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ArcherBowman 11-04-2009 02:04 PM

West Wight Potter - 19
I'm right on the cusp of buying a West Wight Potter - 19. She's five years old, stored outdoors but with a custom boat cover. Fresh water lake only and, to all photographic appearances, seems to be flawlessly maintained. The C.O. was the O.O. and estimates that she's been on the lake fewer than 75 times. Because the lake prohibits any engines at all, the stock Honda 4-stroke has never been out of the box and has zero (0) hours on it.

My primary sailing grounds are going to be on Lake Loudon, a wide spot in the Tennessee River. There will be some limited overnighting from time to time, but we are mostly looking for a comfortable day-sailer where my spousal unit can get out of the weather when necessary.

This is the "interim boat" for my wife to learn to sail on while we march toward retirement. My retirement dream is to sell the WWP -19 in about 15 years and replace her with a cruising boat and make an Atlantic Crossing while I'm still young enough to do it.

So I'm asking of anyone with experience with WWP - 19's, am I buying the right boat?

jephotog 11-04-2009 04:09 PM

Hey Archer,
I have a WWP15, that I just got recently. I regularly hang out here for big boat know how and advice, and the plethora of knowledge and stories. I also aspire to bigger down the road. If you want to talk to the experts about Potters go here.

West Wight Potter Forum - Message Index

However if you want unbiased opinions about the Potter that is not the place to go:rolleyes:. We bought out Potter as our first big investment together ($1000) a few months back just before getting married. Our first sail together had winds gusting into the 20s and my wife was hooked, she is learning to sail also. My opinions of my potter which may apply to the 19 as well, I think.

  1. Light easy to tow with average vehicle
  2. Easy to launch 25 minutes.
  3. Docile fun to sail
  4. Great group of owners, like a club that gets together for cruises
  5. Can beach it while camping or daysailing
  6. Parts still available and relatively cheap.
  7. Can park in the driveway or garage even
  1. Light, no ballast must use body weight like a dingy
  2. Slow
  3. Does not point well.
  4. Cramped below (at least in my 15)
So doing the math the pros outweight the cons almost 2:1 and since every boat is a compromise..... As long as you are getting a good deal on the boat you can sail it for as long as you like then upgrade later. The true cost of owning a trailer sailor is minimal beyond initial purchase and upgrades. Even when we get something bigger we would keep the Potter to have to drag behind a car and drop into any lake when we go places. I say go for it.

ArcherBowman 11-04-2009 04:18 PM

Choices - Old Boat Vs New Boat
It's gotten more complicated than my original post. Now I have to pick between two boats. I've found a WWP 19 that I really like, but I have also found a Hunter 19 that appears to be the same boat as far as features go. The WWP is $11,000.00 and the Hunter is $5,000.00. The big difference is that the Potter is only 5 years old. The Hunter is over 10. The Potter has been in fresh water only, and has a brand new engine. The Hunter has spent the last year in salt water and has a working but well-used engine.

What to do?

This is the single largest purchase I've ever made. (The house was a gimmie - we had inherited half the value in it.) All cars have been bought used.

I don't mind tellin' ya, I'm on pins and needles over this.


JohnRPollard 11-04-2009 04:26 PM

There is a long article in the October issue of Messing About in Boats (continued into the November issue, which I haven't received yet) by a guy who took his WWP 19 from NJ to the Bahamas last winter, via the ICW. Great read so far. Capable little boat, too.

My vote would be for the WWP -- maybe you can get him down a little.

ArcherBowman 11-04-2009 04:34 PM

I've haven't seen that, but I keep running into the references to the guy who sailed a WWP-19 from California to Hawaii. It wasn't stock. He strengthened the hull and added ballast to the keel. But still . . .

jephotog 11-04-2009 04:37 PM

Not sure on pricing but as winter approaches and boats don't sale, might be able to get the price down. If the hunter has been run hard, you might spend much of the difference in purchase price fixing it up.

I did not want to throw any other boats in the mix to complicate things but since you have already opened that can....
Look at Montgomery 17s. A bit smaller than the WWP19 but better built, better sailors (Lyle Hess designed). One person had is custom built and is using it to act as his bluewater cruiser. Bought it in California and is sailing it to Europe, I think.

jephotog 11-04-2009 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by ArcherBowman (Post 538517)
I've haven't seen that, but I keep running into the references to the guy who sailed a WWP-19 from California to Hawaii. It wasn't stock. He strengthened the hull and added ballast to the keel. But still . . .

That guy sailed to HI again. This time he chose a bigger boat. A J35 for the second trip.

jephotog 11-04-2009 05:37 PM

nmellon 12-07-2009 02:21 PM

My situation is very similar. I used to own a larger keelboat but rarely got to the coast where I had her tied up. I bought a 1985 Potter 19 as an interim boat to keep me on the water for the next five years or so. The P-19 has been perfect for me. I trailer it with our mini-van and sail it on local lakes as well as at the coast. Despite the fact that there are 4 berths I really only consider the P-19 comfortable for two adults or for one adult and two kids. While it is a slow boat and does not point particularly well I feel very safe in it when I'm single handing a few miles offshore. If cost is an issue I would consider any Potter made in the 90s by International Marine to be a fine choice. My 1985 P-19 was built with poorer construction standards so I had to a bit of work to her (mostly beefing up the centerboard trunk and adding backing plates for the deck hardware)

Ned Mellon

ArcherBowman 12-07-2009 03:00 PM

Boat Bought
Well - for the interested, I went with the West Wight Potter - 19. <i>September Blue</i> is now trailered in Knoxville TN, and will be mostly sailing on the smooth, sweet waters of East Tennessee.

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