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Old 25-08-2014, 18:42   #1
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How to start

I have only sailed small boats but have the bug to get a 32 foot blue water boat. I found one I think would work but it needs a fair amount of work a Westsail. I know many people do not like them.

My first plan was to have moved to my house where I have room to work on it? it will cost a least a years doc fees so the only benefit would be having it at my house and having tools and some of what I need close. I would then have to mail order or drive to pick up marine supplies.

Of do I work on it in the water ... after doing the numbers I am leaning towards this. My issue is I have a back injury and cannot work as hard as I used to. so for example the first go at doing the bottom I am going to have to hire one or two people to help me sand it down.

The biggest issue with the boat is it needs the control panel rewired .. the owner removed it and had health issues so he stopped working on it a couple years ago.
It will need a new motor also. To me this looks like a fairly easy job for three strong guys.


any ideas here ? of course my final thought is am i better buying a boat closer to being ready to sail ? I do not know the market but a part of me says if I am patient there will be one with a new motor and in better shape.
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Old 25-08-2014, 19:15   #2
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Re: How to start

Hi David and welcome to the forum.

There may be some people who don't prefer the Westsail but I know of no one that will argue the strength and quality of the build.

If you are not experienced with boats and potential problems I highly recommend a professional survey. A lot of the Westsails were kit boats and finished by the owners with varying degrees of quality. Some had teak decks over plywood and it is not uncommon for the plywood to be rotted. This could turn a small project into a giant one.

I faced the same question you are facing. Leave my boat in the water and commute or truck it closer to home. I choose to truck it and never regretted it. Having been playing with boats for 40 years and done a couple of major overhauls I can confirm the truth of an old boat joke. Every project you do on a boat takes twice and long and costs twice as much as you estimated. Add the time and gas you spend driving back and forth to the boat and that makes another argument for keeping it close to home.
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Old 25-08-2014, 19:26   #3
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Re: How to start

By the way, if you haven't already connected you should contact Bud Taplin at Westsail.com. He knows all there is to know about the boats.

Also if you do replace the engine a friend of mine recently repowered his W32 with a Beta diesel and could offer some hints.
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Old 25-08-2014, 19:36   #4
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Re: How to start

Hi I plan to have a survey, I already sent Bud an email I will call him tomorrow and see what he thinks. for me its a numbers thing and not knowing the market. I am stuck on westsail because I like the way they look and feel. I just do not know what I don't know there maybe other boats but for me I kind of like the idea of knowing it can withstand most anything. it would take some worry out of the day ? as for the finish the boat was factory finished.
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Old 25-08-2014, 19:53   #5
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Re: How to start

Here's what stood out to me from what you posted...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David2676 View Post
The biggest issue with the boat is it needs the control panel rewired .. the owner removed it and had health issues so he stopped working on it a couple years ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David2676 View Post
My issue is I have a back injury and cannot work as hard as I used to.
Just something to think about - wouldn't want to see you end up in the same place as the current owner.

If you can find something that doesn't need as much work, I'd go for that. But if this is that good a deal because of the work and you can do it, then why not?
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Old 25-08-2014, 20:20   #6
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Re: How to start

I can't speak to the working on the water option, but we're mucking about with an S2 9.1 in the back yard. And it's good.

It's a huge benefit to be parked right next to a garage full of tools. And lots of power. Also being in the South it's been great to be working in a shady yard and not baking on tarmac somewhere. Also - you can pop in for an hour or two in the evening when the spirit moves you.

We're several months into what should have been a quick cleanup and get her out there for the Summer project. The urge to make right is strong within my partner and we just finished up replacing 7 keel nuts. Which easily took the best part of a day and a half between the corrosion on the nuts, epoxy paint on the thread of the bolts and incredibly tight working quarters.

