Wondertime is a 38′ ketch built to a custom design by Jay Benford, commissioned by her original owner/builder in the 1970s. Her hull and decks were laid up by Miller Marine of Bainbridge Island, Washington in 1978. Her bare hull was presumably trucked down to Southern California where her original owner finished out the interior. She was finally launched in 1985 under her first name of Meridian Passage.
Wondertime sports a cruising fin/skeg-mounted rudder and is built of Airex-cored fiberglass; despite appearances she is hands-down the quickest boat we have owned. She has a large, comfortable and dry center cockpit featuring both fore and aft companionways into the boat.
Her interior is utterly unique: the aft companionway leads you to our “great room” featuring a roomy dinette aft (it is actually two separate seats instead of the wrap-around shown in the original line drawings), galley to starboard and additional galley/navigation counter space to port. Continuing forward past the navigation counter is a walkthrough past the engine room with excellent accessibility and a pilot berth (er, storage) outboard. Our forward space contains the sleeping areas: a double bunk to starboard (next to the forward companionway ladder), a head with sink and shower to port and in the bow, a separate room with two stacked bunks and lots of storage space.
We fell in love with this boat from the first time we stepped aboard; the designer and original owner put a great deal of thought into nearly every detail. We have never seen such efficient use of space and storage in a 38′ boat. She was built to very high standards of quality as well. Not only is Wondertime quite comfortable to live aboard but is also very fun to sail. We have come to really enjoy the versatility of her ketch rig. We think we’ll go a long way together.
Our Benford 38 is featured in Jay Benford’s book Cruising Yachts.
Here is a link to the Benford 34/38 design pdf
LWL: 30′ 6″
Displacement: 20,700 lbs
Draft: 5′ 9″
Ballast: 6000 lbs
Engine: Isuzu Pisces 40hp
Fuel: 100 gallons
Water: 200 gallons