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Old 08-09-2011, 17:06   #1
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Samson 32 Westsail 32

I am going to see this boat later next week, It is a Samson 32 ferro and I have now been told by a few people that the Westsail 32 is an almost carbon copy. I have limited knowledge of either and have been searching the net for more info, I would appreciate and info or knowledge you have with either.
It will be in need of a complete refit interior wise along with some rigging.
looking forward to seeing ths boat and doing the sea trial next week.
I currently have a Grampian 26 so this could be a great upgrade if info and feedback along with seeing her all comes together
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Old 08-09-2011, 17:15   #2
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

Tons of info on the W32 all over this forum. A search will turn up worlds of knowledge.

If its too much. They're slow, don't go to weather in a chop, and stout. Comfortable in a sea way, not very maneuverability. They can carry a ton of stores.

Don't know much about the Samson.
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:05   #3
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

Read up on the pros and cons of ferro-cement. The only thing they seem to have going for them is that they're cheap. If they have another advantage I'd like to hear about it.

I owned a ferro boat that was very well done....except when the engine mounts cracked I was really at a loss for how to fix them. The hull was very fair and showed no signs that water had reached the re-bar. It was a Samson design, but that says nothing about the builder.

On the other hand, just the other day I was looking through a hole in a friends ferro hull. Water had reached the re-bar, it had corroded, expanded, and cracked the cement so much that a blow with a hammer went right through. He's researching cement swimming pool adhesives for ideas on how to patch it. Not much fun.

Plus, if a fiberglass WestSail 32 is slow, a ferro one will only be more so. Thick about how you intend to use the boat. As the size of the boat decreases the impact a heavier hull has on performance will increase. This, I think, is why steel isn't seen too much in small boats. I went from a Columbia 26 to my ferro cruiser because the price was right and it was huge upgrade. But it was so slow it took the fun out of sailing.

I don't mean to sound negative, just trying to share my experience.
cheers
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:23   #4
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

GDD has said it all!

I almost bought a ferro, earlier this year, that was advertised as a Samson. Fortunately, I brought along a fellow who knew ferros well & he advised me not to buy it. I can estimate a metal, glass or wood boat well, but a fc can be difficult to assess. Any sign of corrosion around chainplates or anywhere else you see steel entering the hull is of serious concern, I was told. Most "Samsons" one encounters probably weren't built by John Samson's yard, only built to Samson's designs.

OTOH, lots have sailed all over the world.
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Old 08-09-2011, 18:31   #5
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

GDD, thanks for the input and well taken, my g26 is a 5 - 6 knot anyways and by slow I am assuming your implying the same speed as I am currently getting I believe I can live with this, I am hoping that the increase in size will justify the means of a more roomier and possibly head south in. If all I get are a larger boat to sail on Lake Ontario with at almost the same speed but more room better stowage/ provision capacity where I can bask on the hook for a week at a time and most weekends overnighting, then i can live with this. If she is or was intended to be more Blue water well then that is a realm that should be explored even more. I can do most of the work myself so this could be the next new boat, I have read some but am at the point where I want to hear sail folks thoughts.
Do you still have the Ferro ?
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Old 08-09-2011, 19:42   #6
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

My boat was a Samon C-bird 36. I sold her 3 years ago. I owned her for about 2 years. After one year the honeymoon with the larger boat and all the extra space wore off. At the time I was telling my self all the same things you are saying here about the extra space.

I think uou over estimate how slow slow really is in this case. I'm in Vancouver BC. In typical light wind conditions (which we get too much of in the summer) where my Columbia would sail at 4 knots the Samson would barely move. The result was more motoring. I hope the west sail has a top knotch engine, you'll need it.

Where the Columbia would do 5.5knots the Samsom did 4.5. Yes, the Samson had 6.5knot hull speed due to her waterline, but I only did that once, surfing... on a beam reach.... with the spinnaker up... in 15 knots! I don't know the displacement/Waterline ratio for both boats....but the Samsom HEAVY. Compare this WestSail's weight to some other 32 foot full keeled boats. I think you'll be in for a surprise.

Also, she was so heavy that the 30hp engine could barely push her at 5knots. We motored at 4kn to save our ears. That could have been due to a design fault where the propeller aperture where the keel meets the rudder was too small for a propeller big enough a boat.....but I digress.

One more point I forgot to mention;the one single advantage ferro-cement has over other build materials is cost. But how does the cost of the hull compare to the total cost of fitting out a boat? People who build with ferro are building on the cheap. Expect to find many other instances of poor choices being made to save a few bucks.

