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.