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post #8 of Old 08-05-2004
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Babas? +/-''''s

I deeply respect Jeff H''s knowledge and experience but I almost always disagree with his opinions (lol)

This time, I was right with him on his discussion of Westsails, the only part I disagreed with was this:

"I know that there are strong proponents of this venerable design, but in my mind they only make sense in some narrow range of venues and for certain types of owners. While a bit of breeze brings these boats into life, even in 15 to 18 knots of wind they are slow compared to more modern designs"

When people talk about a Westsail being slow, what they really mean is that they take a bit to get moving initially. Once moving, they move as fast as other full keeled boats their size. My theoretical hull speed is about 7kts, and I regularly sail at 6.5 to 7kts (I did 8.5 under staysail alone with the Gulfstream at my back).

But, I''m just going to poke about at anything under 8kts, true. If I were racing another "modern design" and the wind picked up to 15-18kts, then no doubt the other guy would get the jump on me... but 5 minutes later, you probably wouldn''t see much difference in our speed.

So, the only venues that would preclude the Westsail would be short tacking races in light wind locals Not quite the narrow range Jeff mentioned

My Westsail is a slow roller, but I don''t find that as uncomfortable as a boat that makes a sharp tip. When sailing under staysail alone once (no main to dampen the roll), with 4-6 foot rollers on the beam, it felt like I was riding on the back of an elephant... once you get into the pattern of the roll, it''s not so bad.

I have the traditional layout with a double V berth, then pilot berths port and starboard, and settee seats that pull out for additional berths. I have a small drop leaf table on the center line. I find that it''s a little cramped sitting on a small settee cusion at the small table.

There is another layout where they remove the (usually port) pilot berth and instead mount the settee so the seats face fore and aft. This lets the table be more comfortable at the loss of a couple of berths. Would probably work well for you. If looking at the westsails, visit the owners association at: and then look at the member sites for pics of various layouts. My site is at

As for the Baba''s I''ve heard Bob say that it''s one of his favorite off-shore designs... so, if you have the wherewithall I''d say it''s a good choice too.

All in all, I''m very happy with my Westsail.
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