by Quentin Warren
Blue Water Sailing
German sports-car suave
Anytime you find yourself aboard a boat that looks good, sails well and accommodates you comfortably, it’s cause for some sort of celebration. Combining those traits describes one of the great hat tricks of yacht design and production, and when you throw into the mix an attractive price tag, well then you’re really onto something. Recently that something turned up in the form of the German-built, Judel/Vrolijk-designed Dehler 39. Following a banner day aboard we came away “with sound observations and a clear picture of what superior boat design and German engineering in its clean and classic form are capable of producing.” We elaborated on those observations in the August 2002 issue of BWS.
“The notion that you can create a production boat that appeals as much to a cruising couple with discovery and adventure on their mind as to a racing zealot with an inconsolable urge to tweak and see results is central to the Dehler mindset. Both objectives are treated with equal resolve.” We alluded to the prettiness of the 39 with its tall (61’3”) rig, nearly plumb ends and powerful straight but rising sheer. We complimented it on its functional galley and clean, comfortable accommodations. We also remarked that it is an effortless nine-knot boat, innovative from bow to stern, with a nod to contemporary notions of hullform and a deep respect for what makes a boat feel good underway.
Noteworthy features include a versatile 9/10, three-spreader rig that flies a powerful, eminently tweakable mainsail and fractional headsails. End-of-boom sheeting to a traveler at the steering pedestal, Whitlock steering linkage, clean decks treated with European TBS nonskid, conventional spinnaker hardware plus a stemhead-mounted carbon strut forward, premium sail-handling equipment and a large destroyer wheel spanning the cockpit all tell the story of a boat optimized for spirited crew work and savvy sailing. Ballast/Displacement at 40 percent is, as we commented, “rock solid.” Displacement/Length at 128 is bantam. And Sail Area/Displacement at 22.1 indicates plenty of of get-up-and-go.
Construction, engineering and the installation of systems are in keeping with that polished German industrial approach, including thoughtful details such as recessed halogen lighting on dimmers throughout the interior. Main bulkheads are bonded into dedicated slots in the deck headliner above and prefabricated floor pan below to provide virtual monocoque structural integrity. Plumbing and electrical conduits are meticulously organized and clearly labeled.
In our ode to all things great about the Dehler 39, we concluded by mentioning that “driving and sailing her are at the top of the list.” Responsive, well-balanced, stiff, with steering a fingertip exercise even in blustery conditions, we noted, “Close-hauled over flat water with true wind in the high teens and puffs well into the 20s, we remained comfortable with a full main and 100-percent jib, hitting solid sevens in boatspeed at 30 degrees of apparent wind, 45 degrees true. Tacking angles were well within 90 degrees.” A pleasurable boat, by any measure.
LOA 38’9” (11.8 m.)
LWL 35’1” (10.7 m.)
Beam 12’6” (3.8 m.)
Draft (std. bulb) 6’5” (1.96 m.)
Draft (opt. shoal) 5’6” (1.68 m.)
Draft (opt. deep fin) 7’9” (2.36 m.)
Ballast 6,174 lbs. (2,801 kgs.)
Displ. 15,400 lbs. (6,985 kgs.)
SA (100%) 856 sq. ft. (79.5 sq. m.)
Fuel 29 gal. (110 ltr.)
Water 65 gal. (246 ltr.)
Auxiliary 3-cyl Yanmar 3GM30 27-hp diesel
Designer Judel/Vrolijk Design
Dehler America, Inc.
335 Lincoln Street
Hingham, MA 02043
Dehler Segelyachten GmbH
Im Langel 22
D-59 872 Meschede-Freienohl
Ph: +49 2903-4400
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