Alerion Express 38

It could be said that Garry Hoyt’s Alerion Express 28 was ahead of the “big daysailer” trend when it was launched in the early 1990s. I took his latest entry in this growing genre—the Alerion Express 38—for a test sail in light air off Newport, Rhode Island.Under SailThe boat is designed to excel in light air, and my test sail proved it was up to the task.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Alerion38



It could be said that Garry Hoyt’s Alerion Express 28 was ahead of the “big daysailer” trend when it was launched in the early 1990s. I took his latest entry in this growing genre—the Alerion Express 38—for a test sail in light air off Newport, Rhode Island.

Under Sail

The boat is designed to excel in light air, and my test sail proved it was up to the task.

  • Upwind speeds were 5 to 6 knots in barely 8 knots of wind. We tacked through 75 degrees.
  • The helm was perfectly balanced with just the right amount of weather helm.
    The boat tracked beautifully. No problem taking my hands off the wheel for minutes at a time.
  • The Hoyt Jib Boom with nonoverlapping headsail reduced tacking to simply turning the wheel.
  • Off the wind, the jib boom helped keep the jib filled even when sailing by the lee, dead-downwind. With sails wing and wing boatspeed was 2 to 3 knots.

On deck

  • Excellent light-air performance comes from the boat’s mainsail; it’s oversized, laminated, full-batten, heavily roached, and can be reefed easily. A tall (56-foot) painted carbon rig puts considerable sail area up where there is usually more breeze, and eliminating the backstay allows the large roach to tack around unencumbered.
  • Both the main- and jibsheets run to powered winches on pods directly adjacent to the helm station. This allows for true singlehanded operation.
  • With high seatbacks and deep, slightly angled seats, cockpit and helm-station comfort were excellent (however, a brace point running down the center of the cockpit could be beneficial).
  • Several deep cockpit lockers provide excellent on-deck stowage for lines and fenders.
    Belowdecks
    The simplicity of the saloon’s teak-and-holly sole, white painted bulkheads, and open plan is all you need from a daysailer. Max headroom is just under 5 feet, 8 inches. It’s a good compromise between high freeboard and excessive stooping belowdecks. The galley is not big (limited counter and stowage space), but it has all you’d need for a weekend cruise. There’s room for four to sleep comfortably, but the space is better suited to lunch with friends or just stretching out on the long, straight berths in the saloon. There’s plenty of stowage space for a weekend cruise. Conclusion

    The boat is a joy to sail in light breezes. The cockpit layout is conducive to easy daysails, and the accommodations strike a good balance between minimal and comfortable.SpecificationsPrice: $313,616 (base, FOB Portsmouth, RI)

    Contact: 401-247-3000, www.alerionexp.com

    Design: Carl Schumacher & Pearson Design Group
    LOA – 38'1"

    LWL – 30'3"

    Beam – 10'7"

    Draft – 6"

    Displacement – 13,000 lbs

    Ballast – 6,000 lbs

    Sail Area (main and jib) – 810 sq ft

    Power – Yanmar 40-hp

    Displacement-Length ratio – 210

    Sail Area-Displacement ratio – 23.5

Related

Canal-1-Marina-Hemingway-looking-west-spring-2016

Cruising: A Farewell to Cuba

For a few sweet years, American cruisers had the freedom to sail to Cuba. It was good while it lasted, says Addison Chan Cuba has assumed near-mythical properties in the community of sailors around the world. It is almost impossible to utter the name without conjuring up images ...read more

brickhouse

Is Cruising Still Safe?

It is with great sadness that we read of the murder of New Zealand cruiser Alan Culverwell, and the attack on his family, by criminals who boarded their boat in Panama’s Guna Yala/San Blas Islands early in May. The San Blas were known as a “safe” area to cruise. Aside from petty ...read more

QuarterdeckBuildingWatercolor

Bitter End Yacht Club 2.0

Amid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly keenly felt by sailors. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The back door Satisfied with your headsails? So was I, until one day I took a long, hard look up the luff of my genoa, making sure I inspected the leeward side as well. The sail had plenty of life ...read more

02-Lydia12-01

Losing Sight of Shore

I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d spent my time racing and, in ...read more

Squall

The Face of a Squall

They are the worst of times, they are the best of times There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we ...read more