We have owned 3 boats over the last 15 years, and currently own a Douglas 32 (Silhouette) that we have now raced and cruised for 3 years out of Port of Newcastle in Lake Ontario
The Douglas 32 is certainly influenced by the CCA rules of the era, and is very narrow of beam and has long overhangs and short LWL as compared to today's designs.
The Command Yachts boats were exceptionally well built, especially in the cabinetry below decks.
There is a lot of bouyancy and high bow forward, so she will take very rough seas with ease. She is slow downwind due to the short LWL. For a full keel
boat she points exceptionally high (not like a high aspect fin but surprisingly good) assuming good condition sails
Ours (and Kemana out of Kingston) have painted navy
blue hulls whihc draws admiration from everyone who seas her. (Kemana was first sailed in the South Pacific
, and Fiji
from Vancouver) for several years.)
The accomodation space below is quite small for a 32 footer, (also due to CCA influence), and really this is a 31 foot boat with a reverse transom added after initial production as a Douglas 31.
is very well thought out with lots of storage
. The only drawback is that there is no room for an oven
(ours is fitted with a gimballed propane
Like any full keel
boat, backing up is an interesting challenge. If there is any crosswind, the bow blows downwind, else stern walks to port. When we back out of a slip, we wait to see which way she has decided to go, and then work with that.
With a quartering sea, she can develop quite a wallow, compared to wide beam astern current
production boats. The CCA design, means the boat begins to heel with very little headwind, and sails
fastest at 25 degrees (leeward rail 4 - 8 inches above the water), unlike most boats of todays design that start slowing down if you go much over 15 degrees.
However, in the rough stuff going to weather
is where she really shines. When we are on the race
course, and much larger current
production boats are around us, they are pounding and belly-flopping fiercely, where Silhouette's bow just rises up and slices through the waves.
24 HP twin is very reliable (we have 1000 hours on hours) but does shake, rattle and roll. There are about 3 RPMs, 500, 900 and 1500 where ours runs smoothest.
We are slowly bringing Silhouette back to her former glory and upgrading to take her to the Caribbean
in 2017. Whether she gets outfitted with a new Diesel
depends on time and budget
The Command Yacht boats were built and outfitted exceptionally well. Our has AC refrigeration
that still runs like a charm after 35 years. (It pains to replace it with AC/DC refrig, but we'll have to do that in the next few years.) She is also equipped with hot and cold pressure water
showers, Espar type deisel heater, heavy, heavy bow roller and anchor
We replaced the stock 2 speed Barlow 32 primary winches with Harken
44 2 sp ST, for my 4'10" first mate. World of difference.
We often question if she is the right boat for our adventure south and Great Lakes retirement
and after reviewing countless others of any design or size, we always conclude she is the perfect boat for us.
Douglas 32 Mk II
Mac 26 Classic (daggerboard version)