A Closer Look at the Williams 38

The Williams 38 might seem sweet and subdued, but she’s a vixen that can hit 40 knots.

Williams 38, Zurn Yacht Design
The Williams 38 has underwater exhaust, soft mounts for twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 diesels and solid fiberglass collars around the pod drives.Courtesy Zurn Yacht Design

Why yes, those are Volvo Penta pod drives beneath the transom on the Williams 38. She's new from Zurn Yacht Design and the John Williams Boat Company. She might appear to be a traditional wood-construction lobster boat — the kind that has meandered the Maine coastline for generations — but instead she is a 40-knot yacht whose hull is vinylester resin, stitched E-glass and Core-Cell.

The shipyard is based in Mount Desert, where it has long supplied boats to Maine’s commercial fishermen. About 12 years ago, the yard started finishing its designs for the pleasure-boat crowd. Enter designer Doug Zurn of Massachusetts, whom shipyard owner John “Jock” Williams had met some 25 years ago on a delivery. They have now decided the market timing is right for a collaboration.

Doug Zurn, Zurn Yacht Design, Williams 38
Doug Zurn’s team at Zurn Yacht Design penned the lines for the Williams 38.Courtesy Zurn Yacht Design

The Williams 38 has underwater exhaust, soft mounts for twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 diesels and solid fiberglass collars around the pod drives: a combination that, Zurn says, creates “the quietest propulsion package available in the production engine market.” Top speed is estimated at 40 knots, cruising speed is expected to be 33 knots, and fuel burn is pegged at 28 gph at a range of more than 300 miles.

Interiors are custom. As you can see in the rendering, the initial concept is for an open plan. Amenities include a galley, a head with separate shower and a V-berth for overnights. We’re told Hull No. 1 is being built now. Seems like a great reason to plan a fishing trip Downeast for next summer.