Archives

Recent Comments

User Reviews

Review Date: Thu July 20, 2006
Pros: STABLE, GOES CLOSE TO WIND VERY WELL, VERY ROOMY, EASY TO MAKE READY FOR SINGLE HANDING, VERSATILE, SAFE
Cons: POOR RUDDER RESPONSE IN REVERSE
Year: 1980

This is an excellent, stable, reliable vessel. The 1980 came with a 32 hp Universal diesel and did well – 6 knots cruise burning 1/2 gal per hour. I’m converting to the new M-40B which will give about 37 hp with the same economy but slightly better performance. The 1980 came with different capacities than previous years. I carry 100 gals of fresh, 75 gals diesel, have a holding tank, etc. The lay-out can only be described as traditional. It follows the old Mariner design very closely. The last models had some excellent changes to include exterior chainplates, rear winch positioning, scuppers and deck drain locations, etc. The club-footed staysail is a superb storm sail.

Now to be completely candid, she doesn’t do all that much in light winds (below say 10 knots) but, in the 20-25 knot range this boat is completely at home. I can sail (main and jib only) at 7.5 knots consistently on a reach. The galley is accommodating and has ample storage room for long voyages.

Aside from personalizing this vessel with electronics and nav gear, they are a good, solid sailing machine. If you need to race, this isn’t the boat for you. If you like reliable cruising and the safety of a full keel with a shoed rudder then this boat is worth investigating.

It’s short production life has given it a bad rap over the years but sailing the boat may change minds. I’ve been in two sizeable storms (both single handing) and have had a frosty cold judgment enhancer afterwards to celebrate the way she took care of me.

Review Date: Fri March 20, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: Not Indicated | Rating: 0
Pros:
Cons:
Year: 1975


LOA 42′, LOD 38″, LWL 30′, Beam 12′, Draft 5′ Disp. 19,500 lbs.

Full keel traditional cruising design with bowsprit and wineglass stern. Roomy, comfortable, – a floating apartment. Tracks very well off the wind. Very easy for a couple to sail. Slow and poor windward performance and wet without dodger. Original 24 HP Farymann much to small.
I am preparing boat for live aboard/cruising and would like to compare notes with other Downeaster 38 owners with regard to performance, equipping, maintenance and upgrades.

Mine is an early model with some poor construction details that I have/will remedy. Major upgrades completed: new support for mastcolumn at keel, holding tank, new engine, new lifeline system, new main cabin windows, new chain plate for dolphin stay, full batten main, Dutchman flaking system, new hatch covers. Planned upgrades: running backstays, new nav. station, collision bulkhead, dodger (hard???).

Print Friendly