In Brief

Hans Christian 38 MkII Cutter Sail Plan The Hans Christian 38 MkII dates back to 1978, introduced only two years on from its predecessor, the popular Hans Christian 38 Traditional. They share the same designer and the same Taiwanese boatyard, Shin Fa. To the untrained eye, it’s easy to mistake the two. The 38 MkII continues with the same family looks and configuration; a traditional heavy displacement double-ender, with a springy sheerline, large bowsprit and a cutter rig. However the MkII has some important improvements made to its underbody.

In the interests of more boat speed, the beam was carried further forward and aft, the bottom sections flattened and the turn of the bilge was tightened. The forefoot to the keel was made shallower and the rudder placed further aft. Followers of boat design will note Bob Perry had great success with evolving this kind of hull form in a similar direction with his series of performance double-ended full keelers like the Tayana 37 (1975), Baba 40 (1980), and Tashiba 36 (1985).

In addition to the hull changes, to mitigate its predecessor’s tendency for weather helm, the mast was moved 12 inches forward, and to improve light air performance the rig was three feet taller and carried 11% more canvas. The result was a boat that performed substantially better all round, it pointed higher and could move much better in light airs.

Belowdecks, the 38 MkII can be immediately recognized by her sink which is mounted on an island bench, gone is the U-shaped galley. Another important change worth considering is the placement of the engine to under the companionway stairs, in the 38T this was located under the sink which provided better accessibility.

Although the 38 MkII offered better performance, it’s somewhat surprising that the original 38 Traditional was considerably more popular. We’re told by Craig Beckwith, VP of Sales for Hans Christian Yachts during that period, the better performing Telstar Keel** offered on the 38 Traditional took a lot of the market from the MkII, and for financial reasons the Telstar Keel did not become an option on the MkII. In total 87 MkII boats were built with production ceasing around 1989, roughly the time when Hans Christian Yachts shifted their operations to Thailand. The molds have survived (though in rather bad condition) and in theory the boat could be produced once again, with some investment in refurbishing the molds.

** See article on the Hans Christian 38 Traditional for a full description of the Telstar Keel


LOA: 46′ 0″
LOD: 37′ 9″
LWL: 33′ 0″
Beam: 12′ 6″
Draft: 6′ 0″
Displacement: 27,500 lbs.
Ballast: 10,300 lbs. (Iron encapsulated)
Sail Area: 923 sq. ft.

Fuel: 145 US. Gal.
Water: 170 US. Gal.
Holding: 25 US. Gal.

Designer: Harwood Ives
Builder: Shin Fa
Year Introduced: 1977
Total Built: 87

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7 thoughts on “Hans Christian 38 MkII”

  1. Brad Summers says:

    It’s nice to see my boat pictures here: SV Reverence 38mkII She is a fine vessel and YES she can point! and while others are are in irons because of the sea or wind conditions they can only watch in envy as my 38 sets sail!
    Brad Summers

    1. konstantin says:

      Reverence beautiful boat,where can I see more photos?

  2. Lance says:

    None of the Hans Christian boats has 6’7″ headroom but they do have 6’3″ to 6’4″ which is significantly more than most boats of this size and of this era.

    In addition, Chris (poster above) is confusing the HC 38 Traditional with MkII interior with the HC 38 MkII boat. The HC38 MkII (as this article is about) does not have a V berth nor a butterfly hatch. These are features found on the HC38 Traditional with MkII interior.

    Finally, the HC38 MkII galley gained additional counter space in models of mid 1980 and newer when a counter and drawers was added just forward of the stove. This adjustment affected everything forward including the positioning of the three major bulkheads, size of the salon table, pullman berth, head arrangement, and chain locker.

    Are we going to see reviews of the other HC43 and 34/36 models in the future???

  3. Chris says:

    HANS CHRISTIAN 38 MK II Interior: Like many Taiwan boats, the HC appeals to those
    who appreciate the prodigious use of teak, The result is spacious accommodations
    having the warm feeling of a leather-and-panel Fifth Avenue boardroom. Brass
    kerosene lanterns look like they belong here. the headliner is white,
    tongue-and-groove accented by teak beams. Teak bulkheads and cabinetry have 15
    to 20 coats of varnish, and cushions are covered with heavy fabrics. A shiny
    mast compression post is located near the forward edge of the dining table. The
    combination of 6’ 7″ headroom, four opening portlights in the saloon, and a 44″
    x 30″ butterfly hatch makes for a spacious, light interior. In the Mark II
    interior, the V-berth has been moved farther aft, with the head in the forepeak.
    The Mark II galley is about the same size as in the Traditional, but has
    significantly less counter space because the double sinks and a small working
    surface are located on an island. These boats have a wealth of stowage behind
    and below all sitting areas. Cabinets, drawers and shelves line both sides of
    the hull. Clearly, the HC 38 was designed for the long-distance, offshore

    1. Brian says:


      I looked at a MKII last week.  As I am 6′-6″ tall I can definitely confirm the MKII does not have anywhere near 6′-7″ headroom.  I would give it 6′-3″ at best.  Is it possible either the 38T or Telstar interiors have the clearance you mention above?


  4. Richard says:

    I might be listing a HC 38 here in Lauderdale, and all your research will really help, Will. Thanks.

  5. Will says:

    A popular (and obvious) question we’ve been asked has been which one performs better? The Telstar 38T or the 38 MkII. We put the question to Craig Beckwith and he responded by saying the Telstar 38T just pips the full keeled 38 MkII, but there’s not much in it. We can confirm there has only ever been the full keel option on the MkII.

    It worth noting the 38T with the Telstar mod, produced a stiffer boat (taking the bite out of her keel, reduced bouyancy), and allowed her to carry the rig from the MkII effectively without being overpowered.

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