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Chieftain 38
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3 5872 Tue August 28, 2007
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.5

Description: Chieftain 38
Keywords: Chieftain 38



Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1887
Review Date: Thu December 3, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The chieftain is a fin keel design (built in NZ by the Cook Brothers), with a skeg and full length rudder attached to the transom and skeg. There is a sugar scoop on the transom split by the rudder. The chieftain is quite roomy below decks and sails well for the volume. The rig (sloop) is pratical rather than high performance. However it is possible to sail quite close to the wind. The cockpit is very comfortable, i.e. it is possible to lie down along the benches in the cockpit, which is very pleasant when sailing
or at anchor.

I have only ever experienced beatng into a force 7 in this boat but it handled well. The design is similar to some of the Farr designs e.g. 12.2Metre. She has a 35 Hp diesel which can help when beating into a headwind. I think the design is very good for cruising.

One weakness is that the interior lining is a Kauuri Pine from NZ, a very beautiful and expensive and now rare timber.
So matching this wood can be a bit tricky.

Overall we are very satisfied with the Chieftain.

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Review Date: Sat March 25, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Easy to sail, roomy, comfortable cockpit, well built

The Chieftain 38 is a well built fun yacht.

The Chieftain 38 is well constructed with a glassed in robust fore and
aft stringers, ribs and bulkheads which make it stronger than modern
production yachts. Although cored construction is also used in places
to reduce the weight above the waterline. It has an external lead fin
keel and a skeg hung rudder. It has wheel steering.

The cockpit and rear boarding area make the yacht easy to live on.
Two people can fully recline or sleep in the cockpit. There is a swim
platform, which also adds to the ease of use. The galley is a good
size with an easy to use layout. There is a large frdige/freezer and
plenty of water and fuel storage.

The standing rigging is quite strong. The mast is well stayed
with fore and aft stays and 4 mid-spreaders and 2 masthead
spreaders and strong chainplates with backing plates all round.

The rig is easy to handle with furling headsail and slab reefed main.
The yacht sails well, but it is not a modern lightweight racing yacht.
I would say the yacht is a moderately quick cruiser for its length.
I have a large MPS spinnaker for modertate to light winds and a
larger headsail. Later I will also get a large full size spinnaker and may
add an inner forestay. The yacht easily sails at around 6 to 7 kts
in a around 15kts of wind. In stonger winds around 7 to 8 kts is
easily attainable. Later I intend to smooth out rough patches on the
bottom and perhaps add a feathering or folding prop.

I really like the Chieftain 38 and I have read that other owners also like
their Chieftains. I looked for a long time before I found this boat, it has
everything I want - seaworthiness, strength, good living arrangements
above and below decks, easy to handle, easy to maintain.

Being fibreglass makes it easy to maintain but other design factors also
reduce uneccessary maintenance. For example, a robust bow roller, good
bow overhang so the anchor clears the bow, robust rubrails along the
full length of the boat, a simple and uncluttered deck layout and good
engine access.

I looked over an Island Packet at a recent boat show and I noted
that there were many similarities to my yacht. I have also heard it said
that the Chieftain is similar to a Farr 37, Pacific Seacraft 37 and a
Pretorien 35. I noted that Hal Roth in his recent book "How to Sail
Around the World" has a Pretorien 35, which he believes is a boat
that could be sailed around the world.

I have had this yacht for quite a few years now and I am still
really happy with it. Over time I intend to add a few new features, like a
separate freezer, perhaps a watermaker and a large spinnaker.
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Registered: August 2007
Posts: 36
Review Date: Tue August 28, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Well laid out interior, well laid out exterior, Well priced
Cons: Have not found one yet

We have just purchased our 1982 Cheiftan. She was for sale for quite some time before be bought her and in fact was not the boat we went to look at when we spoke to the boat broker. At the insistance of my better half we inspected the boat and I was so impressed with the layout and design of the boat we put in an offer the next day.

Our boat is a single mast sloop with a furler on the headsal. The main has lazy jacks with all sails less then 2 years old. The interior has recently been upgraded with new cushions, gas stove and hotwater. The standing and running rigging were replaced in 2003 with the mast and boom being fully renovated.

As a coatal cruiser she is exactly what we were looking for. The boat will be moored on Lake Macquarie in New South Wales where I expect she will become our second home.

As an old charter boat she is very good condition and was built to survey in New Zealand. The serveyor was impressed with the quality and build of the boat. There is osmosis in the hull which is why I suspect the boat was on the market for so long but the osmosis is not structural with the required repairs being budgeted into the price.

On inspection the deisel motor looked dirty appeared neglected but a mechanical inspection revealed the motor in good shape with excellent compression.

We look forward to many years of faithful service from the newest member to our family

Greg and Sue
Lake Macquarie NSW Aust
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