Dehler 38 SQ


Dehler 38 SQ: German thoroughbred, for cruising but not only

A sparkling performance boat with a renewed sail plan compared to its predecessor and many new features on deck and inside.

Dehler Shipyard, after its acquisition by the Hanse Group, is changing its skin. The goal is to begin, gradually, to revamp the range but without losing the DNA that has made Dehlers appreciated worldwide. To do this, the new management decided to start again with a bestseller, the Dehler 38, which is now presented in the SQ (Speed and Quality) version.

The new Dehler 38 SQ was developed from its predecessor model. The two letters SQ (Speed and Quality) speed and quality, sum up the philosophy of this boat. The 38SQ was given a new color scheme, a revamped deckhouse design, and a more varied interior layout.


Dehler 38 SQ – One boat two versions

One of the elements that immediately jumps out at you in the Dehler 38 SQ is the introduction of a square top mainsail, optional for the competition version, with a split backstay. This is because the 38 SQ has the ambition of being a versatile boat that can go from being a comfortable cruiser, to a “nervous” racer.

The square top mainsail is provided with a mast that is 10 cm taller, which, however, does not preclude the possible use of a classic luff sail. Between the standard and competition versions, the difference is also in the draft – 20 cm deeper the latter – and displacement, which in performance is 500 kg less.

Dehler 38 SQ

The model we tested was rigged with the 49 sq. m. square top mainsail versus the 43 sq. m. standard mainsail. In Genoa, our test day was not the easiest. A very large long wave showed the remnants of a strong swell from the southern quadrants, which was opposed by a rising very gusty tramontana from 8 to 16 knots. Technical conditions in which it is difficult to find an accurate boat setting, due in part to frequent wind shifts and changes in intensity. Of the conditions that highlighted the Dehler’s strengths as well as showed us how sporty the competition version is.

Sail plan

The Dehler 38 SQ is extremely agile in the square top configuration. You can feel any slight increase in pressure, as the boat responds immediately by accelerating and changing its heel. The extra square meters, in fact, are placed at the top of the sail and turn the slightest puff into thrust.

Upwind at 7 knots gps speed, with no more than 12 wind, is often a reality on this boat. And if you widen the gait, even without a lift sail, the boat demonstrates an extremely responsive hull. The split backstay is not declared by the shipyard to be structural, in fact the onus is on shrouds and spreaders, obviously quartered, to support the mast.

In breeze conditions above ten knots it becomes imperative to use it to try to thin the mainsail. To be effective, it is necessary to defer the backstay line to one of the upwind winches, usually the free one is the one dedicated to the genoa. The angle of the shot is not perfect, but the desired result is still achieved.

Ideally in this configuration we would have two additional winches aft, one on each side, dedicated to this maneuver, but that would be a bit much for a boat that is still a cruiser, albeit a sporty one. Backstay that comes in handy on the narrow reach in fresh air if you are using a masthead-bearing gait sail. The shrouds, being the Dehler 38 SQ’s fractional rigging, have a lower attachment, and having the “back” in tension helps reduce stresses at the top of the mast. The square top configuration is mostly appreciated by a sporting audience or those who possibly intend to use the boat in regattas. In contrast, the standard mainsail is preferred for easier handling.


The Dehler 38 SQ’s rudder is extremely smooth when steering, even when the boat is very heeled. A detail that will please even less experienced sailors. In the square top configuration, the boat has a positive gyre tendency that makes it sail easily under 45 degrees true to wind, with a speed always above 6.5 knots with peaks at 7 and a true around 13-15 knots, without losing too much speed even at very tight angles.

With this sail plan, the sensations at the helm are not far from those of far sportier boats. The boat immediately restarts out of the tack and shows great pace in wind drops. In contrast, running in a small crew is sporty, but if we take “measures” to the horsepower the Dehler 38 SQ can put out, we can use the engine the bare minimum.

Folding footrests at the helm provide a comfortable and secure foothold when sailing upwind. The aft platform is easy to use with an integrated swim ladder, which has a folding handrail and large steps. In addition, the 38 SQ can be equipped with sportier designed rudder wheels, racing winches and a removable throttle.

Overall, the organization of the deck is rational, with maneuvers in the right place to steer the boat as best as possible, and clean spaces also to be used as sunbathing areas.




No revolution, but rational interiors with some interesting solutions. The entire side stowage area in the dinette has been made with curved covers that are almost reminiscent of an automotive style and give an aesthetically pleasing effect.

Dehler 38SQ

Dehler 38SQ
Shooting in La Vagna
Bucht von Genua

The Dehler 38 SQ’s 3.75 m width does not make it the widest boat in its class, but there is no shortage of volume inside. However, the height in the dinette is no less than 2 meters, as is the maximum height of the forward and aft cabins, which touch 2 meters. Good overall level of finish, with no special preciousness but still in line with the boat’s market placement.

Data sheet

Length f. t.: 11,64 m
Width: 3,75 m
Fishing: 2,03-2,24 m
Displacement: 7,500 kg
Sup. vel: 78.60-84 sq. m.
Gennaker: 112 square meters
Project: Judel/Vrolijk & Co.
Price: 160,900 euros + VAT


Report Abuse
Categories: , , , Brand:

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account