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  #1  
Old 11-02-2002
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opinions on Bayfield 32?

Anyone have opinions or information on Bayfield 32''s? Is it a sea worthy vessel? Is there a Bayfield owners association website? All info. is appreciated.
Thanks,
Ernie
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2002
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opinions on Bayfield 32?

To begin with, the suitablity of a Bayfield 32 heavily depends on where and how you plan to use the boat. For example if you enjoy spending time under sail, these would not be ideal boats for use in a light air venue such as much of the southern US Atlantic Coast and areas like the Chesapeake Bay or Long Island Sound.

Although I have no first hand knowledge of this, the Bayfields do have a good reputation for their build quality. While these are not my taste in boats, Bayfields seem to have a strong following.

Looking at the Bayfield 32 specifically the design falls in a very funny category. While the Bayfield 32 looks very traditional, looking closely at the lines this is neither a traditional design as derived from a working watercraft. (Traditional watercraft had hullforms that were carefully modeled from long periods of evolution in boats that represented hundreds of years of experience dealing with the realities of the sea. While this design has some visually traditional cues, the hullform and rig really do not reflect traditionally watercraft typeforms.) Nor is it a truely modern design. As a result I would expect that the boat would neither have the strengths of either typeform and might also have some of the weaknesses of both typeforms.

Some of this strictly reflects my own personal experiences and prejudices, but having owned boats with bowsprits, I really think that there is no excuse for a bowsprit as a part of the sailplan on any boat designed in the late 20th century. (I understand that extended anchor platforms make some sense) It is solely an affectation that comes with some pretty big price tags. To begin with most marinas charge for length including the bowsprit so you are paying to store a longer boat than you actually have the advantage of using. Bowsprits place a fair amount of weight and surface area out in front of the flotation plane. This adds to pitching and the likelihood of taking green water over the bow. If a furler jambs or you need to remove the headsail in heavy going (a far more common event than we all like to think) you are perched in a far more vulnerable position trying to wrestle with the sail and waves.

Another feature of the Bayfield 32 that concerns me in a blue water boat is the design of the cockpit. The foot well is quite small and interupted by the wheel making the it seem smaller and less useable still. BUT my big criticism is with the volume of water that it can hold. The arrangement of the coamings and cubby holes are such that these boats can hold an enormous volume (weight) of water if this boat were ever pooped. There are no freeing ports in the coamings making repetative pooping all the more likely. The height of water likly to be captured in the cockpit is well above the sill of the companionway. The sill height would be more than adequate if the coamings had freeing ports but the cockpit layout is such that signifcant downflooding would be likely in a pooping situation.

These boats came with two different engines. Both Yanmars. I like Yanmars a lot but the smaller two cylinder 15 hp diesels really is not up to handling a high wetted surface, high windage, 10,000 lb boat (really closer to 13000 to 14000 fully loaded.) The larger 3GM30 is probably a better choice for a boat like this.

While I have not sailed a Bayfield 32, I suggest that you try to do your sail trial on a windy day. These boats have approximately 4000 lbs of ballast which is not too bad on a 10,000 lb boat. But these are shoal draft boats and shoal draft boats generally need a higher ballast ratio to get their vertical center of gravity down. The Bayfields have a very heavy rig, deck and hull and a lot of high storage areas which would suggest minimal stability when fully loaded and the Ballast ratio drops to 25% to 30%.

Another issue with these boats is the keel arrangement. Although these boats are sold as a full keel boat, they have so much of the forefoot cut away, and the rudder so far forward that the are much closer to a fin keel with attached rudder(by the classic definition where a fin keel is any keel whose bottom length is 50% or less of the length of the base of the sailplan.) This set up neither offers the advantages of a full length keel (tracking ability and ease of hauling for example) nor does it offer the advantages of a fin keel, skeg hung spade rudder (lighter helm loads, better manuevering etc.), Beyond that in a properly designed fin keel boat, the rudder is generally substantially shallower than the keel. In this case the rudder is only a couple inches above the keel bottom making it very susceptable to damage in a grounding.

