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  #11  
Old 08-09-2006
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Gary MCG:

With all due respect, Pat Sturgeon may have worked for Hughes but he is dead wrong about the three 38 footers built by Hughes being the same boat. They each have very different waterline lengths, beams and displacement. The original Hughes 38 was designed by Howard Hughes. The later boats were designed by S&S. The deck plans and deck houses were very different as well. That said He is correct that except for one or two boats that were finished in 1972 and 73, all of the boats built after 1971 were the same IOR era hull and deck plan with minor interior changes and several layout options.

JimH:
There were only three 38 footers built by Hughes. The IOR era Hughes Northstar 38 that I mentioned was very similar to the S&S designed Catalina 38 (which began life as the Yankee 38). These were very much intended as full blown IOR race boats and coastal cruisers and like the Hughes Northstar 38 make really crummy offshore cruisers.

Jeff
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  #12  
Old 08-18-2006
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Jeff

Sorry, I misstated what Pat told me. He speaks fast and it was hard to take notes. The early boats from the late 60's to early 70's were built by "(illegible note) Metals" and are not very good boats. All of the boats built after about '73 are the S&S boats.

I liked the boat I looked at, a 1980 model, but I'm not sure about having an underpowered (15 hp) engine in the bilge. It seems like it would fail just when you really, really need it.

Gary
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Old 08-18-2006
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Actually the 38 that was built after 1969 were an S&S design and boats of this design had the best build quality and all around sailing capabilities. The Northstar 38 which was the last design was not very good design and was built during a time when quality was beginning to slide. By the late 1980's these were really a lot more cheesy boats build quality and design wise. The engine in the bilge was just one of the many race boat influenced not so great design decisions. Northstar was a divsion of US Steel, the "something metals" you refer to, but they did not buy the company until around 1973.

Respectfully,
Jeff

Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-29-2006 at 05:59 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2006
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Advice on Hughes 38

Jim-

I own a Hughes 38 like the one you are considering and have a few comments for you to consider. The original AT-4 is a very compact item. I have seen three diesel retrofits in this model boat. A raw water cooled 3GMD (like mine) will just fit under the floor boards. Taller engines may require that you to raise the height of the floor hatch. This looks bad and is a toe hazard. You might be able to fit the diesel offered with the boat (I assume this is a fresh water cooled 3GM30?) without altering the hatch if you relocate the heat exchanger. If your boat has the original AT-4, it probably has the original jacketed exhaust system. This will have to go. This will all at cost, of course. Another potential hazard is the shore-power system. You may find that the power cable is run through some interesting places, like the sum under your head! I could go on and on, but will wait for your response.

sam in texas
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2007
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More on the Hughes 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Gary MCG:

With all due respect, Pat Sturgeon may have worked for Hughes but he is dead wrong about the three 38 footers built by Hughes being the same boat. They each have very different waterline lengths, beams and displacement. The original Hughes 38 was designed by Howard Hughes. The later boats were designed by S&S. The deck plans and deck houses were very different as well. That said He is correct that except for one or two boats that were finished in 1972 and 73, all of the boats built after 1971 were the same IOR era hull and deck plan with minor interior changes and several layout options.

JimH:
There were only three 38 footers built by Hughes. The IOR era Hughes Northstar 38 that I mentioned was very similar to the S&S designed Catalina 38 (which began life as the Yankee 38). These were very much intended as full blown IOR race boats and coastal cruisers and like the Hughes Northstar 38 make really crummy offshore cruisers.

Jeff
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Gary MCG:

With all due respect, Pat Sturgeon may have worked for Hughes but he is dead wrong about the three 38 footers built by Hughes being the same boat. They each have very different waterline lengths, beams and displacement. The original Hughes 38 was designed by Howard Hughes. The later boats were designed by S&S. The deck plans and deck houses were very different as well. That said He is correct that except for one or two boats that were finished in 1972 and 73, all of the boats built after 1971 were the same IOR era hull and deck plan with minor interior changes and several layout options.

JimH:
There were only three 38 footers built by Hughes. The IOR era Hughes Northstar 38 that I mentioned was very similar to the S&S designed Catalina 38 (which began life as the Yankee 38). These were very much intended as full blown IOR race boats and coastal cruisers and like the Hughes Northstar 38 make really crummy offshore cruisers.

Jeff
********
Also with respect... I think you may be mistaken about a few points.

Everything I've been able to find out about the Hughes 38 suggests the following:

Hughes commissioned Sparkman & Stevens to design a 38' sloop in 1966. It was Sparkman & Stevens design #1903, and was used as the basis for all Hughes and Northstar 38s built from 1967 to 1980. There are different versions, but all use the same S&S design... the Mark I, the Mark II, the Mark III, and a tallmast version which seems to have only offerred in the Mark II version (it had a mast 4' taller than the standard mast). The Northstar 38 built from 1970 to 1974 while US Steel owned the company was probably the same as a Hughes Mark II.

Aside from interior configuration, the Hughes 38 specifications are consistent for all marks, except for:
1. the tall-mast model
2. some early models were fitted with end-boom sheeting with the traveller in the cockpit (that model seems to have been incorrectly used as the drawing on the cover of most of the Hughes 38 Owner's Manuals even though they had mid-boom sheeting with the traveller on the coach roof)
3. sometimes the printed specifications give the displacement as 12,500 lb instead of the more common 14,000 lb.

It seems to me that having the engine in the keel below the cabin sole is a good design feature. It keeps about 400 lb as low down as possible, and allows for the propeller shaft to be straight (actually it is at an angle of about 3 degrees) instead of being sharply angled down which is necessary in boats with the engine mounted under the cockpit. I replaced the Atomic Four in mine with a Universal M35B, and it just fits without raising the sole. Mounted like that it is very easy to work on after the 2 large floor boards are lifted up.

