Windward ability and motor sailing

  • December 20, 2017 10:56 PM
    Message # 5644885
    Deleted user

    hi Everyone,

    I have looked at windward topics on this forum but it did not answer my question.

    The westsail seems to suffer from attacks from non-owners, for some dark reasons..

    We are looking at getting a boat (as millions out there) for liveaboard to start with and then voyaging.

    I admire the W32. I mentioned it to a friend who has been around the globe three times and has extensively sailed. His speech went roughly like this:

    "Cute, but inadequate. Windward impossible unless sail-motoring.". 

    He hates motoring and believe in using sails all the time, motor being used for emergency and docking. He had been once around the world on a 21' without engine.

    We do want to minimise motoring, ideally down to the bare essential, even if that means going very, very slow. Of course, in the sailboat world, everything comes to a trade off.

    Honestly, do you guys (W32 owners) manage to go upwind, or motoring is mandatory? 

    Thanks, I'd love to know if this is a fallacy or not, as I am looking for excuses to join the tribe, we are also our eyes on a Wylo, similar boat.

  • December 21, 2017 10:50 AM
    Reply # 5645338 on 5644885

    Hi Aloys and welcome to the Westsail group.

    The short answer to your question is the Westsail will sail upwind. Personally I have sailed my W32 back from Hawaii twice and if your friend is knowledgeable he will tell you that this is to weather for a large portion of the trip. I'm a bit pressed for time right now, but I'm sure others will chime in and I will try to give a better more detailed answer later.



  • December 21, 2017 11:25 AM
    Reply # 5645353 on 5644885

    Hello Aloys,

    You have some misinformation.  First a brief explanation:  Back in the 70s and early 80s, Robert Perry, the famous yacht designer, was selling his wares and writing prodigiously in a number of popular magazines monthly - for a long time.  He harshly criticized the W-32 at every possible opportunity.  Eventually, most everyone that ever read a sailing magazine knew "all the theory about the W-32".  Percentage wise, few had ever sailed one.  I once heard a guy say to his 3 buddies, "the W-32 is the slowest gawd damned boat in the whole fucking world".  ( I will now skip most of the rest of the story).  upon confronting the guy face to face, he could not pick out the W-32 on the dock nor had he ever been on one at any time.  Yet he knew "everything about the W-32.

    I have raced a little and cruised much.  In top racing situations the W-32 will go to weather equal to the average racer/cruiser 30 footer.  That is slow for a 32 footer but does that mean that 30 footers can't go to weather?  That is in smooth water.  In the ocean the situation can be very different.  A boat can not get home from Hawaii without going to weather for hundreds of miles.  I have twice returned in 2 different W-32s in less than 19 days.  PLEASE talk to anyone who has made that trip in a cruising boat under 40' and ask them what their time was. 

    Your friend says he sailed around the world in a 21 foot engineless boat and he says the W-32 is inadequate?  That is nothing more than a joke.  I'm sorry.

    The W-32 motors about the same as any cruising boat.  It is based purely on personal preferences and personal choices.  It can pretty much sail anywhere, and anytime, that the helmsman is capable of.

    As a delivery skipper, my miles are approaching 200,000nm.  That is on 150+ sailboats.  I can assure you that I have not experienced a sailboat under 36 feet that can do as many things, that I have wanted to do, better than a W-32.  I also lived aboard for 26 years, making 3 round trips through the South Pacific during that time with my wife Ruth.  Do you think we could have tolerated a boat that couldn't go to weather for that long?  How could we ever have made it back home?  

    If you're in Portland on January 1st, we'll be leaving the dock for the annual New Years day sail.  You're welcome to come along. The cabin inside will be 70 degrees and there will be any hot drink of your choice available.

    Good Luck,      Dave

  • December 23, 2017 10:39 AM
    Reply # 5647084 on 5644885

    Aloha Aloys,

          Yes it's not always easy picking out the fact from fiction on forums especially from biased boat owners who love their boats. Words make it sometimes more difficult so here are some numbers to help you pick out the fly poop from the pepper so to speak.

    These are windward passages made singlehanded on my W32 Patience.

    Hawaiian Islands to Oregon approx. 2800 nm depending on "pacific high" location.

    1997    28 days

    2006    27 days

    2015.   25 days

    2016    23 days

    Cabo San Lucas to SanDiego Calif. approx. 1200 nm windward passage.

    2011.   12 days

    Raiatea. French Polynesia to Hilo Hawaii approx. 2300 nm.

    2015   21 days.

    These windward passages were made with a fully loaded cruising boat with everything needed aboard. Also with my home sewed sails. There are at least 3 W32 captains that easily can knock off several days to these passage times. I submit them as an average windward passage time to be expected on a fully loaded W32. Maybe you will also improve on these times.

    Good luck on your boat choice,       Lee    W32 Patience #175

    Last modified: December 23, 2017 10:42 AM | Anonymous member
  • December 23, 2017 4:01 PM
    Reply # 5647270 on 5644885
    Deleted user
    Thank you for the replies, very informative.

    I hadn't had a chance to talk to my good friend, he's no fool so I'd like to know more about the logical behind his opinion. 

    To be fair to him, I may have depicted a very incomplete image of the man, he said many times "you can do (almost) anything with any boat but you will have to do it differently." This will perhaps give a more accurate idea of the dude.

    We are very early on our journey and I am trying to gather as much information as I can, and you guys have been very helpful. Internet is full of keyboard warriors and it is indeed hard to differentiate the tale from the truth.


    PS: as much as I'd love to take your invitation David we live in Australia  

    Last modified: December 23, 2017 4:02 PM | Deleted user
  • January 26, 2018 12:01 AM
    Reply # 5702949 on 5644885
    Deleted user

    Norm,   I agree with you on how expensive it is to bring a boat back from 15 / 20 years of neglect.  My boat Walrus has had about 50 k in from previous owner,  and about 15 k from me,  and I'd say there is still another 20 k to go.   I expect things will calm down for me in a couple of years,  I hope to get my Westsail annual maintenance budget down to about 6 grand a year.   To contrast I only feed my Bristol 27 about 1500 a year.   All worth it though,  sailboats are my reason for being.  Mike

  • January 27, 2018 9:53 AM
    Reply # 5704803 on 5644885

    Well said Mike ! "sailboats are my reason for being"

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