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Old 12-19-2017, 06:08 PM   #1
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Helmsman 38E for May 2018 delivery

Joni and I visited the yard in China the day after Thanksgiving. Impressed with the manufacturing process and the personnel managing the operation. The folks at the yard were very hospitable, I drank at least 30 thimble-sized cups of tea in 3 hours. I have one more chance to head back next month, will try if I can do so without disrupting things at this busy operation.

A few of our selected options, please respond or PM if you have any feedback:
  • grey gel-coat hull with accent strip on hull
  • Cummins 380 hp engine
  • Sub Webasto hydronic heating system for standard forced air
  • substitute radar arch for radar mast
  • triangular flybridge table
  • additional pedestal seat on flybridge
  • cockpit bulwark side access doors
  • add three Northstar AGM batteries to house, 1000+ A-hr total
  • Vented Splendid washer/dryer installed in dayhead
  • 650# low-profile Nick Jackson, elec. davit
  • going without louvered doors on microwave cabinet
  • adding a few yard installed towel bars, shelves and other storage changes here and there
  • moved "night stands" from sides of master bed to above- allows for better berth access and increased storage- will add a removable shelf. This is a new change shown in one of the pics.
NOT adding:
  • generator(we'll see)
  • solar panels
  • water maker (we'll see)
  • icemaker(s)
Will likely go with Simrad setup- make final decision at Seattle Boat Show next month.

Aiming for May Day delivery in Seattle.
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:18 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the new build! Can't help you on your choices as I don't own one.

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Old 12-19-2017, 06:22 PM   #3
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Great boat!
No solar & no genset? How to keep 1000A of batts happy on the hook?
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:32 PM   #4
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I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the boat and your selections are fine. Now, not saying any of yours are wrong but here are the ones I'd think about some more.

My wife is saying "color not faded out black." There are some beautiful colors one could select and combinations and I find grey a questionable selection. Have you seen one in grey? If so, and you liked it, that's great. Grey doesn't bring me a bright upbeat feeling or a relaxing feeling. I just don't find black or shades of black by themselves to really add much to an item.

Love your equipment selections you mentioned. All good adds I think.

Generator and watermaker we'd add but then we don't know your cruising and many have foregone both and been very happy. I would go on and have them set up and leave space and prepare the boat so they could easily be added later. Then if you want them, it's a lot easier to drop in.

Now to Simrad. The last new boat we had built, they were pushing Simrad heavily and the more information I gathered the more I turned away. It's difficult as everyone has their prejudices. Still not that many I know using all Simrad electronics. What other choices do they offer among their normal installs? My choices in this order would be Furuno, Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad. Perhaps if I'd used Simrad more or found more who have I'd feel different. What led you to lean in that direction?

Again, I think you'll be happy with exactly what you have specified, but since you asked, just expressing where we'd go different.
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
My wife is saying "color not faded out black." There are some beautiful colors one could select and combinations and I find grey a questionable selection. Have you seen one in grey? If so, and you liked it, that's great. Grey doesn't bring me a bright upbeat feeling or a relaxing feeling. I just don't find black or shades of black by themselves to really add much to an item.
Ummm, kinda hard to change gelcoat color at this point. See image of hull.
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Old 12-19-2017, 06:43 PM   #6
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Nice looking boat. I'm with Bruce on you likely needing more electrons if you're going to be on the hook very much. I have 1000ah, 2 x 160 amp alternators, 5 kw genset and am presently adding 700 watts of solar panels. Granted, we are anchored out a lot in remote areas, but more resources feel good when you're away from shorepower. Maybe the builder can leave a space for a future genset, realizing there's a weight and trim issue.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:03 PM   #7
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Looking good. Love the color. I do not think you will need a watermaker. Where are you going to be cruising? I'm quite certain that you will regret it if you do not have the generator. We have 900 ah battery bank. We run the generator about 2 hours a day on the hook. Charges batteries and gives us hot water for showers. We have lived aboard our 38 for 9 years. We have the washer dryer. That is a good call!! Full time cruisers. Feel free to call me if you would like to talk or ask questions.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:15 PM   #8
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Great boat!
No solar & no genset? How to keep 1000A of batts happy on the hook?
Thanks, the boat is all set for a genset, no penalty in waiting. Our first year will be shakedown and local cruising, start heading north in 2-3 years so figure a local install more timely to our plans.

