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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2004
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skiakhokie is on a distinguished road
Westsail Mast Step?

This is a little off the subject of "Living Aboard" but I can''t seem to get the "Buying A Boat" thread to open and I''m going to live aboard whatever boat I decide to buy.

I''m currently "window shopping" for a cruising boat and the Westsail 32 seems to be fitting the bill better than any. My question is in regards to the mast step. My father tells me "stepping" a mast is simply putting it up and the difference is in the mounting configuration. You can keel step it and the mast goes all the way throught the cabin and attatches to the hull/keel, you can cabin step it in which there is a seperate pool throught the cabin that attatches to the mast and the cantilevered or "tabernacle" arrangement where the step is built into the cabin top and there is no pole or mast through the cabin.

Which one does the westsail have? Did some come differently than others? What problems have you encountered with either setups?

Please email me with any information or comments you may have at mikemcdonald@hatcher.ws

Thanks,
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Old 06-26-2004
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Westsail Mast Step?

every one I have seen are keel step
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Old 06-30-2004
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Westsail Mast Step?

That is incorrect. All Westsail 32''s are cabin stepped.

It''s easy to tell. Look at any pic of the cabin of a WS 32 and you will not see the mast.

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Old 07-01-2004
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Westsail Mast Step?

Westsails were stepped on deck. Do a search and you''ll come up with the guy in California who worked for Westsail and still makes stuff for these boats. I contacted him once on making up a tabernacle for my Bristol 35 so I could drop the mast myself. He does a configuration with a single bolt so when you undo the rigging, you can ease the mast down onto the deck.
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Old 07-04-2004
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Westsail Mast Step?

It might seem intuitively true to many that a mast that is keel-stepped should be stronger than one that is deck-stepped. But if the cabin structure is strong enough to take the strain (if it effectively transfers compression load to the rest of the deck and hull), a deck-stepped mast can be every bit as strong (all other things, like rigging, being equal) as its keel-stepped counterpart.

From the interior photos I can see of WS32s, there is no <u>compression post</u>, a sturdy pole that spans the distance between the deckhead (the "ceiling" of the cabin) and cabin sole, effectively transferring the compression loads to the hull, so that the deck itself isn''t absorbing them or transfering them out to the deck/hull joint to be absorbed there. In a design like this the strength and behavior of the deck are very important.

I should note that the absence of this post does not indicate a problem <em>per se</em>; it''s all a matter of the design.

As a smaller consideration, a deck-stepped boat has no hole cut through the deck to accommodate the passing of the mast, so water cannot leak through the deck, as it can on a keel-stepped vessel.

I''d suggest finding a Westsail owner''s association or usergroup, and searching relevant articles, and posting (no pun intended) your questions to actual owners, to see if there is a problem with compromised deck integrity.
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Old 07-07-2004
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Westsail Mast Step?

Actually, there is a mast compression post that supports the main deckbeam under the mast. It''s just not imminently visible as a keel stepped mast would appear.

Further, the space under the cabin sole at the mast post should have solid blocking down to the top of the ballast. I''ve heard on some boats this may not be the case.

Finally, in addition there are (or should be) bolts installed thru the deckbeam into both the main bulkhead (horizontally) as well as thru the cabin top (vertically) to tie everything together.

I suppose how well all the above was executed depends on the builder (i.e. whether it was a kit boat or factory finished).

As others have said, an excellent resource is the Westsail Owners Assoc at:

www.westsail.org

Also check out

http://www.westsail.com
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