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Old 10-05-2015, 18:47   #1
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Help inspecting a WWP19

Hey all,

I'm almost ready to take the plunge and buy a boat. I went and looked at a year 2000 West Wight Potter 19 today, and I was fairly impressed. It was sitting on its trailer in the seller's driveway, being cleaned and prepped for launch this week.

I've looked at several sailboats recently, and I haven't been impressed with any of them. Indiana is not exactly a mecca for sailboats, so my selection has been limited. Mostly older Catalina 22's and Hunter 23's, many of which are quite a bit more expensive, and the others mostly being project boats.

The price is at (or maybe slightly below considering some equipment that's included) nada book price. It includes trailer, 5hp outboard, main and "lapper" sail, dual batteries with selector switch and 110v charger, woodwork is in good shape, newer vc 17 bottom paint, all lines led aft, new centerboard winch. There's no smell inside, all cushions are in respectable shape, and in general it looks to be in excellent condition.

I am very reluctant to purchase without a sea trail (in my case a lake trial), and I'd love to know what to look for when we take it out. (that should be either this week or next weekend, depending on weather, etc.)

I'll admit, one of the most attractive quality's of WWP 19's in general is their trailerability. Even with affordable mooring fees (<$500 for the season) I can bring it home in the winter, for repairs, or trailer it to another lake if I want a change. I would have that option with the Catalinas and Hunters as well, if not quite as easily.

I don't know if this should matter, but the boat is currently owned by a retired naval officer and former commodore of a sailing association with 50+ years experience sailing. He has all documents and receipts leading back to the original owner.

Anyone with advice or experience with WWP's is welcome to comment, since I really need all the help I can get.

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2015, 20:06   #2
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

The Potters have a big following , out here on the left coast they have a big Rendezvous at Catalina Island . Your would be boat sounds good .
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Old 10-05-2015, 20:47   #3
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Great boats. Use Google and find their favorite web presence. Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2015, 21:02   #4
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

I've sailed and owned both Catalina 22 (fin keeler) and our club WWP19. I don't fit as well in the WWP but if you are shorter than 6' and bend easily (younger) it might be the right choice for you. The daggerboard lifting wire gets in the way down below. If it's clean and well cared for then it can give you many years of fun sailing. They have all the things that bigger boats have except a head and shower and are fairly stable in a good wind. There was one that made the journey from LA to Hawaii a few years back and you can do a search for that article.

Our club has had to patch the bottom of ours a couple times and I can guarantee you that it is unsinkable. We had holes in the bottom of ours the size of tennis balls in several unreachable locations and just motored her over to the ramp and slowley let her drain as we pulled her out.

Yes, it does mean something when a retired Naval Officer chooses a boat. To see those receipts and know what kind of care was taken with the vessel is a big plus. It doesn't need 5hp but is nice to have a little extra hp. Check the condition and age of the engine.

With all that said and if you could find a Catalina 22 in the same condition I'd get the Catalina only because it is a bigger boat to camp on the weekends in.
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Old 10-05-2015, 21:48   #5
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Help inspecting a WWP19

The 2000 model was at or near the end of use for that cabin mold so the deck anti- skid is not as pronounced as earlier and later years. The centerboard trunk when the board is up does pump water under certain circumstances. The keel raising wire is a PITA, but there are articles on making it detachable using dyeema line and an extra pulley or two, makes all the difference in cabin usability. My 2000 has seen more of Lake Erie than her larger replacement so far. Much more storage than you would suspect. Nissan 5hp 4 stroke was the engine the factory used for the 2000 model year, there may have been a 2 stroke option also but don't recall and can't find my Potter folder this evening. Great boats.


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Old 11-05-2015, 04:21   #6
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Thanks for all the replies!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay29 View Post
The 2000 model was at or near the end of use for that cabin mold so the deck anti- skid is not as pronounced as earlier and later years. The centerboard trunk when the board is up does pump water under certain circumstances. The keel raising wire is a PITA, but there are articles on making it detachable using dyeema line and an extra pulley or two, makes all the difference in cabin usability. My 2000 has seen more of Lake Erie than her larger replacement so far. Much more storage than you would suspect. Nissan 5hp 4 stroke was the engine the factory used for the 2000 model year, there may have been a 2 stroke option also but don't recall and can't find my Potter folder this evening. Great boats.

