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Old 21-07-2011, 20:45   #1
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Westsail 32 - Opinions Needed !

My wife and I are looking at buying a westsail32 to sail and have as a live-aboard, we have also looked at Cape George Cutters and a True North 34. Does anyone have any opinions (of course you do), this will be our first sailboat which we also intend to sail off shore (circum. at some point). Are all westsails deck step masts or just with some of the kit boats?
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Old 21-07-2011, 21:01   #2
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions needed!!!

If you want to know everything there is to know about Westsails go to www.westsail.com. Bud Taplin can answer your questions. He used to work there.

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Old 21-07-2011, 21:24   #3
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

well! That effectively ends this thread.
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Old 21-07-2011, 21:54   #4
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailor View Post
well! That effectively ends this thread.
Hahh!!!

WESTSAIL 32 sailboat on sailboatdata.com.. More than 6000 sailboats, sailing yachts, dinghies and sailing craft listed.
CAPE GEORGE 36 sailboat on sailboatdata.com.. More than 6000 sailboats, sailing yachts, dinghies and sailing craft listed.
TRUE NORTH 34 sailboat on sailboatdata.com.. More than 6000 sailboats, sailing yachts, dinghies and sailing craft listed.

Looking at the numbers, the True North is one of the few boats out there built heavier than a Westsail. It's SA/D is the same as the WS32 so they should perform equally poorly in light air.

The Cape George 36 doesn't look to be built quite as heavily built as the other two, but it is not a lightweight by any means. It is somewhat better canvassed and performance should only be mediocre in light air with 2 people aboard rather than abysmal.

If you are looking for bullet-proof, any of these boats would qualify.
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Old 21-07-2011, 22:04   #5
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

Welcome Aboard
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Old 21-07-2011, 22:14   #6
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

If money wasn't an issue, I'd go for the Cape George 36. It has a narrower beam, finer entrance, fuller aft sections and taller stick so should be a better all around sailor. Heard the boat was a copy of an Atkins design called African Star that had a reputation for speedy sailing in the light air Puget Sound area. Sure is a pretty boat, too.

We built a Westsail kit, lived aboard and sailed it for more than 10,000 miles to SoPac and back to Hawaii.

Averaged a very respectable 118nm a day with almost no use of the engine. Boat is not a light wind flyer but will sail in light air. Give then a cupful of wind on a reach and they will walk away from most boats with an equal waterline. Boat will not go hard on the wind in light air and choppy seas. Best to motorsail if you have to go in that direction.

We had no problems going to weather in the open ocean but found it best to foot off a bit and keep the speed up rather than try to pinch up for maximum pointing angle. The W32s are very commodious and will sail better the more you load on them. You'll have to go nearer 40' to get the interior volume and load carrying ability of the Westsail.

We loved our boat and I nearly bought it back when I was looking into jumping back into the boating scene. For a couple, they are a fine boat and the prices tend to be way way below replacement cost. If you want a boat that will get you there with a pretty comfortable ride and a low cost, can't beat the Westsail 32.

Don't know anything about the True North 34
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Old 21-07-2011, 23:06   #7
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

Nice post Peter.
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Old 22-07-2011, 02:23   #8
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

What sort of water / location will be boat be sailed in, to start with?
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Old 22-07-2011, 07:49   #9
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

I'm always intrigued by the inability of a Westsail to perform in light air, when the boat has twice won the Transpac. My understanding (thirdhand) is that it takes time to get going, but once going, is almost unstoppable and so can win out over lighter boats.
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Old 22-07-2011, 09:01   #10
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

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Originally Posted by canucksailor View Post
I'm always intrigued by the inability of a Westsail to perform in light air, when the boat has twice won the Transpac. My understanding (thirdhand) is that it takes time to get going, but once going, is almost unstoppable and so can win out over lighter boats.


Have a good friend that owns a W32 but spent years racing, including a couple of Newport Bermuda races. His opinion is also that the boat does take a bit to get moving but will move in light air but a good, large, light air sail will dramatically improve the light air perfermance.

I think one reason Westsails have a bad reputation in light air is because many owners have only heavy weight cruising sails. Put on a light weight 130 or a big drifter and that should make a big difference.
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Old 22-07-2011, 09:21   #11
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

Westsails are excellent boats.

Most have tabernackled masts.

One made it thru perfect storm- they are safe and sturdy.

Look hard for the interior you want--is out there. Roomy for a 32.

So they don't "perform" in light air - do you wish a racer or a cruiser? Cruisers are notoriously sluggish but they manage to make it thru bad weather without too much scary stuff.

I would much rather have a slid heavy boat than a light performance one-- btdt in weather--- I LOVE my Formosa 41.
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:23   #12
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

I've only done one passage on one (8 days, Victoria to SF), and so am by no means an expert.

Things I liked: Great interior space, great tankage, salty look (especially with tanbark sails), good waterline length (same as my Niagara 35, roughly), solid as heck.

Things I didn't like one bit and why I wouldn't buy one: WET (see this thread). Doesn't go to weather very well at all. Canoe stern doesn't leave a lot of room for things like a wind vane, wind power, kedge anchor, and all the other stuff people like to put back there. Need to be very creative.

I wouldn't even consider buying one unless I could solve the WET problem. I would look into whether a custom coaming could be constructed and maybe upsized scuppers. Probably very possible. If I did that and I was sailing places where I wouldn't need to go to weather very often, I'd consider it a very suitable boat.
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:05   #13
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

I expect you know the kinds of opinions these boats are likely to inspire. I'm partial to the Cape George designs, and the builder is still in business; if you can afford it you can have a new one.
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:19   #14
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

See westsail.org (owners), westsail.com (Bud @ Worldcruiser).

W32s come with some huge advantages.

1) Price - You get a LOT of boat for the money
2) Common - you'll find one that fits
3) Support - Owners group and Bud Taplin @ Worldcruiser

Your satisfaction with the sailing characteristics of the boat will be based on largely personal criteria. I believe you'll enjoy it if you favor stowage, space, comfort and do not place high on the priority list being flashy, fast, or modern.

As to your question about the mast step -
The W32 came factory finished with the deck stepped mast. Many are on a tabernacle base which lets you lower and raise the mast yourself WITHOUT A CRANE. This is very cool. The rig is strong. Our boat survived a 360 degree roll and came back up with the sails in pieces but the rig held. When looking at a w32 the main consideration is that the mast support post did not have proper support beneath it. This problem is easily solved by putting a wedge of solid wood (or whatever) under it and securing it place. Most boats already have this done. You can check by pulling the bilge cover nearest the main bulkhead and looking forward above the bilge. The mast support post is the large post on the port side opening in the bulkhead. There should be a block beneath it.
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Old 22-07-2011, 11:19   #15
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Re: Westsail 32, Opinions Needed !

If I was willing to part with the money, a Cape George cutter would be my choice, one of the "Great" designs, imho.
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