Happily, I think this means we have reached as far down as we can go and can now turn the corner and begin putting back together. I hope. I really do hope...
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Old 25-08-2014, 20:29   #7
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Re: How to start

Great to have it at your home or nearby. Before you do this, make sure you have pricing for a rigger & trucker to deliver, take it off, pick it up, deliver it to the marina. These fees are not trivial especially compared to a travel lift & storage. For boats of this size, you may find a boat hauler with a hydraulic lift truck and avoid the rigger.

I would have considered this too but a 58 foot; 35 ton boat in a residential subdivision would have made a bit of a stir.
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Old 25-08-2014, 21:37   #8
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Re: How to start

I had a Westsail 32 and I loved that boat. I did a lot of work on it, and I did it all by myself. Our Westsail had simple systems that were easy to maintain and repair. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but it was a bullet proof boat that could really stand up to the sea. If I ever get another Westsail, I will put a fifty horsepower diesel in the boat and extra fuel tanks for times when I want to punch my way to windward. I always felt safe in that boat. Enjoy your Westsail. It is an awesome boat.
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Old 25-08-2014, 22:17   #9
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Re: How to start

David...you have received some very good advice. I too agree on having your project at your house if at all possible. I spent 4 years travelling 48 miles one way as often as I could to work on my project just to get it movable. Many constraints would come up, from my work schedule keeping me out of town to the marina moving it for 6 months to make room for the "snow birds".
Also as mentioned, if a engine replacement is needed, Beta Marine has quality and price in your favor.
Good luck and enjoy your Westsail...you'll not regret it.

Just remember to keepa Smilin no matter how tough it gets....
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Old 25-08-2014, 23:38   #10
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Re: How to start

Only the owners of the Benehuntalinas mock Westsail 32's. They're a good, stout boat. If you get it...just take it easy and allow it to become a labor of love.
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Old 26-08-2014, 01:41   #11
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Re: How to start

David,

I have been rebuilding a W32 for years now. I can tell you that the factory finished boats were well made but years take their toll. You have said the boat may need a motor. I repowered our W32. Many factors that we don't yet have enough information come into play. If the motor you are replacing is a different make and model you may have to adjust the engine bed, prop, seacocks, etc. What is the condition of the standing rigging? Have you checked the chain plates, stem fittings, boomkin, rudder, pintles and grudgeons, mast support and bowsprit?

Each of these seem simple on paper but represent hours of work and hundreds of dollars if anything is wrong or needs replacing.

The seacocks should be pulled apart (if they are the originals), check the rubber cones for wear and tear. If they have groves, cracks, or the handle isn't solid to the rubber they'll need replacing.

Check the mast to see if it is sagging. This will be noticeable on the deck and also in the boat around the passage from the main salon into the head. There will be cracks and unevenness there. Check in the bilge to see if the main beam under the cabin sole is sagging. Check to see if there is a support installed in the bilge area under the main mast support beam. Check to see if the main bulk head is bolted to the deck beam above. All of these need to be done.

Check to see if the bilge surface is totally smooth and look for cracks. Make sure there are none. The later westsails used putty over the ballast and it can crack.

Check the rudder for cracks. They are old and can absorb water. Ask the owner to unship the rudder and check the pintles and grudeons for any problems. Hopefully they are fiberglass, the stainless is still fine but make sure you check for cracks.

Look closely at the boomkins for rot. Any corrosion along the wood is bad. Check the two chainplates on the stern, see how wide they are. The ones the boats were built with were 1" or 1.25" and they were not big enough, you need 1.5" chainplates on the stern. Make sure this has been done.

Look closely for leaks in the boat. The hull to deck joint is almost 40 years old. Most of them leak, along with the genoa tracks. Look for signs of water running down from the bulwarks into the bilge.

Check the fuel tanks. If they are SS expect to replace them.

If the engine room is one with the engine room liner, you may need to bond it better to the hull. Ask the owner about this.

There are other considerations. These are great old boats, but they are old boats. Be prepared and know what time has done to them. If you need any help send me an email. Bud Taplin is a great resource. Also westsail.org. For very detailed stuff involved in our refit, check our blog, Sundowner Sails Again | Refit Rebels.

Good luck! We love our W32.
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