The current owner has already made the detachable centerboard cable modification. I hadn't seen or read about that prior to yesterday but it looked like a great way to gain some elbow room. The engine is the factory supplied Nissan 5 hp, and it has full service records as well. I haven't seen it start/run, but I sitting in the garage it sure looked well maintained.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I've sailed and owned both Catalina 22 (fin keeler) and our club WWP19. I don't fit as well in the WWP but if you are shorter than 6' and bend easily (younger) it might be the right choice for you. The daggerboard lifting wire gets in the way down below. If it's clean and well cared for then it can give you many years of fun sailing. They have all the things that bigger boats have except a head and shower and are fairly stable in a good wind. There was one that made the journey from LA to Hawaii a few years back and you can do a search for that article.

Our club has had to patch the bottom of ours a couple times and I can guarantee you that it is unsinkable. We had holes in the bottom of ours the size of tennis balls in several unreachable locations and just motored her over to the ramp and slowley let her drain as we pulled her out.

Yes, it does mean something when a retired Naval Officer chooses a boat. To see those receipts and know what kind of care was taken with the vessel is a big plus. It doesn't need 5hp but is nice to have a little extra hp. Check the condition and age of the engine.

With all that said and if you could find a Catalina 22 in the same condition I'd get the Catalina only because it is a bigger boat to camp on the weekends in.
I'm just under 6' and fairly young (36) and the cabin seemed fine to me. I know cat 22's have more room (I especially like the capri 22 layout) but I haven't come across a good, local, well-priced model yet. And I can fit the WWP in my garage, which I could never do with a cat 22.

I've read the article on the geologist that crossed from CA to HI, as well as several posts about trips in FL, the Bahamas, and the Great Lakes.
It certainly looks as though a WWP will go anywhere I am interested in cruising.

On a related note, I am trying to get an idea of extraneous fees associated with owning a boat. I've accounted for taxes, registration/licensing fees, insurance, and seasonal mooring fees, and made some broad guesses of what I'll need to spend each year on maintenance/upgrades, with the assumption in will winter at my home sitting comfortably on it's baja trailer. Is there anything else I should account for?
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:38   #7
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

If the WWP19 fits in your garage then it's the one for you. It will be a very inexpensive boat to keep in that regard. I can't think of other expenses other than trailer fees.

Good luck in your choice. I can't comment on the differences between older and newer models. If yours has the mast raising system it is a plus although it is easily raisable with two people. Watch that the rigging doesn't get caught on anything as you raise the mast.

The feature getting rid of the cables below while at anchor is great. That frees up a bunch of space going forward. If yours comes with a kick up rudder that's a plus too for getting into shallow areas. The standard rudder is more efficient though.

All in all if I were smaller and younger it is a great trailerable boat. I wouldn't imagine the daggerboard would have any corrosion issues where you are but it's worth checking.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:49   #8
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

As an owner of a 2000 wwp19 I can attest you will enjoy your boat, it sort of sounds like mine when I bought mine immaculate.
I have yet to change the winch or cable, I seem to have no problem with it.
I have replaced the rudder (idasailor) it is much better than the original pop up rudder. Everything else is original.
I sail mostly in the Delaware Bay which at times can get quite nasty but that boat can handle anything within reason...very safe. Don't worry about the room inside the cabin I am 6'2" 70 years old and have no problem.
enjoy it I promise you will.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:14   #9
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Our boat is same size as a WWP19. Alot of fun for a very reasonable outlay. We trailer it all over the place.

I have found that WWP19s often sell for more than similar-sized trailerables, but that's a plus in that people are more likely to take care of them, and you'll likely get your money back down the road if you sell it.

Other than grounding and crashing, (look for cracks, dings, recent repairs) the most significant issue you'll find with a smaller trailerable is if it was stored poorly and water built up inside, leading to rot, mold, or saturation of the buoyancy foam. Your nose is the first test, so if you say there's no serious odour inside, that's a good sign. I recommend opening all accessible areas of the boat, getting in there with a flashlight and a screwdriver, and looking for signs of standing water, or internal repairs. Poke at all wooden bulkheads to check for rot.

Make sure the keel runs freely and is in good condition. Also check the rudder and the security of its pivots.

