Bluewater Sailboat – Westsail 28

Also called: W28


The Bluewater Sailboat Westsail 28 is the younger sibling of the wildly popular Westsail 32, a yacht that grabbed the American public’s attention with the “cruising life.” Westsail needed a new boat to replace the entry spot by the middle of the 1970s, when demand for the Westsail 32 was at an all-time high. 

A hearty little offshore cruiser fully prepared for 2 to 3 to cruise trouble-free around the world, the Westsail 28 was launched to fill this in 1975. 

The boat did make several appearances at boat displays on the West Coast, where it was marketed as a complete build ex-factory and then as a kit set (check the first four digits of the hull number for a K)

  • LOA: 35′
  • LOD: 28′ 3″
  • LWL: 23′ 5″
  • Beam: 9′ 7″
  • Draft: 4′ 4″
  • Displacement: 13,500 lbs.
  • Ballast: 4,200 lbs. (lead)
  • Sail Area: 545 sq.ft.
  • Bridge Clearance: 40′ 0″
  • Engine: Volvo MD11HD 13hp Diesel
  • Fuel: 36 US. Gal.
  • Water: 79 US. Gal.
  • Designer: Herb David
  • Builder: Westsail Corporation
  • Year Introduced: 1975
  • Year Ended: 1979
  • Total Built: 78

A compact Design

The smaller boat, however similar in appearance and detailing to the Westsail 32, is a complete redesign by Herb David and comes with a number of significant improvements. The rig has a higher aspect ratio, the front sections of the keel are significantly chopped away, which improves maneuverability, and the garboards are less hollow, which aids in her tracking toward the wind.

In contrast to the Westsail 32, the resulting boat is more maneuverable, has a more responsive helm, and has a slightly smoother ride (something the Westsail 32 suffered from). Expect 110-mile days from her given size, but in the wrong seaway, she has a reputation for hobbyhorsing.

The Ideal Cruising Structure

Early sailboats differ from later ones in certain ways because design modifications were made as they were being manufactured. The total displacement increased from 9,500 pounds to 13,500 pounds after the first six or so boats, when 700 pounds of ballast were added. With the additional weight, the boat’s overall draught increased to 4 feet 4 inches and caused it to sit 4 inches lower in the water. To make up for this, more canvas was added, increasing the space from 480 square feet to 545 square feet. Additionally, a boomkin was added near hull number 20, and the rudder was increased in size. In contrast to the over 800 Westsail 32s that are still in existence, a total of only 78 boats were built before the molds were sold in 1979 and moved to Mexico.

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