Cal 39 vs E 38-200 vs Beneteau First 38
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!!! :)
Come on guys....does nobody have anything to say about these 3 boats?
If you decide that you want a particular boat, you may have slim pickings. For example, I only find 4 Cal 39s on yachtworld.com
i owned a cal 39, cruised it through the slot, down to colombia and up the west side of del caribe. the boat was very good to me. she was a shoal draft. you might want to research the naval architect william lapworth, if you have further interest in the cal 39. sorry, but i can't speak for the other boats.
Any of the three will sail like a train upwind,
but all have large sail plans with massive
The Ericson is quite fast in light air,
but will be slower and more diffucult to
manage in breezy off the wind sailing.
The Beneteau will likely have the best
overall sailing performance.
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