Westsail Owners Alliance - Post: "Westsail 39"
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Post: "Westsail 39"

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


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Kimball Corson (Guest)

It is a great boat, indeed. A Perry design. It is a modernized Valiant 40 that weighs 3,300 lbs less, has 1,300 lbs more ballast, and is a foot shorter and 6" less wide. The fin is longish and the rudder is hung on a full skeg that supports the rudder from below as well. It length is 38' 10", but its LWL is 34' 4", a bit longer than the Valiant 40. The relatively narrow beam is carried well forward and well aft to create a very roomy interior with lots of storage. The basic PHRF of the boat is 128, considerably faster than the other Westsails. The hull is not cored, but is strongly reinforced with horizontal and vertical stringers as well as partial bulkheads. The three full bulkheads are attached and glassed in, as is the hull to deck joint. It is a very solidly built boat that survived the ravaging of a fluke Pacific Northwest hurricain without serious damage that took out three commercial fishing vessels, losing the entire crew of one. Yet the boat came in second in the 2002 Pacific Transpac race, both in its division and overall and against many longer boats. It is very fast, but can stand up well in a blow. The rig is a double spreader affair with high aspect sails. It is set up to be rigged as a sloop or a cutter, but goes to wind better as a sloop. Properly set up, the boat is a dream to single hand. It is very stiff and the hull is easily and quickly driven with just a 95% single foresail,used by many cruisers. Its ballast ratio is almost 45% and it can go up to 24 knots or so before having to reef. Outfitted for cruising, the displacement goes from 19,200 pounds to about 22,500 pounds, a weight many single handers consider just perfect. The helm balances extremely well up and down the Beaufort scale. The boat ghosts along well well in the lightest of airs. I know a couple who cruised the world for eight years and never used their cruising spinnaker even once. The interior is loaded with teak and the many deadlights, making the boat interior very bright, gorgeous, warm and homey. Hatches are by Bomar and very heavy duty. The berth lengths are, like the cockpit seats, very generous and comfortable to sleep on. The deck is easy to work on. Tracks are recessed on deck to avoid stubbed toes and the foredeck is roomy. The bulwarks are about 6' high to the toerail top and the stanchions are 30" high. The standing rigging is 3/8" 1x19 and very heavy duty.
The deck is cored with 4"x4" blocks of marine grade plywood that are glassed in and around and thereby isolated from each other, to avoid loosing the deck, if one should become saturated by a deck leak. Although built in Tiawan, all the hardwear, metalwork and fittings are made in the USA and shipped to Tiawan. The boat is Perry best effort to create a fast world cruiser, correcting what he perceived later to be his mistakes on the Valiant 40, itself a classic. I hope this helps.

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This site is provided as service to Westsail Owners by  Jack Webb (s/v Drifter, Westsail 32, Hull #438)