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  • November 05, 2012 6:35 AM
    Message # 1126696
    Deleted user
    I have been looking for sails for my Westsail 32 and I keep bumping into something called Westsail 32 SM.  Can anyone tell me what the SM is for and if anyone can recommend a sailmaker.
    Last modified: November 05, 2012 6:35 AM | Deleted user
  • November 05, 2012 3:25 PM
    Reply # 1129823 on 1126696

    I have never heard of the SM regarding Westsail sails.  Unless they are referring to the short main, where the foot of the mainsail is about 18" shorter to remove some of the weather helm, and improve the sailing qualities when the wind starts to pipe up.

    For the best sailmaker for Westsails, contact Kern Ferguson.  949-903-5376.  He came up with the idea of shortening the foot of the mainsail. 

  • November 06, 2012 2:10 PM
    Reply # 1131361 on 1126696


    I have a battened main, which really gives me significant weather helm when I am in even moderate (12-14 kts) winds in combination with the staysail and super yankee. The only time I have anything close to balance, aside from when there is very light air, is with the main reefed to the first reef and the staysail without a jib. I like having the fully battened main when we have light air, which is quite a lot here. Any suggestions?


  • November 07, 2012 5:42 AM
    Reply # 1131801 on 1126696
    I have a standard rig and have no problem with weather helm.  I wonder if your mast has too much rake.
  • November 07, 2012 7:37 AM
    Reply # 1131898 on 1126696
    No, I don't think the mast is raked at all. As a matter of fact, when I was walking down the dock the other day, I noticed that my boat was about the only one with a totally vertical mast. The only thing I could do, seemingly, with the rig to make a difference would be to move the headsails forward, which would involve a longer bowsprit-potentially risky.
  • November 07, 2012 8:40 AM
    Reply # 1131946 on 1126696
    Is your main oversheeted perhaps...? How about how the boat is the stern heavy?
  • November 07, 2012 10:07 AM
    Reply # 1132016 on 1126696
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Frank:  I believe that Bud's manual mentions how to setup the mast. My manual is at home.
    You may be able to rake your mast forward enough to balance the load on the main w/o changing the forward sail geometry.
    Last modified: November 07, 2012 5:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • November 09, 2012 8:20 AM
    Reply # 1133539 on 1126696
    To answer the questions posed above, no, I think I am floating pretty much on my lines, although before I removed half of my chain from the chain locker as well as one of my CQR's (not a lot of need for two anchors in the Tennessee River) I was a little bow-heavy. I never really considered raking the mast forward. Has anyone else done this? Regarding the sheeting question, I usually let out the main sheet till I get some luffing forward in the mainsail. I do not think I am oversheeting.
  • November 09, 2012 2:07 PM
    Reply # 1133817 on 1126696
    Deleted user
    Unless you have something like a shorter than normal bowsprit or or a ballast problem, which I don't think you have, you shouldn't be much different than any other Westsail. I don't think raking the mast forward is the answer.  Bud's method is the best way I know of to determine mast rake.  You're only dealing with a couple of inches +/-, almost impossible to tell from the dock.  We've been all over with mast rake.  From 18" when we bought the boat to vertical now (a mistake).  We've found that @ 4" of mast rake with very, very little bend is just about optimal for us. But a lot depends on the sails and how they are cut. 

    Your problem sounds like one a friend had on his WS 32. It was a combination of sail trim and underestimating wind speed.  When close to the edge a knt. or two will make a lot of difference.  Most WS need to reef at about 15 Knts, a little less for a full batten main.  With full sails we are starting to be overpowered at 15 Knts. and are overpowered 18. You also might try using tell-tails on the main as main luffing doesn't work as well on full batten mains. Something I learned from Dave King is not to over trim the the sails.  He thinks most of us over trim, I know we do/did.  With proper sail trim and reefing soon enough you will be able to sail as well as most.

    It's just my opinion, but I've found Westsails to be some of the easiest boats to sail, but difficult to sail well.


    Last modified: November 09, 2012 2:16 PM | Deleted user
  • November 09, 2012 2:37 PM
    Reply # 1133832 on 1126696


    In situations that, as you say, the boat is getting close to being overpowered and the weather helm is getting uncomfortable, I tend to let out the sheet till the luff starts to flutter or I am getting close to hitting the spreaders. I probably just need to reef sooner. Also, I tend to drop my super yankee when I go to the first reef and just go with the staysail rather than the jib alone as Norm does. Maybe that is wrong, but as I spend a lot of time sailing to weather in the river, the staysail allows me to point higher if the wind is above 14 kts or so and is more convenient, as I am frequently tacking.

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