"Dancing Maid" Westerly 33 Ketch Lying Essex
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In our 14 years of ownership “Dancing Maid” has carried us across the North Sea and English Channel, to France, Holland, Belgium & Germany as well as the East and South Coasts of the U.K. This was normally achieved with a family crew consisting of my wife, our two daughters and myself in the early years, and latterly just my wife and I.
She is a superb sea going yacht with the ability to look after the crew in conditions of extreme unpleasantness (50 knots plus on one occasion), with the ability to punch to windward when required, either under sail or engine.
The ketch rig gives the flexibility to set a suitable sail plan for all wind strengths, without requiring a great deal of muscle. She will normally hold a cruising speed of between 6-7.5 knots if wind conditions allow and about 6.2 knots under power @ 2000rpm using around 2.2 litres of diesel per hour. Max rpm of 2700 gives a flank speed of about 7.5 knots.
In moderate to smooth sea conditions she will tack through 70° and if required to point higher will get down to 30° with a slight loss of power. Off a PYS 1035 she has been moderately successful in club and local races in wind strengths of 4-6, less so in light airs.
Whilst in our ownership we have attempted to maintain her in a manner suitable for a lady, updating sails, electronics, upholstery, hull, masts, rigging, cooker, internal woodwork, steering gear, prop & shaft, and headlining.
On the accommodation front, the aft cabin arrangement is flexible, allowing three couples to use the boat with a degree of privacy.
The seating allows up to eight at a squeeze, six in comfort, and about 12 in extreme discomfort.
Stowage is pretty generous, with enough space for 14 day’s for 4/5, still saving some for duty free.
Handling characteristics under power in confined spaces present no problems, she will stop in her own length under full astern and trickle along at tick over. With a little practice one can place her where you want.
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