit full of friends. He also wanted a boat that he could run down the coast to Florida and the islands for the winter, riding in comfort with his wife, kids and grandkids.
In December 2017, he went back to a familiar name: Henriques, the semi-custom builder in New Jersey. Doherty bought a 2011 42-foot Henriques Flybridge in near-pristine condition for around $500,000.
“I’d known about the boat two years prior, and when I heard it was for sale, I jumped on it,” Doherty says. “The owner had just serviced the engines, there were all-new electronics — it was very clean, really nice.”
Doherty had been looking at Carolina boats, but his familiarity with Henriques was critical. “I’d owned a 35 Henriques Express that I bought as an interim boat,” Doherty says. “I kept it for 10 years. Looking for boats, I just kept coming back to Henriques.”
Doherty chose the sportfisherman model for its versatility. “I wanted that flybridge so we could cruise in more comfort,” he says. “The layout provides much more interior accommodation. I have a fairly large family, and when I cruise, I like to take some of them with me. Here I have a full stateroom with a centerline queen [berth]. The two bunks are oversize, and the settees in the salon are extra wide, so you really can sleep on them. For a couple, it’s a nicer boat to live on board for a week or two.
“The plan this fall is to run down to Stuart with my wife, who hasn’t done the trip,” Doherty adds. “It’s five days from Delaware to Stuart, and we’ll take all the time we want, enjoying the trip.”
He’s also planning a cruise to the Bahamas, and then it’s back up to Delaware in the spring for fishing.
Ah, yes … fishing.
“We’ve been offshore three times — way offshore,” Doherty says. “In the early part of the season, we do a lot of tuna fishing, and the boat lends itself extremely well to that. It’s got a huge cockpit, two fish boxes and one is refrigerated, so you don’t have to buy ice.”
The flybridge is large with good sightlines, Doherty says. There’s no problem backing down on marlin, seeing the corners, and maintaining speed and direction.
“What I really like to do is billfish; I was really curious to know how this boat would raise billfish,” Doherty says. “On our first trip, we went out 100 miles [from] Indian River Inlet and raised four white marlin. Two came right up to the boat, which tells me that it’s going to raise billfish pretty well.”
The Henriques is also well set up for a day’s hard angling. “Every corner is set up for storage,” Doherty says. “Right now, I’ve probably got close to 20 rods stored, ready to go. I can carry them all with me, stored and out of sight.”
Twin C12 Cats, around 700 hp each, power the Henriques 42 on its modified-vee hull. Doherty’s “slow cruise” is around 23 knots at 1,650 rpm. Fuel use is 35 to 36 gallons an hour. At 1,950 rpm, or 80 percent load, the boat runs around 27 to 28 knots.
“That’s loaded with four guys and their gear,” Doherty says. “I’m happy with that.”
The modified-vee hull handles a “decent head sea with no quirks, and it runs dry,” Doherty adds. “It’s very predictable. I can go out 100 miles in each direction with the utmost confidence.”
For Doherty, his wife and family, the Henriques 42 Flybridge looks like the right boat at the right time. “It fishes great; it’s a sort of a no-nonsense boat with plenty of room,” he says. “It has not disappointed at all.”
LOA: 45 feet — Beam: 14 feet, 9 inches — Draft: 4 feet, 6 inches — Weight: approx. 38,000 pounds — Hull type: modified-vee — Propulsion: twin diesel inboards up to 700 hp — Fuel capacity: 660 gallons — Water capacity: 20 gallons — Builder: Henriques Yachts, Bayville, New Jersey henriquesyachts.com
The Henriques 42 Flybridge rides a modified-vee hull built of handlaid, solid fiberglass below the waterline. Divinycell coring is used in the topsides. The bow is high with a moderate flare, while the sheer is long and even to the stern. The swept-back wheelhouse has a darkened windshield looking out over the broad foredeck. The cockpit (155 square feet) has a glassed-in plate for a fighting chair. Fishing gear includes a pair of removable fish boxes and a bait freezer, a tackle center with a sink, a walk-through transom door, and stowage for more than two dozen rods. The flybridge helm station, with an electronics console and forward bench seat, affords good sightlines. A walkway abaft the helm and cockpit ladder gives access to the port companion seat. Down below, the standard two-stateroom layout has a dinette to port, an L-shaped lounge to starboard and a galley-down. The master stateroom has an island berth. Standard power comes from twin 700-hp Cat C12s; the engine room allows access for regular servicing.
Henriques’ boats are semi-custom, allowing for owner input in layout and propulsion.
The Henriques 42 Flybridge made its debut at the Atlantic City Boat Show in the mid-2000s, following on the heels of the Henriques 38. Jack Henriques, company founder, started out in 1977 designing and building semi-custom boats for serious fishermen. Today, the family-owned New Jersey builder offers express, flybridge and charter models up to 50 feet.
This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue.