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Old 10-01-2013, 10:43   #1
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A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

HI All, I write a mystery series, and a trilogy based on my experiences as a cruiser--we're land based now, but we sailed our Hylas 47, Paloma Blanca from 2000 to 2003 in Mexico.

For the trilogy, I've used a Westsail 32 as it's a tough little boat for singlehanders---so for owners of the Westsail 32, here's my question: I was told that the boat can come with either tiller or wheel. Can anyone confirm?
You can e-mail me off-list: rp@rpdahlke.com

thanks in advance for any help on this.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:18   #2
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

Mine had a tiller. Never seen or heard of one with a wheel. It would take up too much space in a very small cockpit.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:30   #3
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

thanks for your response.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:49   #4
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

The factory construction manual only specs a tiller. I believe all wheels would have to be custom or owner installed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:17   #5
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

I have seen one with a small wooden wheel turning a worm gear that push/pulled a lever to the rudder, it was very positive feeling and worked very well, it was under deck and didn’t take up much room.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:22   #6
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

Are you saying a murder is more likely to be committed on a Westsail 32 than other boats? Or that single handers are mysterious?

Or that Hylas 47 cruisers are less likely to jamb a winch handle up the nose of a suitable murder victim?

I'm not anchoring near no Westsail 32s no more.



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Old 10-01-2013, 12:28   #7
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Are you saying a murder is more likely to be committed on a Westsail 32 than other boats? Or that single handers are mysterious?

Or that Hylas 47 cruisers are less likely to jamb a winch handle up the nose of a suitable murder victim?

I'm not anchoring near no Westsail 32s no more.



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Old 10-01-2013, 17:33   #8
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Re: thanks for all the answers

Hi guys and gals,

My husband and I happily sailed aboard our Hylas 47 for many years, but I needed a smaller boat for my woman sailor protagonist, and met some sailors in Baja with one. Someone, somewhere, and wouldn't you know it--I can't remember, told me that the Westsail 32 could have a wheel... so that went into the book, A Dangerous Harbor. It can be changed, and if it is the consensus of this group that a wheel could not be possible, or realistic, I can always go back and change it --the beauty of being published on Amazon/kindle.

Anybody out there writing novels? I'd like to pay it forward. I have a free pdf on publishing and promoting with Amazon.

Cheers!
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Old 10-01-2013, 17:38   #9
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

Tiller only, but with over 800 32's produced someone may have special ordered wheel steering. Also, someone may have done wheel steering on a kit boat.
On another forum a W32 owner recently requested help for changing to wheel steering.
Love my tiller.
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Old 10-01-2013, 17:44   #10
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

thanks for the comment. Much appreciated!
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Old 10-01-2013, 18:05   #11
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

It sounds as though, to make your story ring realistic, the WS32 in it ought to have a tiller. Everyone seems to classify it as a tiller-steered boat, and my the one's I've seen and been on have all had tillers. Cockpit's a bit small for even a modest wheel, though a little worm-gear setup would be the most sensible.
On the other hand, a WS32 is a lot of boat for a singlehander--lots of sail area to manage, ground tackle usually pretty heavy, etc. Though I'm sure plenty of people do it, I can't remember seeing any being cruised singlehanded.
Is your story available online yet?
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Old 10-01-2013, 18:32   #12
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

Plenty of sailors have singlehanded Westsail 32s including the solo Transpac race and more.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:15   #13
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

Having wheel steering instead of a tiller would definitely be an anomaly. Not impossible, but very unusual, and sharp readers would pick it out as a mistake.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:58   #14
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

The W32 was easier to sail single handed than my Pearson 35. Have owned both and done 5 figure single handed ocean miles in both. Hopefully no one was dumb enough to put a wheel on one. It was not a factory option AFAIK and never saw a wheel on any of the approximate hundred or so boats I saw in the two years we were building ours. The tiller worked exceptionally well with an Aires vane.
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Old 18-01-2013, 20:43   #15
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Re: A Writer's Question on Westsail 32

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...
On the other hand, a WS32 is a lot of boat for a singlehander--lots of sail area to manage, ground tackle usually pretty heavy, etc. Though I'm sure plenty of people do it, I can't remember seeing any being cruised singlehanded.
Is your story available online yet?
A Westsailor recently went from NZ to Vancouver Island solo, in 63 days, spent a few months in/around with his wife (who flew up) and then they turned around and went back in September. Single-handling cruising is definitely done.
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