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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: Westerly Storm vs. Dehler31 - any opinions?

    I'm sure if I spent time balancing her a but better I might manage a bit better but she's got quite flat sections aft and a spade rudder so not a lot to help directional stability.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Westerly Storm vs. Dehler31 - any opinions?

    In post#25 I suggested that some understanding of basic design characteristics might help in making a choice of boat to suit poposed usage. Yesterday I happened to read the May 2013 comparative test of the Dehler 35SQ and Jeanneau 379, chosen because they were seen as 2 different ways of spending around £135k new on a mid 30s' boat.

    The summary is very revealing - to quote from the "how does she sail" bit


    " general she felt fantastic, responding with alacrity to every tweak of a sheet, every degree of helm, every inch of backstay, and I felt I was really plugged into the boat. I also felt I was hanging onto her at times. and it was a long way down to the leeward side if I lost my footing - but overall she was tremendous fun to sail."


    " There was a notable sense of calm. She sat on her chine, rarely heeling beyond 20 degrees, and the twin rudders kept her going in a straight line.There was no-one tending either main or jib sheet because it wasn't necessary. She's restful, not as stimulating, but I felt better protected."

    Which boat would you choose for a couple for cruising? And how can you suss this out when looking at different boats without sailing them?

    The above comments illustrate very well the implications of a couple of key design statistics, Sail Area/Displacement and Displacement/Waterline, particularly the former in this case.

    Boat Disp/WL SA/Disp

    Dehler 185 23.4

    Jeanneau 184 18.7

    The Dehler weighs nearly 2 tons less, but has a slightly greater sail area and requires more gear to control the power the extra area can generate.

    These boats clearly fulfill different design briefs and would be unlikely to feature on the same short lists.

    Relating this to the question in this thread, the statistics of the boats in question are

    Boat Displ/WL SA/Disp

    Storm 256 16.7

    Dehler 31 220 19.3

    Dehler 34 194 18.5

    Not quite as extreme as the newer boats but still the same pattern and observations by owners reflect those differences.

    Just to bring things up to date and to illustrate how this approach informed my choice in the 32-34' range. The Dehler 34 has figures of 187 and 20 compared with the boat I bought (Bav 33) at 208 and 16.5.

    Obviously there is more to choosing a boat than 2 figures, but they are a useful guide to the differences in the way boats behave and how they might suit your style of sailing.
    Last edited by Tranona; 27-01-18 at 16:57.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Default Re: Westerly Storm vs. Dehler31 - any opinions?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ_01 View Post
    Hi all!

    We are currently in the market for a yacht and therefore in need of advise from the experts - hopefully to be found here .

    We are looking for a cruiser rather than a racer - yet she does not need to be "slow". I enjoy fast passage making. But we are not into club racing and the like. Furthermore, we would like her to last for "a while" suiting our travel plans for the next couple of years (10-20?). Namely, we would like to explore the Channel, maybe head to Scotland, Ireland and in (hopefully not too distant) future even Norway, Baltic,... depending on time and budget of course. We are not planning on a circumnavigation though .

    Having screened the market a bit I somehow came across Dehler31s and Westerly Storms. I had a look at two Dehler31s (e.g. 1991-1992, Yanmar 2gm20, almost new boom, almost new running rigging, self-tailing winches,...) and they seemed very well taken care of (only one previous owner, dry and clean bilges,...). Obviously the Dehlers do have a great reputation for quality and performance. But I am wondering whether the Dehler31 will be capable of taking us safely where we want to go.

    On the other hand, I found some Westerly Storms (e.g. ~1987, VP2002 engine, no self-tailing winches, unknown number of previous owners,...) which looked somehow good as well (online) and especially my SWMBO likes the plus of living space below - being wider and 2 ft longer, far more storage space. Plus, from what I have researched so far, the Westlery should be taking caring of us, basicly wherever we want to go. But, from what I've heard they might be prone to osmosis and (only assessed from the advertisements so far) seem to need some more TLC and upgrades to shine.

    How would you compare those two boats (given they are offered for about the same asking price) with regards to our sailing ambitions and quality, value-for-money?

    Your views and experiences are very highly welcome!

    Best regards,
    I don't know the Dehler 31 and have never sailed one. But I may have a similar comparison. I had a Beneteau First 285 (28' 9") for 10 years. She was a great boat and I went cross Channel in her 4 or 5 times plus lots of coastal cruising. She was quite light and shallow draft (1.2). She was also roomy for her length. Beneteau packed a lot into that space.

    I decided it was time to go bigger and looked at a lot of boat designs. My main criteria were better performance, a sugar scoop stern, a proper rear cabin, a decent galley, a proper chart table and a boat I could single hand comfortably. That narrowed the field and the last one ruled out a lot of wheel steered boats as getting round the wheel quickly to the winches or down below can be difficult.

    I never thought I would be a Westerly owner, but the Storm 33 ticked all the boxes. The sugar scoop is not quite as good as the Beneteau's but it makes boarding a lot easier (I'm on a swinging mooring).

    I looked at three or four Storms in various conditions - and a lot more
    online. There are only two Dehler 31s on sale that I can see. The one in Holland is what you'll have to pay for a decent Storm. You may get a Storm for the low 20ks, but that could need another £7 - £8k's work. I did also look at the Westerly Ocean 33 but I felt it had less character and couldn't see the point in paying an extra £10k for that.

    I bought at the upper end of the scale and am delighted with my Storm. I did about 800 miles in her last year including the Channel Islands and Northern Brittany. She is spacious with lots of storage. She is a solid seaworthy boat and is also quick. I've frequently had her sailing at 7.5 knts and have hit 10 knts in a fresh wind with a favourable tide. I'll leave Moodys standing and have caught and passed a Contessa 32 with ease.

    There are one or two drawbacks. The Storms are IMHO under-engined. They have an 18hp Penta 2002 - the same as I had in my Beneteau which was 2.5 tons lighter. They could really use a 30hp - though changing the prop might be easier and cheaper - mine came with a very good one.

    You need to look for signs of corrosion on the boom. The main and Vang fixing points are steel bolted through aluminum. And you need to check the jib furling gear. I've changed mine. The old one was getting sticky.

    Storms may not be as fashionable as some of those continental pieces of plastic. But they are well built, very well designed and quicker than they might look. If you get caught out in a blow is the Westerly Storm a boat that will look after you? I have not experienced that one yet. But I am confident it's a lot more seaworthy and robust than some other boats - and it will outhaul some of those too.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Default Re: Westerly Storm vs. Dehler31 - any opinions?

    No direct experience of Dehler 31 but I have a 1984 28 foot Dehler.

    It has aged very well which is testament to the quality of materials used and the build. Difficult to describe but the Dehler has the same type of feel as a older BMW or Mercedes - just very well engineered.

    Most of the British / French boats I looked at felt older and more worn but that might be just my limited experience of a smallish selection.

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