Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38 - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 01-15-2010
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Great Post Dana!

I've always like the H-38 ...the Hinckley too. A friend of mine used to own the blue one in the pictures. It was a nicely optioned boat but had a really soggy deck and needed some other work as well.

I've always believed that the hulls were all the same shape. ...funny how some people claim things as facts when they are truly not.

I spoke to S&S not too long ago and they looked up the plans for both the Hughes 38 and the Hinckley and told me flat out that they were differnent (albeit very similar) designs. I don't know if this means that Hinckley slightly modified the original design from Hughes or if they are simply altogether different boats. I am pretty sure that Hinckley did modify their '38 a bit from the plansl in that they lowered the engine a tad and put a small bump in the hull for extra clearance. I'd heard (not confirmed) that S&S was not at all happy with Hank Hinckley about this one and that is why they didn't design any more of the Hinckley production boats.

Cheers,
JZ

Last edited by sharedwatch; 01-15-2010 at 11:35 AM.
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2010
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Hughes / Hinckley

I'd read somewhere that Hinckley only had Hughes build the bare hulls for their 38's. Hinckley did their own liners and decks. I found a pic of one on yachtworld that shows the bump at the top of the keel. It looks odd but would have allowed a much larger choice of diesels. The Hughes 38 was built with the Atomic 4 in mind and doesn't have room for most wider diesels with their larger crankshafts. The Hinckleys were outfitted to a higher quality and they still hold a higher resale value than their Hughes sisters.
I don't blame S&S for being pissed at Hinckley for changing their design. The Hughes 38 was the first boat designed to the then new IOR Rules. Olin Stevens was one of the key developers of those new rules, so who better to design a boat to meet them... And why mess with any boat designed by the man who designed the rules.
I think that much of the misinformation about different versions of the H38 comes from an era when molds were bought and sold as companies folded. Hughes ended up with some Columbia molds and built them as Hughes-Columbia. One was a 36, which some may erroneously think to be a variant of the H38.

I just thought of one other issue with the H38's. There's very little exposed shaft between the cutlass bearing and the prop. This only leaves room for one donut zinc annode, which may or may not last the year depending on local conditions, etc.

Cheers, Dana
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  #33  
Old 01-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob8888 View Post
Sorry if your friend Jim (whoever he is!) is in England and you're not interested in this thread any more...

Yeah, who the hell is that idiot Jim character?


Actually, I'm in favor of old threads like this one coming back from the dead over time. It's not uncommon for the new posts to be of better quality than the original ones...

Not all boats have thick, rich websites devoted to them with every historical question answered and tech spec outlined. This thread is an interesting give-and-take about a boat that may not have a lot of clear documentation elsewhere (at least that I know of).
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  #34  
Old 01-26-2010
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Wow! Great write up kisk. I just saw a very cheap Hughes 38 on YW and was wanting to find out more about the boat. Yet again, Sailnet salts come through!

The boat is in NS. I wonder if it's your friend's boat? Looks nice.
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  #35  
Old 01-26-2010
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Is the Hughes in NS called Clarity?

Smackdaddy, If the boat you're looking at in NS is called Clarity then I'd like you to email me: govang@gmail.com
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  #36  
Old 02-25-2010
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Kiskadee has the Hughes 38 history nailed. It's a good old strong boat if you find one in good shape. The posts by Tartan 34C are off base - he's confused it with another boat. Maybe a Hunter! They both have H on the sail!

Like every 30-40 year old boat everything should have been replaced or upgraded by now. I owned a 1972 freshwater 38 that was original in everyway. The A-4 was a low hour gem. Right on about the deck leaks, but not a unique problem to Hughes. Early models/years were more racer than cruiser. Smaller head, spartan accomodations, open under cockpit (no 1/4 berth). These early models are where you'd find the trim tab on the keel. It was the hot set up when Olin was designing America's Cup boats. Later years looked to be mostly "offshore A": V berth, opposed setees pull out to doubles and a 1/4 berth. Joinery/interior is on the low end of OK.

Since its an S&S design it's "over built" by design & Hughes didn't cheap out on the layup. aaaaaaaaaait's a tough old hull (But you'll need a screw gun to examine chain plates). I think a good one will take you to sea and back like any S&S design. BUT its the "worlds smallest 38 footer". Pinched ends and a 10' beam = no storage. A modern 30 footer has as much/more room. It likes to sail heeled over, but it takes a set & holds. 6000#'s of external lead sees to that. I've grounded her Hard several times - its a brick S house. A slight gouge in the lead - no damage.

It's a good starter "big boat". But be realistic about condition/ work-upgrades needed. Buy one someone else has done the work on. I owned mine for 7 years, sailed and overnighted for weeks at a time on Ontario. Bought a Morgan 383 and I am in cruising heaven with a 12' beam & 100+ cubbies for storage.
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  #37  
Old 08-23-2014
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Smile Re: Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38

Greetings
I am looking to sail in the great lakes and will be based in Parry Sound. Currently have a 21 Sirius and am looking for a 35 to 40 project boat. I have a chance to get a Hughes 38 mark 3, 1980 vintage that has never seen water yet. It's a complete hull and deck. No hardware or interior. Cost is almost nothing, just have to move it and ruin part of our homes scenic view!!!!

What's your thoughts on bringing this one to life? Ballpark cost to complete if one is frugal?

I love the site and look forward to hearing back from some of you.

Regards. ...
Mike B

p.s. my wife doesn't know about this "new" project yet....
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  #38  
Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38

WAY more than buying a decent one and refitting it to taste - WAAAYYY more.

Don't even think about building a boat unless you WANT to build a boat. It is a very poor way to acquire a boat if you want to go sailing - almost certainly the most expensive way in both $$ and time. A Hughes 38 hull & deck will take years of full time work to complete and probably cost very near or even into 6 figures.

P.S. after reading back in this thread, there is a piece of rather significant misinformation repeated a few times - ALL the Hughes/Northstar 38's were the same S&S designed hull - the deck was changed along with other things but the hull was common to all of them - S&S design #1903.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 08-23-2014 at 12:54 PM.
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  #39  
Old 08-23-2014
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Re: Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38

I agree. Unless you really (really) want the experience of finishing this boat you are much better off looking for a completed boat.
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  #40  
Old 08-26-2014
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Re: Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38

Greetings,

Thank you for the sage advice. Me thinks I will keep looking for a sailboat with less work, less cost and more enjoyment.

In the meantime I wish we'd get some wind up in central Ontario. Its been a quiet summer so far and my Sirius 21 has barely gotten wet yet. It was quite a bit of work. It was abandoned for 8 years and looked like a bad aquarium inside. Moss was growing on the decks. Many, many hours later she's a fine sailing boat just waiting for me to recover the the cushions.

Thanks...

Mike B
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