There are lot's of great boats among the ones nominated for the European boat of the year but this would be the one I would probably choose on the performance category: The boat marks the return of Dehler to a great and beautiful cruising interior. T
The Dehler 38 is very close to the perfection in what regards compromise between cruising and club racing (with the possibility to have a top boat for serious racing, a much more expensive one), in fact if offers great performance, a big cruising potential, beauty and an interesting price. Difficult to ask for more. A great design by Judel & Vrolijk.
The boat was tested by the British Magazine Sailing Today and they said about it:
Dehler yachts have always been designed to satisfy a yearning for speed and performance under sail – and the new 38 is definitely no exception...(Dehler) is back to producing top-class sailing cruisers.
In a Hamble marina filled with beamy new cruising yachts she looks somewhat waif-like, sporting a fine bow and conservative beam (by today’s standards). While this gives her an arrow-like overall appearance, it consequently also reduces the amount of interior volume – albeit not by a massive amount.
... The cockpit-adjustable genoa tracks are tucked well inboard, giving her headsail a nice tight sheeting angle as well as keeping the side decks free from trip or snagging hazards...
Her cockpit is pragmatically arranged and is likely to appeal to sailors and cruising passengers alike. Most of the sail controls are easily within reach from the helms, while still giving clear access aft to the large transom platform for accessing the water or dinghy.
As I descended the companionway steps I was expecting a rather stark, ‘stripped out’ interior that many of the more performance-orientated yachts often have. I was pleasantly surprised. ...
Rather than the acres of white, hose-down plastic I’d been expecting, there were nice, traditional wooden bulkheads and lockers, teak and holly sole boards, and pleasant off-white upholstery with all the trimmings.
To sum up her performance – she’s an absolute delight to sail. Well balanced, sprightly through tacks, light on the helm, tracks as if she’s on rails and generally feels like a fully-spec’d racing machine – but without the twitchiness of a thoroughbred racer.
This is a sailor’s yacht, which, with the addition of a few more performance options, can be raced competitively if desired. However, she will perform equally well as a comfortable and safe offshore cruiser for less ambitious family holidays.
The basic price is very competitive...
Dehler 38: Review and test - Sailing Today | Sailing Today