WESTSAIL 32 and similar
Many of the posts have made some good points, others are so far off they have no basis in reality. I''m the first to admit that a W/32 isn''t the right boat for everyone, no boat is. When someone talks about buying a Westsail I ask what their plans are. If it''s weekends, vacation, and a possible trip to Mexico, I reccomend something like a Catalina 36. Although the last two peoiple bought Westsails anyway. Westsails are for long distance voyaging. If I had a nickle for everyone who said they were going crusing, I truly would be rich as most people never make it. Most of the kit boats are more than average quality, some are extraodinary. I''ve seen two that were better than any professionially built yacht. Some of the interiors are dark some are light, find the one you like. We spend our summers in 100 deg.+ heat, ventilation isn''t a problem. Our boat is anything but tender and that''s the first time I''ve heard that one. In some conditons they are more prone to rolling than a modern hull, but easy to deal with if you know what you''re doing. You do pay a penilty for the bowsprit in most marinas and they are not fun to out on in rough conditions, but a Profurl took care of that. I can''t remember how many times owners of 35-40 ft. boats have commented on how much more storage and carrying capacity we had then them. This has always been a strong point for the 32. Now as for the "Clawing off a lee shore". This fable is from the days before GPS and should rarely be a problem with modern navigation. We sail the Pacific coast which is usually rough and can be tricky. The one time we boxed ourselves in, pre GPS, the boat got us out of trouble without a problem.
Speed, this is the one you hear most. No they are not going to win beer can races, they were''nt suppose to, they were built to cross oceans. One Cal passing a 32 doesn''t tell us anything. Our club is full of Cal 25''s and I''ve probabbly passed most of them. I''m also not saying there isn''t light wind conditions that a Cal wouldn''t pass me in. I''ve passed countless boats and it doesn''t mean I''m faster. Friends on a Hunter 32 and a Catilina 30 left Monterey 1/2 Hr. before us. We caught and passed them before getting to Moss Landing in 8-10 knots. We followed a friend down the coast on her Islander 36. She couldn''t believe a Westsail stayed right on her stern the whole way. By the way, she''s still an active racer who once was on the olynpic team. In the 2003 puddle Jump there were 23 boats. the average length except for the two Westsails was 45.7 and the crossing 23 days. One Westsail, singlehanded crossed in 22 days and the other in 28 days. I''m not claiming the boats are fast, just not the slugs some people claim they are and when doing what they were designed to do, can more than hold their own. I''m also not saying Westsails are for everyone, because most people are only dreaming snd aren''t going anywhere. But if you really want a bullet proof long distance crusing under 35'', a Westsail is hard to beat. For 32'' they''re exceptionally strong, carry a payload that rivils many 35-40 footers, have a good turn of speed and a really clean one can be found for less than 50K. Westsail do have their short falls, but for a true voyaging boat under 35'' the''re one of the best, if not, at least the best buy.