Cranchi M38 ST: the boat that wants to be a yacht

9,99 meters length in some countries mean no homologation and no bureucracy, but with two cabins and a large deck the Cranchi M38 ST is no small boat at all.

You step aboard a boat and you immediately feel at ease: that’s something that rarely happens, during our numerous sea trials, but it’s exactly what we feel once on board the Cranchi 38 ST. The wintery morning on the Venetian Lagoon is not enough to keep us cold to a very smart boat. Let’s then go through our test.


The designer had to match a good inner volume, necessary for two cabins, with the maximum LH (length of homologation) of ten meters. Style-wise, the homework has been done in the best way, as the proportions are balanced and the hard top is well concealed by the complex side window. The superstructure further dissimulates its size thanks to a bi-color painting. In the whole, the Cranchi 38 ST is a good looking boat, not original but well designed in all her parts. As for the hull, the Shipyard skills are known for these sizes, and we’ll soon prove it.

Cranchi M38 STDeck

The swim platform is wide, but it’s interrupted by the (optional) gangway. The starboard access leads straight to the lateral passage, while the port one enters the cockpit. On starboard side a cozy dinette can turn into a sunpad thanks to the lowering table; the fixed backseat though is a limit to the feeling of freedom and openness of the area: we’d like the chance to tilt it. Facing the dinette there’s a grill and a wet bar, while a chaise longue is placed under the soft top (sliding electrically).
The dashboard is elegant, with all the gauges nestled in a surface whose color contrasts with the hull. The setup is rational and ergonomic, although it lacks some space for extra devices. Two round skylights open to give air to the galley and the center cabin underneath.

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A large passageway leads to the foredeck and features a sturdy handrail on the sheer, although it misses one on the inner side. Once you get to the front, you find a comfortable sun bed with tilting seatbacks, cup holders, and a soft lining on the deckhouse side.

Cranchi M38 ST Interiors

Two cabins offer accommodation for four passengers, while another berth can be obtained by transforming the lower dinette. It’s more of an emergency solution, as the table and the couches work perfectly for dining together and cooking by the facing galley. The skylight above and the proximity to the companionway grant a good aeration. The designers’ choice went for a single, large head rather than two small ones. During the longer cruises the livability of this space will be much appreciated. The real surprise comes from the center cabin, which we don’t hesitate to call a proper master stateroom. Beside the headroom (2 meters by the entrance, 1.90 elsewhere), there’s a couch on the starboard whose length (1.60 mt) is enough for a child to sleep or for relaxing while staring at the sea. On the starboard side, two single beds and a center couch can become a king size bed, and the feeling to be on a 10 meters boat is long gone. The second cabin is in the bow, with a bed conveniently placed oblique on the port side, leaving a good room around.

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Test of Cranchi M38 ST

The two Volvo Penta D4, with sterndrives and bow thruster, are the only option available, leving the customer just the choice between the 260 or 300 HP powersteps. Our test boat mounted the latter, although the smaller ones can save you 10,000 Euros leaving on the ground just some knots of top speed. Is going fast that important on this boat?
The Adriatic sea, north of Venice by the Cranchi base in San Giorgio di Nogaro (Udine province), is not the kind of sea that can put this hull through the wringer: we’re talking of the well-known and reliable hull already seen on the M35. We realize a good study of aerodynamics, as we cruise with the soft top half-slid open without being disturbed by the wind or by any turbulence.
So, under a sunny sky we push the “pedal” to the metal and in a few seconds the 600 HP take the boat to the plane. The engine trim auto setting is off, while the one of the tabs is on and corrects the setup to balance it only when turning. There’s no wind and just two of us aboard, so there’s not much to balance.
We reach 3500 rpm and a top speed of 32.8 knots: when I repeat the test with the engine trims in automatic mode I see the speed at 2500 is higher (20.3 knots as compared to 18.1) and the consumption lower (57 lph instead of 59). The advantage is zero at 3000 but we get to a higher speed of 34.2 knots and rev up to 3600. We then suggest that, in case you go for the auto-setting option, you leave it to do the work, as it seems to operate pretty well. I leave it on still, and try the minimum planing speed: 1700 rpm, 10 knots and 26 lph. It definitely is economic cruising, while at 3000 the consumption is a quite consistent 70 lph. In order to test the hull, I cross repeatedly our wakes, and the behavior is very safe and predictable in any occasion, even when turning on the waves. Even in the most dangerous conditions that we can deliberately find, this M35 takes a full mark in the safety exam.

Technical features
Length overall 11,61 mt (38 ft 1 in)
Length hull 9,96 mt (32 ft 8 in)
Beam 3,88 mt (12 ft 9 in)
Draft 1,00 mt (3 ft 3 in)
Dry displacement 8800 Kg
Engines max 2×300 HP
Fuel tanks 600 lt (158.5 US gal)
Fresh water tank 190 lt (50.2 US gal)
Berths 4
Passengers 12
Design category B

Engines and prices
2×260 HP Volvo Penta D4 € 243.500
2×300 HP Volvo Penta D4 € 253.300

Standard equipment
15 Kg anchor with electric winch 700 Watt and chain – Grey water tank – Power-assisted engine room hatch – 3 batteries for engines – Water heater 25 lt (6.6 US gal) – Compass – Battery charger – Volvo Penta trim tab auto adjustment – Galley – Foredeck sunbed – Transom shower – Microwave oven – Hard top with electric sunroof – Volvo Penta Multisensor (temperature, speed, depth) – Wooden salon floor – Water pump – 6 fenders – Fusion Radio with USB – Teak cockpit table – Teak swim platform – Teak trim in cockpit – Electronic power steering – screen nets for windows

Air conditioning 16000 BTU – Joystick with cruise control, single level, trip computer, trim assistance – Black water tank – Cockpit cover – Bow shower – Painted hull – Opening side windows – Cockpit refrigerator – Garmin GPS and auto-pilot – Generator – Cockpit electric grill – Underwater lights – Windscreen shades – Hydraulic gangway – Heating system – Cockpit teak flooring – LED TV – VHF.

Test conditions
Calm sea, temperature 8° C (46 ° F), fuel 450 lt (119 US gal), water 180 lt (48 US gal), two passengers, clean hull, engines 2×300 HP

1000 rpm 6,5 knots 7.5 mph 6,9 l/h 1.8 gph 66 db
1500 rpm 8,7 knots 10.0 mph 20 l/h 5.3 gph 68 db
2000 rpm 11,0 knots 12.7 mph 38 l/h 10.0 gph 72 db
2500 rpm 18,8 knots 21.6 mph 59 l/h 15.6 gph 74 db
3000 rpm 26,1 knots 30.0 mph 74 l/h 19.5 gph 75 db
3500 rpm 32,8 knots 37.7 mph 113 l/h 29.8 gph 76 db

Theoretical range (10% reserve)
2000 rpm ………… 14h 10m
3000 rpm ………… 7h 10m
3500 rpm ………… 4h 40m

Builder: Cantiere Nautico Cranchi
Visit Cranchi website

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