Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Is It Really That Bad?"
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Post: "Is It Really That Bad?"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Don and Margaret Lacoste

Hi Nathaniel,

I have only owned my W-32 for two summer seasons. I previously owned a Ranger 33, Pearson 33 and now the W-32. The Ranger was the fastest boat I owned but pounded hard in lumpy seas. The Pearson was also a good sailor but too light for any real weather.

I am still learning about my W-32 but so far the critics comments are unfounded. The only real hassle is tacking the W-32 due to the inner forstay. I have learned to leave the jib backsheeted while coming about until the wind really grabs it and then release the sheet. Much better tacks that way.

As for performance, I accidently entered a local club race a few weeks ago. The boat was loaded up with gear, diesel, water, ground tackle, etc. There were 11 boats in the race and the course was only 1.5 miles long with three round trips to race. We were still tied to our mooring when the first warning was sounded trying to get the boat ready. By the second warning, we were motoring to the start line and finally cut the engine just seconds before the start and came through the line in 10th position.
By the first rounding (upwind)1.5 mile leg, we had picked up 7 positions. On the downwind, we had no spinnaker and just the 110 jib and full main and lost NO ground over the spinnaker boats, sailing along at 7.25 to 7.75 knots in 16kt winds. We made some critical mistakes on some of the roundings (there were only 2 of us on board)and on the last lap, the apparent wind dropped to 4 knots on the downwind home stretch. We still came in 5th position.

Our competitors were J boats, a fleet of Ranger 26 and 29s, some Pearsons. Needless to say, we earned a lot of respect from our fellow competitors who were taking this race seriously with crews of 4 to 5 people per vessel.

In general, I am really loving my boat and consider it the best boat I've ever owned. I single hand the boat at least three times a week on Penobscot bay and everywhere I go people admire the boat and the condition it is in. Our long range goals is to cruise 6 months a year.

Don

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