England's Westerly yachts have been admired for high standards of craftsmanship and conservative offshore designs for many years. The new Westerly Ocean 43 enhances that reputation with a Ron Holland designed hull and modern construction techniques.
Holland did a masterful job of updating the underbody of the 43 while preserving the distinctly Westerly look above the waterline. The deck lines flow smoothly into the traditional small, deep English center cockpit. A retrousse transom with built-in boarding platform lends a modernizing touch.
The new 43 hull is balsa cored using vinylester resin and the "SCRIMP" method. This system eliminates voids and results in an exceptionally strong, light laminate with good insulation properties. With a displacement/length ratio of 287, the Westerly falls nicely into the moderate performance cruising category. The external lead keel is fastened with stainless steel bolts and gives a ballast/displacement ratio of 40.7 percent for good stability.
The 43's simple sloop rig with small foretriangle provides a reasonable and easily handled sail area/displacement ratio of 17. The standard fully battened main can be replaced with an in-mast roller furler option. Sail controls were designed for ease of use and leave the cockpit and decks virtually uncluttered. At 64 feet off the water, the stick will clear most US bridges.
The 50 hp Yanmar diesel has adequate maintenance space in a walk-in engine room. The optional 65 hp engine may be desirable when docking the 43's considerable freeboard in a crosswind. Tankage should be adequate for most cruising couples with 88 gallons of fuel and 132 gallons of fresh water. Better than normal bilge pumps, dockside 110-Volt system, and batteries are standard.
Down below, the 43 continues to reflect her updated Westerly heritage. A special low maintenance teak and holly sole laminate enhances a choice of oak or teak paneling. The interior layout provides up to three separate cabins, although the forward "wing cabin" is child-sized and probably better used as storage. The two heads, aft shower and galley are generously proportioned and the aft cabin queen island berth has unusually good access.
The most surprising thing about the new Westerly 43 is the extensive standard equipment list. From the sails, lazy jacks and spinnaker deck gear to the anchor, windlass and 165' of chain, the Westerly is nearly ready for cruising. Even the fenders and dock lines are included. There are options, of course, but the list barely fills one page.
At a list price of US$356,353 for the standard boat, the Westerly 43 comes in near the median of competitors in her size range. Given her level of design and construction quality, the 43 may be the start of another British Invasion.
Westerly 43 Specs:
Ballast: 12,123 Sail Area: 1,024 sq.ft.
Westerly Group Limited
Hamble Point Marina School Lane
Hamble Southampton, SO31 4NB, England