I also think that the galley lasks adequate working surfaces for a 32 foot offshore boat but that is also a bit subjective and may reflect more about my own way of cooking vs someone elses.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 09-04-2010
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I'm sorry to disagree, as we have had our 1987 Bayfield 32C for over 20 years and she is an absolute beauty, she sails wonderfully and has blown away many other boats even larger than her. We sailed her for the most part on Lake Winnipeg (Canada) which is one of the 10th largest Fresh Water Lakes. Being that there were several fishermen on the lake with nets that went across large portions of the lake and were not always very well marked, we had no problem as the full keel and attached large rudder could sail or motor over these nets without a problem, as the 3 blade bronze propeller is fully protected, unlike a lot of other boats. I disagree with the "fin keel" even though you are quoting numbers due to it's cut away fore foot.
We absolutely love out boat, and have just recently moved to British Columbia (Vancouver Island) in Canada and loved her so much, could not part with her on the move. It cost us quite a bit to move her, but that was ok, because we are enjoying her in another cruising ground. We do have the Yanmar 3GM30 and I do agree that they are much better than earlier models, especially when you are dealing with tides and currents on the west coast. The extended bowsprit is to accommodate a larger sail area than the earlier models (ours is 662 sq ft if rigged as a cutter) and they do sail much better. Our boat can be sailed as a cutter or a sloop as she has a hi -field lever and in big winds, the cutter rig with only the staysail up and with the 3rd reef in the main she actually is so well balanced, she sails herself! Because the galley could use a little more counter space, we have added a teak table that hinges up or down (behind the "L" settee and that adds more counterspace, and can be folded down when not in use. The beauty of the 1987 models like ours is that a the main salon table is not fixed and can fold up and away, fold down when just two or 3 of you, and fold down and across if you have 7 or more people in the main salon. I could go on and on about all the features that our particular Bayfield 32C has, like 8 opening Atkins & Hoyle ports and all screened (teak) companionway and hatches. She truly is a gem and the unfortunate thing for us now is that we have bought a Bayfield 36 in the BVI's because we wanted a little larger boat to support our expanding family. I will definitely miss our 32C as she had a draft of only 3'9" and the 36 draws 6' - so we will miss getting inand out of all the little coves that we could get into with our 32C. We had looked at the 36 and 40 for years and never dreamed that we would own one (actually the bank owns her until we sell the other one). Also even though they are the same age (1987) our 32C looks like she's brand new because she's been in fresh water for most of her life, and the 36 we bought has been in the Caribbean for a number of years, so naturally she needs a lot of TLC. I will be so sad the day that we sell our Bayfield 32C which is approaching quickly. We are in the midst of listing her for sale with great sadness, but we cannot hold on to her, as we are not able to afford both boats. If you happen to know anyone that is interested in a truly "mint" boat that has been meticulously maintained and has so many upgrades unbelievable. We truly will never ever get back what we put into this boat, and I know a lot of people say that, but truthfully, all of our friends and aquaintances from our marina that have seen our Bayfield 32C just out of interest are truly amazed, as she is in "new" conditionand they cannot believe that we are going to sell her.
So, I'm sorry to disagree with your opinion of the Bayfield 32's especially the Bayfield 32C's but unlike many of you who have never owned or sailed one for a long period of time, I just had to set the record straight, and I can tell you that if this boat was not worth it to us, we certainly would not have put all that we put into her over the past 20+ years, nor would be have spent thousands of dollars to bring her to the west coast of Canada. The main reason why we didn't sell her before we went to the BVI's to see the Bayfield 36 is that we know we could never ever ever replace her.
Thanks for listening.
From
El Amuleto 1987 Bayfield 32C- Truly "The Gem of the Island"
P.S. we do have a website and an e-mail address for anyone who is interested in seeing such an amazing boat and the list of all we have on her, or if you have a Bayfield 32C and want to get some ideas - take a look at the website or e-mail us and we will send you all the information we've put together on her, which took quite a long time, I can assure you.

Last edited by elamuleto; 09-04-2010 at 03:13 PM. Reason: repeated a sentence
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Old 09-04-2010
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What website?
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Old 09-05-2010
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Here's my take on Bayfield's, for a number of years we had a 29 - beautiful boat but a lot of wood to take care of, she sailed well in all weather whether good or very bad and very comfortable motion in a seaway (we sail mostly in the Gulf). We sold her when we bought the Bristol, and the guy that bought her outfitted and headed out to sail around the word. Did he make it all the way? I have no idea.
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Old 09-05-2010
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Elamuleto, don't be sorry to disagree. At least you have actual experience with the boat in question. Just a quick yahoo search turned up 3 reviews of the Bayfield 32 including one by Jack Horner, as well as a link to a Bayfield 32 refit by the fellow at Atom Voyages. I especially enjoy the article about when H.T. Gozzard was challenged to a race by a Douglas 32 owner, and he had his mast lengthened by seven feet to assure better speed in the light air on Lake Ontario. He won. Being the boss has perks. Anyway, just look around.

Last edited by seabreeze_97; 09-05-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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