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  #1  
Old 04-30-2003
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Thoughts on WestSail 32

We have been reading articles on these boats for a while. Are there other boats that are comparable in price, space, strength, and displacement?
We like these boats, but would like to keep an open mind to other possibilities.
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Old 05-01-2003
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Thoughts on WestSail 32

In my opinion, here is the deal with the Westsail 32''s. There are lots of boats that offer equal or better space, strength, seaworthiness and carrying capacity for essentially the same price. Most of these sail on a longer waterline and have a longer overall length. In a general sense that results in better speed, ease of handling in a blow, and a more comfortable motion. The other issue is that many of these boats were kit built by amateurs and while build quality of the home builts can be quite good, it often isn''t. I have mentioned before an amatuer finished version which has concrete and steel ballast that was substantially lower in weight and density than the design called for.

These boats do have their big fans but to me, depending on how you look at it they are short, expensive to buy and maintain, cramped, not especially seaworthy or offering comfortable motion when sized by their displacement and only look roomy and seaworthy when sized by their length on deck.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 05-03-2003
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Thoughts on WestSail 32

Here''s another view, of a specific W32 which I think is very representative, that underscores Jeff''s points:

My boat is currently moored outboard a W32 that''s been taken to Europe & back; it''s clearly capable of the kinds of sailing for which it was supposedly built. (So are many others). My boat is the same displacement, same LOA, same sail area (altho'' I have more sail carrying options in light winds, since mine is a ketch), same mast height. My boats LWL is 33'' (vs. 27'' for the W32), my beam 13'' (vs. 11''), has 3 sea berths (vs. 1), a sit-down nav station (vs. stand-up right at the companionway), an additional large cabin, and a stand-up separate shower stall (vs. tiny head modified to take a shower faucet).

My cockpit is large (too large, some would think) with coamings that provide backrests on all sides. A fair amount of protection is provided on the wind by the dodger and cabin trunk. A bimini provides good overhead sun protection, altho'' it can be ''reefed'' when sail handling and/or sail trimming must be done. The W32 cockpit has no backrests nor any barriers to water sloshing down the side decks sweeping under the crew''s bottoms before entering the cockpit well. The bimini possible on this boat is by necessity very small. In cold weather, there is virtually no protection except for one person to sit on the companionway bridge-deck, just under/behind the small dodger. Stowage space aft is at a minimum due to the pointed stern. (How these unsuitable features were not viewed in total contrast to the advertised view of the boat is IMO because W32''s were marketed in South Seas/tropical cruising venues, as tho'' protection from the cold, the sun, the wind and the occasional angry wave were unimportant).

This W32 was owner completed. The current owner, a very technically competent fellow, has spent huge amounts of time (tho'' not lots of money) to correct wiring, mechanical and other problems. The cosmetic problems remain to be addressed. This was done as part of a total refit. While I''ve added many systems to my boat related to offshore sailing, the basic boat (hull, deck, interior) remain untouched except as care & maintenance have required.

From a design standpoint, it''s hard to understand where the interest in a W32 comes from. But then, we all know the answer: it''s the romanticized view of our boat - any boat - that seems to shape our view, and this boat does have the sizzle in some folks minds, even if it''s light on the steak.

Jack
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Old 05-03-2003
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Thoughts on WestSail 32

Jack,

I thought you had a Pearson 424 ketch. Do you still have this boat?
Dave
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Old 05-04-2003
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Thoughts on WestSail 32

Dave:

Yup, a ''79 Pearson 424. All the comparisons I gave above reflect WHOOSH as she sits in Satellite Beach, FL today.

Jack
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Old 08-07-2010
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Jack and Jeff
On people's gratuitous views of some types of boats, such as the Westsail 32, please keep in mind that in all things, one man's meat is another man's poison.
I find it quite offensive that so many people, without any first hand knowledge of a boat feel unconstrained in making venomous pronouncements about the virtues, or more frequently, the lack of virtues of certain types of sailing boats.
Here are some quotes that spring to mind - from people who have a far greater right to make pronouncements:
"But some (sailing) people will tell one almost anything. I do not so much mind them telling me such nonsense, but I do think it is unreasonable of them to expect to be believed." Eric Hiscock.
And, more pertinent:
"Due to circumstances or mood, a man may call his ship a mean bitch or a wet brute, but he will not stand for such liberties from the beach. If he understands and makes allowances for her shortcomings, then a special relationship exists, and a vessel will sometimes give an extra quality that there is no name for."
Charles A. Borden, Sea Quest.
So - keep your uninformed opinions to yourself.
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Old 08-07-2010
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GeoffR,

So by quoting someone that sailed 30 years (or more) ago, Jeff and Jack's vast knowledge is suddenly uninformed opinions?
Jack Laurent Giles who design two of the Wanderers sailed by the Hiscock's was an early adopter of fin-keels and spade rudders
Quote:
Laurent Giles described as part of his design philosophy that a yacht should have
the utmost docility and sureness of maneuvering at sea, in good or bad weather
From John Laurent Giles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interesting boats by him are John Guzwell's Trekka and Myth of Malham.
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Old 08-07-2010
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Every boat is a series of compromises. Back in the heyday of the W32, it was heavily promoted as a rugged, safe boat, and its price reflected the heavy promotion. Even then, it was known as the wetsnail 32, and it appealed more to safety conscious sailors than to performance oriented sailors.

The boat is notoriously slow to weather. I remember the delivery crew who took 30 days to do the 800 mile baja bash under sail when the engine conked out. I also knew a man who had to be rescued when he could not make the 80 mile sail from Trinidad to Greneda when the wind went northeast. OTOH, a W32 did well in the downwind races from California to Hawaii, and most cruisers minimise thier time spent going to weather anyway. BTW, the Pearson cruisers are also pretty slow to weather, and some posters still like them...

They are tough little boats--I know of one which bounced across the reef into the lagoon in New Caledonia--boat survived, but unfortunately the skipper was washed off and lost. However, I do know one which was lost at sea with all hands in a blow off Madagascar.

I haven't priced W32's in a while, but if the premium prices over comparable boats have disappeared, they could be a reasonable purchase.

Boats are like women--some prefer skinny blondes, some prefer curvy redheads.
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Old 08-07-2010
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Jack -
I think it would be more appropriate to compare your Pearson to vessels of similar LOD, not LOA. The Westsail has a mile of bowsprit and boomkin which contributes nothing to waterline length or accommodations.
Geoff R -
By your standards I guess I should take offense at your comments regarding Jeff & Jacks knowledge? Or do you have some first hand experience regarding that?
JomsViking -
How did Laurent Giles get in here?
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Old 08-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Jack -
I think it would be more appropriate to compare your Pearson to vessels of similar LOD, not LOA. The Westsail has a mile of bowsprit and boomkin which contributes nothing to waterline length or accommodations.
FSMike, I almost choked when I read that comparison by Jack. So way off base, I cannot go into here without getting banned!

Westsail 32 is a good boat and I would consider one for HIGHER LATITUDES where there is fair amount of wind and weather. She is a horn bagger, not a coconut/milk runner.

The major problem I see with her is that most of them out there have teak decks, which is a maintenance nightmare $$$. They come in all prices but some can be had very nicely. They are slow but will get you there.
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