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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Columbia & Coronado
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  #1  
Old 11-14-2008
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Hughes 38' 1988

Hey Guys,
I am looking at a boat from Canada, they say it is a Hughes 38, and I seem to remember that that was a descendant of Columbia, is this true? What can I find out about LeLunasso, 1988 Hughes 38?
Sam
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Old 11-14-2008
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Good solid S&S designed boat. Don't think any were built as late as 1988 though. More like 1968 to 1978. No it wasn't a descendant of Columbia, Hughes started building them long before they became Hughes/Columbia. For a history of the company go here.
History of Hughes Boat Works
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Old 11-15-2008
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Thank you,
I got some good info off that site!
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Old 11-20-2008
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Hughes 38

I have Hughes 38' Hull #205 from 1980. That was the last year that the factory made them. Over the years they sold both complete boats and kits. I know of two Hughes 38' kits that were sold in 1979 and assembled in NS in the mid-80's. They are correctly listed as 1979 boats, but someone may have finished one in 1988 and improperly registered it as such.

They were one of the first Sparkman and Stevens designs to the then new IOR rules. Their waterline is only 27', with long overhangs and a narrow stern. Although dated when compared to modern designs, I like their classic lines. The narrow stern allows her to track well when heeled and the wide hull to keel joint allows her to an easier entry in heavy seas. Hughes 38's are far more seakindly than most modern designs. They sail well on all points and will beat hard to 30 degrees off the wind. I have easily single-handed up and down the Atlantic coast of NS.

They built three versions of the 38, all sharing the same hull. The MkI and MkII share similar coach roof and the MkII and MkIII share a similar interior. The cockpit and main saloon are a bit more forward in the MkI. A nice touch with the MkII & MkIII is that the keel stepped mast is in the head, which really cleans up the saloon.

All versions were laid up with a solid fibreglass hull. The coach roof and decks are a fibreglass laminate over end grain balsa. This is very strong, but susceptible to wicking in water through unsealed deck fittings. Ours had a few wet areas properly repaired by a previous owner. I have seen one Hughes 35 with a foredeck that was so wet it oil-canned when walked on. Hughes used gate valves on some of the through hull fittings, which should be upgraded to ball valves. Never buy any boat without a value and condition survey, which will detect any issues. A survey will help negotiate a better price or allow you to run away from a derelict.

Another great source of info on Hugh 38's is Robert Hess at hessmarine.ca . He owns a 38 named Water Lilly and is one of the world's top Atomic-4 experts. If the one you're looking at has been upgraded to a diesel make sure it is an engine that fits below the cabin sole. Some re-powers were too tall and required a camel hump in the cabin, which severely reduces resale value.
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Old 11-20-2008
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If you like the tumblehome look these are classics of the type.

Personally I never really liked the Hughes coachroof/deck designs that much but that's just an aesthetic thing. Reading Kiskadee's excellent post brings up one thought.. engine access in a below-sole installation on a boat that size must be a bit of a bugger to work on!?
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Old 11-20-2008
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Hughes 38 engine access

The Hughes 38 side chain plates are almost centered in the side decks, which do slow you down a bit when walking forward. The MkIII has the mainsheet traveller mounted on the coach roof, which doesn't leave much room for a dinghy aft of the mast, but cleans up the cockpit.

These boats were built with a dry exhaust with a water jacket running from the engine to the companionway. Then it's a dry hose to the transom where the water is injected at the muffler. The six feet of water jacket cooled the exhaust enough to not melt the hose. It's impossible to hydraulic the engine as water can't back up into the combustion chamber. However, when not properly winterized the outer water jacket can rupture, so many Hughes 38's have been upgraded to a water-lift muffler.

The keel mounted engine has excellent access all around. The bilge is five feet deep behind the engine, so bilge water levels never come close but you'd better not drop a tool. The quiet Atomic-4 doesn't vibrate so it's bolted directly to the hull without vibration mounts. With the engine compt closed you can enjoy a conversation in the saloon. It's also much quieter in the cockpit.

I have a couple pics of the engine compartment on our boat's blog at svkiskadee.blogspot.com. Insert the three w's to complete the address.
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Old 08-02-2011
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I own Hughes 38 Hull Number 227 and have the Manufacturers Certificate dated May 1979 if this helps anyone with aging or dating their boat.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Gary ("Fatty") and Caroline Goodlander have been cruising the world on the Hughes 38 ("Wildcard") that they salvaged a number of years ago. Google "Gary Goodlander" for their web site and send him an inquiry. He and Caroline are very generous with their time and information.

FWIW...
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