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Old 18-06-2006, 08:28   #1
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Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38(one day...)
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Wauquiez Hood 38

Hi all
I would appreciate experienced input, comments and knowledge of these boats. I believe that they may represent quite a reasonable choice for the type of blue water cruising that I have in mind(as couple with occasional friends along) Atlantic, Med, Carribean, South Pacific, 3-5 yrs). As they are reaching now 20+ years of life I am interested in problems that current or past owners may have experienced. I would also like to have what people might see as a reasonable price range(if this is not too forward or broad a question). I have researched quite extensively through various groups; Sailnet, Yahoo, SSCA, Yachtworld, brokers etc etc. Many people have many good things to say. I would very much appreciate a realistic critical assessment.
Thanks in advance for any who can take the time.
Nick
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Old 18-06-2006, 09:31   #2
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Do a search here and on the old SSCA archive board. This boat has extensive discussions. Looke for posts by John Drake
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Old 18-06-2006, 11:38   #3
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Hello

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.

The engine 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 more remote 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

John
s/v Invictus
presently lying Stuart.
underway to Marathon next. Probably summer there.
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:21   #4
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Hello John Drake,

I was reading your stories about (your) hood 38.
I'm considering a hood38 mk2 myself.
My question to you , as an experienced owner; which are the specific (weak) points of the hood 38 to look after.
( maybe there are no weaknesses but I can hardly believe that)
I now own a ranger 37. Looks and sails good but not very solid.

Well, I hope you can answer my question.

Nico te Laak, The Netherlands
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:08   #5
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FWIW, I owned a Wauquiez Gladiateur 33' of the same vintage. Very well designed and well built boat. Very different from the Hood 38, but the quality construction is the same. If I had not found my current steel boat, I very likely would have gravitated to another Wauquiez. In fact, I was seriously considering a Hood 38.
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Old 23-12-2008, 16:47   #6
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Let me second Nico's question, John -- but perhaps in more general terms: how much maintenance per year (in dollars) do you find you need for your Hood 38?
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Old 24-12-2008, 03:09   #7
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about costs for maintenance; I used to do a lot ( almost all) of the work myself. The average costs to keep my Ranger in good condition are about 2000 dollars a year .
I realise that these costs return every year (maybe more) even with a more solid boat.
But that's not what I ment with my question. I mean the things ,which are known, for this type, which are less good designed or built.
For example my Ranger : the alu mast stands on a iron mastfoot: Always corrosion.
Hope to hear from you...
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Old 24-12-2008, 09:50   #8
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Hi Guys

I would be happy to reply, have to think about this a bit. Nothing obvious comes to mind, however, there are things that can be discussed. First and foremost, after cruising this boat full time for nearly three years, I still have to say she is outstanding. I have made many many upgrades over the past 3 yrs and access to all systems is excellent. I even found that the way Wauquiez puts the backstay together, it is already insulated at the top and fit to glass on the stern...so...saved me quite a bit of time and money when installing my SSB and using the backstay as the antenna. Worked great.

OK. Issues. Well...one known one is the shower 'pan' in the head. The entire head compartment sits above a bilge that is glassed in with joiney on all 4 sides. As far as I can tell the floor pan in this compartment was fit to the joiney with screws (?). Well...after 20 yrs...this let go and the pan went down a couple of inches into this void. I kept using it...had to...and so water fill up down there. I eventually cut a hole in the bottom of the pan and put the shower sump pump there. Works fine, but this really needs to be address. The entire bilge is glassed, so I am not concerned with rot. Still ...something needs to be done. I was able to cut lengths of PVC tubing to shore up the pan by sticking them underneath. That works fine. What I need to do is drain and dry that area, then fill it in with some West System.

As far as construction issues...I really do not see any. Honestly. The CB has worked well and been fine...no maintenance at all...the cable is perfectly fine. I did read that one boat re-fit the cable with dyneema or some other high modulous line, rather than wire rope and that this seems to be working well. I have found that there is not much need to use the CB much. The keel foil is very well designed and the boat can sail to 30*off the apparent wind. Fine by me.

