Alerion Express 38

Mark Pillsbury reviews the Alerion Express 38 for the 2007 Cruising World Sailboat Show

Alerion

When the Alerion Express 28 made its debut, it created the genre of the modern, elegant daysailer, designed to be easily rigged, simple to sail, and a breeze to put away at day's end. Well, now her big sister, the Alerion Express 38, is ready to steal a few hearts. The boat is built by Pearson Composites, in Warren, Rhode Island, and was designed by the late Carl Schumacher and the builder's design group.

On an early fall day on the Chesapeake, the 38 skipped right along closehauled at 5.7 knots in 8 knots of breeze and pushed close to 6 knots cracked off on a reach. Under power with the 40-horsepower Yanmar diesel and saildrive, top speed was about 8 knots. And the boat was nimble, easily spinning circles in less than its own length.

As with the Express 28, a modern underbody is disguised by traditional lines topsides that include a low coachroof, a large cockpit, a deck free of lifelines, and bow and stern pulpits. A carbon-fiber mast is rigged with a big, high-aspect main, and a small, self-tending working jib is set on a roller furler and Hoyt Jib Boom, which keeps it working efficiently when off the wind. Both sails are 3DLs from North.

Alerion

Belowdecks, there's a V-berth, settees, a table, a head, and a galley under 5-foot-8-inch headroom. It's tight for crewmembers of above-average height, but chances are they'll want to be on deck enjoying the day and the sail this sloop serves up.

Alerion 38 Specs

LOA: 38' 1"
LWL: 30' 3"
Beam: 10' 8"
Draft: 5' 11"
Sail Area: 711 sq. ft.
Displacement: 11,800 lb.
Water: 45 gal.
Fuel: 26 gal.
Engine: 40-hp. Yanmar
Designer: Carl Schumacher
Price: $314,000
Newport R&D, (401) 683-9450 , www.alerionexp.com