We built #163 from a barehull. They are great open ocean boats and a lot faster when sailed properly than their detractors would have you believe. One thing they won't do is beat into a chop in light air. That's what the 4-108 is for.
If the boat had teak
decks, make sure your surveyor did a good job. The teak decks had a reputation for leaking. The decks are plywood
cored and long term leaks
over a large area. Sounds like your surveyor was aware of this and used his rubber hammer to good advantage. Don't know what the blemishes in the paint
are but shouldn't be a problem as long as the paint surface is intact. If there is any sign of cracking or degradation of the paint film in that area, you might need to dig into the blemishes and be sure the deck is sealed.
Other long term problems with the W32 are the water
and fuel tanks
. Westsail used steel fuel tanks
for some of their production and doubt these would have survived this long without some impending failure issue. They also had stainless steel water
tanks in the bilge
. With the tanks sitting in a constantly wet area, they are prone to getting pin hole leaks where they contact the bilge
. If yours has SS water tanks, I'd pull them out and inspect the bottoms. That's not that big a deal as it's basically disconnecting the hoses and pulling them. The fuel tanks are a major problem as you have to remove the engine
to get at them. Fortunately, pulling the engine is easy as the cockpit
sole over the engine is removable.
and boomkins are prone to rot
. Look very closely at them to be sure that there isn't anything lurking there.
The hours on the engine are actually quite low for a diesel
in normal operation. Unfortunately, sail boat engines don't operate in normal conditions. Most fail not from use but from neglect and disuse. Sounds like this one has been used relatively regularly so may have escaped the disuse deterioration. Have a mechanic
take a look at it and give you an evaluation. Change all the ziincs and other preventive maintenance
measures so you know where you are starting out.
I'd consider the wiring
to be a plus. It would force me to rewire the boat with tinned wire larger gauge wire. After all these years, the wiring
is going to be suspect. Learning
the wiring and redoing it is great kowledge to have.
Most of the workers at Westsail had no idea what sailing the big ocean was all about. They had a job to do without much idea why or what their efforts would face. A lot of times you had to second guess what they'd done to be sure it was done right to last in a marine environment
. Fortunately, these boats have been seasoned so any errors in construction should have shown their ugly faces by now.
The leaks in the hull
to deck join area could be just poor caulking of the genoa
track or worse. It's really hard to get up under bulwarks to get at the nuts on anything bolted to the cap rail. Be sure you can get at the nuts to R&R the track. We installed a deck reinforcement that was in the early construction specs so had no access to the area under the bulwark and had to live with a niggling leak in the chain plate
area. The factory dropped this reinforcement early on so that area should be accessable on yours. Hopefully it's not a hull
to deck joint leak as that's a major problem to cure. Unfortunately, that's the Achilles Heel of all FRP boats so you'd have plenty of shoulders to cry on.
FWIW, really miss a lot of the little things that were inherent in the basic design of the W32. I dropped more stuff overboard
in the first week of ownership
of my current
boat than the entire 10 years we owned our W32. The bulwarks keep a lot of things on board that go over the side on a boat without them. They also make getting around on deck when things get interesting way safer. Even though the boat does not turn like a fin keel
boat, the rudder
has real bight. We were never able to stall it out with the spectacular round up that that engenders. We had ours healed so far over I was afraid of getting pitched into the ocean yet was able to keep the boat on course. The boat will only sail on it's own to weather
but the vane should handle it easily on all points of sail. We had an Aires, which Monitor
is a copy, and it steered the boat if the boat would sail. In over 10,000 miles, never hand steered under sail unless I wanted to. Probably didn't have more than 10 total hours at the helm
in more than 10,000 miles of cruising. The galley
has a ton of storage
as does the rest of the boat. Ours was 5 inches down on it's lines fully loaded and seemed to sail better the more we piled on board. Do try and keep weight out of the ends, however.
FWIW, don't buy the boat if you looking for a day sailor/racer. These boats are ponderous and steady, not 'fun' to sail. That's a real plus for a long distance boat but frustrating for those that want dinghy
type handling. Other than their problems with going to weather
in a chop, they sail quite well but won't win any light air races. Once you crack off they come to life and will embarass most other boats with a similar water line length on a reach with a bit of wind