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Old 08-07-2018, 04:43 PM   #1
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Helmsman 38E V 43

Been on the lookout for a new trawler and settling on the 38E or 43, however the 38E has only one cabin but great price point and size versus 43, 2 cabins perhaps too large and + $100K. Not really sure how well the 38 sleeps in pilot house/cabin areas? Assume either trawler would need to add approximately $100K for genny, reverse cycle air, engine upgrade to 380, electronics and perhaps Seakeeper as wife doesnít love the rocking.

Would appreciate any wisdom on how you arrived at your choice. Thank you.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:22 PM   #2
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I don't own a Helmsman so I'm looking forward to hearing from some of the new owners. I did go out to Seattle earlier this year and toured the 38. Its a nice sized boat. What I loved about it was the separate toilet and shower. That could make me want the 38 over the 43 right there. The layout with the day head makes sleeping another couple on the convertible dinette very doable. They mentioned being able to curtain off the sleeping area from the galley and that makes a lot of sense. You may be a little high on the upgrades although the Seakeeper will add a lot to the price.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:35 PM   #3
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Been on the lookout for a new trawler and settling on the 38E or 43, however the 38E has only one cabin but great price point and size versus 43, 2 cabins perhaps too large and + $100K. Not really sure how well the 38 sleeps in pilot house/cabin areas? Assume either trawler would need to add approximately $100K for genny, reverse cycle air, engine upgrade to 380, electronics and perhaps Seakeeper as wife doesnít love the rocking.

Would appreciate any wisdom on how you arrived at your choice. Thank you.

The Helmsman 38 is a nice boat. I think the big question is whether you want that extra cabin or not. The 43 would give you that extra cabin as well as a bit more room. However as you point out, it is a bit bigger which means more long term costs over the 38.



When my wife and I were looking we opted to go for a boat with a 2nd cabin to make it easier to take our adult kids with us. If we didn't anticipate wanting to take others, we would have gone smaller. We bought a used North Pacific 43.


So I'd say think about that second cabin a lot. If you decide that you like the idea of a 2nd cabin, I'd also take a look at the North Pacific 45. It doesn't have the day head of the Helmsman but I REALLY like that boat, it is the next evolution of my North Pacific 43. I would go with the two cabin one head option but they have a two cabin two head option that has a wet head off the master.


Also, think about the engine. I happen to have the 380hp Cummins QSB 5.9L engine in my boat. The original owner wanted to upgrade to the 380hp over the 330hp which was standard. The 380hp is fine and the extra HP isn't a problem, but I think the original owner wasted his money. The 43 would perform just fine with the original 330. Now I think the NP45 are coming with a 355 6.3L? I would be plenty. I think the Helmsman would be fine with their standard engine.


A SeaKeeper would be nice in your waters if your Wife does't like too much motion. A lot of money however....
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:57 PM   #4
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Decisions

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Been on the lookout for a new trawler and settling on the 38E or 43, however the 38E has only one cabin but great price point and size versus 43, 2 cabins perhaps too large and + $100K. Not really sure how well the 38 sleeps in pilot house/cabin areas? Assume either trawler would need to add approximately $100K for genny, reverse cycle air, engine upgrade to 380, electronics and perhaps Seakeeper as wife doesn’t love the rocking.

Would appreciate any wisdom on how you arrived at your choice. Thank you.
Having almost built the H43 only to decide on theH38 and work with Scott on what I now thebH38E I can provide my opinion. The biggest reason we returned to 38 was our 90% rule that confirmed we didn't need a second bedroom so why pay an extra $100k? The other factor was the beam to length ratio with the H38 winning again. Our logic on the second bedroom is that with our custom salon design two guests could sleep comfortably and have the day head all to themselves. No need for the second bedroom. The boats come so well equipped you don't need $100k to finish them. Again, these are the best "value" boats available today (my opinion) and why we are even considering building another one. Feel free to contact me directly with questions. John
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:37 AM   #5
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They are both great boats, and my wife and I are very pleased with our decision.

We routinely use the forward and second cabin, along with the pilot house and aft seating area (fill in cushions) to sleep 6-7 people. Works great.

We also like the extra volume of the 43 in general.

The Seakeeper was a very good investment because we go off shore often, including traveling through the night so everyone can sleep better when underway. It is also nice when cruising in the bay to knock down the boat wakes. Just makes things more comfortable in general.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:19 PM   #6
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JIMDAVI,


You will want to consider the overall cost increases of the 43 compared to the 38. After the initial purchase price, your insurance, dockage, maintenance, upgrades & equipment will all cost more. Operating costs would probably be about the same. Don't forget you won't be able to use a 40' slip either which can limit where you go! Both vessels can convert to pilothouse & cabin sleeping so the 43 only has the 2nd stateroom as an advantage here however, to put it nicely that stateroom is "challenging". Having said all that, the 43 has more storage, engine room, lazarette space, upper deck and overall more cabin room. If you plan to entertain more than another couple on a regular basis, you will appreciate the larger spaces.


I think your $100K upgrade number was spot on when considering a seakeeper in the mix.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:17 PM   #7
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I want to address my previous statement regarding the 43's 2nd stateroom. I understand, from a reliable source, that stateroom has recently been redesigned adding more space and creature comforts....I wouldn't expect anything less from this exceptional builder! These boats are #1 on my list when I switch over to the trawler life.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:13 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your valuable input.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:15 PM   #9
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Hi jimdavi,

We are currently having a 43 built. We opted for the 43 as we liked the extra room it offered as we entertain guests quite often.

