Learn from the best: Ignore all the rest!
This says it all! This is the philosophy that guides me as i search to uncover information about the Hughes 38, as well as other matters in boating and life in general. Oftentimes we take as our guides those that are near to us, ignoring the fact that they might not be the best informed themselves. i feel strongly that rather we need to search out the best authorities and most credible sources of information and learn from them. This means NOT listening to the guys at the yachtclub bar, or in the slip next to you, in spite of their seemingly voluminous knowledge of all things maritime, but rather seeking out those that have actually made a career of sailing and whose writing is peer reviewed. Here are some of my influences:
Whaddya want from your boat?
Everybody buys a boat for different reasons. Why would you or did you buy your boat? Some people see their boat as a floating vacation home, suitable for a weekend away from it all. Others see it as a cheap place to live because at most marinas liveaboard rents are less than an apartment. Some see their boat as a party barge, suitable for a group to go out on the water and have a party. Others want a boat to win races. All of these reasons are legitimate, of course, but what irks me to no end is people lying to themselves. You can find it all over the internet so i assume that the same is true at any marina or yacht club. Here it is: “We went sailing”. No! You didn’t! You went motoring around. You never raised the sails! Motoring around is NOT sailing. Sailing is a boat being powered by the wind in a direction (hopefully) that was chosen by the helmsman. That’s what sailing is! Not motoring around the harbor or bay!
And the attendant B.S. calling a motorboat a “stink potter”. How many of those calling a motorboat a “stink potter” would buy and keep a boat without a motor of some sort? Virtually no one would, and that is why those sailors that don’t have a motor and voyage far and wide attract so much attention. They are very unusual. So let’s not be hypocritical here. All of us want a boat with a motor, and many of us use the motor far more than we sail. Check out this survey by a person of boats from the north – New England or the Great Lakes. The person found that the average time spent with sails up on the voyage from up north to Florida or the Bahamas was 6 hours! And that’s on a voyage of 350 to 400 hours from the Great Lakes, down to Florida or the Bahamas! So who has a stinkpotter? Your average sailboat owner, that’s who!
So perhaps thats why the Hughes 38 is not very popular in the marketplace. It’s too narrow to be a good liveaboard. It has no aft cabin like a good party barge. It’s too cramped to be a good weekend cabin for 4. It is not a speedster downwind which delivers silverware in this day and age. It’s a great boat in chop, it’s good in heavy weather, and it’s superb upwind (especially with the trim tab). It’s not popular these days to sail upwind, in chop or especially heavy weather. We have weather routing services to avoid heavy weather and to keep the wind aft of the beam, and we justify it to ourselves by saying “Gentlemen don’t sail to windward”. What total BS. The complete opposite is true! Real sailors (and real sailboats) sail upwind!