Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "In Search Of Westsail "fix""
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Thread: "In Search Of Westsail "fix""

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


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In Search Of Westsail "fix"

If I were a rich woman, I'd buy my husband a Westsail 42 in a heartbeat. Or a Concordia 41 (am I allowed to say that here?). I've married a sailor and know he's happiest when sailing. We live near Seattle. Can someone point me in the direction of a Westsail in the Northwest that we could possibly charter? He knows Southeast Alaska waters like the back of his hand (USCG Navigator, ship pilot, and sailed a Concordia in Long Island, where he grew up). He's really good and the ideal "prudent mariner."

Mike McCoy

If it's not too late you should beat a path over to the NW Rendezvous that is going on this very weekend (9/3-6) in Oak Harbour WA.

Check out the the Pacific Northwest Rendezvous section here on the board for details. Not sure if anyone is interested in chartering their boat but you never know and it never hurts to ask.

I am not an experienced sailor. I have been
looking for a suitable boat to take my wife and three children on
weekend sails on San Francisco Bay, and one that would be suitable for a
longer cruise in the indefinite (but hopefully not too far off) future -
up the inshore passage to Alaska. I'd also like to sail south to Mexico,
someday. A gentleman I know (an experienced cruiser) recommended the
Westsail 32 as being appropriate for my needs. I've done a fair amount
of research on boats, including the Westsails, since then.

Last Saturday, I was invited to tour a Westsail 32. The man who sails
and maintains the boat mentioned that the Westsail 32 pitches a lot. He
cited the full bow as the cause, and said that even in two-foot seas the
boat sometimes pitched enough to bury the bowsprint.

My question is this - is this normal? I know that all boats pitch, under
the right conditions. That sounds like excessive pitching to me,
particularly in a boat that is so heavy. This is the first time I have
heard of that particular issue mentioned in the context of the Westsail

Anything you can tell me in reference to the Westsail's motion at sea
would be appreciated.

Norm Rhines

Good day Peter:

I would like to address your question and then your description of w32sail characteristic.

1.) I would suggest a Catalena 34 or like boat for bay cruising and to learn on (less $$$ more entertainment space and good racing groups)

And after a year or two You could then look to find a offshore boat for your trip to Mexico or Alaska. The Westsail being one that you could look at.

2.) As to the pitching, the reason for this is two fold.
a.) The current owner has much weight in the ends making a pendulum effect.
b.) The design is fair on both ends also like a pendulum. (so it does not pound)

these pendulum effects go away with wind load on the sail and also finding a heading that does not match the natural frequence of the boat (as loaded)

With this said the w32 does Handel seas just fine (my most enjoyable trip was in 8' seas with 18 knots of wind) the design is quite good in most conditions and is a lot faster than most believe, if you have a clean bottom, are setup for sailing and not entertaining.

with all of the above said I have added a bit of improvement to my vessel to deal with Low or no wind condition with lumpy seas (a skate fin "see yahoo group under Imagine pictures/skate fin)

I have not had the opportunity to do great amounts of testing on the new fin, but the two things that are confirmed (less then 0.001 Knot loss in speed at 6 kt, the rotation point move aft about 2ft) But for further detail on performance I will need more testing in different conditions.

I hope this helps you out, Please do not take this information to mean the w32 is a bad performer (IT PREFORMS WELL 45DEG OFF THE WIND AND LOWER AND IS STILL MY PREFERENCE FOR A OFFSHORE VESSEL she is a stout one)

Dave King

Ahoy Peter,
Norm has pretty much explained the cause and effect of the pitching situation but I would also like to add some input. As a delivery skipper and a W-32 owner, I have sailed the North American coast on 8 different W-32's and at least 90 other boats. Yes, in some conditions the W-32 will pitch more than the average 32' boat. But it is not a problem. It is easy to avoid the situations that would cause the pitching. The biggest difference between the W-32's, as Norm mentioned, is how the owners have weighted their boats. With just a little effort and discipline regarding weight location in the bow, slapping the bowsprit on the water will be eliminated. Not to change the subject but the Swan 39 was one of the worst pitchers around. Being a SWAN though, nobody wanted to admit that it could possibly have had a problem. Many other boats that may pitch less will in fact "slap" hard in the bow or stern in similar situations. I for one do not appreciate a boat the pounds or slaps the water. It can be unnerving. Good luck with your choice.

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