Something that hasn't been talked about so far is the additional waterline length and the extra 5k+ pounds of weight in the 43. Those coupled with the higher freeboard, and deeper hull will make for a more solid ride when the seas get a bit snotty.

Also, the 43 has had a number of refinements that take an already great recipe, and build upon it!
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:22 PM   #10
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H46

Ad if your decision wasn't tough enough between the H38 and H43 you can now consider the all new H46! All great choices. I'm sure if we all wait long enough there will be even more choices in the years ahead.

John
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:17 PM   #11
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Engine size

All can anyone share thoughts on engine size for either the 38 or 43? Wife and i are looking at these and wonder about cost difference between the std 250 and 380 Cummins. Also any thoughts on fuel economy differences? Thx.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:24 PM   #12
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I can’t quote exact numbers... but the upgrades are not crazy.
Give Scott an email. We have all found him super to deal with.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:21 PM   #13
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Engine Selection

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All can anyone share thoughts on engine size for either the 38 or 43? Wife and i are looking at these and wonder about cost difference between the std 250 and 380 Cummins. Also any thoughts on fuel economy differences? Thx.
Our H38E has the optional 380hp which in our opinion is overkill. While knowing we have the extra power to fight a current it doesn't help much with speed and only helps burn gas. We cruise all day between 7.0 - 7.5 knots around 1500rpm and about 2.2gph. We only increase rpm to insure the engine is run at various rpm. If built another 38 or 43 we would seriously consider Cummins commercial version engine with a narrower rpm range to keep us around 7.5knot all day.

Most people want higher top end so the 380hp is a great choice. If you are planning 7 knots most of the time go with the standard engine and save about $7k.

John
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:33 PM   #14
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John.... agreed!

When I bought an outboard for my dingy, I asked about a 4hp.
The honest dealer said to get a 6+ or a 2.5
His reasoning was if you want to plane, you need a 6
With 2 people...more than 6
A 4 will not plane...
If you’re going to, as he called it, “push water”, you might as well have the less expensive and much lighter 2.5hp.
I bought the 2.5 and never regretted it.

Point being, as you say, most of us cruise economically in the 6.5 to 7.5 range
To get to 8.5 or 9 takes double or triple the fuel.
So, wether your boat can go 9.5 or 10.5 wide open becomes a moot point as you will virtually never run there.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:15 AM   #15
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I spend 95 percent of our time in the 1,250 to 1,400 rpm range and enjoy Put-Put mode. Every hour on the water is a gift.

When heading offshore to fish/dive and time is limited because we have a 2.5 hour run to get in the deep blue clean water before the wind picks up. I therefore run at 9K on the way out, but itís a lot more fuel to do it. At 9K the engine is still very happy, and under very moderate loading.

As Durant noted, Scott knows a lot more about the subject than us, and is a very good resource to discuss the pros and cons of the various engine choices.
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Old 11-12-2018, 06:49 PM   #16
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Closing in on a 38E after much research, figuring on the 90% rule etc. Although wanted second stateroom, figured saloon with curtain and second head will suffice. In addition staying ~40ft was a plus for wife to drive and find slips easier.

A couple of questions for the experts:
1. Getting a 6KW Cummins generator and will have reverse cycle air/heat, propane stove, ice maker, fridge as primary “house”current draw. Cruising mostly in the SFO Bay Area and some anchoring out, but primarily slip at night. Base model comes with 2ea 215AH house batteries. Was thinking about adding 1-2 batteries but not sure if really needed. Thoughts?
2. Assume all batteries- start, thrusters (bow and stern) gennie start are also charged with single MagnaSine charger?
3. Are there any vent fans for heads/cooking? Needed?

4. Will generally keep to floor plan, but may add OSR shelves and add TV cabinet if able.

4. Undecided on electronics. Leaning Garmin but will go to a boat show and learn.

Other thoughts would be welcome.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:00 PM   #17
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Jim, I would question why you would go with Propane stove when you have so many other electricity intensive items on board. I'm assuming the reverse cycle AC/Heat and ice maker are 110v units. I don't think you are going to be able to use the heat and AC running on an inverter very long. As such, you will be using the genset a lot. Given that, I think I would go with an electric stove as well. You won't be on the hook very much or very often, so will have shore power available. When you are on the hook, the genset will provide the power for a stove/oven.


Given your use, I think the standard house battery bank would be more than sufficient.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:55 PM   #18
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Jim,

Scott is the expert, but here is my .02 after having the boat for 7 months:

Use the batteries provided, and add more if needed. I have not needed to add more house capacity, and we anchor out fairly often.

No propane on our boat. We have an electric stove.

No extra fans/vents needed IMO.

TV - whatever works best.

Electronics - I think all of the modern systems are good. I have had Raymarine (older system), Simard (newer - solid state) on past boats, but chose Furono. The old school Captains on fishing boats I looked up to as a kid used them, and still do, so that is good enough for me.

What engine are you thinking of?
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:11 PM   #19
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Was thinking propane for the oven. With electric cooktop, is there an electric oven below? Will get the 380 HP Cummins engine.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:59 PM   #20
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Was thinking propane for the oven. With electric cooktop, is there an electric oven below? Will get the 380 HP Cummins engine.

We don't tend to use the oven a lot so would be even less prone to get a propane oven with an electric cooktop.



FWIW, I have a 380hp Cummins 5.9 QSB on my North Pacific 43. I would imagine that Helmsman is now using the Cummins 6.7L engine? For me 380hp is more than I need for the size, weight, and hull form of my boat. I believe the Helmsman 38 can be pushed faster with more power, but I would go with the smallest Cummins Helmsman recommends for their boats.
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