As my good friend Jon has posted, there is a lot of great info on these boats on many different forums
I have owned my 1985 Wauquiez Hood
38 for 4 yrs now. I got her for the express purposes you state. I lived aboard on weekends for 4 yrs and then this past March 10th, began living aboard
on a permanent basis and cruising. The culmination of a long time dream
It has been about 4 months now. I cruised her down the ICW
to FL where I am currently moored. Will be heading to the Keys in a week or two.
She has been terrific, fantastic, everything I was hoping for. I find her very comfy to liveaboard
, fine for guests and crew. Very good tankage and stowage. And outstanding in being able to reach every part of the boat. I must say....and may be biased, but after a long, crappy trip down the ICW
with the worst weather
I have seen in years, crappy anchorages
with adverse currents and winds....she has got to be one of the most well designed and built boats (and I hasten to add, there are many well built boats...Jon's Moody is one example). I am still very pleased with how well she is constructed, bulkheads glassed down through the bilge
, beefy rigging
, very very strong hull
, rig nicely stayed with double spreaders and a baby stay. She is tight and dry. I apologize to my friends here if this sounds like a broken record
(it must to them by now), but she is the driest boat I have ever sailed aboard.
and sail plan provide a generous amount of drive...which comes in handy.
As for their age....I consider the mid 80's to be one of the best periods in boat building and a period in time during which perhaps more different boats were built...and thus you see that in the 100+k price
range of the Hood
38 MK II, there are many many 80's era boats. So, many boats sold today are over 20 yrs old. Just how it is working out. The Hood 38's have not tended to show their age as many other boats have. The gelcoat
work on these boats was exceptional, the teak joinery below simply elegant, the cabin
overhead is gelcoat
..thus no crappy liner to deterioate (lots of access ports
for under deck hardware
...all with teak covers).
The only downside to these boats...which may not be a downside at all really ...is that there are many MK I's for sale
. The MK I's had a Baltic/Swan style companionway
and thus are priced much lower...making Hood 38's look attractive to buy online. A later model MK II without a teak deck
(original glass deck)....is, however, priced just below her sistership...the Bristol 38.8 (which does not offer a second private stateroom). Right now though, there is a price war between two boats in the Annapolis
area...so a very nice deal may be out there.
If I were not going to spend most of my time in southern and thus very warm climes, I would consider a MK I. They can be had at such a discount comparitively....and so you are getting an incredible boat, at a very good price. In fact, the MK I has some nice design differences, a separate nav sta and the aft qtr cabin
from the main cabin and more private.
Certainly, she is not a 42 or 44 footer...which the new 'conventional wisdom' says you need. I find that boats are really best measured and compared by their LWL and displacement
. She is a big boat and I personally find her cabin to be as spacious any most 42's. It is worth mentioning that the vee berth on the Hood 38's is the largest of any other 80's era boat.
She also does not have that Hinckley/Birstol/ Sabre
style coachroof, she has the more sleek, euro/swan style. While I love the tradition Yankee looks of those aforementioned yachts, when underway, working on deck
is much much easier and safer with those long flat decks.
She does not have opening side portlights
for ventilation. What she has instead are two HUGE Goiot
hatches, just HUGE, that provide a tremendous amount of ventilation, especially at anchor
or on a mooring
...which is where you will likely be most often cruising.
They have a K/CB design. I have checked the CB cable every year for the past 4 and it has not deteriorated at all. Maybe cruising in the tropics it may need to be cut down and reattached once every 2-4 yrs. Not big deal, if even that much. If for any reason it does snap, the boat can be lifted with lines over the side and the boat sails
just as well without it. The 4.5 ft draft
was something I was specifically looking for...since I knew I would be heading down the ICW and spending a lot of time in FL and the islands. Well...that sure came in handy. There was plenty of skinny water
where the chart said it was deep. I had to pass a dredge on the ICW in a spot that had shoaled in (not on the charts)...no possible way the water was any deeper than 4-4.5 ft. And no other place to pass.
Whew....I am so sorry this has become a novel on the Hood 38. It is safe to say I am most pleased. Certainly all boats are compromises and any boat 10 yrs old or more will have issues depending on how well she was kept and maintained.
I am not online much but happy to answer any questions you might have. I will make an effort to check back here.
And... my best to my good friends here, Jon D, Jeff H, Jack and the rest. I am doing very well, very happy, having a great time, love living aboard
. Life is very good. I miss our conversations...they are only supplanted by beautiful sunsets, clear water and more good company.
My best to all
presently lying Stuart.
underway to Marathon next. Probably summer there.