The Rival 38 Sailboat
Key Specs & Performance Indicators

The Rival 38, an aft-cockpit sloop, was designed by Peter Brett and built in the UK by the Rival/Southern Boatbuilding Co. Ltd.

The Rival 38 sailboat 'Wandering Dream' at anchor off Deshaies in Guadeloupe, French West IndiesThe Rival 38 'Wandering Dream' completed a circumnavigation in 2018.

Published Specification for the Rival 38

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder.

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 37'7" (11.5m)

Waterline Length: 29'6" (9.0m)

Beam: 11'3" (3.4m)

Draft: 5'4" (1.6m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop*

Displacement: 17,280lb (7,838kg)

Designer: Peter Brett

Builder: Rival/Southern Boatbuilding Co. Ltd. (UK)

Year First Built: 1977

Number Built: 63

Owners Association: Rival Owners Association

* Options included a cutter version and a ketch version. Most were built with an aft cockpit, but a few were built with a centre cockpit.


Published Design Ratios for the Rival 38

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.9

  • 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: Not Published

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

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 300

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

4. Comfort Ratio: 33.3

  • 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: 1.7

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

read more about these all-revealing numbers...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Rival 38

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.9 suggests that the Rival 38 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. In the absence of a published Ballast/Displacement Ratio for the Rival 38 we are unable to make any assessment of her stiffness under sail.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 300, tells us the Rival 38 is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 33.3 suggests that crew comfort of a Rival 38 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Rival 38 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0.



Other sailboats in the Rival range include:

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