— Photo Examples - An Introduction —
Things That Fail
The photos presented in this section are representative of parts and equipment failures that have occurred on various Westsail boats, since their appearance in the marketplace over 40 years ago. While these examples happened to be on Westsail boats, the failures are typical of what can happen to any boat subjected to the marine environment… particularly when owners fail to keep a close eye on the hardware, parts, and equipment on their boats, or fails to establish a diligent maintenance schedule.
Due to the popularity of the Westsail boats through the years, and their ability to maintain (or even increase) value, almost all of the replacement parts are readily available. With limited exceptions, most are also easily repaired or replaced.
It should be noted that the discovery of such failed parts does not usually result in subsequent damage, provided that repair and/or replacement is performed in a timely manner. In some cases, however, severe damage has occur when the failure happened in extreme weather conditions, such as in hurricane-force winds or in unusually rough seas. In such conditions, any vessel would be at risk.
As a general rule, Westsail owners are very diligent with regard to their maintenance and they typically inspect for early signs of such failures on a regular basis. While these examples are intended to show the worst of the worst, we hope that prospective buyers will also become aware of which items are prone to failure. This knowledge, combined with anticipated repair costs, will provide a much better appreciation for the value of a well-maintained Westsail. It should also assist in determining the relative value of a “bargain boat”, versus one that has been properly maintained. Subsequently, boats that have been properly maintained, or in which such things have already been corrected, will naturally be expected to retain higher value. This is as it should be.
Experience shows that very few systems (caulking, tanks, SS, wood, etc.) on ANY boat that will last much more the 20-25 years. Unlike many vintage boats, a Westsail is considered to be worth the time and expense for a proper repair. A well-kept Westsail maintains a higher value, when compared to many boats of similar size and age. It is hoped that sharing information regarding potential problems and educating current and prospective owners will help gain trust and continue the long tradition of proud ownership.
When it comes to boat purchases, honesty is the best policy. While many problems come to light during an inspection by a competent surveyor, some are missed. Hopefully, these examples will assist you in finding them. Do not, however, expect to see such extreme cases... look for the early signs of deterioration.