A LeComte NE 38, designed by Bill Tripp in 1963, is a well-made and well-thought-out boat from an earlier age of craftsmanship and construction methods; however, they incorporate the best of what was then the new art of fiberglass hulls and decks. Bill Tripp created this design shortly after he designed the Hinckley B-40. The original versions of these two boats and some others that Tripp designed around the same time shared a lot in their appearance and details. Dolf LeComte intended to compete in the US market with Hinckley so the quality of interior finish and some of the features are similar. Quetzal retains all of her original exterior Teak trim, varnished Makore interior and fine details.
The hull is solid fiberglass and has longitudinal ‘glassed-in Airex foam stiffeners and hollow ‘hat channels’ under the long aft overhang. The hull was molded in halves and tabbed together on the inside. The original, MK I, and subsequent MK II models had attached rudders; this MK III has a spade rudder and the trailing edge of the keel is made with a third molding and is tabbed onto the two halves of the hull. The keel is hollow and integral to the hull. It is internally stiffened with transverse fiberglass bulkheads and a top, forming the water tank. Earlier models had internal fuel tanks in the keel as well; this boat has a Monel fuel tank (separate tanks were required by the USCG in the late ‘60s). The lead ballast is bolted into a shape formed in the forward bottom of the keel which can be seen as the discolored joint while the boat’s on the hard. The keelbolts are encapsulated on the bottom of the water tank.
The deck is Airex foam cored. The deck is bolted and tabbed to an inward-turned flange on the hull. The six scuppers are drained into channels on the inside of the hull and discharge through holes in the hull below the waterline.
All fittings and metal work - exposed, concealed, or glassed in - is stated by LeComte to be 316 stainless steel. Most metal work, including the aluminum mast and spinnaker pole, was made by LeComte.
The rudder was designed and made hollow. It has vents at the top and drains at the bottom. The stainless stock and webs are tabbed to the port side and the starboard side is tabbed on to the port. The skilled and knowledgeable owner has done a great deal of technical work on the boat over the 11 years he and his wife owned Quetzal. He has a great many photos of the work in progress.
Contact Ed Kurowski
Cell Phone : 443-480-3616 or EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ed Kurowski : I have worked in the yacht sales industry for 35 years and have handled national and international transactions for new builds, imports, new and brokerage vessels while leading an award winning sales and service team. My years and experiences have provided me with a solid background in negotiations, customer service, technical advice, outfitting solutions, financial recommendations and insurance referrals with a life long commitment to my customers.
My enthusiasm for yachting aboard quality cruising boats and logging over 40,000 sea miles translates into an approach that will help you select and equip your boat for comfortable and safe ownership and voyages.
I have the ability to perform for my clients who share the same high standards and desires that I do. I treat you, your vessel and transaction in the way that you deserve in a timely, conscientious, consistent and exacting manner.
Aft of the chainlocker, the forward cabin contains a large, 6’4” long, double V berth with seat and removable filler. To starboard is a large hanging locker; to port is another locker, counter and drawers. Additional drawers and storage are beneath the berth. White Melamine-faced plywood ceiling with outboard Makore (African Cherry) shelves, white embossed pressed wood overhead. The Makore-veneered plywood panels and new Teak grabrails lining the inside of the house were restored and refinished in 2010. A large hatch and two fixed ports provide ample light and ventilation. The foam cushions in the forward cabin are covered in grey Sunbrella (2003).
Next aft, and to port, is the head with shower. The head is a Raritan PHII connected via a wye valve to a 35 gallon holding tank and overboard discharge. There is a stainless steel vanity in a Makore-trimmed plastic laminate countertop, a handheld shower attachment, bins and lockers for toiletries and towels. The shower grating is Teak over a fiberglass pan. A dorade vent (above) and an operable portlight provide ventilation and light. Most of the Makore woodwork was refinished when the head was rebuilt in 2008. Much additional work was done while the head was disassembled, see below.
To starboard, opposite the door to the head is another hanging locker and an authentic and classically Dutch Le Comte fireplace with Delft tiling. (The fireplace is vented with a removable stainless steel Charlie Noble smokestack (stored in the port lazarette.)
The main saloon has a U shaped settee to port which converts to a double berth by lowering the Makore drop leaf table. To starboard is a single berth/settee which extends inboard. The cushions are covered in Forest Green ultrasuede (2003). The original pilot berth on starboard was converted to shelves and storage using matching details and wood. There is ample storage beneath berths in lockers and drawers. There is an overhead hatch, three small and four large fixed ports in the cabin top. Thus the saloon is unusually well lit and provided with good visibility. The interior is finished in varnished Makore. The sole throughout the boat is solid Teak tongue and grooved to solid Maple.
The galley is aft to port and is equipped with a gimballed LeComte stainless steel 3 burner alcohol stove and oven, stainless steel sink with hot/cold faucet and freshwater Gusher foot pump (currently not installed), Grunert AR50 DC refrigeration, upper and lower utility lockers for provisions and utensils. On starboard is a chart table with a large well-insulated refrigerator beneath. Above the table at shoulder level is a chart drawer. Aft of the table is a hanging space for wet items. The companionway leads aft and into the cockpit. Engine access is by lifting out portions of the companionway steps.
Solid handlaid fiberglass hull. QUETZAL'S topsides were Awlgripped Aristo Blue in 2000. White boot, recessed grey molded-in cove stripe, stainless steel topped White Oak rub rail. Teak toe rail. One piece molded fiberglass (Airex foam sandwich construction) deck and cabin top with white molded-in patterned non-skid surface. Self draining cockpit with Teak gratings, port and starboard and aft lazarettes. High Teak coaming, Teak handrails on cabin top. Chromed ventilators on Teak dorade boxes. Stanchions with double lifelines. Interlux Barrier coat applied to faired bottom winter of 1994/5.