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Old 07-07-2010, 11:16   #1
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Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Hi guys basically the title sums it up . I am looking at a hughes 38 but have no idea if its worthy of offshore cruising. I can t really find any proper info on the damn thing. I know its a Sparkman & Stephen's design so that should be good , right ??

Any light on the subject is greatly appreciated , as I have never seen a boat of this type in malta so can t really try one or something.

Thanks

Zoidz
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:27   #2
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Good tough boat. Hope the one you're looking at has a diesel and not the atomic 4. A couple of these boats are cruising around the world right now. I think Fatty Goodlander has one.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:35   #3
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The Hughes 38, AKA S&S 38 AKA Northstar 38, is a very strong vessel. Designed in the 1960s, they are still very good boats. Fatty Goodlander has circumnavigated in one, and is still somewhere "out there". His articles have appeared in a number of sailing magazines.

My friend, Scott, had one for many years. Cruised it to the Caribbean and back a number of times. His had an Atomic 4, which he upgraded to a Universal diesel.

These boats are good sea boats. They sail pretty well...not as fast as current designs, but very solid and dependable. In good condition, they are a very good value.

See, e.g., post #15 in this thread: Evaluating a Hughes Northstar 38 - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 07-07-2010, 13:45   #4
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Gary ("Capt'n Fatty) and Caroline Goodlander have been cruising their Hughes 38, "WildCard" for the last 20 years and are now on their 3rd (4th?) circumnavigation. You can Google them or see Captain Fatty Goodlander-the Salt Stained Sea Gypsy
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:06   #5
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What he said. Fatty bought a salvaged Hughes 38. Fatty is the primary reason I still subscribe to Cruising World.
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Old 08-07-2010, 18:19   #6
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Check carefully for soft decks. We made a offer on one but passed due to delam on a side deck. I really liked the design. A little deep keel for a Bahama boat though. Ken
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:01   #7
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thanks everyone might just get it over and done with , sail one down from canada to malta ... as they are dead cheap
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:52   #8
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Originally Posted by Zoidzberg View Post
thanks everyone might just get it over and done with , sail one down from canada to malta ... as they are dead cheap

For some reason they are a hard boat to sell in the Great Lakes. It might be the older, narrow design. It might be the draft. We have a few in our club and one with a fairly new diesel engine in it went some time ago for under $10,000.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:46   #9
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I bought a 1979 Hughes 38 Mkll 3 yrs. ago, and have learned that the boat sails like a dream.Just finished the west coast, Vancouver to Mex.,sailing home next year .The Northstar is not the same boat,the Northstar is a beamier shallow draft boat. She tracks very well when on or off the wind.The way the interior is laid out makes the boat feel wider than it is.Been out in conditions I shouldn't have more than once, boat handled it well,surfed at 10 to 14 knots 15hrs. straight.Minor window leaks are about my only complaint.Universal diesel in the bilge has mainly advantages,the bilge goes way deep still below engine,I also have a highwater alarm.
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Old 07-11-2014, 17:47   #10
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

i am researching the hughes 38. if you have information or first hand knowledge of the hughes 38 please pm me or email me directly. i will answer all emails. " highseas" especially. i have a question: Does anybody know how to contact the hughes 31 users group? they have not answered my attempt to join for over a month. it is frustrating to think that they have information on a boat that i am interested in but i cant access it. any ideas?
jon
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Old 07-11-2014, 18:04   #11
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

The Hughes 38 (AKA Sparkman & Stevens 38 & at least one other designation) is an excellent design.

Fatty Goodlander took one around the world at least once with his family, and has written extensively about the voyages in popular boating magazines over the last decade or more.

My friend Scott also had one and sailed it offshore numerous times. Maybe he'll chime in.

Bill
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:50   #12
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jon.

An Interesting and Affordable Cruising Boat Choice | Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips

Sparkman & Stephens: Design 1903 - Hughes 38

Sparkman & Stephens: More on Hughes 38 - Design 1903

HISTORY OF HUGHES BOATWORKS
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:21   #13
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

It is an old boat so make sure what you buy is strong and defect free. Some owners can make mess out of otherwise properly built boats.

S&S design of that era was not what you can get today from newer designs but some sailors like just that.

As others said, built quality was good. Build quality is of prime importance with s/h boats. So just make sure yours is not a mistreated one, then polish her up, fill with fresh water, food and books, and off you go sailing.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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Old 24-02-2015, 10:21   #14
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Why? What's wrong with the atomic engine? I'm currently looking at one with the atomic. I always thought they were a decent engine. Or, is there something wrong with the hughes that have that engine in them?

thanks.
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Old 24-02-2015, 10:27   #15
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

We once looked at a Hughes 38 but it was in poor condition. The cockpit lockers were DELAMINATING! However, the owner had put it on the hard years before we saw it and never came back, so I have no idea what it's real history was.

Having said that, Captain Fatty rebuilt one from a hurricane wreck and sailed it around the world. He's going around again right now.

As for the Atomic 4, it's a wonderful old gasoline engine. But I, and many many others here, don't think a gasoline engine belongs on a cruising boat. Besides the dangers of lots of gasoline on the boat, they use too much fuel and have an actual electrical system, always a sore point in salt water conditions.

All of the above advice is free, and you know what they say about getting something for nothing....
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