Martin 242: The Ultralight Rides Again

Martin 242

The Martin 242, which first arrived on the racing scene in 1981, is a design that's withstood the test of time so well that it's being built again by MG Marine, in Marine del Rey, Calif. ( With more than 350 of the boats sold, it's a solid one-design class on the West Coast. The 242 is an ultralight with a narrow hull, fine entry, and wide stern sections aft, coupled with a fractional rig, big mainsail, small jib on a roller-furler, and a symmetric spinnaker. The rig is simple and the cockpit is huge and workable once you get used to the main traveler, which spans the cockpit seats. All sail controls lead aft along the cabin top to each side of the companionway. The interior is stark, as befits an ulralight: Two 6-foot 6-inch quarter berths with molded storage lockers under and behind in the main salon, and a 6-foot 6-inch V-berth forward with molded lockers and space for toilet. The 242's hull and deck and cored with balsa and both have full liners. Martin owners have reported rot in the core on the foredeck and down the gunwales.Thanks to the high numbers of 242s built, there's a very active online community. One of the more informative sites is, which features a forum section ideal for those wanting to know what to look for when considering a 242. Prices for used boats range between $11,000 and $18,000, and between the huge one-design fleets on the west coasts of Canada and the U.S., there are plenty of listings. Martin 242LOA 24'2"LWL 19'3"Beam 8'DSPL 2,500 lbs.Draft 4'9"PHRF 150-160 SA/D 24.32Years built 1981-presentDesigner Don