Also rolling the cost into the build will increase WA excise taxes.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:24 PM   #9
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Congrats on your boat. She looks great.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the boat and your selections are fine. Now, not saying any of yours are wrong but here are the ones I'd think about some more.

My wife is saying "color not faded out black." There are some beautiful colors one could select and combinations and I find grey a questionable selection. Have you seen one in grey? If so, and you liked it, that's great. Grey doesn't bring me a bright upbeat feeling or a relaxing feeling. I just don't find black or shades of black by themselves to really add much to an item.

Love your equipment selections you mentioned. All good adds I think.

Generator and watermaker we'd add but then we don't know your cruising and many have foregone both and been very happy. I would go on and have them set up and leave space and prepare the boat so they could easily be added later. Then if you want them, it's a lot easier to drop in.

Now to Simrad. The last new boat we had built, they were pushing Simrad heavily and the more information I gathered the more I turned away. It's difficult as everyone has their prejudices. Still not that many I know using all Simrad electronics. What other choices do they offer among their normal installs? My choices in this order would be Furuno, Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad. Perhaps if I'd used Simrad more or found more who have I'd feel different. What led you to lean in that direction?

Again, I think you'll be happy with exactly what you have specified, but since you asked, just expressing where we'd go different.
Thanks for the detailed reply.

We started out with a lighter blue gelcoat, instead we choose a boat in early production. Two of the sharpest 38Es recently delivered included a gray hull with a charcoal stripe delivered here in WA and a champagne color recently delivered to the Carolinas. Both are just a few googles away. Thanks for the input tho.

Genset and water maker better after market for several reasons. Minimal installation cost vs the yard and rolling the cost into the build will increase WA excise taxes.

Thanks again for your electronics package thoughts. We can install whatever we want, but after downloading the various manuals, I felt Simrad was more approachable for us with our backgrounds at this point. We plan to make a final decision at the boat show next month.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:47 PM   #11
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Looking good. Love the color. I do not think you will need a watermaker. Where are you going to be cruising? I'm quite certain that you will regret it if you do not have the generator. We have 900 ah battery bank. We run the generator about 2 hours a day on the hook. Charges batteries and gives us hot water for showers. We have lived aboard our 38 for 9 years. We have the washer dryer. That is a good call!! Full time cruisers. Feel free to call me if you would like to talk or ask questions.
Thanks for the input. Canada next 1-3 years, SE AK in 2-4 years.

Hydroponic gives us hot water for showers.

Still might need additional AC, most likely from genset. Will make one more run at solar but additional cost of bimini beefing up, aesthetic loss of panels over pilothouse and cost just keeps us away at this point.

Will be in touch. Thanks!
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:01 PM   #12
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Ummm, kinda hard to change gelcoat color at this point. See image of hull.
Didn't realize that was the gellcoat as it didn't look grey to me. That being the case, not a bad color.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:04 PM   #13
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Thanks again for your electronics package thoughts. We can install whatever we want, but after downloading the various manuals, I felt Simrad was more approachable for us with our backgrounds at this point. We plan to make a final decision at the boat show next month.
Gelcoat looks good. I didn't realize that was the grey. I was picturing darker.

All electronics packages look great at boat shows.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:10 PM   #14
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How much water does she hold? The PO of my NP43 with 400 gallons of water had a water maker installed by the factory but later took it out as they found they never needed it. We had 5 adults on board last year for a week and while we were careful with water, we brought back a lot of water when he hit another supply.

Not familiar with the details, but I would consider a mast instead of an arch. I have an arch and it is fine but if I were you I would like to see what their mast setup looks like.

I would opt for both the genset and solar. Solar would be for topping up the charge and let the genset handle the bulk phase. Easy to do in our area in the summer. In the winter you won't get enough sun for Solar alone.

An ice maker seems like a waste to me. Nothing wrong with good old-fashioned ice trays. Cheap and no maintenance.

Good choice on the hydraunic heating.