I will think more about construction...but honestly....these boats are thought out and built so well...nothing comes to mind right now.

Design features:

Rounded bilges...can make for more rolling, I can see some advantage to newer designs that have the bean brought further after and have flatter bilges to the boat. However, these flatter sterns almost always exhibit hull slap at anchor..annoying...whereas the Hood is very gentle and very quiet.

Cockpit: is a bit more narrow than new boats and thus a little more effort to get around. However....she has LONG cockpit benches that are wide enough to make comfy berths to sleep on. An advantage. You could always fit a foldable steering wheel at the helm.

Afer cruising and living aboard a bit, a wish list:

A hard or semi-hard enclosure for the cockpit or hard dodger. Can be fit to the boat.

Swim platform would be nice, not sure this design is really amenable to one, but a small 18"x18" one can be fit to the stern...that might be good enough.

Roller furling mainsail or at least get a Strong mast track. I have had no issues getting the main up and down or reefing...but this would be nice. Very nice.

BIGGER PROP. Boat came with a 17x12 2 blade, I fit a 16x11 3blade sailor prop....now would just get a 17x12 3 blade Michigan wheel.

Bigger fuel tank...however I did just fit a second fuel tank in the starboard cockpit locker that works GREAT. I made a manifold at the primary fuel filter whereby I can turn on the flow from that tank, use it as a day day or fill the primary tank from it...or use it to run the engine without the need for a fuel lift pump (it sits higher than the engine). This along with fuel I carry in jugs in the forward bow locker gives me a total of 80gal now. That is all I want.

Would like to make a helm seat that sits higher up. I am sure it can be done, not sure how easily or cheaply. Perhaps a couple of those seats that fit to the pushpit..but they are $250 each. Most often...I just sit on 3 boat cushions.


Things I really like:

Second head in the aft quarter cabin...I never use it, but could. Great to have a back up head. Yes, would be very nice to have a second head compartment for guests, however, never has been an issue and I would not want to take away space from the boat for this.

Head room in the aft qtr cabin! I captained a new Hunter 49 for a couple weeks. Could not believe how poorly this boat was designed. The two aft cabins had generous sleeping berths, but they were coffin like with the overhead down at your nose practically. The overhead in those cabins was multi-level (since it is the deck of the cockpit) and so you ALWAYS were hitting your head maneuvering around in there.

The huge sleeping berth in the forward cabin. Huge.

Stowage on the boat. AMazing. Even compared with a new Hunter 49.

Good turn of speed. PHRF of 129, so this boat moves. It IS true...when cruising you motorsail A LOT....maybe even 80-90% of the time....however....the more power you can get from the sailplan, the less fuel you consume and the more distance you can cover faster. I always need to sail 65-70nm from Lake Worth to the bottom of Key Biscayne. That can be a long long day with a 5-8ft beam sea. The faster the better. And...in winter...you have 10 hrs of daylight, instead of the 12 or more you have in summer.

Just enough teak...any more teak than the handrails, coaming and companionway and it would be a bother.

Long flat decks. Whew. SO nice.

Rig....still like how many rigging options this rig gives you. I am still finding new ways to rig my sail handling lines. Two line slab reefing was simple to put in.

Great visibility.

Still like the way the nav station is arranged on this boat.


Well.....not sure how much I am contributing....so let me stop here and perhaps we can discuss this further.

After 3 yrs of living aboard full time, I still love this boat. Not sure what my plans are from here, not sure I can even keep her...depends on what I will be doing. But she is still very comfy to me and I am still living aboard...in Hobe Sound right now.

All the best and Merry Christmas to all.

John
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Old 24-12-2008, 12:14   #9
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John,

thanks for your extensive reply. I'm getting more and more exited by the idea to sail with my own hood 38.

Maybe I come with some more specific questions in the near future.

for now; Merry Christmas.

Nico
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Old 27-12-2008, 08:07   #10
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Hi Nico

Glad I could be of any help. I am happy to chat anytime.