My Samson had a compression post, rudder shaft, and fuel tanks made of mild steel, and the crappiest pop-metal lifeline stanchion bases known to man. All would have needed to replaced before going off-shore or anywhere up the coast even slightly remote. The compression post and the stanchions required destroying the interior in order to get the access needed to replace them.

After the whole experience I would be much happier with a smaller, lighter, stronger and lower maintenance boat then a heavy, slow, crumbling ferro-cement cruiser. Don't get sucked in by the huge galley and saloon!

That said, being as you do get a lot of boat for the money, they make great live aboards and motor sailors.
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Old 15-09-2011, 14:10   #7
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

My two cents' worth: compare beam of both boats. My impression is Samson designs (actually, Cecil Norris) were relatively narrow for length.
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Old 17-09-2011, 13:52   #8
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

In the 70's I used to ride my bicycle to Richmond and watch John Samson build ferro-cement boats. They did some nice work. Too bad the hulls were ferro-cement though.

It is the last material I would choose for a boat. And in the size you are looking at (32') worse. The hull weight, as often with steel in a small boat, is very heavy. The heavier the hull the lower the ballast weight for a given hull design. And because as posted most ferro cement boats were built on the cheap I doubt few if any used lead - probably boiler punchings in cement. And all the problems listed above hold true as well.

You didn't post the price or your budget. How much are they asking?

The Westsail 32, with good sails isn't a bad boat. Built like a tank and tolerant of heavy loading. A neighbour just sailed his Westsail from Victoria to San Francisco and then further south. 9 days from Victoria to Frisco including a storm that slowed them down a bit. I would think that time is close to average for any cruiser 32' long.

I would choose fiberglass. The market now is so soft that there are many great deals out there.

Best to leave cement for in ground swimming pools and sidewalks I think.
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Old 17-09-2011, 14:35   #9
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

I'd advise Westsail, one took me and my family around the world in complete safety, not slowly either! we were never left behind in the ocean crossing fleet.
Go to westsails for sale site and yachtworld, do your homework, select carefully and DONT buy a boat that needs compete interior rework you will be there for years and the $$$ will dissappear fast, sucking away your cruising fund!
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Old 25-09-2011, 11:44   #10
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

update;
went to see the boat and she was in rougher shape then lead to belive, needed interior renovation, engine missing, rigging needs some improvements and the running rigging was in total disarray and would need to be totally replaced and then made to go aft as well.
This was beyond a project / retrofit, it was ready for the scrap yardSo i thanked the fella and respectfully declined. 5hrs each way to be let down, not what I had planned for the weekend.
Thanks to all for your advice and information, without it I would have not been as informed so a big KUDO'S to you all

Bill
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Old 21-04-2013, 17:25   #11
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDD View Post
Read up on the pros and cons of ferro-cement. The only thing they seem to have going for them is that they're cheap. If they have another advantage I'd like to hear about it.

I owned a ferro boat that was very well done....except when the engine mounts cracked I was really at a loss for how to fix them. The hull was very fair and showed no signs that water had reached the re-bar. It was a Samson design, but that says nothing about the builder.

On the other hand, just the other day I was looking through a hole in a friends ferro hull. Water had reached the re-bar, it had corroded, expanded, and cracked the cement so much that a blow with a hammer went right through. He's researching cement swimming pool adhesives for ideas on how to patch it. Not much fun.

Plus, if a fiberglass WestSail 32 is slow, a ferro one will only be more so. Thick about how you intend to use the boat. As the size of the boat decreases the impact a heavier hull has on performance will increase. This, I think, is why steel isn't seen too much in small boats. I went from a Columbia 26 to my ferro cruiser because the price was right and it was huge upgrade. But it was so slow it took the fun out of sailing.

I don't mean to sound negative, just trying to share my experience.
cheers
I would have to agree on the cons of ferro, they are good early in life but when the water gets in and the re bar starts to rust and blow out there is little that can be done and it would be difficult to know the extent of the ingress damage.
I looked at so many boats in the past months and the definition of "she is a great boat with little or nothing to do" varied from perfect to scuttle yard candidate, "a few small gel coat cracks" actually means the deck and hull looks like a spider web! I am learning the lingo!! lol
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Old 21-04-2013, 19:05   #12
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Re: Samson 32 Westsail 32

Just to let you know this is a revival of a 1.5 year old thread.
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