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  #21  
Old 10-25-2007
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Once your boat is on the hard, run plumb line down from the fartehest point forward, and aft, then measure. That is usually the easiest way. I would also NOT be suprised if your boat is about a foot longer than speced, being as marina's charge by the longest part. Along with my marina, goes from 37'3" to 38'3" is a 38' boat, so if you are 38'4" you're a 39' boat to them!

marty
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  #22  
Old 10-26-2007
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Quote:
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.
I don't know about 3 models, but I'll guarantee you that there are at least two very different hull shapes that were built and sold as Hughes 38. The older one is a more classic design and is the one with the dark hull pictured earlier in this post. The newer one is a fatter boat with a very pinched stern.

I looked at both versions last year.
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  #23  
Old 10-29-2007
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Do you have the beam dimensions for each?
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Old 05-06-2008
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I have lots of pictures of a 1968 Hughes 38 on my website.I think it is a good, strong, well designed bluewater boat. I bought it to circumnavigate. I wanted something larger and steel but didn't think I would find one affordable, I was wrong. Concerning the engine in the bilge, if you've got enough water in the the bilge to cause problems with a diesel, the engine in the bilge is not something you need to worry about. My opinion a gas engine has no business being anywhere near salt water for many reasons. Jon
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Last edited by camaraderie; 05-06-2008 at 06:48 PM. Reason: edited. no offers on forums
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2009
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Dear All,
I read (and re-read) your discussion concerning the hughes 38. I'm a bit confused since Hughes 38 doesn't seem to refer to one boat, but three. ;-) What do you think about the version I'm interested in? Here is a picture of the hull:
1969 Anthony Hughes 38 - 38' Cruiser Sailboat for Sale in Clear Lake Shores, Texas

I currently own a Hallberg P28 - kind of a big folkeboat. The length is 30ft. It's a full-keel design, and I've mounted an Aries windvane in order to sail single-handed. The boat doesn't tack below an angle of 105 degrees, but that's about the only negative in terms of sailing performance (as I see it). The Aires can steer the boat on any course.

So, why am I looking for a new boat? Well, I'd need a bit more space down below. And, I'd like to have a boat with a bridge deck. I would like to continue using my Aries since I'd mostly sail single-handed. It is essential to me that I can trust the Aries to keep the boat under control on any course. I'm not too crazy about speed, but I wouldn't want a slow boat.

Do you think that a Hughes 38 like the one above would fit me?
Best regards,
Alex
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  #26  
Old 10-08-2009
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This appears to be the middle period Hughes 38 a Sparkman and Stephens designed Hughes Northstar 38 that shares the same hull with the Hinckley 38 of that same era.

A friend of mine did a lot of distance cruising with the Hinckley version of this boat and he had an Aries style vane on his. The boat in question appears to have the trim tab on the aft face of the keel that was standard on the Competition version of the Hinckley and an option on the Hughes. The trim tab is helpful in balancing the helm.

These were reasonably fast boats for their day upwind, but a bit squirely downwind. They also have a sailplan that depended on huge jibs and a very small mainsail making them less than ideal for single-handing and difficult to shift gears with changing conditions.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 10-08-2009 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10-08-2009
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I'd also note that the photos of the boat are more than 5 1/2 years old. A lot can change in that much time, so hopefully you have some more recent information.

P.S. Jeff, that trim tab is certainly a curiosity. How was it manipulated?
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Old 10-08-2009
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On the Hinckley versions there was a small steering wheel that was mounted on the binacle on the same shaft as the main steering wheel. The trim tab wheel was aft of and concentric with the main steering wheel. You could turn them both at the same time or independently and you could lock off the trim tab where you wanted it and steer with the main wheel.

I also raced on another boat of that era with a trim tab that had a small throttle quadrant mounted on the deck that you turned one way or the other and it used a throttle cable to rotate a small tiller below the deck.
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  #29  
Old 10-08-2009
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Thanks for your fast replies! My question wasn't really related to the Hughes that's currently for sale. I just posted the above-stated link s.t. we are on page regarding the version of the Hughes 38 that I'm interested in. Can you think of something similar, with a smaller headsail? Or would that be incompatible with the hull shape? To me, the hull shape looked quite attractive. Somewhere between a full and a fin keel, with a skeg-hung rudder.

