Shorter lengths favor the higher bands (e.g., 12mHz and above) while longer lengths favor the lower bands (8mHz and below).
Which bands are of most interest depends on where you're sailing and what you intend. For most coastal, Bahamas
, and Caribbean
cruisers the bands of most interest are the 6, 8, and 12mHz marine
On a Westsail 32 your options will be limited, since it would be hard to put up a 50 or 60 foot antenna
for the lower bands.
Remember that the antenna starts AT THE TUNER, so the feedline length is included in the total length of the antenna. Anything over 23' or so will tune on all bands.
For most folks, a total length of 40-45' is a good compromise. That should be do-able on your boat, and will give decent performance.
The upper insulator needs to be about 2' or more from the top of the backstay. You don't necessarily have to install a lower insulator if you prefer to save some $$$ and to feed the antenna belowdecks at the chainplate. This arrangement generally works very well.