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Old 14-11-2016, 15:32   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3
Bayfield 32 opinions???

Hey everyone! I'm in the process of buying my first sailboat. The boat will be a liveaboard so any advice at all about that is great. But I plan to live on the boat in South Carolina and take short day trips and eventually head towards the Bahamas once I get some more experience. I found this bayfield 32 and it looks to be in great shape. I have received the survey the seller has and read over it and that looks great as well. Now my biggest question is of course what are all of your opinions and suggestions about the bayfield 32. Then with it being in Canada and registered in Canada I was wondering if there would be anything big preventing me from buying in Canada. I know ill need to pay the taxes and jazz like that but is there anything I am missing? And then what is everyone's opinions on this exact boat??
Thank you all in advance!!!!

Bayfield 32------- http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/59949
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Old 14-11-2016, 23:56   #2
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Location: 49'N on Vancouver Island
Boat: 1998 Hunter 410 (now), 1981 Bayfield 32c (old)
Posts: 110
Re: Bayfield 32 opinions???

We owned a 32c (tall rig) for 10 years and loved it. Here's my take on the good and bad of these boats.

The Good:

Hull: Strong, good glasswork. It's shape is really nice in that the hull never pounds when going upwind. Osmosis is not a common problem.

Rig: I loved the cutter rig for balancing sails, and the low sheet loads associated with splitting the rig ahead of the mast into two sails. Great for balancing. Not as good upwind though as a masthead sloop.

Cockpit and deck:
Wide decks and low freeboard made it easy going forward. Deep safe cockpit was easy to work in during rough weather. The mainsheet coming endboom to behind the helm made it a simple and fun boat to single hand.

The low freeboard made it a piece of cake stepping off onto a low pier.

Down below:
Nice and cozy. Good teak materials used. Lots of storage, but really only suitable for a couple. Four guests overnight was fine for a weekend but that was it. Excellent handholds below for moving around in rough seas.

Full keel:
It helped the boat track well, and gave excellent protection from an accidental grounding.

The Bad:


Full keel:
It made low speed handling, especially in reverse, a royal pain in the butt. I've docked 44'+ fin keel and catamarans that were far easier to deal with in close quarters and a breeze than our old Bayfield 32.
Learn to "back and fill". How to Maneuver in Narrow Channels - BoatSafe.com

Get out and practice lots when the winds are light, and fender up when the breeze builds.

For the 32, not 32c, Sail Area:
The model you are looking at has the shorter mast and will be a dog in light airs. Off the wind a good assymetrical/code zero/gennaker will fix things but upwind in light air get used to motoring. The only plus of this rig is in the trades, you will reef less often.

Cockpit:
The plusses above are offset by the smallish size. Sailing with more than four people gets crowded. The scupper drains for the cockpit and side decks aren't huge, and if you sail offshore in waters where getting pooped is a risk. this may not be the ideal boat. We only sailed coastal waters, (Great Lakes, and Pacific NW) so it was a non-issue for us.

Down Below:
The head is small and most didn't have a shower. Many that have showers installed don't have a grey water sump and all the soapy water ends up in the bilge.

Sleeping more than two adults for anything more than a weekend isn't recommended. However for two, the boat is good for long term livaboard use provided you aren't pack-rats.

The boat's deep bilge really narrows and is challenging to keep fully dry because it shares space with the fuel tank. We plumbed a second bilge pump that mounted vertically in that narrow gap which helped immensely.

Wiring:
Expect old fuses and pole switches if the owner hasn't updated things. We upgraded ours with BlueSeas panels and were very pleased.

Power Plant:
We only had 15 hp and it wasn't really enough. 21 Hp sounds better but really 25-30 is ideal for this boat. The engine room isn't insulated and as a result motoring is noisy. This is an easy fix though to DIY.

The fuel tank is below the engine in the bilge. Unless the previous owner has added a fuel pump between the tank and the racor, expect bleeding the engine to be a miserable experience. This was one of the first things we did when we bought the boat and it made servicing the engine a much easier job. I cannot stress how important this upgrade was as you could bleed the engine in seconds versus 10+ minutes. Critically important if doing this in a rolling sea and a filter change becomes necessary.

Good or Bad...Outside Teak!
Looks gorgeous when maintained, looks shameful when ignored. It is a fair amount of work, but it gives the boat its distinctive look and we really liked the teak.

We thought this was the perfect first boat for us. We learned lots, especially sail trim as the cutter is a bit more of a puzzle than a sloop. We always trusted the boat and felt safe on her. Expect some work, its old and old stuff always requires more work than new. However you will be a better sailor for the experience. Best of luck and hope this helps.
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