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Dehler 38SQ

2021 March 1

This racer-cruiser puts the focus on speed with a slick deck layout

This month we have two new European builds to review, the Dehler 38 SQ and the Dufour 430 Grand Large. It would be nice to compare the differences in the two designs, but most of the differences are in the cosmetics. 

I remember a day when I was watching the Golf Channel on television and it was bemoaning the loss of the “idiosyncratic golf swing,” the days when different pro golfers had very distinct and easy to recognize personal swings. The theory was that sports science had eliminated all the odd swings and produced the physics required to result in the “perfect golf swing.”  Today we have Bryson DeChambeau, winner of the 2020 U.S. Open, nicknamed “the scientist” who spends, by his own admission, more time studying the science of golf than he does playing. The more we apply the right science, the more things get the same. A quick look around any racing fleet will prove me right on this. The boats may be better boats on a number of levels but I miss the days when there was far more diversity of design.

As you would expect the new Dehler, designed by Judel/Vrolijk, is all sailing length with only 3 inches of total overhang and that’s all aft. The L/B is 3 so it would be fair to say that this is a “fat boat.” Call it very beamy if you prefer. Canoe body fore and aft rocker shows the hull flattened a bit amidships with hull depth retained aft to about Station 8.2. Pulling the volume aft like that helps with accommodations volume. 

The rudder is a single, deep blade. You can choose from three draft options: shoal at 5 feet 3 inches, standard at 6 feet 8 inches and competition at 7 feet 6 inches. The standard draft version has a D/L of 186.5. The competition version with a T configuration fin and bulb has less ballast and a D/L of 174. 

The interior design is by the Dehler factory design group. There are two interior layouts. You can have one quarter cabin aft to starboard or you can have mirror image port and starboard quarter cabins. Either way you get one head and if you want the two quarter-cabin model you will have to access that port “stateroom” through the head. The galley looks fine but I can’t see much volume set aside for the refrigerator. If that space outboard of the sinks is the refrigerator then it is minimal at best and not easy to access. The nav station faces aft to port and uses the port settee as the seat. You can eliminate the nav station and get an extra long port settee. There is a double berth forward. 

The interesting thing about this deck plan is that to my eye it pays just as much attention to racing considerations as it does to the needs of the casual cruiser. In fact I think it tilts a bit toward racing efficiency. Side decks are clear with sheets brought aft along the cabintrunk edge. There are six winches, two flanking the companionway and four aft. Maybe it’s just a drafting error, some young drafter hit the “mirror” function on ACAD, but the aft winches on the port side are shown winding counterclockwise. This may be convenient from a design perspective but could cause confusion when racing. Starboard side shows conventional clockwise winding winches. 

The stern is very broad so twin wheels work well here. There is a drop-down transom for a bathing platform, but I don’t see it on the drawings. There are “fold-out footrests” for each helm position. The mainsheet traveler spans the cockpit sole directly forward of the wheels.

The fractional sloop rig is predictable. You do have the option of a square head competition rig with a SA/D of 23.23. The standard rig has a SA/D of 20.85. This is a fine looking boat in the
Euro style.

LOA 38’2”; LWL 34’1”; Beam 12’4”; Draft shoal 5’3”, standard 6’8”; deep 7’5”; Ballast shoal 6,062 lb., standard 5,247 lb., deep 5,247 lb.; Displ. shoal 16,755 lb., standard 16,534 lb.; deep 15,432 lb.; Sail area standard 846 sq. ft., competition 900 sq. ft.;  Auxiliary 29-hp.; Fuel 42 gal.; Water 78 gal.; L/B 3; D/L 186.5; SA/D 20.85

Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $295,000 

Hanse North and South America

email: Dbrophy@hanseyachtsag.com