Several years ago my wife and I went to the London Boat Show with the express purpose of viewing an expensive yacht, the sort we could never dream of owning. Our intention was simply to look at yacht that only the rich could afford. It was to be a fun day out. We booked a viewing of a Southerly 32, and before going aboard we were politely asked by a member of the sales team for our address. She said she would be contacting us later. In fact, we received plush brochures with details of Southerly yachts for several years after our visit, until eventually someone twigged on that we were not interested in seeing another yacht or in having a test sail.
The Southerly 32 was so very different to the sort of yacht I was used to sailing. For a starter, she was much larger and more luxuriously fitted out. Her gear was of high quality, and it was designed with a degree of sophistication. I loved the open plan interior, which was elegant, spacious and airy. She struck me as being a comfortable yacht for extended cruising. A crew of four could happily live aboard without getting in each other’s way. She had two private cabins, one in the bow section and one at the stern, both having bunks for two people. A roomy heads/washroom by the companionway to starboard was accessible from the saloon and from the aft cabin. To port there was a galley, with an oven and twin basins. Forward of the heads compartment there was a navigator’s area with a chart table at which he could sit. This was sensibly placed amidships where movement would be least. The lifting keel mechanism did not unduly intrude into the cabin, and above it there was a substantial folding table large enough for six to dine. Either side of the table there were comfortable settees.
I’m not keen on wheel steering, but the Southerly 32 does have Whitlock direct rod steering, and it allows the steersman to stand facing forward with a good view of the sails. Wide side decks make for safe deck work and her self-taking, furling jib makes sailing to windward a piece of cake, because there is no need for constant juggling with sheets. Her mainsail can be reefed with a single line that is controlled from the cockpit. In light winds she can be sailed with a gennaker attached to an adjustable bowsprit.
One of the great advantages of the Southerly 32 is that she can be safely beached on soft sand and she is able to sail in shallow water, since she only draws 2’ 4” when her keel is raised. Having no protuberances under her hull, she will sit upright.
There’s a lot to be said in favour of this versatile, liveaboard yacht. The particular boat shown in the photographs has sustained damage to her port side, but not so bad as to be irreparable. She has been left ashore for some time and she has become very dirty. A pressure hose would remove most staining. Although apparently not for sale, my guess is that her owner would part with her if someone made a sensible offer. She’s at Burnham Yacht Harbour.
Introducing the Southerly 32
Southerly 32 Feedback Forum
Southerly 32 YouTube (Italian) A good illustrative video
Southely 32 Video (No voice over)
3 X Southerly 32s for Sale between £149,500 and £149,950
Southerly 32 for Sale £149,500