John page williams
The following review was written by John Page Williams, Editor-at-large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine. John, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, has been a regular contributor to Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, specializing in environmental issues, nature, wildlife, fishing and boats. He has been testing new and used boats for the magazine's Time-Tested and New Boat News departments since 1998.

LOA  38' 9"
Beam  13' 1"
Draft 4'        
Weight 21,000 lb  
Fuel 200-330 gal
Water 60-90 gal        
Waste 25-40 gal

In Yarmouth, Maine, brothers Jamie and Joe Lowell carry on a four-generation tradition of building Downeast workboats and “lobster yachts.” Thus it’s appropriate that hull number one of the new Lowell 38 should be named Thorobred. She’s an elegant sedan cruiser with a hull that rides easily at displacement speeds, cruises efficiently from the upper teens to the low-30s, and, with her 800-hp MAN common-rail diesel turned up, shows her heels at 39 mph.

Credit that range of effective speeds to the evolution of hull shape, construction materials and diesel power. Visit the Lowell Brothers extensive website for links to multiple videos of Thorobred from her hull leaving the mold through a 360-degree view of her shape to sea trials at multiple speeds.

Hull construction is cored fiberglass and vinylester resin for strength, with carbon fiber and epoxy resin in the deckhouse for stability. Her elegantly shaped, nearly flat “skeg-built” running bottom flows into a built-down belly just large enough to mount her MAN low, for an efficient propeller shaft angle, with tight chine radius to throw spray outward. That midships shape carries the engine and saloon, with the flared bow fine enough to cleave seas while allowing space for a comfortable V-berth. The shape is an effective hybrid of two Downeast hull forms. According to her owner, “Thorobred peels the water away very efficiently.”

Accommodations are simple but comfortable, with galley up in the saloon, opposite a settee and table, helm and companion seats (with chart table) to port, and in the cabin a head with enclosed shower and a settee aft of the V-berth. Cabinetwork is lovely. Since every Lowell 38 is built to suit owners’ needs, the price is variable, but figure on $500,000 as a starting point. For more information, contact Lowell Brothers, Even Keel Marine Specialties, Inc., Yarmouth, Maine. 207-846-4878;