Dehler 38

2013 April 4


Designed by Judel/Vrolijk, this new 38-foot Dehler sloop has features very similar to that of the Sun Odyssey 41 DS except in a slightly smaller version. While the overall geometry of the deck is quite different, the style is very similar to that of the Jeanneau, and in that sleek Euro way I find it an attractive, nicely proportioned boat.

Both ends are very close to vertical, giving the hull a blocky look accentuated by high freeboard, but freeboard buys interior volume. The underwater profile of the Dehler is quite different to that of the Jeanneau. The Jeanneau appears to have the maximum hull depth forward around station 4.

The Dehler has the maximum hull depth much farther aft, around station 6.5. I'm not sure what this means. I'd have to see some sections to tell. It could be that the longitudinal center of buoyancy LCB is further aft on the Dehler. Of course the boat is beamy with an L/B of 3.01, almost identical to that of the Jeanneau.

If we add 4 feet of imaginary overhangs to the Dehler we get an adjusted L/B of 3.33. This imaginary L/B doesn't mean anything. I'm just using it to show how the L/B can be distorted in a boat with almost no overhangs. The D/L is 176. Three drafts are available: 3 feet 11 inches, 5 feet 3 inches and 6 feet 7 inches.

The plan view shows essentially the same shape used by the Jeanneau. Say goodbye to your shapely fanny. Why give away potential deck and cockpit space? Big fannies may not be as pretty as traditional transoms with long overhangs, but they are comfortable and can add to sailing length and stability, which you will need if you go for the 3 feet 11 inch draft model.

The layout is predictable and effective. The head is roomy and includes a shower stall and access to the large cockpit locker on the port side. The wet locker is located in that locker space.

The galley is tight with a very small icebox outboard. The quarter stateroom to starboard has a big hanging locker and a comfortable, large double berth. I can't quite tell what is going on with the nav table from the drawings. My guess is that the table slides aft to a bulkhead opening up a foot well cut into the port settee, for when you want to sit at a chart table. If you want to use it like an end table, you slide it forward over the foot well and that opens up the section of settee aft. I would imagine that there is some kind of filler so you could sleep on that settee, but that's a guess too. The forward cabin features a double berth and port and starboard hanging lockers.

The Dehler has an SA/D of 19.38, indicating to me that this boat is intended for some family racing. The chainplates are outboard and there is a good length of jib track running well forward of the mast.

This deck reinforces my idea that this boat is designed to do some racing, and the deck returns to a layout suitable for that. All the comfort features are there, but the cockpit is arranged for efficient line handling and sail control.

The traveler on this boat is right in front of the twin wheels and spans the entire cockpit sole. This is good. It means you will have a lot of control over the twist of that mainsail.

Primary and secondary winches are mounted on the coaming where they can be interchanged when sail handling calls for it. Halyards run aft under the coachroof to exit at winches flanking the companionway. The entire transom of this design flops down to make a huge swim platform. Dogs will like this. Good boat. Nice design.