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Old 08-15-2007
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westsail 32, that bad?

i have narrowed my choices a lot and i've come back to where I started, I love the westsail. I am speaking from a asthetic point of view and a personal love of teh look, and interior feel.

however, as I searched threads everyone seems to more or less advise against.

Personally i like the pacific seacrafts in teh 30 foot range better, but they are much more expensive from what i've seen.

So whats the truth about westsail, that bad, will it truly be a huge mistake to purchase one?

I know they are slow, but are they really THAT slow?

I'm trying to stay away from owner finished boats, i realize that craftsmanship will vary.

i'd love ot hear from experiences from some true westsail owners!

This boat will be lived aboard for a year or two and eventually taken all over the globe
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Old 08-15-2007
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It depends on how you sail. They are pokey by design, being a frequently owner-finished kit boat conforming to the ideals of what a 1970s offshore cutter should be.

Having said that, it is one of the very few boats under 35 feet I would happily crew upon on a delivery. It is a PROVEN design that will get you home...but it dates from a time before technology allowed us to avoid most of the heavy weather the Westsail 32 was expected to stumble upon in the course of normal passagemaking.

If you invest in new running gear and a suit of light-air sails, and if you are fastidious about keeping the bottom clean and perhaps if you get a feathering prop, you can improve to a considerable degree the Westsail's very modest light-air performance. Whether this is meaningful for you will again depend on your sailing style and habits. It will go as fast as any other 32 footer (i.e. hull speed) in the right wind, but will likely be more comfortable a ride than most.

As a liveaboard and as a global passagemaker, they are very good if the price is right. As a round-the-cans club racer, they are, to put it mildly, complete dogs. But were I alone at night on the Atlantic in fall, I'd be happy to be on one.

Read Ferenc Mate's books on customizing and "after-marketing" Westsail 32s. I saw one a couple of weeks ago at Cobourg, Ontario, up from New York City, and it was replete with the usual semi-homemade gear, improvised solar and wind, etc. and cruddy looking vane that marks both the budget cruiser and a sailor who does a LOT more sailing than the typical weekend warrior. The boat looked like a Land Rover on its tenth safari, but it also looked extremely capable and comfortable.
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Old 08-15-2007
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There's an excellent article in the current issue of SOUNDINGS by a guy who sailed his Westsail 32 to Bermuda in the One-Two race in June.

Wetsnail 32's are known to be a bit pokey, but very strong. They have a comfortable motion for a boat of that size, and many of them have circled the globe.

If you really like 'em, aren't concerned with getting anywhere fast, and don't care too much about resale value, go for it!

Bill
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whats the problem with resale value? i was under the impression they hold well?
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Old 08-15-2007
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Some good friends of mine left San Fran. in his Westsail 32 in the late seventies, stayed in the south pacific for a number of year then finished the trip around a few years ago. That boat is the meaning of blue water. They said that once they fitted a folding prop in NZ, they were able to gain a full day on a ten day passage, so there are things you can do to max your speed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmeriCdn View Post
whats the problem with resale value? i was under the impression they hold well?
How many have you seen? Every one I've seen (I guess about four or so) have looked from medium-worn to semi-destroyed in terms of varnish and trim. Maybe they were nice down below, but they all looked pretty beat up on deck and in their gear. This could be because of the generally conservative nature of their owners, favouring ratty ratlines made of seized manila, corroded bronze manual windlasses, and Dacron sails with more patches than Cher's backside.
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Westsail 32s are boats that were designed to get you there...not fast, not in style...but definitely get you there. IIRC, a Westsail 32, Satori, was one of the survivors of the "Perfect Storm".
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Old 08-15-2007
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For a boat that "will be lived aboard for a year or two and eventually taken all over the globe", I think the WestSail 32 is an excellent choice for a minimal to modest budget.

It sounds like you've heard the negatives and the positives. Why not ask someone to take you for a sale on one? Or how about a seatrial?

If you only like the W32 for the aesthetic appeal and interior feel, you can probably find other boats that will also satisfy you. However, the bluewater ability of the W32 and the looks and feel for the price might be unmatched.

I think it basically boils down to your sailing priorities. Do you want to get there fast? Maybe look elsewhere. Do you prefer to enjoy the journey and want the peace of mind that a proven boat gives? The WestSail is a good choice.

Another factor is your budget. How much do you have to spend? How much do you have to refit/outfit the boat? I'm assuming part of the WestSail's appeal to you is the value/price.

For what it's worth, the WestSail 32 is on my list of potential purchases for a future round-the-globe trip. A few of my other choices include the PSC 27/31, Southern Cross 31 and the Ta Shing Baba 30 (pricey!).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Westsail 32s are boats that were designed to get you there...not fast, not in style...but definitely get you there. IIRC, a Westsail 32, Satori, was one of the survivors of the "Perfect Storm".
The sailboat rescue seen in Perfect Storm was based on Satori. Here is Satoris link, there is a little video in there that the CG took during the rescue. Satori was found on Assateaque a few days later, no damage to the boat other than from the beaching, she survived the storm just fine, the crew was the weak link.

http://www.westsail.org/satori.html


http://www.uscg.mil/news/perfectstorm/realstorm.html
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Yes, I know the boat in the movie was based on Satori... the crew is often the weak link. There was a couple pulled off of a catamaran off of Mexico last year. The man designed the catamaran, and his boat was found floating, working as a sea bird colony, a few months later. AFAIK, it is still afloat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapperwhite View Post
The sailboat rescue seen in Perfect Storm was based on Satori. Here is Satoris link, there is a little video in there that the CG took during the rescue. Satori was found on Assateaque a few days later, no damage to the boat other than from the beaching, she survived the storm just fine, the crew was the weak link.

http://www.westsail.org/satori.html


http://www.uscg.mil/news/perfectstorm/realstorm.html
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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