Soundings - - Classics - ILLUSTRATION BY JIM EWING —Steve Knauth

The True North 38 made its de­but in 2001. Sev­en­teen years later, it’s still turn­ing heads. It was built by US Wa­ter­craft in War­ren, Rhode Is­land, which be­gan as TPI Com­pos­ites, the pi­o­neer­ing fiber­glass boat­builder that Everett Pear­son founded. The builder used the See­mann Com­pos­ites Resin In­fu­sion Mold­ing Process, bet­ter known as SCRIMP, which drew the resin into the fiber­glass us­ing a vac­uum.

The boat’s Downeast style was ev­i­dent in its plumb bow, even sheer and trunk cabin. But its lines were fla­vored with el­e­ments not al­ways as­so­ci­ated with that style, in­clud­ing a re­verse tran­som, no­tice­able bow flare and a swept-back pro­file, all of which gave the

True North 38 a dis­tinc­tive ap­pear­ance and a per­son­al­ity all its own.

An in­stant hit, the boat was dubbed a “sport util­ity” be­cause of its roomi­ness and ver­sa­til­ity. A pair of tran­som doors opened from the swim plat­form, giv­ing ac­cess to a cock­pit de­signed for han­dling wa­ter toys of all types, from kayaks to pad­dle­boards. These could be stowed on the wheel­house roof.

Cruis­ing com­forts in­cluded a mas­ter state­room “down” with a V-berth, a chest of draw­ers and shelf space. The en­closed head with shower was ad­ja­cent; the shower area, van­ity and counter were made of molded fiber­glass for eas­ier clean­ing.

“Up” in the wheel­house/sa­loon, a gal­ley on the star­board side had a propane stove, re­frig­er­a­tor and mi­crowave. The six-per­son dinette con­verted to a berth for guests or kids. The helm sta­tion had a sin­gle pedestal seat with a com­pan­ion seat to port. There was a molded fiber­glass dash for in­stru­men­ta­tion, and the triple-pane wind­shield and side win­dows made for good vis­i­bil­ity.

Power came from a sin­gle 480-hp Yan­mar diesel that de­liv­ered a 25mph cruis­ing speed with a fuel burn of 17 to 18 gph.

While the builder is no longer in busi­ness, this clas­sic re­mains a sought-af­ter boat. As one re­viewer put it, “The True North 38 has a beau­ti­ful pro­file. For fam­ily cruis­ing, her prac­ti­cal na­ture and in­tel­li­gent de­sign are flat-out gor­geous.”

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