Westsail 28 or 32

  • August 02, 2018 10:09
    Message # 6410552

    Hello everybody,

    I am a new member on the forum and looking to acquire a WS in the next few years. I have started to read as much as I can about WS boats, their pluses and their minuses, as I am trying to make myself a head on the topic.

    To be honest, I am already in love with them.That being said, I certainly understand that the final decision will probably be more influenced by the nature of the given occasion than by any other concerns, but I would pretty much appreciate to get as much information as I can to properly evaluate the difference between the two vessels and choose the one best fitted for my needs. I am thus turning to current or past owners to learn more from their own experiences. I am now especially looking upon WS28 and WS32, but in the final both of them might not be the right choice...

    Until now, I will essentially describe myself as a costal navigator. I am located in Quebec and sailed down the St. Lawrence River many times. As I now see it, my navigation plans won't change very much in the foreseeable future. I essentially sail singlehanded or in crew of 2 or 3 (max) people. If ocean-crossings and southern trip is certainly an interesting enterprise that I will love to undertake at the right moment, it won't be the principal purpose of the vessel. What I want is essentially more to push further exploration of the isolated coasts of northern North America (North Shore of Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland coasts, maybe the Arctic isles and Greenland coasts). However, these trips will certainly have their good share of long off-shore passage, rough sea condition, and isolated anchoring. This why I am looking toward a well-recognized seaworthy vessel.

    Given that information, I am thus instinctively more inclined to look after the WS28 than the 32. Appart from budget considerations (that are of great importance to me), I thought the the WS28 will be more adapted to these kind of "mixed" trip, that required a good salty boat but that aren't neither a multi-years circumnavigation projet. Being aware that WS are reputed as "slow" boat (nothing that bothers me a lot), I am however thinking that the lesser displacement of the 28 will be more suited for trip that aren't 3-4 weeks straight run but that will implies at some point frequent stop at anchorage and marinas. Also, it seems to me that design "improvements" on the 28 shall not be of no importance.

    However, even if they seem to me at first sight better for my needs and more affordable, they are also much rarer (one golden opportunity just slip between my fingers because I was still to ambivalent :( ...) This is why I am asking myself if paying the additional price for the WS32 might be worthy enough (or even not a bad choice). The only thing that currently seem superior for me in the WS32 is that it as more storage, a better headroom (i'm 6' 3'' tall), and may probably be better suited for that once-or-twice-in-a-life-time ocean-crossing.

    So, this is why I am anxious to hear what those who have sailed these boats in similar of different conditions might think of my own judgment and attitude.

    Thanks to all !

  • August 03, 2018 18:18
    Reply # 6412805 on 6410552

    For head room , on our W28 . I'm 5'11" and have no problem . At 6'3" that would be pushing it , but doable . The only place you would have to duck is the beam at the compression post . Sleeping in the V berth should be OK , getting in the 1/4 berth and sleeping should be good to . Water tankage on our boat has been increased , we installed a 20 gal tank in the V berth . Not that we needed the extra water we just like to put purified water in it . Westsail folklore alert !  Many years ago a guy was having his Westsail 32 commissioned  , He had a 30 gal. Monel tank installed and filled it with Vodka .

    Any how you don't need to worry about room for stores on a 32 or 28 . There is also room for a watermaker and reefer and you will still have plenty of room .

    I don't know the availability of Westsails in your area , so you might have to look out of your area and consider shipping .

    If you haven't already done it I would get Bud's manual for the 32 , there is also stuff in there about the 28 . The manual will help you when you start looking at boats . 

    Prices for W28's have come down somewhat , back in the 90's it was 35 K and that was it . Now some boats have been repowered and the owners are only asking mid 20's , so that is something to consider . Sea Kitty (W28) on Bud's site is a good example .  

    A word on W28's the first few were different from the rest , they were under ballasted , mast was to short and they didn't have a boomkin and the rudder was to small . .  

    Last modified: August 03, 2018 18:36 | Anonymous member
  • August 04, 2018 14:01
    Reply # 6413579 on 6410552

    Thanks for the info Mark !

    Do you (or anyone else) have comments upon navigation and sailing experience themselves ?

    I would also like to have comments on teck deck. I love them (and the boat that slips between my fingers have one) but never have one myself. Many people choose to remove the wood and put Awlgrip or the equivalent instead. Should it be necessarily considered as an upgrade on an old boat or is it just the laziest option (feel how dichotomous and partial I am on this one).

    Thanks again to everybody!

  • August 04, 2018 14:53
    Reply # 6413630 on 6410552

    Hi Julian , I don't understand  what you mean by navigation . For the sailing  , I have never sailed on a 32 . We think our little 28 sails just fine but it took me a while to figure it out . When we got our boat I had only been sailing for a few years , we would get massive weather helm because when it got blowing we would take down the Yankee then the staysail and then just go by main . Our previous boat loved to sail that way (it was sloop rigged) . I was talking to Bud one day about this , he told me the correct way : First reef the main , then the staysail  , then double reef the main , now reef the Yankee . At the time we didn't have roller furling for the Yankee but now we do and I recommend it . Also for light air we have a drifter . For sailing down wind  (actually a little off) we pole out the Yankee to the wind and fly the drifter to the lee . I didn't mean to imply that the drifter is for down wind only , we point quite well with it too .

    Teak decks , they are nice , when new . When old , they leak . That will ruin your head liner and drive you nuts . You will have enough fun keeping your cap rail sealed up . We do not have them . but there is a alternative , I have never seen it for real , but they have a synthetic that in pictures looks good .   

    Last modified: August 04, 2018 15:02 | Anonymous member
  • August 05, 2018 10:43
    Reply # 6414551 on 6410552

    Have never experience leaking reak decks on out 32 because if they're correctly installed the screws do not penetrate the cabin top so there's no way for water to get in.  Cap rails are another animal altogether and for me at least they're a challenge to keep sealed.

    With reefing, the way I think about it is to reduce sail fore or aft of the mast (staysail, Yankee, main) so as to keep the sail area balance fore and aft.  Then no weather or lee helm.


    If you're interested in a 32 in very good condition I have a US registered boat for sale in Souris, PEI, Canada.

  • August 06, 2018 06:21
    Reply # 6415552 on 6410552

    Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for the comment.

    Albeit I am more interested by 28s, the 32 is certainly also an option for me. Is there an add online for your boat or is there a way we can discuss the topic more privately ?


    To Mark: by "navigation" I essentially meant sailing capabilities in the context of the kind of voyage I plan to make.

  • August 10, 2018 08:17
    Reply # 6461993 on 6410552

    Haven't listed it yet Julien but you can contact me by phone on PEI (902 659 2519) or by email at ralph.weiland@ogtrt.com.  The boat is USCG registered but has had GST paid on it so it can legally stay in Canada.

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