Dix 38
Radius chine steel cruiser

Dix 38 afloat
Dix 38 built in Caernarfon, Wales.

Here is a moderate sized steel yacht of modern styling and with the performance to go with it.

Radius chine hull shape gives good looks, efficiency and enhanced resale value.

See the Dix 38 Pilot for the same hull with a pilothouse deck.

Shallow and deep keel options.

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This one was commissioned as a boat of modern concept with good performance and international appeal. It was to depart as far as practical from the boxy image of most steel boats while maintaining ease of construction. The resulting design has very clean and gimick-free styling, essential for economical construction of a metal design. Within that concept, she includes many modern features to ease life on board.

Hull shape is radiused chine round bilge, with long waterline and clean underbody. The long waterline increases the load carrying ability, reduces the canoebody depth and fines up the entry for wave penetration. The stern is fairly beamy with a flat run to give a clean and flat wake, with resultant ease of control off the wind. The overall result is a reduction in wavemaking both fore and aft and improved speed through the water. A conical stem plate is used to increase flare in the bows, providing more reserve buoyancy and dryness to windward.

Dix 38 drawings

The keel is a NACA foil of 1,75m draft for power to windward. This is combined with a semi-balanced rudder on a partial skeg, to give good directional stability and helm response. A benefit of metal construction is that features like keel draft and rudder configuration can be readily adapted to suit the requirements of anyone who wishes to commission such a variation to the design.

Structural design is to the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Offshore Racing Yachts. Construction is of steel using a stringer system and one-off hulls are built over temporary frames. Bulkheads are structural and are bolted to tabs on the stringers. Production hulls can be built over a spaceframe to achieve rapid and economical construction.

Excess weight is trimmed out by eliminating unneccesary structure. Most metal boats have transverse framing in addition to bulkheads, resulting in excessive structural weight and wasted structure. With the use of structural bulkheads and semi-bulkheads, the transverse framing has been eliminated.

Dix 38 on cradle

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Dix 38 under construction

The available interior layouts are comfortable and spacious, with good privacy for two couples and additional berths in the saloon. They are designed around a central engine position, which moves the engine from the conventional under-cockpit position to one of all-round access for maintenance and where it is better placed for weight distribution.

Also available is a pilothouse version of the design, which has three double cabins and includes alternatives for bow and stern cabins to give builders a range of interior options on the basic design.

Dix 38 radius chine steel boat plans
Layout A - Click here to see alternative layouts

The cockpit is T-shaped for wheel steering, with sleeping length side seats. Aft of the cockpit is a boarding platform to ease boarding from a dinghy or the water.

The rig is double headsail sloop rather than cutter, which would have the mast placed further aft. The double spreader mast is deck stepped with double lower shrouds and running backstays. Standing intermediate backstays or a jumper strut can replace the runners, if preferred. The full-batten main has mid-boom sheeting, led forward along the boom then aft to the cockpit. This keeps the cockpit bridgedeck clear of traveler and controls.

The DIX 38 is an attractive boat capable of taking her crew to exotic corners of the world in comfort. Her styling is not extreme so she will not date and will hold her investment value if looked after.

Testimonial from Rob Coulon - Caernarfon, Wales. He writes of a newly launched steel DIX 38.

"Just a few words on performance. She sails like a glass boat and is very responsive to the wheel, for example going to weather at about 7 knots in 15 knots. She is perfectly balanced in all aspects of sail. She tacks like a Lazer dinghy. The boat is incredible."

Also available is a pilothouse version of this design, the Dix 38 Pilot. For a larger boat of similar concept see the Dix 43.

Follow these links to print or download:-

Material List for the structure

Stability Curve

Article on Metal Radius Chine Construction

List of Drawings


LOA - 11.70m (38' 5") LWL 10.25m (33' 7") Beam 3.80m (12' 6") Draft 1.5 & 1.75m (4' 11" & 5' 9")
Displacement 10000kg (22040lb) Ballast 2800kg (6171lb) Area Waterplane 22.66sq.m (244sq.ft) Immersion Rate 231kg/cm (1293lb/inch)
Wetted Surface 36.3sq.m (390.6sq.ft) Fineness Coef 0.67 Block Coef 0.40 Prismatic Coef 0.55
Displacement/Length 259 Sail Area (Main + Fore-triangle) 67.0sq.m (720.9sq.ft) Sail Area/Wetted Surface 1.85 Sail Area/Displ 14.9
Righting Moment @ 30 deg 5399 kgm (39051ftlb) Righting Moment @ 60 deg 7497 kgm (54226ftlb) Righting Moment @ 90 deg 5419 kgm (39195ftlb) Powering30-40hp inboard diesel

Please note that our plan prices include for adding imperial measurements to our metric designs if needed by the buyer.


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This page was updated 31 July 2018

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