WestSail 32' for newbie?

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  • May 04, 2015 8:25 AM
    Message # 3326601
    Deleted user

    Hello Everyone!

    Me and my wife desire to move on a liveboard and explore the rest of this blue planet. We both have very limited experience on the water and have to learn everything from 0.

    We want to own a liveboard with enough space and safe to circumvent the world on when we have enough experience. The WestSail 32 somehow seams to be the best choice.

    Here are a few questions:

    1. Is a WestSail 32 too big for newbies?

    2. How much experience would it take us to go from Vancouver Island to Panama?

    3. Does anyone know a good forum to find a WestSail 32 on the WestCoast?


    Thanks for your support and can't wait to connect with everyone here.

  • May 04, 2015 12:29 PM
    Reply # 3327031 on 3326601

    1. IMHO you'd be better off working up to a Westsail. Dinghys are great to learn on because you get immediate feedback from the wind and waves. 

    2. I'm told the more experience you have, the safer you are. 

    3. You can find used Westsails for sale at westsail.com.

    Last modified: May 04, 2015 1:00 PM | Anonymous member
  • May 04, 2015 2:58 PM
    Reply # 3327223 on 3326601

    When I wanted to start cruising, my wife said, "I'll come only if you find a boat that would e safe even in a hurricane."  A bit of research led me to the W32.  IMO, the W32 is the ideal cruising boat for two people.

    But we had 30 years sailing experience on smaller boats before starting. 

    The ideal way to test yourselves is to charter a boat for at least two weeks.   

    Live the life.  Meet other people like yourselves.  Make a few mistakes.

    Cruising does not suit everyone.   Additude counts more than specific skills.

  • May 05, 2015 3:58 AM
    Reply # 3327765 on 3326601
    Deleted user

    Hello Renaud,

    I taught myself to sail with a copy of Bob Bond's "Handbook of Sailing" and a Catalina 22. I could just as well have done it on a bigger boat.

    Get the book and in my opinion; the Westsail 32 is a great teacher if you give yourself the time and plenty of sea room to learn. She will teach you much more than just how to sail. It's really more of an art than science. I moved aboard Rhapsody in 2010 and should have done it 30 years ago.

    Best of luck.

    Last modified: May 05, 2015 4:01 AM | Deleted user
  • May 05, 2015 8:14 AM
    Reply # 3328136 on 3326601
    Deleted user

    Thank you everyone for the warm welcome. :)

    Your insights and experience is invaluable to us.

    I am going to order "Handbook of Sailing" from amazon for sure and start looking for a small sailboat dinghy to learn the basics of sailing.

    Any suggestions on where to go to find a tiny sailboat for practice?

    Inflatable or hard shell?

  • May 05, 2015 3:46 PM
    Reply # 3328871 on 3326601

    Hi there,

    I live in Victoria on my Westsail 32. It is my first boat, and I learned to sail on it.I have been living aboard for 5 years and I highly recommend it. I have yet to travel the world and my sailing skill set would be considered beginner to medium, but I learn something new every time I am on the water.

    If you want to drop in sometime and check out the boat, just drop me a line. Give me enough notice and we can go for a sail sometime. I am moored in the Inner Harbour at West Bay.

    There was a quote in an Eric Hiscock book that I'll paraphrase - it said something along the lines of "men of a certain age that want to learn to sail should do it on a full-sized vessel with all of comforts of home, as opposed to getting cold and wet splashing around in a dinghy which will scare people away".

    If you decide to buy a succession of smaller to bigger boats until you get to one you can travel the world in or liveaboard comfortably you'll find you should've gone straight to the right boat the first time.

    Also, once you start doing your research you'll find out there is no such thing (that I am aware of) as an inflatable sailing dinghy. Or at least not a serious one. There is usually a difference between a sailing dingy and a tender for a cruising boat. There is some crossover, but a sailing dinghy needs a keel (and sails), a rowing dinghy doesn't.

    Try to find a copy of "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of the Offshore Yachts", there are lots of used ones on Amazon. You'll find the Westsail fits the bill for everything - heavy displacement, full keel, cutter rig, small cockpit, small sturdy portlights, heavy duty construction, etc., etc., etc.

    My advise would be to try and save a year or so for a down payment to lessen the amount of time you have to finance. It'll put you in a better position to arrange that financing as well. If you have the ka-ching to put down 40% or more on the boat it makes it easier to get the boat you want. Try to get at least 20%. Remember to calculate in taxes, lawyer fees, transportation costs etc. If the boat you get has an original or old engine, budget about $12G to repower soon. Same goes for all of the systems - plumbing, electrical, standing rigging, sails, etc. If it's old, it may be time to be replaced.

