Ladies and gentleman,
I have researched the above 3 boats and would now like to know your opinions please.
My intent is to liveaboard fulltime, cruise Mexico, the caribbean and quite possibly cross oceans as some point. I like all three and these are my impression & thoughts.
-all three perform well and have good PHRF ratings in the low 100 range. All 3 point high.
-the BF 38 may perform slightly better but marginally
-the build quality of the BF 38 is the best of the 3 and probably the best offshore boat when the going gets tough due to construction. Having said that the Cal 39 would also do well. The E 38 is built as a robust coastal cruiser and with perhaps some mods could also be tough enough offshore.
-the interior of the BF 38 has the finest finish, but the E 38 is also well appointed. The Cal 39 is a bit more workman like but the 1982-1984 Miii's with the aft cabin are also well done with nice joinery
-the accomodations of the E 38 in terms of berth size/length are the best of the 3 followed by the Cal 39.The v-berth of the BF 38 is smaller due to the long,fine entry.
-tankage in the Cal 39 is superior, followed by the E 38 and then the BF 38 with its 30 gallon fuel tank.
-All 3 have over 6 feet of draft [exceptions being the shoal draft models] This makes them not as well suited for the ICW and Bahamas. ossibly a shoal draft version of the Cal 39 [5'6"] would do best in those areas.
-all 3 have vulnerable spade rudders but nimble and swift.
The price range of all 3 is similiar give or take 10K.
#1- Beneteau First 38 by a very slim margin over the Cal 39 due primarily to the finer finish and possibly superior construction.
#2. Cal 39. Superior to the E 38 due to slightly more robust construction.
#3. E 38. Still a suitable boat for offshore but not as strongly constructed as the other two boats.
Your comments please!!!