Home . Articles . Boats . Perry on Design . Dehler 38R

Dehler 38R

2008 December 1


The Dehler group decided that it wants to produce a line of competitive boats more in line with its clients who "just want to go one step more extreme in their search for speed." This will be called the "R," or Racing Line. The new boats will be built in Dehler's South African plant in Cape Town under supervision of Dehler's Deutschland's Engineering & Quality Departments. The design is by Simonis Voogd Design from Cape Town.

The hull is built with epoxy and vacuum bagged, hand-laminated fabrics over a foam core. The sheer looks dead straight but it's not. I guess there is about a 2.78-inch rise in the spring aft. It sure looks good. Note the chine starting at about station 5.83. Chines are in these days and when this chine goes in it will extend the sailing length of the boat by increasing the prismatic coefficient aft. The D/L is 130. The L/B is 3.05, indicating this is a beamy boat and that beam is carried well aft to a transom with almost no camber. Draft is 7 feet, 10 inches with a T-bulb and fin combo with 2,200 pounds of lead in the bulb. The fin is steel encapsulated in E-glass and epoxy. The high-aspect-ratio rudder is on a high-strength 630 stainless steel shaft.

The 38R is laid out with mirror-image double quarterberths aft. The galley is small but adequate and there is a convenient wet locker adjacent to starboard. I can't tell from the drawings if the head is accessed from both the saloon and the forward stateroom or just one of those areas. To my eye the V-berth looks too tight to make a comfortable double berth. The inboard shows what appears to be a "crash box" in the stem. Standing headroom extends forward to the settees then tapers down, so there will not be full standing headroom in the head. This is a reasonable compromise considering that this boat is intended to be a racer-cruiser type.

The rig is a swept-spreader type with two spreaders and no running backstays. The spreaders are swept 22 degrees. The chainplates are mounted externally on the hull. The mast is a Selden aluminum stick stepped on the keel. The standing rigging is Dyform and the backstay is a Harken 32:1 tackle adjustable from both sides of the cockpit. The SA/D is 24.28. A 107-percent LP jib is standard. Photos of the 38R under sail show it to be a very handsome boat.

The cockpit features a large, 66-inch diameter wheel, which allows the helmsman to sit comfortably to weather. There are low seat backs forward in the cockpit. The toerails forward sweep inboard as they come aft and extend back to the mast as required by offshore racing rules. Of course the cockpit is open aft. When was the last time we saw a boat designed to race without an open transom?

I think the Dehler 38R will make a good combination boat for a family who wants to both cruise and race.

LOA 37'7"; LWL 34'4"; Beam 12'4"; Draft 7'10"; Displacement 11,905 lbs.; Ballast 4,620; Sail area 790 sq. ft.; SA/D 24.28; D/L 130; L/B 3.05; Auxiliary Volvo Penta D1-20; Fuel 29 gals.; Water 29 gals.

Dehler North America, (773) 843-2497, info@dehler.us, www.dehler.us.

OBE: $275,000
Our Best Estimate of the sailaway price