2000 Sailing World Boat of the Year –
This boat meets Newport to Bermuda Race guidelines
38-foot racer/cruiser combining top performance with below-deck comforts. Features quality construction methods similar to those used in one-off designs but tailored to Aerodyne’s production environment. Performance features include retractable sprit and keel technology borrowed from Bill Koch’s America’s Cup research. Eighteen boats have been commissioned since 1997.
THE DESIGN: Aerodyne Technology has been building high-level composite structures for the aircraft, space, defense, & boat industries for the last fifteen years, and have been bringing this high-quality expertise to the Aerodyne 38. Aerodyne’s brief for their new Aerodyne 38 was for a fast, easy-to-sail ‘cruiser/racer’ with comfortable accommodations. Cockpit size and interior space are carefully balanced to achieve this dual role. Good performance was high on the priority list.
The result is an attractive, easily handled, contemporary ‘club racer’ with plenty of space on deck and a lot of volume down below. This type of hull-form combines very good reserve stability with low wetted surface; a boat that sails well across the wind range. She sails at low heel angles, which improves both comfort and the efficiency of the rig and foils. On the performance side the design is influenced by developments in both Open Class BOC types and fast ’round-the-buoys designs, not handicapped by restrictive ‘rating’ rules. The Aerodyne 38 also benefits from our experience with successful long-distance custom cruising yachts.
THE SAILPLAN: The Aerodyne 38 has a well-proportioned fractional rig set well back in the boat to balance the full-triangle (non-overlapping) jib’s size with that of the main. We have now designed several boats with this rig, and can assure that it is easy to handle (efficiently for a given size and much easier to tack than a rig with large, overlapping genoas, and works over a much wider wind range; between drifting and 24 knots true. It is not coincidental that BOC-type rigs have developed in this direction. The jib furling drum is recessed below the deck so it is as efficient for racing as it is for cruising, and the big mainsail, which features single-line reefing, has a long traveler to allow its power to be easily controlled.
Shrouds are outboard at the hull for strength and better staying angles. This allows for a lighter mast and rigging. The Aerodyne 38 will sail well under mainsail alone.
ON DECK: The Aerodyne 38′s cockpit is 11.5 ft (3.5m) long! Not only is it well-laid-out for a racing crew, but in cruising mode adds considerable outdoor living space and yet will drain quickly through the transom, should a sea come aboard. The cockpit seats are wide and long enough to sleep on.
The wheel is large, to allow steering from the side-deck, and well-placed foot-cleats are provided for the helmsman when standing behind the wheel. There is also a cleat down the centre of the “crew” cockpit for bracing when sailing upwind, and the space between the seats, over 3 ft. (1m), is wide enough for a good cockpit table. There is a big locker to port, and cooking gas is in a dedicated locker to starboard, aft.
All sail controls lead aft to rope-clutches and winches on the cabin top. Main halyard, reefing, vang, spinnaker halyard, headsail furling, bowsprit and spinnaker controls are all handled from here. The bowsprit retracts into a waterproof housing, with service access down below.
Going forward, the side-decks are wide and unobstructed, helped by the outboard shrouds, and the anchor is stowed in its own flush locker, which also houses the recessed jib-furling drum.
The Aerodyne 38 has an innovative recessed toerail running around the perimeter of the entire deck, giving a secure footing, and making it comfortable for hiking out.
An optional dodger protects the forward part of the cockpit.
The Aerodyne 38 has a well-lit, comfortable interior with excellent ventilation. The drawings show the layout, with double cabins forward and aft, each with their own hanging lockers and stowage areas.
The saloon has settee-berths on either side, with lockers and shelves outboard. Six can sit around the drop-leaf table, which has bottle storage in the centre section.
At the base of the companionway, the head, with sink, lockers, and foul-weather gear stowage, is to port, and a well-ventilated, comfortable aft cabin is to starboard. The ‘C’-shaped galley is forward of the aft cabin, with a double sink on centreline over the engine generous drawers, and an ice-box outboard. There are lockers above the two-burner stove/oven. This is a good seagoing galley.
There is a full-size nav. station opposite the galley, with a chart locker, recess for a laptop computer, drawers, storage under the seat. The electrical panel and electronics are outboard, where they are easy to see and use. Tools and a waste bin are kept under the companionway steps.
The entire Aerodyne 38 is built of Epoxy resin, the best material for composite boat construction, and considerably stronger, tougher, and more durable than the polyester or vinyl ester resins used in conventional production boat hulls. This, combined with directional E-glass fabrics, high quality core materials appropriate for each area, and Carbon-fibre reinforced structural framing, ensure high strength, stiffness, and longevity associated with one-off custom boats. Similarly, the Aerodyne 38 is painted with an Awlgrip finish which gives a tougher, high-gloss finish than gel-coat.
The Aerodyne 38 engine is a Yanmar 3GM (27 bhp) Saildrive, positioned in the middle of the boat for best weight distribution and excellent service access. Fuel is under the starboard settee, aft, with one freshwater tank ahead of it, and another to port, forward of the batteries. Capacities are: 25 gallons (95 litres) of fuel; 50 gallons (190 litres) of water.
The Aerodyne 38 is designed for fast sailing! She has high form-stability, excellent power-to-weight ratio (SA/Displ=30.13!), long waterline (Disp/L=117), a fine entry for wave penetration, and ‘planing’ sections aft for easy surfing. Keel and rudder are carefully proportioned for excellent control and upwind ability. Extensive Computer Velocity Prediction studies show that the Aerodyne 38 has the satisfying ability to sail faster than boats five or ten feet longer, boat for boat!
The Aerodyne 38 is fast, stable, easy and fun to sail and has a great cockpit and interior for cruising and racing. We think that handsome, contemporary looks add to the appeal!
For Robert Perry’s article in Sailing Magazine: http://www.sailingmagazine.net/component/content/article/3-perry-on-design/45-aerodyne-38?directory=138