Written by Luca D'Ambrosio
27 July 2022
Thinking about the Pardo 38, if your mind evokes glamorous scenes of classy cocktails enjoyed in the trendiest of ports and anchorages, you would only be partially right.
While her bold beauty is clear at first sight, to better understand her marine qualities, her innate ability to meet the multiple needs of a day at sea and her unassuming predisposition for medium-range cruising, you need to take a more in-depth, analytical and complete look.
To understand the real reason for the global success of this open yacht, you need to climb on board, cruise and spend time on it.
Only then can you understand the thousands of facets that this small jewel is able to synthesise within just 12 metres of length.
And that’s why, as soon as I got the chance, I didn’t hesitate to climb aboard the brand new Pardo 38 that was waiting in the waters of Lake Garda, Italy, complete in white livery.
A beautiful day welcomes our exit from the port of Moniga del Garda. It’s sunny, there’s no wind and the flat water of the lake reflects the nearby vegetation, which couldn’t be any greener.
We proceed at low speed while the inverted bow cuts through the water’s surface, gently rippling it, with no drag marks aft.
Excellent premises for what is a completely new hull, specially designed for the Pardo 38.
Featuring a deadrise angle of over 15 degrees and a very pronounced V-bow profile, these waterlines guarantee excellent seaworthiness and a soft ride on the waves.
Among the numerous engine options available – both sterndrive and outboard – the owner of this Pardo 38 has chosen twin Volvo Penta D6s at 380 hp each.
It’s a medium yet light power, both in overall weight and fuel consumption. Speeding up a little more, the supercharger comes online with a striking progression. The Pardo 38 increases speed without any visible effort while sailing with a perfect trim.
At cruising speed and 3,000 rpm, the boat hits more than 31 knots with the same comfort as a 50-footer and the same fuel consumption as a RIB – 3 litres per nautical mile; 93 litres per hour.
In these conditions, we could travel the distance that separates La Spezia from the island of Capraia in two hours, in first-class comfort and with very low emissions.
I push the throttles forward as I’m keen to see how far the Pardo 38 can go. There’s clearly power to spare and I can feel the acceleration of the boat while the GPS ticks up increasingly important numbers.
Adjusting the drives until I feel the propellers almost breathe, then giving them just a click down, and suddenly both the trim and speed are at the maximum. The log touches 40 knots.
It’s very good performance from the youngest member in the Pardo Yachts family, which at this speed registers fuel consumption at less than 155 litres per hour. I slow down and, at 27 to 28 knots, perform some turns.
The turning angle becomes increasingly tighter. We’re turning with a diameter of no more than 20 metres.
I take my hands off and the Pardo 38 remains in trajectory without blinking – and without reducing her speed. I counter-turn and cross our wake, but the boat proceeds undisturbed with no shocks – what a hull.
The deck plan of this walkaround is full of ingenious touches that make it capable of instantly adapting to the thousands of situations that life at sea requires every day.
A brilliant example is the central table with two seats that can switch from a dining space for six to eight guests to a huge additional sundeck in the blink of an eye.
The same area is equipped with an electric folding awning that extends and covers much more than you’d expect.
The result is a large shaded area, excellent on sunny days. The T-Top is another small masterpiece. Sturdy and vibration-free, it perfectly covers the helm station, the three pilot seats and the wet bar positioned just behind them.
Looking from the stern platform toward the bow, you realise that the Pardo 38 embodies the true walkaround concept.
From here to the bow, on the port and the starboard side, the gaze catches the expanse of synthetic teak, whose only limit lies in the bulwarks that guarantee a safe and carefree circulation on board.
This means you can enjoy every single centimetre of this boat, which can accommodate a family and some friends for a day out in total comfort.
The bulwarks are high and wide, making it possible to accommodate some additional seats and lateral storage compartments, further improving comfort on board.
The bow, another touch of genius, houses a sundeck and, at the exact point where the side decks converge, creates what must surely be the most appreciated seat during navigation or, even better, a platform for the most exciting diving experiences of the summer.
A little further down, retractable from the beautiful inverted bow, the anchor only appears when necessary, leaving the profile uncluttered and elegant.
And yet, the surprises within the Pardo 38 aren’t over yet.
From a yacht like this, which doesn’t have any external protuberances and boasts a very clean and dry line, you might expect very small interiors and limited spaces. Instead, the space that appears in front of your eyes is immeasurably wider than the exteriors suggest.
A large central bed – accessible from both sides and equipped with a drawer – dominates an open space that can accommodate two side cabinets and an extraordinarily large separate bathroom. The second surprise comes down the entrance staircase.
Two single beds with central walkway bring the number of berths to four; all comfortable and available without having to raise, lower or convert anything.
Pure luxury goes beyond mere beauty and refined finishes to encompass absolute comfort.
On board the Pardo 38, the presence of all these qualities converge to provide an unmistakable experience on the water that is all Italian class.