    Don't buy the first boat you see - check out several, and check the forum to see if any one else has seen the same boat before you go look - they may be able to save you a trip.

    Decide if  you are project orientated and are willing to spend the time and energy to take on a project boat or are willing to spend more to buy a boat in better condition that needs less work. Time and energy and skills I might add.

    Some other pundit on the web suggested that a good way to see if you are even compatible to boat life is to move into your garage for a month or two and see how you can handle it. However if you are already in a VW van in Ukie, the W32 would seem cavernous.

    Good luck,

    Stephen


  • May 05, 2015 6:03 PM
    Reply # 3328977 on 3328871
    Deleted user
    Stephen Wylie wrote:

    If you want to drop in sometime and check out the boat, just drop me a line. Give me enough notice and we can go for a sail sometime. I am moored in the Inner Harbour at West Bay.


    I will for sure! What is the best way to reach you? email or forum?

    There was a quote in an Eric Hiscock book that I'll paraphrase - it said something along the lines of "men of a certain age that want to learn to sail should do it on a full-sized vessel with all of comforts of home, as opposed to getting cold and wet splashing around in a dinghy which will scare people away".

    That is solid piece of advice.

    Try to find a copy of "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of the Offshore Yachts", there are lots of used ones on Amazon. You'll find the Westsail fits the bill for everything - heavy displacement, full keel, cutter rig, small cockpit, small sturdy portlights, heavy duty construction, etc., etc., etc.

    I've just finished reading "20 sailboats that will take you anywhere" and everything was looking for was in the westsail 32".

    My advise would be to try and save a year or so for a down payment to lessen the amount of time you have to finance. It'll put you in a better position to arrange that financing as well. If you have the ka-ching to put down 40% or more on the boat it makes it easier to get the boat you want. Try to get at least 20%. Remember to calculate in taxes, lawyer fees, transportation costs etc. If the boat you get has an original or old engine, budget about $12G to repower soon. Same goes for all of the systems - plumbing, electrical, standing rigging, sails, etc. If it's old, it may be time to be replaced.

    We already have the 10% but we are looking to have at least 15k on the side before we move from our apartment to the boat.

    We also plan on the $900/mo we are currently spending on rent to go towards paying our loan and for a "maintenance fund".

    Decide if  you are project orientated and are willing to spend the time and energy to take on a project boat or are willing to spend more to buy a boat in better condition that needs less work. Time and energy and skills I might add.

    I will be looking for a well maintained ship. Thanks for the tip.

    Some other pundit on the web suggested that a good way to see if you are even compatible to boat life is to move into your garage for a month or two and see how you can handle it. However if you are already in a VW van in Ukie, the W32 would seem cavernous.

    Me and my wife lives in a tent for 2 months and I lived in a small astro van for 3 months.

    I think I am good. My wife on the other needs more space than a tent of a van. ;-) That was the major attracting factor to the WestSail 32.


    Looking forward to meet you!

  • May 05, 2015 6:30 PM
    Reply # 3328988 on 3326601
    Deleted user

    How about maintenance cost?

    Are much are you spending in maintenance (in average) per month?

  • May 05, 2015 6:47 PM
    Reply # 3328997 on 3326601
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Renaud: 

    You have received some good advice --- an issue that will put a damper on the sailing fun is if either/both of you have motion sickness on land:)... it will NOT get better at sea for sure! There are solutions to motion sickness - and better to have the solution ready then the alternative. 

    I also recommend that you find a sailing club - here in the SF Bay - the club/school monthly fees are less then the monthly slip costs for a W32 and you will quickly find out if sailing is for you and yours - at very low cost vs buying a boat etc. 

    Let us know how your adventure plays out.

    Fair Winds 

    Jay Bietz


    Last modified: May 05, 2015 6:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • May 06, 2015 7:24 AM
    Reply # 3333320 on 3328997
    Deleted user
    Jay Bietz wrote:

    Renaud: 

    You have received some good advice --- an issue that will put a damper on the sailing fun is if either/both of you have motion sickness on land:)... it will NOT get better at sea for sure! There are solutions to motion sickness - and better to have the solution ready then the alternative. 

    I also recommend that you find a sailing club - here in the SF Bay - the club/school monthly fees are less then the monthly slip costs for a W32 and you will quickly find out if sailing is for you and yours - at very low cost vs buying a boat etc. 

    Let us know how your adventure plays out.

    Fair Winds 

    Jay Bietz



    I indeed got some very good advices and it's a long journey ahead.

    I planned on taking basic courses at the Nanaimo Yacht Club to get a feel of it. I am also approaching a local sailboat charter  to make an exchange with him so I can go on the water with him.

    It would be foolish to buy a boat before ever going on a sailboat ourselves.

    I am glad I found this forum with full of helpful and generous members.
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