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True North 38

Illustration by Jim Ewing

The True North 38 made its debut in 2001. Seventeen years later, it’s still turning heads. It was built by US Watercraft in Warren, Rhode Island, which began as TPI Composites, the pioneering fiberglass boatbuilder that Everett Pearson founded. The builder used the Seemann Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process, better known as SCRIMP, which drew the resin into the fiberglass using a vacuum.

The boat’s Downeast style was evident in its plumb bow, even sheer and trunk cabin. But its lines were flavored with elements not always associated with that style, including a reverse transom, noticeable bow flare and a swept-back profile, all of which gave the True North 38 a distinctive appearance and a personality all its own.

An instant hit, the boat was dubbed a “sport utility” because of its roominess and versatility. A pair of transom doors opened from the swim platform, giving access to a cockpit designed for handling water toys of all types, from kayaks to paddleboards. These could be stowed on the wheelhouse roof.

Cruising comforts included a master stateroom “down” with a V-berth, a chest of drawers and shelf space. The enclosed head with shower was adjacent; the shower area, vanity and counter were made of molded fiberglass for easier cleaning.

“Up” in the wheelhouse/saloon, a galley on the starboard side had a propane stove, refrigerator and microwave. The six-person dinette converted to a berth for guests or kids. The helm station had a single pedestal seat with a companion seat to port. There was a molded fiberglass dash for instrumentation, and the triple-pane windshield and side windows made for good visibility.

Power came from a single 480-hp Yanmar diesel that delivered a 25-mph cruising speed with a fuel burn of 17 to 18 gph.

While the builder is no longer in business, this classic remains a sought-after boat. As one reviewer put it, “The True North 38 has a beautiful profile. For family cruising, her practical nature and intelligent design are flat-out gorgeous.” —Steve Knauth

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.



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