In Brief

Westsail 28 Sail Plan The Westsail 28 is the smaller sibling to the incredibly successful Westsail 32, a boat that captured the imagination of the American public with the “cruising life”. By the mid in 1970s when demand for the Westsail 32 was in overdrive, the pricing had crept up enough that Westsail needed a new boat to fill the entry spot. The Westsail 28 was launched to fill this in 1975 and was described as “a hearty little offshore cruiser perfectly outfitted for 2 to 3 to cruise trouble free around the world”. The boat made a number of appearances to boat shows along the West Coast and was offered as a complete build ex-factory and later also in kit set form (look for a K in the first 4 digits of the hull number).

Though similar in looks and detailing to the Westsail 32, the smaller boat is a ground up redesign by Herb David and features a number of key improvements. The rig has a taller aspect ratio, the keel is noticeably cut away in the forward sections improving her manoeuvrability, while the garboards are less hollow which help her track closer to the wind.

The resulting boat in comparison to the Westsail 32 is more manoeuvrable with a much more responsive helm and the ride is a tad drier (something the Westsail 32 suffered from). In relation to her size she is faster – expect 110 mile days, but in the wrong seaway she is known to hobbyhorse.

Westsail 28 Layout Some of the early boats differ from later ones as design refinements were made while they were rolling out. After the initial six or so boats, 700 pounds was added to the ballast and the total displacement went from 9,500 pounds to 13,500 pounds. With the extra weight the boat sat 4 inches lower in the water bringing the total draft to 4 feet 4 inches. Extra canvas was added to compensate, going from the original 480 sq.ft. to 545 sq.ft. The rudder was also enlarged and around hull number 20 a boomkin was added. In total only 78 boats were produced before the molds were sold in 1979 and shipped to Mexico, a far cry from the 800+ Westsail 32s in existence.


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
Also Known As: W28

Similar Boats

Links, References and Further Reading

» Westsail Owners Association


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5 thoughts on “Westsail 28”

  1. says:

    I’ve done 100nm in a day on a westsail 28. 50nm a day is a joke they guy must have been only counting daylight hours

  2. Edward says:

    Why do all these website list the LOA (Length OverAll) as 28ft3inch when its really LOD(Length On Deck) their talking about. I don’t know what the WS28 LOA truly is but with bow sprit and boomkin it’s at least 33ft-35ft LOA! Just look at the WS32 its close to 40ft LOA.

  3. Steve says:

    He was talking kilometers.

  4. Paul says:

    I met a guy years ago who had a Westsail 28. He did many thousands of mile offshore from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. There is no way that you could “expect” 110 nm/day in a Westsail 28. A Westsail 32 a slow boat but is much faster. I remember him talking about planning on around 50 miles a day in his 28 and then being happy if he did more. He once did 50 days Hawaii to Seattle.

    1. Mark Westi says:

      I get 25 mi in 5hrs. so why not 100 mi a day . Assuming you call 24 hr. a day.

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