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Old 07-11-2001
JeffH
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Hughes Sailboats

I owned a Hughes quarter tonner back in the 1970''s and I am reasonably familiar with Hughes as a company. Hughes was a small Canadian boat builder started in the 1960''s. They originally produced a line of boat designed by founder Howard Hughes (not that Howard Hughes) Later they were bought by US Steel and the linbe was retooled as Hughes Northstar. The Hughes Northstar boats were designed by Sparkman and Stevens and included a whole line of interesting and reasonably well built boats. I thought the boats were nicely detailed and well thought out.

Most of the Northstar boats were designed to be early IOR era racer cruisers which had both good and bad design features but being biased toward being race boats they became obsolete pretty quickly.

At some point US Steel left the company and the boats were retooled toward a more cruising oriented bias. This also was a mixed blessing as the weights of the boats went up and sailing abilities went down.

There were several boats that might be listed as Hughes 38''s so it is hard to comment on the specific boat that you are looking at other than to say that in general Hughes built substantially better constructed boats than was the average. One of the Hughes 38 models actually shared the hull design with the Hinckley Competition 38 and the glass and gelcoat work was so good at Hughes that Hinckley chose to have Hughes actually so the hull and deck laminations.

Good luck,
Jeff
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