I don't agree that the Hughes 38 is a poor sea boat... I believe many of them have been used offshore, just like Cruising World writer Capt'n Fatty did when he circumnavigated on his "Wild Card". When I orderd my windvane for my Hughes 38 the company rep told me they had the measurements for the Hughes 38 because they'd sold quite a few windvanes to people going offshore, mostly Atlantic crossings. To me they look pretty similar to the Ohlson 38, which is apparently considered a very good offshore cruiser (maybe somebody can explain the difference to me). If you look at the design numbers they seem to be OK, since nearly all the numbers are in the generally accepted cruising optimum range (no doubt there are different opinions on that!) , as shown below:

IMS Limit Positive Stability: 118 degrees
SA/D: 16.11 (cruising optimum 16 - 18)
D/L ratio: 318 (cruising optimum 313)
Ted Brewer Comfort Factor ratio: 33 (cruising optimum 37)
Capsize Risk Ratio: 1.63 (cruising optimum 1.64)
Velocity Ratio: 1.08 (curising optimum 1.06)
LOA/Beam ratio: 3.73 (cruising optimum 3.43)
LWL/Beam WL ratio: 3.24 (cruising optimum 3.4)
ballast/displacement ratio: .46 (cruising optimum .40)
Fineness coefficient: .67 (cruising optimum .65 - .68)
Calculated speed/length ratio: 1.34 (cruising optimum .9 - 1.3)
Sail area/Wetted Surface area ratio: 2.34 (cruising optimum 2.2 - 2.4)
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garymcg View Post
Jeff

Sorry, I misstated what Pat told me. He speaks fast and it was hard to take notes. The early boats from the late 60's to early 70's were built by "(illegible note) Metals" and are not very good boats.
Old dead thread, but that might be "Huromic Metals".
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2007
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And considering Jim has found his way to London for couple of yrs vs sailing out of portland Or! not sure that this boat is going to work for him! Not sure this thread really needed bringing up.

Which comes to the , why are threads not automaticilly locked after X months, ie maybe 6-12?

marty
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Old 10-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
And considering Jim has found his way to London for couple of yrs vs sailing out of portland Or! not sure that this boat is going to work for him! Not sure this thread really needed bringing up.

Which comes to the , why are threads not automaticilly locked after X months, ie maybe 6-12?

marty
Sorry if your friend Jim (whoever he is!) is in England and you're not interested in this thread any more... I just saw it for the first time. You could always just have skipped it if you're not interested; what difference does it make to you if other members take the time to post a correction or a comment in case it might help somebody actually interested in Hughes/Northstar 38 boats?
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Old 10-15-2007
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Rob8888 said,
ďIt seems to me that having the engine in the keel below the cabin sole is a good design feature. It keeps about 400 lb as low down as possible, and allows for the propeller shaft to be straight (actually it is at an angle of about 3 degrees) instead of being sharply angled down which is necessary in boats with the engine mounted under the cockpit. I replaced the Atomic Four in mine with a Universal M35B, and it just fits without raising the sole. Mounted like that it is very easy to work on after the 2 large floor boards are lifted up.Ē

Itís six of one and a half dozen of another but I donít consider this to be a good feature for any boat offshore or daysailor. Itís not that uncommon to have lots of water in the bilge so the engine is at risk because of corrosion and certainly at risk of being submerged early in the game if anything goes wrong. There is a trade off between stability and utility but the higher the engine the safer the installation. At least thatís my take on it.

As far as the boat being suitable for offshore work the only examples I have seen were lightly built and would not be a candidate for trans-ocean work in my opinion. The fact they have windvanes doesnít mean they are a good choice it just means other people donít have my opinion of the boat. The fact that someone may have made a crossing also doesnít make the boat suitable it just makes the person lucky and also proves he is willing to take more of a risk then I am.

You ask about the difference between the Olson 38 and the Hughes 38. Simply put the Olson is a stronger built boat. Not my style for offshore but still a better choice then the Hughes. But thatís also largely an opinion so you have lots of room for discussion.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2007
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Serena

Hi all,

I too own a '72 NorthStar 38 - "SERENA" She's the only boat I've ever owned so I don't have a lot to compair her to, but this boat is solid, balanced, tracks well and can take a beating on when sailing close to weather. My crew has failed well before the boat has any time she's ever been pushed. And while most of my cruising is in Long Island Sound, off New Haven, the Sound can dish it out when the tide's running opposite a 25knt breeze - I've seen 'em stack up 6'+ and very close together.
I've had a few email exchanges w/Cap'n Fatty on the topic of seaworthiness and 'blue-water' confidence - all of which he emphatically supports. Now he's got some special circumstances in that Wild Card was holed, then repaired and stiffened with additional structure forward of the settee which ties the chainplate tabs from either side together in an integrated support system.
My boat has had a number of upgrades (Westerbeke M4-30, new exhaust, new rig, awlgrip in dark blue, holding tank, hot water tank, refridgeration, and all the typical wear items), but none of this was the result of poor design or construction. The only exception to this is the location of the traveler - I moved mine to a bridge system on the coachtop. The traveler in the cockpit was a bit hazardous.

I would be happy to share additional details to anyone with questions about my experiences. In exchange, does anyone have access to a spec-sheet that shows length overall as measured from the trailing edge of the reverse-transome to the leading edge of the bow-rail? (My winter storage marina is adamant about charging me at 39x $40.00 for my 38 foot boat!!!)

Fair winds.
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