Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-07-2006
Jim H's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 594
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Jim H is on a distinguished road
Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38

If things work out, we're driving north this weekend to evaluate a '72 Hughes Northstar 38 that's for sale. The price is low, but the equipment list doesn't sound bad, and every evaluation is a learning experience for us. We'd consider it if it checked out-- as a possible "two-year restoration" project for a longer cruise with our two kids.

It may be too small. It may be too worn down. It could have structural issues that we don't/can't deal with. However, we have heard that these boats can be used for blue water cruising if maintained and set-up properly. Also, we've heard they can be less expensive than other 38s, even if the design is reported to be a bit dated.

I have an Atomic 4 in our current boat, and I like it for river cruising, but I'd want a diesel for blue water. The Hughes we're looking at probably has an old Atomic 4, but supposedly has a 27 HP Yanmar ("ready for install') which could mean a lot of things. 27 hp for a 38 foot cruiser may or may not be enough.

I know in general what to look for (hull, rigging, electrical, etc.), including the all-important first impressions, but is there anything in particular to consider when reviewing a '72 Hughes Northstar 38? We're expecting a rough interior, but the equipment list suggests that previous owners were taking it in the right direction (stainless propane tanks, wind generator, tiller pilot, etc.). Basically, we could put $40k into the restoration and still be below the opening bid for a Valiant 40 (with blisters) or around the bid for a Morgan 382.

Thanks!

Jim H

p.s. Here's a link to the posting: http://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/boa/188198268.html (but this link may go bad soon.) We'd definitely have a professional survey done if we got serious.

Last edited by Jim H; 08-07-2006 at 10:17 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-07-2006
Jeff_H's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 6,542
Thanks: 5
Thanked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about
As much as I like Hughes Northstars (I owned a Northstar 500 QT) the 35 and 38 were pretty lousey designs and certainly not boats that I would want to pour good earned money into if I was planning to go offshore. You could buy a whole lot of really good boats for what it would take to buy and fix up a worn out one and still have a really poor seaboat.

Jeff
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-07-2006
PBzeer's Avatar
Wandering Aimlessly
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cruising
Posts: 19,815
Thanks: 0
Thanked 78 Times in 75 Posts
Rep Power: 14
PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about PBzeer has a spectacular aura about
Here's a link with a small bit of info, possibly things you already know.
http://sailquest.com/market/models/hugh38.htm
__________________
John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Website & Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-07-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 388
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Johnrb is on a distinguished road
Jeff and PBeezer:

I think you may be referring to the later Northstar 38's. The boat listing (with the link) is the earlier Hughes 38.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-07-2006
Jim H's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 594
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Jim H is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H
As much as I like Hughes Northstars (I owned a Northstar 500 QT) the 35 and 38 were pretty lousey designs and certainly not boats that I would want to pour good earned money into if I was planning to go offshore. You could buy a whole lot of really good boats for what it would take to buy and fix up a worn out one and still have a really poor seaboat.

Jeff
Thanks for your comments. I re-read your post about Hughes 38s in this thread: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...ghlight=Hughes and it appeared that the middle design H38 hulls (1968-1973) that were shared with Hinckley were S&S designed and not poorly done. It seems like this one (1972) would fall into the range you were discussing. You did note that they would not be your first choice for an off-shore boat, however.

According to the history of Hughes boats I've seen (http://www.sailcaddy.com/history.htm) the "Northstar" boats began in 1971 when US Steel owned the company. It wasn't clear if the H38s made in '72 were redesigned, made elsewhere, or reduced in quality compared to the pre-71 Hughes 38s. (This could be the case.)

I've also read the Cruising World articles about Wild Card, Goodlander's Hughes 38 which I believe was a Northstar, but I haven't confirmed that yet. Apparently, his was initially inexpensive (storm damaged) but has served him well. If there were significant quality differences between a '70 Hughes 38 and a '72 Hughes Northstar 38, it would be good to know.

Thanks!

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 08-07-2006 at 11:48 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-08-2006
lgherb's Avatar
Hughes 38 Mark II
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 42
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lgherb is on a distinguished road
Jim H,

I recently purchased a 1972 Hughes 38 Mark II. This boat was designed by Sparkman and Stephens and Hughes Boatworks actually produced the hulls for the Hinckley 38 (Hinkley put their own decks on the hulls.) For a time, Hughes also made the hulls for the Tartan 40s.

I personally like this boat. She seems very steady and has good upwind capabilities. I am, however, still getting to know the boat.

A fragmented history of Hughes Boatworks can be found here:

http://www.sailcaddy.com/history.htm

Fatty Goodlander's 'Wild Card' I believe is also of the same vintage. I believe Cap'n Fatty has circumnavigated more than once on 'Wild Card'.



