Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Westsail 32 As Singlehander?"
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Thread: "Westsail 32 As Singlehander?"

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


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Westsail 32 As Singlehander?

mike mccoy (Guest)

I'm finally footloose & fancy free, have come into some money and I'm seriously contemplating finding a Westsail 32 to liveaboard/Cruise. I'm single, 56 YOA in good health, avg shape and definately 'mechanically inclined'. My choice of a Westsail (aside from the obvious quality) is the full keel displacement hull. Something I decided long ago would be more 'forgiving' in a singlehanded boat. I'm not interested in racing (I have the rest of my life to get there). As a potential singlehander I'm more interested in seaworthiness and safety.

In the mid -80's I was a Coast Guard licensed Captain, captained a 36' stinkpot (Tybee Island GA) and singlehanded my O'day 21 sloop offshore many many times. I know it's not the same as a larger boat but I feel certain I could come back up to speed fairly easily. My plan would be to remain on the East Coast/FLA/Carribean until I became proficient (then who knows?).

But that was then and this is now... I'm sure there are many Westsail 32's set up as a singlehander but realistically I'm wondering if in reality I might be overextending myself physically. Despite my lifelong dream am I possibly biting off more than I can chew? Am I living in a fantasy world thinking I can manage a Westsail 32 by myself?

Bud Taplin


You should be able to easily handle a Westsail 32 by yourself. Many other owners of all ages have done so. The key is setting up the boat to be easily handled, and having an autopilot and/or windvane to steer for you while you are doing other things.

Come to one of the Westsail rendezvous and talk with other owners to get their comments.


Christina Potis

I am trying to locate info on 2 boats:
One is a Reinell 13'5 with a hull id# 52114. Possibly produced between 1960-64
The other is a Higgins(?)17' hull id#161043. Both are old classics that want fixing up. How do I go about locating the history of these boats?

Mike Carnall

I have a good deal less experience than you and am a bit older but I have been singlehanding my Westsail in and around the SF Bay since I purchased her in 2002. The key is having good auto steering and being practiced at shortening sail. I have a monitor which is almost always engaged while under sail and a tillerpilot which is used mostly under power. Next step is to rig the tillerpilot to the Monitor sail.
My main has a Dutchman furling system which works well but my headsails are still hanked on. A downhaul on the jib brings it down from the foredeck so no trip to the end of the bowsprit is required.
My previous boat was a Catalina 27 which I also singlehanded. The Westsail doesn't require much more effort and is a much more stable platform to work on.
Happy sailing,

Mike C.

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