Huckins is starting work on its 38 Sportsman, and the 90-year-old company is offering its retro-styled cruiser with either outboard power or hybrid diesel-electric power, showing that it can still blend traditional styling with the most modern engines and technology. Whatever the power, the new 38 will have Huckins’ iconic Quadraconic hull that founder Frank Pembroke Huckins introduced generations ago.
Huckins Yacht in Jacksonville, Florida, is now run by Huckins’ granddaughter, Cindy Purcell, and she is staying true to the company’s heritage. The 38 has Huckins’ traditional art deco styling, but the company wants to offer buyers either the increasingly popular option of outboard power (twin 350-hp Suzukis) or a hybrid of twin 380-hp Cummins diesels and two Elco 20-hp electric motors. The boat would have a top speed of 35 knots under diesel and 5 knots under battery/electric.
The boat is designed for weekend or long-range cruising, with the diesels for speed and the electric option for quiet and green, renewable energy. The twin Elco electric motors are electronically clutched to the propeller shafts for a seamless shift in power mode.
Huckins is using lightweight but strong composite sandwich construction in the new 38, with Corecell, e-glass and Kevlar blends for the bottom and unidirectional carbon fiber laminates in the stringers, all joined with vinylester resin. The company recognizes that buyers today are interested in low maintenance; the mahogany panels on the superstructure are screwed into an inset and can be removed for varnishing.
The boat’s cockpit has a U-shaped settee and table for five, two corner cushions, a grill and a powered sun shade. The helm deck has an L-shaped settee also for five, powered side windows and two electric sun roofs. Two Stidd chairs face the helm.
The galley is down but the overhead is open so it is filled with natural light. It has Corian countertops, a single-burner cooktop, a double-drawer fridge/freezer, a microwave and other appliances to make cruising life comfortable.
The forward cabin has a V-shaped settee that converts into a queen-sized berth at the touch of a button, and a high-low table for dining. The sole is teak and holly and the joinery is mahogany. The head has a full-sized enclosed shower.
Specs.: LOA: 38’3”; Beam: 12’6”; Draft: 2’6”; Disp.: 18,000 lbs.; Fuel: 285 gals.; Water: 95 gals.; Power: 2×350-hp Suzuki outboards or 2×380-hp Cummins QSB 6.7diesels, Elco EP-20 electric.