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Thread: "Determining Waterline On W32"

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


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Determining Waterline On W32

Aaron Norlund

Hi all,

I asked this a bit back in an obscure thread, so it probably wasn't seen.

What is the best way to see when our boats are sitting on their lines? I believe my painted waterline has been moved up and I'm not confident in looking at that. I've been struggling with weather helm, so I suspect my mast is raked too much. However, I'm not sure how to determine when the boat is "level" while adjusting my rigging.

Can I tell by looking at tang/water relationships forward and aft?

Thanks for your help!
Aaron N.

Dave King

Ahoy Aaron,
The designed LWL at the bow was at the bottom of the cutwater fitting. This should be about 54 inches, vertically, from the highest point on the hull, the stem, under the cap rail.
Saraband is sitting exactly level, 2 inches high. At the point on the hull mentioned, She is 56" to the water. At the point of the stern, also below the cap rail, she measures 39 3/4", vertically, to the water. The most aft and bottom mounting bolt for the top gudgeon (fiberglass gudgeon) is 1" above the water. Saraband is hull #211. She is only half loaded at this time. With these measurements, and also when fully loaded, there is no weather helm problem.
With an owner completed boat, the cutwater fitting and the gudgeons may not be in the right place. I do not know the measurements for the W-32's that are of other vintages.
Under all the paint, the original scribed, LWL may still be found.
Good luck, Dave

Dave King

Mike & Ivana,
On the first hull mold, the one that used the SS gudgeons and pintles, (I owned #84 for 12+ years) and also on the second mold, that used the fiberglass gudgeons, ( the bulk of the W-32's) the scribed LWL was right. Both of my 32's sailed with no weather helm problem.
Both boats were always kept level and always had the cutwater fitting out of the water. No zinc on the fitting was ever necessary. Over the years, most W-32's have had their boot stripes raised as most new owners had just a little more weight on the boat than the previous owner.
If you raise the stripe, insure that you raise it parallel so you will at least be able to know when the boat is level, as designed.
One good reason to raise the stripe is because the scum at the waterline is easier to clean off of bottom paint than it is enamel or gelcoat.
I do not know the consensus concerning the WL on the last hull mold.

Mike and Ivana Meyran

Hey Dave: I will be setting my waterline for the first time. Do you know if the scribed mark from the factory was accurate, or have they been adjusted since?

Brian Smith

There must be a way to just run a tape, bow and stern, 'x' inches to the water (from?)- Hull #553 here and I would sure like to know as well if my bootstripe/waterline is correct (w/o scraping away layers of paint)

Gary and Charlotte Burton

Aaron -

Look at the following two links. They show the location of the cutwater fitting and bottom bolt hole for the boomkin tang.
Of course this is only correct if the boat was assembled as per the factory drawings



Brian Smith

A very helpful guide!

Aaron Norlund

Dave and Gary,

Thanks for the clarification. I had bit adjusting the rig with the bow a bit down. - that may explain why, even with "no rake", I have weather helm. I imagine, when on the lines, I still have 8 or more inches of rake.

Which brings me back to my standing rigging being poorly cut - I have Sta-loks everywhere, so who knows if it was done by a knowledgeable person. I only have another inch or so of adjustable length on my backstay screw. Perhaps my boomkin stays are too tight though. We'll see.

Aaron N.

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