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Old 07-11-2008, 17:03   #1
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Westsail 32 vs CSY 33

I have come into a bit of money paying off my debt a touch faster, so moving my 5 year plan to a 2 year plan.

That means I have 2 years to sail the lake before going ocean cruising, scary! But people have done it with less. I will be taking lots of courses.

Anyways, to my point...

My criteria for my boat eventually will be:

1. water sailing">Blue water sailing boat: I want a boat capable of blue water sailing and is forgiving of mistakes by virtue of being a tough cookie. I will be doing coastal sailing for the first couple years but blue water sailing is definitely in my future and I dont want to dick with buying and selling boats later, so I am just going to get the boat now.

2. As comfortable as possible given 1. 6'2" headroom MINIMUM I am 6'2" and don't want to walk everywhere below hunched right over.

3. Price: I will not have a lot of money so do not want to spend an exorbitant amount on the boat considering it will undoubtedly need refitting as well.

Size mostly dictated by price but nothing too small so looking around the 32-35 foot mark.

Given these things, 2 of the major candidates I've come across are the CSY-33 and Westsail 32.

They both seem to range from about 25-55 thousand$ for most boats (CSYs seem a bit more on the low end of this, nicer westsail's on the high end)

They both have reputations as heavily over-built boats with core-less hulls and thick layup. They both have a rep for sailing slowly due to their weight and strength but being basically bulletproof. The Westsail is a cute boat but looks kind of like a bathtub with a full keel. I do like the look of both boats though.

Given all of this, is there any of these two you guys could suggest for the wifey and me? Or is there another model that would fit these criteria more perfectly? We have looked at IP 31s (most too expensive, same with PSCs etc) and there are another few options, but these boats are so-far the frontrunners.

Sigh why are my posts always so long ahha.. Thanks again guys! This forum is fantastic.

-J
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Old 07-11-2008, 17:12   #2
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I am 6'2" and can easily wear a top-hat inside my CSY 33 without hitting anything.

If anything the Westsail 32s are bit heavier than the CSY 33, something like 19.5K vs 16.5k lbs design displacement if memory serves right.

I like 'em both but choose the CSY, more storage for one thing.
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Old 07-11-2008, 17:38   #3
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FWIW we're quite happy with our Westsail. As long as you understand the trade-offs I'd highly recommend them.

I'm not familiar with the CSY.
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Old 07-11-2008, 18:36   #4
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So more stowage and more headroom? Is there any trade off besides less displacement to getting the CSY33 ?(Displacement not really such a consideration, I plan on doing more coastal cruising than blue water cruising.)
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Old 07-11-2008, 19:46   #5
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If you plan to do more coastal cruising including the Bahamas and possibly farther south you might want to look at a 36 Catalina.
At comparable price you might find a newer Catalina that would serve you well without a lot of upgrading or labor.

Regarding the CSY33 or Westsail I like the lines of Westsail much more. Other than that they are both fine boats if cared for and not a project.
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Old 07-11-2008, 19:52   #6
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I owned my Westsail 32 for at least six years, and I sailed on it exlusively in the Caribbean - Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

It's an honest cruising yacht designed for offshore sailing downwind around the world.

For sailing upwind around the world, it would not be my first choice. The beam is carried very far forward which creates more of a barge-like profile rather than a narrow hull entry forward.

If I ever get another Westsail 32, I will repower it with a 40-50 hp diesel so that I can punch my way to windward when I'm in big tradewind seas sailing against the wind and seas.

The ballasting on the Westsail 32 varies from yacht to yacht. When Westsail corp was doing well, they tended to use lead for ballast. When they were in financial trouble, I am told that they used steel punchings for ballast. My Westsail 32 was underballasted, and I added 1200 lbs in the bilge to stiffen the yacht.

The Westsail 32 has rounded bilges so it has little initial resistance to heeling when sailing to windward. When we sailed to Saint Thomas from Puerto Rico, our Westsail would be heeled over at 20-30 degrees for most of the trip. If you don't mind sailing to windward heeled over to that degree, then, no problem.

Storage inside the Westsail is huge for a boat its size. I consider it a great two person boat, but I could get along ok if I had two of my kids with me cruising.

If I was going for a Westsail, I would go for one without teak decks. The decks have been on board for a long time, and the probability that some of the screws might have allowed water intrusion into the core of the deck is worth considering.

I think the Westsail is a great boat for the right person. I loved my Westsail.
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Old 07-11-2008, 20:46   #7
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I'm 6-2 also and headroom was a priority when I was looking for a boat.

I would check out the Niagara 35, Baba 30 and Southern Cross 35 (the Southern Cross 31 was just a bit too low). I could also stand upright in an Allied 32 (Seawind MK II), but they're tough to find if cutter rigged. The Freedom 32 also has plenty of headroom if you can deal with the rig.
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Old 07-11-2008, 22:57   #8
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A Catalina is totally out. I've read nothing about them more prominant than that they are totally unsuited to blue water cruising and I really don't want to have to sell the boat I have and go through buying another when I want to cross the pond.

Other than that I am basically up in the air. These two boats are the front runners of what I am looking for in terms of price for what you get, but I am of course open to suggestions.

So no one knows any difference in sailing performance and interior comfort for these two boats? The westsail displaces more but I suppose that will probably make it slower in the same winds assuming a similar rig..