Hope you can find a Hood 38 to look at and sail. They do sail particularly well, though they also make excellent cruisers (motorsailing, carrying stores, comfort and space below, quality build and sturdy offshore).

Best

John
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Old 27-12-2008, 10:03   #11
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hard to beat the older Waquiez for quality. The 38 with C/B is one of my favorites that I never got around to having.... still kicking myself for not buying the Amphitrite 43 I wanted years ago. Bought a Bargain instead and ended up doing alot of work instead of sailing! Friends of mine (newbies to sailing) bought a 38 c/b and thought it was a little tender. Could have just been their impression as newbies though...
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Old 27-12-2008, 10:41   #12
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A question I have wondered about for a while (I'll ask it since you guys may know). What are the differences (besides cosmetic) between the Wauquiez Hood 38 and the Little Harbor 38 and Bristol 38.8? My understanding is that the hull is the same (the phrf handicap is the same) for all three. But how about the rigging? -- and the quality of finishing? Is there any reason to prefer one to the others? There are differences in price. The Hood 38 can be more expensive but maybe just because Wauquiez built the design longer. Thanks!
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Old 28-12-2008, 09:32   #13
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Hello

I think I can give some info as to your question. The hull design of the Little Harbor, Bristol 38.8 and Wauquiez and basic sailplan is the same. The build quality is similar and all very high quality. There are some differences to the layout below and the rigging.

The Little Harbor and Bristol are very similar in layout and rigging. Both have a quarterberth, whereas the the Wauquiez has a true, private aft qtr cabin. To me, this is a big advantage. In addition, the Wauquiez is rigged for more serious sailing...it has a slotted aluminum toe rail, base plate at the mast base that allows for the addition of harware on shackles (not sure about the others), double spreader rig (not sure about the others) and more. It has all the rigging you could think of including, two jib halyards at the masthead, full spinny rigging etc.

I love the classic, stately, yankee looks of the Bristol and Little Harbor, especially when rendered with dark blue hulls. However, once offshore, I really love the long flat decks of the Wauq.

As to price. The Wauquiez were always lower priced due to the lower value of the franc when they were build. Also, the Wauq's were build in two versions, the MK I and MK II. The MK I has a slightly different layout down below and a Baltic/Swan style companionway...essentially an overhead hatch. They are less desireable and thus quite lower priced. This can be confusion when looking YW for one, since prices for similar boats can vary by 30k or so.

This is not to say that the Bristol is not a sea boat...it is. I personally know of a couple who have been living aboard for over 3 yrs and have circumnavigated. Several Wauquiez's have circumnavigated and I personally know of a handful of relatively new cruisers who crossed the atlantic in theirs, with their families.

And regarding tenderness...all sailboats heel. Some newer boats have greater initial stability than these sleeker designs with their beam narrowed in as you move aft. These designs can heel a little bit more initially, but they are very very stable and 'lock in' once the right amount of heel is there. Rarely has mine moved past 15*. And obviously, sail trim has a lot to do with it. You all know how to take heel out of a boat by moving the traveler, outhaul and mainsheet, by adjusting the cunningham and halyard tension and reefing sails. It should not be too big an issue.

Hope this helps

Best

John
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Old 28-12-2008, 09:51   #14
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John , Im still trying to post a question to get teh spec's on my Morgan Heritage 36 1977, 20,000 Lbs
Call me if you can 678 480-7711

is a 'New Thread" the way to get it done .

the advise from the Administrator is old or my home page is not the same as hers.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:31   #15
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New Wauquiez 38 Mk 1 owner

Looking for someone to connect with around my newly purchased 38 Mk 1 - would just like to chat and have an opportunity to get perspectives on sailing the boat and its characteristics especially around using the centreboard. If anyone knows where to buy the original hinges for the numerous lockers would appreciate comments. Also would like to see what people have done to resolve the pathetic gas locker which came with the boat. Can't fit any propane bottle in the existing locker and am going to have to build something to accomodate greater storage for offshore sailing.
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