In a sea trial:
  • confirm the keel is fully down, and moves easily
  • the sails go up and down without jamming or binding
  • the sails aren't seriously dirty or baggy
  • How does she tack, how high does she point
  • Any excessive weather or lee helm, feels and points the same on both tacks
  • engine starts easily, is piddling water, runs smooth
Some of the above are adjustments and settings and can be fixed. Some like baggy sails means you will soon spend north of $1k for a new set of sails. Swing keel issues can be expensive.


From the sounds of it, though, it seems like you've found a good boat, so your sea trial will mainly be the old owner showing you the ropes. Best wishes, and enjoy your new toy.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:55   #10
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

@SkiprJohn

There's no mast raising system in place yet, but I might try to get one through IM, or failing that, make my own.
It is the original kick up rudder, but I expect it to be sufficient for me in this early stage of my sailing life.

@Lake Effect

Great to hear your endorsement of this size boat! I'm glad to hear that others are enjoying something similar to what I'm hoping to purchase.

Yes, I do expect the sea trial to be a vast learning experience from the current owner, but I'll be especially careful to watch the items you listed....especially the sails.
I believe the sails are original, both because I didn't see a receipt for new ones and because they are the colorful style that IM offered as an option (and still does)

I've half a notion to buy new sails soon anyway, and keep the originals for spares. I'm not sure if that's a viable option, but I would hope that properly stored sails kept clean and dry would hold up well, and I'd much prefer to have a spare set in any case.

Thanks again for all the replies and encouragement! I hope to graduate from wannabe sailor to utter newbie this year!
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Old 11-05-2015, 16:16   #11
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

A couple of thing to check is the hose inside the boat from the cockpit drain overboard tends to crack, and the cabin house
roof will sag if the keel is left supported by the winch for extended periods.
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Old 11-05-2015, 16:38   #12
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Quote:
Originally Posted by pisail View Post
A couple of thing to check is the hose inside the boat from the cockpit drain overboard tends to crack, and the cabin house
roof will sag if the keel is left supported by the winch for extended periods.
Thanks! I actually checked both of those yesterday, after various web sources mentioned them.

A quick update, we are tentatively scheduled for a sea trial this weekend, weather permitting, and we verbally agreed on a price if the sea trial goes well.

Best case scenario, I will have the boat in my garage by Saturday, just in time to go to the sailing club's first event.

Next weekend I have a 2 day sailing class to attend, which i will do before I put the boat in the water myself, and only if I feel comfortable. I'm in no hurry, the summer is still young
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Old 11-05-2015, 21:05   #13
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForeverDes View Post
Thanks! I actually checked both of those yesterday, after various web sources mentioned them.

A quick update, we are tentatively scheduled for a sea trial this weekend, weather permitting, and we verbally agreed on a price if the sea trial goes well.

Best case scenario, I will have the boat in my garage by Saturday, just in time to go to the sailing club's first event.

Next weekend I have a 2 day sailing class to attend, which i will do before I put the boat in the water myself, and only if I feel comfortable. I'm in no hurry, the summer is still young
Good for you!
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Old 11-05-2015, 21:09   #14
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

"There's no mast raising system in place yet, but I might try to get one through IM, or failing that, make my own.
It is the original kick up rudder, but I expect it to be sufficient for me in this early stage of my sailing life."

You can make your own mast raising system with just about anything from Home Depot. It doesn't need to be elaborate. If you need help let me know we made our own.

Unless you are racing the kickup rudder is the best option.

Good luck on your sea trials.

Our club WWP19 has original sails from the 80s. They still work fine.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:12   #15
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Re: Help inspecting a WWP19

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
You can make your own mast raising system with just about anything from Home Depot. It doesn't need to be elaborate. If you need help let me know we made our own.

Unless you are racing the kickup rudder is the best option.

Good luck on your sea trials.

Our club WWP19 has original sails from the 80s. They still work fine.
I hoped a mast raising system wouldn't be to hard to make. They certainly seem simple enough. And thanks a lot for the offer of help with that. I'll keep you posted as things progress. It's also good to hear that sails can last so long when they are cared for properly.
As far as racing goes, it's not a priority at all for me. If I change my mind once I get some experience under my belt I can always revisit the idea of a performance rudder.

And finally, some pics!
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