So here’s the dream. Sailing around the Pacific Northwest for a year or so to get our sea legs and then sail down the coast to Mexico and perhaps lands beyond. Who knows where the lust for distant places will take us? But we have to get the boat first. And become a lot more comfortable with our skills. We have sailed a few years learning on our wonderful old Thunderbird, but are looking for something a lot more comfortable and substantial (and less tender).
I don’t know if either my wife or I could stomach the offshore stuff, but I would like to try at some point. But the clincher is that my wife is very nervous about the idea of being more than a stone’s throw from shore, and to help her with her anxiety I want to be able to reassure her that the boat we are in is as safe as possible! Not that some folks have taken it offshore, not that the odds are in our favour, but that this boat is up to anything we would likely run into as we sail down the coast.
Given that, I have been looking at Westsail 32s, not only because they seem bulletproof as far as seaworthy goes (the Satori was abandoned in the same storm highlighted in the novel the Perfect Storm and yet weathered the storm fine all by herself – I like that – I can have the heart attack or fall off the boat or pulled off by a giant squid
and my dear wife will still be taken care of) but they also fit in with my own personal philosophy that smaller is better. However, I am concerned by several comments and reviews that I have read that describe the boat as an anachronistic slug. A tank with a big flag fluttering above it. The owners don’t seem to think so but everyone else does.
There are legions of production boats available that everyone also argues about, but I couldn’t look my wife in the eye and tell her we are as safe as we would be in anything in our newly-acquired Catalina or Hunter. So what about something in between - a very seaworthy boat that can take a lot more than I can, and yet sails better than the Westsail, has a reasonable amount of space inside for cruising, is under 36 feet, costs well under $100,000, is very well built, comfortable at sea and anchor and there were more than ten made and so the odds are that one would be available. It should have a high angle of vanishing stability, point well, track easily, and be comfortably handled by two.
A fast Westsail 32 would be about right
Any advice on this would be much appreciated. It seems that boats are most often made for performance or seaworthiness but if you want both you are looking at big $$$$.