Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "BALLAST Used In A 1971 Westsail 32 Flush Deck"
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Thread: "BALLAST Used In A 1971 Westsail 32 Flush Deck"

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


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BALLAST Used In A 1971 Westsail 32 Flush Deck

norman Gundersheim (Guest)

hello Bud,
I am interested in a 1971 W32 flush deck version. The boat has been seriously neglected and needs some major work.
There are 3 deck beams that are rotten, the rudder needs to be rebuilt, the hull where the pintles and gudgeons are attached is deteriorating etc. etc. The boat is heading for the junk heap unless someone as crazy me buys it and restores it.
One other concern is about the ballast . Looking under the cabin sole there appears to be big chunks of rusted metal at the top of what I am assuming is the ballast? Can you shed any light on the cause and whether or not I need to be concerned about this? Also any comments on the deck beams or hull deterioration would be appreciated.


Bud Taplin


Unless you are familiar with boat construction, and are willing to take on a long term rebuild project, you should not undertake this one. The rotted deckbeams would have to be replaced, and you would probably find rot in the plywood deck areas that are touching the beams.
The ballast is probably steel punchings, saturated with fiberglass resin, as were most of the W32's. If the fiberglass covering over the steel punchings is delaminated or fractured, then water will enter and rust and expand the steel. Grinding off the rusty metal, filling over with thickened epoxy filler, then putting on a few layers of fiberglass mat and roving with epoxy resin should correct the problem. The boat should be out of the water though, and any moisture trapped in the ballast allowed to dry out.
Don't know what to say about the stern, although probably what you are seeing is the crazing of the exterior gelcoat on the bonding seam of the two halves of the hull. The important area to check is the bonding on the interior of the hull, as that is where the strength lies. The exterior is only a cosmetic problem.

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