Take a really careful look around the boat and add any handrails that may not be included. Consider exterior handhold on the cabin side where the exterior stairs are located. Add another on the back side of the cabin where your side cockpit doors will be. Make sure there are centerline handrails in the salon and consider them in the PH. Also consider one overhead at the stairs from the PH down to the salon.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:04 PM   #15
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How much water does she hold? The PO of my NP43 with 400 gallons of water had a water maker installed by the factory but later took it out as they found they never needed it. We had 5 adults on board last year for a week and while we were careful with water, we brought back a lot of water when he hit another supply.

Not familiar with the details, but I would consider a mast instead of an arch. I have an arch and it is fine but if I were you I would like to see what their mast setup looks like.

I would opt for both the genset and solar. Solar would be for topping up the charge and let the genset handle the bulk phase. Easy to do in our area in the summer. In the winter you won't get enough sun for Solar alone.

An ice maker seems like a waste to me. Nothing wrong with good old-fashioned ice trays. Cheap and no maintenance.

Good choice on the hydraunic heating.

Take a really careful look around the boat and add any handrails that may not be included. Consider exterior handhold on the cabin side where the exterior stairs are located. Add another on the back side of the cabin where your side cockpit doors will be. Make sure there are centerline handrails in the salon and consider them in the PH. Also consider one overhead at the stairs from the PH down to the salon.
Thanks for the reply. We have 145 gallon water tank. Discussed adding additional water tank with Scott, decided on water maker in future vs added weight of carrying water. IF we go with water maker it will be when we head to AK in 2-4 years.

Arch increases space on flybridge while mast looks more traditional IMO. Personal choice.

Will consider genset and/or solar after shakeout this summer. 1000 A-hr fairly robust on a new all LED/new electronics boat.

Hydronic gives us hot water on the hook.

Will review your handhold suggestions. Much appreciated. Keep the comments going.
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:24 PM   #16
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Love your boat, Helmsman was on our short list before we found our American Tug. I actually love your gray gel coat, gray can be a very classy looking color in a world of so many white boats, and a colored hull works especially good up in the PNW.
I'd say Genset would be good eventually depending on how much anchoring you plan to do but water maker not as important. Is that a combo or a separate washer & dryer? I've heard reviews that the combos don't dry worth a damn; we lucked into enough space for separate units and SO glad we have them.
As for the radar arch: one thing to consider is whether air draft will ever be an important factor in your cruising...? If so, you could maybe set it up with some kind of a hinging mechanism.
Please keep the forum up to date on your build, it's great fun to watch one being put together.

Oh and for electronics of course you can get many opinions but we LOVE our Garmin equipment!
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:16 PM   #17
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I can't say that your choice of Webasto is wrong. Please do some research on Hurricane Hydronic heaters. I have had Espar, Webasto and Hurricane. I have been by far happiest with the Hurricane, very simple and you can easily repair them yourself.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:08 PM   #18
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Flyer50: Will you be receiving your boat like this too?

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Old 01-07-2018, 10:27 PM   #19
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Yes, Hopefully! Talked to Scott last week about keeping close to a May 1 delivery. He will try to get that as close as possible.

Will be an exciting day, hope for the blue sky like they had for Rain Shadow!
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Love your boat, Helmsman was on our short list before we found our American Tug. I actually love your gray gel coat, gray can be a very classy looking color in a world of so many white boats, and a colored hull works especially good up in the PNW.
I'd say Genset would be good eventually depending on how much anchoring you plan to do but water maker not as important. Is that a combo or a separate washer & dryer? I've heard reviews that the combos don't dry worth a damn; we lucked into enough space for separate units and SO glad we have them.
As for the radar arch: one thing to consider is whether air draft will ever be an important factor in your cruising...? If so, you could maybe set it up with some kind of a hinging mechanism.
Please keep the forum up to date on your build, it's great fun to watch one being put together.

Oh and for electronics of course you can get many opinions but we LOVE our Garmin equipment!
Thanks for the reply and your input.

Your American tug is a beauty. We toured the yard in LaConner and were very impressed. For our needs/size/price, our top three were: 1. Helmsman 2. American 3. Nordic We can see why others make their choices based on their needs. All three have satisfied owners out there.

Washer/dryer combo vented but know about the shortcomings, especially the dryer. Have not heard about radar arch/air draft.

Genset, solar, and water maker will reconsider this time next year.
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