Thanks for the replies everyone! If anyone else has suggestions keep em coming
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Old 08-11-2008, 00:29   #9
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The CSY has a larger and drier cockpit than the Westsail. You'll be well protected. Compare the cockpits and you will see why the Westsail will be wetter when you have water on deck.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:53   #10
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We had a CSY 33 too for a while and CSYman and Trekka are accurate. You can sail them in a gale (I have). I wouldn't do it on purpose though. The boats genrally take a bigger beating than you should ever hope to survive. You will probably die before the boat fails. They almost always save the boats. Given they only made 59 and that makes 3 of us and it's about as good a 5% sample as you'll get in one Internet thread about CSY's. The Westsail 32 is a very popular boat as well and there may be more of them out there. They share some of the same qualities.

More displacement means you can carry more stuff. stuff and tankage are critical difference in boats good for cruising. You just have to carry more things and have more water and fuel than other types of sailing. In cruising boats you need to think 1 ton pickup truck not convertible sports car. The fact that they were overbuilt is not all positive but they were overbuilt to be sure.

In the end, look at the actual boats for sale you can get to. Every boat of this age has issues that may be handled by now or not. They all have some degree of repair and refit required and price might reflect some of that too. Extra goodies and features do matter a lot. What any boat used to be is not what it is today. Make a list of boats and try to inspect as many of them as close to home as possible. Buy the one in the best condition that you still like. Starting out with the best one available is just not a regrettable decision. The very best Westsail 32 or CSY 33 is probably not for sale so look for the best one that is.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:07   #11
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I owned a 32 for 20 years and now own a 42 (Westsail). One advantage of the boats currently is that you can still get OEM parts through Bud Tablin at Westsail.com . Chainplates to my recollection are an issue on the CSY's and some one the WS's. But their easier to replace on the Westsails. So too I believe tankage. Don't fully know about the CSY 33 ( I think their tanks were molded in w/ fiberglass) but the tanks on the 32 are fuly easily replaceable - if there is anything easy on a boat. All can be removedin less than a day on the 32's. Also as for the above teak decks - to you're best to avoid them, in the tropics the heat and extra weight isn't worth it as well as the maintenance IMHO. The engine needs to be either the 3 cyc Volvo or 4 Perkins or the newer Beta. Many boats are now showing up w/ the newer Beta. As for heeling, yes we found that 20 degrees was our sweet spot for heeling. Sailing to windward we we not fast but with a Yankee and reefed main we made good progress, wet in the Gulf but in the longer ocean swells much better. In gulf chop we would hobby horse but I thing most boats w/ a 27' waterline would too. It is NOT a daysailing boat but great for crusing, Large, comfortable and in the water pretty. I'll admit out of the water she does look like a bathtub and expecially if you take off the sprit.

You may also look for some of the newer SS bow sprit setups and the SS boomkins. Make for much safer boat. Expect to replace the rigging to make sure you're on the safe side.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:54   #12
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Aloha Anathema,
I would talk my way aboard each of the boats and take a sail. You'll immediately choose the one most comfortable to your personal taste. I've sailed on the West Sail but not the CSY so I can compare apples to (?). I did like the factory finished West Sail's interior. It is very well done. They are not speed demons but they certainly will make it.
West Sails are transom hung ruddered double enders so have a bit different motion and tiller feel. If you don't have wheel steering there his a great deal of rudder feedback which can be a good thing if you are up on sail trim.
Kind regards,
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:10   #13
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As a Westsail 32 owner, my reply is biased. If your concern is head room, you will find the later model superior because of the curved cabin top. I'm 5'-10" and the ceiling is about 6" above the top of my head. The boat is certainly heavy (20,000 lbs) but does reasonable speed when carrying sail appropriate for the wind conditions and point of sail.
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Old 08-11-2008, 13:02   #14
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Either boat can work for you. You need to look at some, more than one of each for there can be distinct variations.

A few years ago when I was looking for a new boat I had distinct characteristics and layout in mind. I looked at a lot of boats, either finding ones needing too much rebuilding or snatched before I got to them because they didn't.

While looking through the classifieds of the local freebie sailing rag I saw a picture of a boat I did not know, but which looked unique. Not what I was looking for, but not far away so I drove out to the yard and walked around the CSY 33. Right away I saw strong build but with features not what I was looking for ("I will never have a boat with more than a 4ft draft in the Chesapeake!"). I climbed the ladder to the cockpit and noticed how snug it felt, protected. I walked along the deck noticing the broad cabin top, the four big hatches (2 over main cabin, one over head, one over forward cabin), the wrap around ports of the main cabin, and the recessed foredeck with big scuppers, where lines and fenders and rafts could be put - and where they would stay put until attended to. Pretty nice, I thought, too bad... but when I stepped down the companionway and saw the cabin in front of me I was in love. Forget what I thought I wanted, this was what I wanted. As for the lack of an aft cabin, oh well. As for not having shoal draft in the Chesapeake, I'd have to adapt. As for, whatever else there was, I had new things to love instead of them to miss.

Boats work that way on you, kind of like cats. Look at Westsails, CSY's and others. The right one will let you know. In my case I settled right there on that model, though not that specific boat. Missed the next one on the market by a smidge, but got the one after that.
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Old 08-11-2008, 14:17   #15
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Trekka that is a great testimony. It usually is the one you fall in love with even though it doesn't necessarily fit the mold you are looking for. Well put.
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