Originally Posted by Capt Phil
only seeing one Westsail 32 with a wheel which was moored in Reed Point Marina in Burnaby, BC. It had a hole drilled through the hull
about 1 1/2 feet above the waterline in the stern with a rod attached to the rudder just aft of the rudder centerline. Had a small wooden wheel mounted on a slant on a box at the extreme aft of the cockpit. Don't know what the mechanism was but imagine it was a worm gear
set up below decks.
I talked with the owner years ago and it was a custom made setup, not factory installed. So, there are a few out there, I suppose... cheers, Phil
That sounds equally plausible as a hydraulic ram, which could be bypassed for a short tiller arm on the rudder's head
and hooked into a windvane
, also something you see on a lot of W-32s.
Just as another straw in the poll
, I've seen about six W-32s. None of them were wheel-steered that I recall (it would stick out a bit) and all had some unusual "extras" like a backstay-mounted homebuilt wind
genny, or a deck
crane or some kind of rain collecting bimini
. They were sold as kit boats/bare hulls, too, and can get quite individualistc as finished, working boats.
In my view, a reasonably skilled female sailor under 60 and over five-foot-six in better-than-average (but in no sense Olympian) fitness levels would have the upper body strength and leverage to sail a W-32 pretty well anywhere. Mechanical advantage in the form of upsized blocks, downhauls, even boom furling
, are proven and negate the weight of the wide spread of canvas
you want to put out to move these, uh, robust
vessels, which are "get you home"-oriented, not "get you going above 4.5 knots"-oriented.
If you really want to look legitimate, mention Ferenc Mate's book "From a Bare Hull", and name drop "Satori", the W-32 that beached itself in "The Perfect Storm" (not the movie
, the book). They are renowned for strength, slowness, general resistance to getting destroyed, old-school, almost antique, styling, and a vast capacity for carrying provisions. They would be the choice of someone who had inherited one built in the '70s as a passagemaker...because it's not like it would have fallen apart by now.