Please let us know your thoughts once you have had a chance to evaluate her.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-08-2006
Jeff_H's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 6,542
Thanks: 5
Thanked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about
Wild card appears to be the second Hughes 38, which shared its hull and deck with the Hinckley Competition 38 and was an S&S design. That is an extremely different boat than the Northstar 38 which was also designed by Sparkman and Stevens which was designed as an IOR racer-cruiser. By 1972 you are probably looking at a Northstar 38 rather than the earlier Hughes 38. From what I gather, the Hughes 38 went out of production in 1971, but that a single last Hughes 38 was built in 1973 as a custom boat,on a hull and deck molded for Hinckley but never delivered.

The link provided by PBeezer was for the later Hughes Northstar 38. The Northstar History is not terribly accurate. For example, it does not mention the three boats that Hughes produced from molds purchased from Seafarer (Which is how the reflected sailboat logo gets added to the Hughes former logos).

Jeff
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-08-2006
lgherb's Avatar
Hughes 38 Mark II
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 42
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lgherb is on a distinguished road
Here's a pic of the Hughes 38 I recently purchased. This was taken just before I purchased the boat anchored in her slip in a marina in the Potomac. The Craigslist link that Jim posted expired, but the photo in it appeared to have the exact same deck, cabin, and hull lines.

Jeff, can you tell from the lines which version of the Hughes 38 this is? According to an old survey from the previous owner, this is listed as a "Hughes 38 Mark II." My boat was constructed prior to HIN's being required, but my hull number is (I think) 82.

It is unfortunate that there is such scant info on these boats available, but understandable considering the tribulations the company went through. I was under the possible misunderstanding that Hughes made both a "Hughes 38" and a "Northstar 38" that were different products.

Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-08-2006
Jim H's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 594
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Jim H is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgherb
Here's a pic of the Hughes 38 I recently purchased. This was taken just before I purchased the boat anchored in her slip in a marina in the Potomac.
Lgherb, thanks for posting a pic of your boat. I'm a sucker for dark hulls.

I was going to PM you and ask if you knew the difference between a Mark I and a Mark II. On Yachtworld at the moment, for example, there's both a '70 and a '73 that are listed as Mark Is, but there are no Mark IIs noted (even the later 1980s ones).

I did notice that one of the older ones had dual quarterberths in back, unlike the single quarterberth shown in most drawings. I've also heard that there were two interior arrangements, with a recommendation that the galley in back was preferable. I've also noticed that some have dinettes, while others (like Wild Card) have a fold down table in the main cabin (my preference). I've also ready that both settees in the main cabin can slide out to be doubles.

If I'm reading Jeff's posts correctly (the old and new ones), there may be four main versions of the boat. An early to mid sixties version, which didn't sound good. A late sixties/early 70s model, that sounded decent. A mid seventies Northstar 38 version, that was more race-oriented. A late seventies/early eighties version, that was more like a Catalina 38 coastal cruiser.

I believe his posts on this thread indicate that he thinks the 1972 model I plan to see may be the Northstar version that was IOR racer/cruiser with small tankage, more of a racing machine.

Anyway, if nothing else, I'd like to see the listed boat which appears to be very similar to yours (same number and type of portlights, and reported year). The ad listing said it had 50 gallons fuel, and 100 water, which doesn't sound like a racer unless it's really been hacked.

A broker once told me you really can't believe anything about a sailboat listing. If a water-maker is listed, that may mean there's a perfect one in the boat, or a used one in the owner's garage, or no such thing at all. I normally don't know anything aobut a boat until I climb through it, find the hull number, take pictures, and do research afterwards.

Thanks for posting the pictures of your boat.

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 08-08-2006 at 02:45 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-08-2006
garymcg's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 110
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
garymcg is on a distinguished road
Hughes 38 info

Everyone

I was looking at a Hughes 38 in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I just got off the phone with Pat Sturgeon of Pat Sturgeon Yachts, he used to work for Hughes Boat Works and in fact commissioned a number of Hughes 38s.

Pat said that contrary to popular belief there are only slight changes to all of the Hughes 38s. The boat is an S&S design, all later changes (you'll notice a late 70's boat has different port lights than an early 70's model) were in the interior and other cosmetics only. The hulls and decks are all out of the same mold, not just to the S & S design but to the S&S glass layup schedule and all other specifications as well. He said you'll see later 70's models listed as Hughes 38 or Northstar 38, it's the same boat.

Pat even offered to give me Howard Hughes' phone number, he was just in Pat's office a couple of weeks ago.

Hope this helps.

Gary
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hughes Sailboats bootsy1962 General Discussion (sailing related) 16 12-16-2011 03:44 PM
Looking for info on Hughes 29 (1972) quicksilver Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 02-12-2010 06:11 PM
Hughes 38 me262 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 3 11-14-2003 07:51 AM
NorthStar 951 from 40'' Beneteau JeffreySchwartz Boat Review and Purchase Forum 0 04-04-2003 11:38 AM
1977 Northstar 30, $11,000 chris1psyc Boat Review and Purchase Forum 0 07-26-2001 07:15 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:09 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.