Egg Harbor 38: Polishing the Golden Egg

EGG HARBOR HAS DEEP ROOTS IN SOUTH JERSEY boatbuilding. So it's only natural that the Egg Harbor 38 Golden Egg goes up against its neighbors- the Viking 38 and Ocean Yachts 38 Super Sport. That, of course, is like heading into a stiff northeast wind with no bridge enclosure. How does the 38 Golden Egg compete?

In the old days, the builder would rely heavily on the Egg moniker. But times change. Lately, and especially with our test boat (supplied by Avalon Point Marina in New Jersey), there's more emphasis on better fitting joinerwork, Avonite countertops, a reworked helm, cleaner fiberglass work with bright, white gel coat and upgraded engines for lively performance and longer range. In all, the builder's mission is to produce a limited number of semi-custom boats rather than production look-alikes.

Egg Harbor 38 Sportfisher BoattestBut the 38 Golden Egg also comes to the fray with a wider beam than its competitiors -15'- which adds living space below, fighting room in the cockpit and running surface underway.

In fact, from a distance I thought our test boat was too wide to squeeze through the drawbridge at Townsends Inlet, one of those South Jersey natural sloughs where you count the grains of sand on the bottom and hold your breath as you pass under the rusty steel girder. Yet it also gave me a hands-on feel for the boat's seakeeping manner. And with an outgoing tide ripping toward the ocean thanks to a full moon, I liked what I felt as the Egg spiked through the confused sea. Even without power steering, the Teleflex hydraulic system moved smoothly.

In deep ocean water off Avalon, the 407-hp 3126TA Cats pushed the 38 Golden Egg to 32.4 mph, with three persons aboard and a bellyful of fuel. And despite its streamlined look with glossy white gel coat, aluminum rails and fiberglass hardtop, the 38 handled the ocean swells and a 2' to 3' southeast wind chop nonchalantly. Squashing down what running sea there was, the 34,000-pound Egg felt larger than 38'. Credit goes to the solid-glass bottom, Baltek balsa-coring in the hullsides, decks and cabin top, fiberglass stringers and 10--degree transom deadrise.

Gas and other diesel options are available, but these in-line six-cylinder Cats would be my first choice. They smoked very little (even less when equipped with AirSep breathers), and are compact, which makes for a good-looking, tidy engine room that's easy to work in and around. Volvo Penta's 407-hp TAMD 73s are a no-cost option and 465-hp DDC 671 Tis boost the Cat power by $29,850. The new helm is very well done, with keyless ignitions. Gauge grouping is another improvement. The wheel and Teleflex controls are canted downward. I liked the wheel immediately but was less sure about the controls as they seemed awkward. But when I put the boat into the slip and had to deal with an eight-knot broadside current and barely enough room to maneuver between the test boat's pulpit and boats facing it on the opposite side, I was sold.

The finish on this boat is better than I've seen on any Egg Harbor in recent years. And with a choice of two interior arrangements along with offshore fishing amenities like a 5'6" long by 1'8" wide by 1'6" deep fishbox and common PVC hatch drains, the 38 Golden Egg is a smart cruiser/battlewagon.

Base price with the Cats is $389,700 ($639,366 in 2018 dollars). Options include fiberglass hardtop, electronic box, enclosure and flawless aluminum rails and half-tower by PipeTowers ($13,500) and MarineAir AC ($9,875). The Viking 38 with DDC 671TIs lists for $438,000 and the Ocean Yachts 38SS with 3208TA Cats is $368,000.


  • 43' EGG HARBOR 43 SPORT YACHT (2007)
    New! Available

    43' EGG HARBOR 43 SPORT YACHT (2007)

    This is as good as it gets for a Egg Harbor Sport Yacht, she is loaded with options and additions including, Twin Caterpillar C-12s with low hours, Westerbeke 6 KW generator, Seakeeper gyro, Custom bait tank 75 gallon with Launchers, New Carpet, retractable Flybridge electronics console, and the list goes on. You will not find a cleaner sport yacht than this one. Come see for yourself. PRELIMINARY LISTING, MORE SPECS AND PHOTOS TO COME...

    This is as good as it gets for a Egg Harbor Sport Yacht, she is loaded with options and...

    This is as good as it gets for a Egg Harbor Sport Yacht, she is loaded with options and additions including, Twin Caterpillar C-12s with low hours, Westerbeke 6 KW generator,...


This review/article originally appeared in Boating Magazine, November 1995 and is written by Peter Frederiksen. For more great boat reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: