Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
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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.