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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
We posted an article earlier about the Hughes 38, design, #1903. Trying to follow the history of this design and the other Hughes models generally leads to confusion for many owners.
Here's a little history:
Hughes Boat Works of Canada was one of the largest production boatbuilders for a number of years in the 1970s. And yes it is true that the company was started by the Howard Hughes (no relation to the famous aviator) and his brother Peter. Initially the brothers designed their own products which ranged from small dinghies to smaller sailing yachts up to around 29' length overall. Once they ventured into the larger sized boats they enlisted the help of the firm and from that a handful of models were produced as follows:
Design #1903, Northstar 38, also known as Hughes 38 and the subject of this article
Design #1956, Hughes 48
Design #2098-C6, Northstar 1000
Design #2134, Northstar 80/20
Design #2135, Northstar 500, also know as Northstar 25
Design #2135-C3, Northstar 600, also known as Northstar 26 and Hughes 26
Design #2166, Northstar 35, also known as Hughes 35
The confusion lies in all of the name changes. As we have mentioned in previous postings, in 1969 Hughes Boat Works Ltd was sold to US Steel. Both Hughes brothers stayed with the company until 1971, when US Steel changed the name of the company to Northstar Yachts Ltd. Then in 1977 Howard Hughes purchased Northstar back again and renamed it Hughes Boatworks, Inc, a close variation of the original name. It was then that the names changed for example the Northstar 600 became the H26.
Here are some images of the later iteration Hughes 38, around 1977.
Note the deckhouse was changed significantly: the small step was eliminated in the house top and the windows were reconfigured. The layout was also changed as can be seen in the brochure shown below.
Thank you to the owners who have been kind enough to send us images of their boats.