She’ll help any cruiser release their competitive urges or make short work of long passages
Reviewed Sep 2016
I really like this new saloon styling – clearly recognisable as the interior of a yacht, it doesn’t look like any other boat. The curved lockers and table fairing, colour combinations and discreet lighting lend it a sophisticated air. It’s also entirely practical in terms of natural light and ventilation, stowage and sleeping arrangements, and moving around securely under way...
Designed to satisfy a yearning for speed and performance under sail
Reviewed Oct 2016
While she’s not as beamy as some, apparent in the slightly smaller berth dimensions both forward and aft, who needs acres of space to be thrown around in under way? Headroom, at over 6ft (1.8m), is perfectly reasonable throughout. The berths are comfortably dimensioned, without excessive ‘roll about’ space, and the galley is well equipped with plenty of stowage for food and crockery, as well as both top- and front-loading fridges.
Ventilation is also surprisingly good all round, with every portlight opening and a large hatch above the saloon table bringing in light and air...
Justifiably an award winner because it is very much a sailor’s yacht
Reviewed Oct 2016
I nudged our bow into the light breeze as my host John Cowpe from Windcraft pulled on the main halyard to reveal the North Sails taffeta 3DL sail, which slid up easily on the Harken mast track. Pulling out the number one jib from the aft sail locker, it was slid into the Harken foil and hoisted without dramas – all easily done from the two coachroof halyard winches. I stood comfortably at the helm watching our hoists with a handful of mainsheet as we sped off toward the famous Basin holiday spot on West Head.
Unlike the cruiser I’d tested in similar conditions the previous week, acceleration was the first noticeable plus-point on the Dehler 38. Sure we were paying for it with pricey North 3DL sails but boy, did it feel good and on start lines this would make the difference in light airs, putting you out in front...
I sailed the standard “cruising” version of the boat, with a 6ft 7in T-keel and an aluminum 9/10ths Seldén rig, in 12-14 knots of true wind in flat water on Chesapeake Bay. A “competition” version of the boat, with a deeper T-keel and a taller carbon rig, is also available, or you can order the standard boat with an L-shaped shoal-draft keel.
Performance was excellent—just as good as, if not better than, the “old” Dehlers I remember sailing years ago. Under main alone this boat sailed easily at about 5 knots at a 45-degree apparent wind angle, could pinch to about 40 degrees while still maintaining 4.2 knots of speed, and tacked easily. Once we rolled out the 105 percent jib, our best close-hauled angle improved to inside 30 degrees and our speed increased to just over 8 knots in an apparent wind of 16-18 knots...
A mild mannered production cruiser that sails fast so effortlessly
Reviewed Sep 2016
Underway in light breezes of five to ten knots, the Dehler 38 was surprisingly agile and responsive for such light air sailing. It is a very well balanced and stable yacht, responding to helm and sail trim in ways experienced sailors will really appreciate. Both upwind and down under symmetrical spinnaker, the new boat settles easily into the groove, and is an absolute delight to sail with just the lightest of fingertip touch on the lightweight helm wheels...