Best,
Alex
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Old 01-15-2010
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Hughes and Northstars are one and the same...

The S&S designed Hughes 38 built in 1968 shared the identical hull with the Northstar 38 of the mid 70's and later Hughes 38's through the final hull in 1981. From the toerail down they are all 99% identical. In '69 Hughes sold to US Steel but they didn't change thecompany name to Northstar until '71. In '77 Hughes bought the company back and immediately changed the name back to Hughes. Many of the same workers stayed with them through all owners.
I have managed marina yards on both coasts and am quite familiar with all three versions. I own a 1980 Mk 3. An aquaintance in NS had a Mk 2 and a friend here in BC has a Mk 1. The Mk 1 & 2 look very similar but the latter saw the lazorette removed and cockpit moved aft to the transom. The saloon moved aft and gave a slightly larger head and V-berth. Only the Mk 1 had the stbd quarter berth. The Mk 1 has a tiller and the Mk 2 & 3 have a wheel. The main change in the Mk 3 is a (the modern) more rounded coach roof design, which unfortunately resulted in narrower side decks.
All were built with an Atomic 4, some UJ and some UJR with the Paragon 2:1 reduction gear. Having the engine below the cabin sole allows excellent access to all components. The aft most 1/3 of the keel is hollow and it would take a lot of water to ever flood the engine. The propellor is deeper and farther forward than most boats, so prop-walk is negligable in reverse and it is less likely to foul on a line that falls over the side. The bevel edged keel frees itself more easily from soft-bottom groundings, building less bottom suction than flat/squared off designs. However the boat will usually not sit flat on a tidal grid without a bow crutch for forward support.
The boat sails well on all points but is a bit cumbersome on a dead run. It will pull hard close hauled to 30 degrees off the wind. The narrow stern IOR design allows the waterline to grow with speed (speed = more speed), but does tend to hobby-horse in short choppy wind-vs-current standing waves. I have sailed her off the coast of Nova Scotia, beating into 30 kts wind and +6' seas, and she handled it like she was on rails. Still, the Hughes 38 is a lighter build than many 38's of the era, and remains a racer-cruiser with decent offshore capability. Capt Goodlander did extensive modifications to his Wild Card, turning her into a heavy open ocean cruiser.
At 10' 2" the Hughes 38's are narrower than most 38 footers, but this has allowed us to fit into guest slips that were too narrow for other shorter boats. Designed to sleep 7, we find it crowded beyond 4 on board.
Some weak points show with age. Holes for deck fittings were not filled and redrilled, so many boats can suffer wet balsa deck cores when the bedding breaks down. This can be expensive to repair so I recommend re-bedding everything before the leaks start. Most chainplates are hiddden behind woodork and inaccessable to surveyors, so it may be an issue with some insurance companies. The dry exhaust water jacket will freeze and split if not drained when on the hard in northern climates. The aftmost half of the dry exhaust is hose that will dry out eventually and should be checked every season and replaced when dry-cracking. The Mk 3 has an excessive amount of thruhulls. Mine has 10 below the waterline and three under the rear overhang. Original gate valves should be changed to ball valves. Original wiring was not tinned and has become brittle with age. The DC system is adequate but the 115V on my Mk 3 was poorly designed... Truely not suitable for a garden shed, but I don't know if this held true for all years.
The best source of info on the Hughes 38 and it's company history is from Robert Hess at: History of Hughes Boat Works
Sorry about the long post, but over the years the internet has been filling up with mis-information about the Hughes 38's being different boats. Over their build-life, from 1968 through 1981, they were all built from identical hull molds with many of the same craftsmen. Except for the Tall Mast version they all perform the same and all versions carry the same basic handicap rating. The classic design is dated, but so are 57 Chevy Nomads and I still like them too.
Cheers, Dana
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