Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

I'm very interested in a boat that will be enjoyed 90% of the nights in a slip or a mooring and then day sailing but also to sail to Bermuda or Nova Scotia once per year. The boat will be kept in Rockland ME and mainly sailed in Penobscott Bay. Not yet in retirement couple at 60 but ready to sail for the next 10 years. If you were me, do you have thoughts on the Baltic 38 or would you say: Hey look at this...? $50k to 100k budget recognizing that the purchase price is 50% of what is needed to sail it to Bermuda. Why Baltic or C&C - I like the double bed birth for the 90% nights in a slip or mooring. We've spent a great deal of time on a Sabre 34 and the sleeping arrangement is not as good.
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

Cost aside... And it's hard to know how you sail and use a boat... and having owned and lived for some time on a Contest 36s... my comments are as follows.

1. a walk around double in the aft cabin is great. But getting in and out of that double looks like a PITA. Hopefully it has a good mattress. Mine in not walk around but all the cushions are really great foam and very comfortable.... been recovered 2x and look and feel great.

2. teak decks can look great, are very non skiddy but do take a lot of work and most seem to leak at some point.

3. I am used to a tall fractional rig and see many benefits. the 38 DP is a mast head rig. Fractional with a Dutchman is easy to control and reef and powers the boat. It's up all the time I am moving... even motor sailing. Smaller head sail is easier to trim, tack and gybe. Compression post for a fractional is part of a bulkhead not in the middle of the boat/table

4. Good weather the cockpit is where you'll be. It should be very comfortable for sitting or lounging with some sort of table for food/drinks.. and of course protection from sun and rain.

5. head does not look well ventilated in the 38 DP.. can't tell... and very small. I discovered that a forward walk thru head is large, comfortable and has lots of storage, ventilation and no head odors. We use the V as a "closet" and for guests on rare occasions. I prefer it far from where we sleep and cook.

6. Stern boarding ladder looks whacky because of the sloped transom.

7. looks like a very deep draft with a exposed shaft and strut and a tiny skeg they call a spade rudder w/ mostly exposed rudder.

8. anchoring means a windlass... and a large chain locker

9. Lines of the boat are great. She's a looker. And looks like a racer not a cruiser. Likely a fast boat. Interior joinery is beautiful.

Penobscot Bay is cruising heaven.... but don't expect to have lots of slips to overnight in (you probably already know that).

Good luck!
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

I can't help you with the specific boat, but you're very wise to first focus on the 90%. The other 10% can be managed.


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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

For whatever it's worth, there has been a Baltic 38 DP for sale near me for many years, and I've watched the price drop from somewhere in the mid to low $100s (can't recall exactly), to the current price of $70k. https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/198...38-dp-2455211/ Very pretty boat but seems like it may be hard to sell.

Personally, it looks like a lot of boat to handle as a cruising boat for a couple. Much more of a racing boat. It's not what I'd be looking at for my wife and my retirement boat.
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

What's your fascination with sailing to Bermuda and back? Not only is it a very difficult and dangerous trip most of the time, Bermuda is one of the most expensive destinations you could pick (us$8.50 a gallon for diesel 8 years ago) anywhere on this planet. I'd give that one a definite second thought.
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

The Baltic 38 DP is the wrong boat! These were very well built IOR rule beater racer cruisers. They sail upwind very well but get really squirrelly reaching and running. The rig is wrong for offshore work being a parallel double spreader rig with no aft lowers. The result is that all of these boats that I have seen were rigged with running backstays or checkstays to deal with pumping. They were designed to be sailed with big physically strong crews that could handle the large headsails and make the needed headsail changes that are required due to the mix of comparatively poor stability, the dependence on very large genoas, and the minimal ability to depower the rig.

Deal killers for me would be that none of the critical sail adjustments can be reached from the helm (making single-handing much more difficult), the 30-40 year old teak decks, the vee-drive engine (which makes the stuffing box and critical engine components extremely difficult to near impossible to work on), the goofy aft berth (that you cannot sit up in to read, and which is over the counter area of the boat on a boat that is particularly prone to very loud counter slapping), and the companionway, (which I would consider dangerous to use in heavy weather, and requiring a contortionist to get in and out of when the dodger is up).

There are a bunch of dual purpose boats that would be suitable for your needs in this price range. This isn't one of them.

Jeff


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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

Baltics have a reputation for being well-built, but does this one have a teak deck? The aft double looks like it puts your heads right where transom-slapping wave noise will be maximized. The huge genoa/small main IOR syndrome is obvious in the sailplan -- what other not-so desirable IOR traits are there? It would be worth finding out from someone who’s sailed them how squirrely they are downwind, for example, and if they need a lot of crew weight to hold them flat.

And of course, JeffH posted while I was writing...
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
The Baltic 38 DP is the wrong boat! There are a bunch of dual purpose boats that would be suitable for your needs in this price range. This isn't one of them. Jeff
I hope that all of the sailnet members understand how fortunate we are to have someone like Jeff on board to give us the straight dope on all these boats that we think might be the right boat for our purposes.
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

Consistent with what I and others said above about this boat, just look at the picture of the 38 on the Baltic Yachts website. Not exactly a couple cruising their retirement dream. https://www.balticyachts.fi/yachts/baltic-38/
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Re: Baltic 38 for a 10yr life investment?

I used to race on a Baltic 35, which is very similar in design to the 38. I agree with most of the critiques offered of this as a less than ideal retirement cruising boat but particularly want to highlight just how terrible the companionway design would be for the intended use. It's basically just a hatchway with a 6 foot ladder down to the cabin sole. When the boat has any amount of heel (which is often because it's very tender), it's not at all fun climbing out of that companionway and once you get to the top you're scrambling on hands and knees across the bridgedeck until you can unceremoniously flop yourself into the cockpit. It may be a good design for preventing downflooding, but IMO is not all that safe for crew in a seaway, particularly older crew. At dock or anchor it's easier to climb out of the companionway in an upright, dignified posture, but what a pain in the a** making that climb multiple times a day would be while staying aboard for extended periods. The companionway design severely limits your dodger options on this boat as well.
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