The Dehler 38 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Dehler 38, a light-displacement fractional sloop, was designed by EG Van de Stadt and built in Germany by Dehler Yachts.

A Dehler 38 (Van de Stadt) sailboatThe Dehler 38

Published Specification for the Dehler 38

Underwater Profile: Fin keel & spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 38'9" (11.8m)

Waterline Length: 31'6" (9.6m)

Beam: 12'6" (3.8m)

Draft: 6'3" (1.9m)

Rig Type: Fractional sloop

Displacement: 12,125lb (5,500kg)

Ballast: 2,800lb (1,270kg)

Designer: E. G. Van de Stadt

Builder: Dehler Yachts (Germany)

Year First Built: 1987


Dehler 38 Van de Stadt Sailboat PlansThe Dehler 38 sail and interior layout plans

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Published Design Ratios for the Dehler 38

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 19.1

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 23.1

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 173

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 19.4

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 2.2

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Dehler 38

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 19.1 suggests that the Dehler 38 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 23.1 means that a sailboat like this Dehler 38 (which, unlike most later Dehlers, doesn't have a stiffness-enhancing bulb keel), is likely to benefit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 173 tells us the Dehler 38 is a light displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer to a degree.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 19.4 suggests that the Dehler 38 will have the motion underway to that of a lightweight racing boat. Crew comfort will often be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Upwind in lively conditions the Dehler 38 will slam enough to shake your fillings out with a motion that most cruising sailors have no desire to get used to.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula of 2.2 tells us that a Dehler 38 would not be as good a choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making, owing to the increased risk of capsize in strong winds and heavy seas when compared to a sailboat with a CSF of less than 2.0.


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