One man's view of the Southerly 32


The new Southerly 32 is difficult not to admire. Her builders have bravely gone back to basics and ignored the post-modern sacrilege of accommodation over aesthetics by doing away with ugly cabin tops. This boat’s cabin is sleek and seems naturally part of her hull: not some plastic tea-hut stuck on afterwards.
Her beam is carried well aft, and, though this is influenced by modern thinking a la Open 60, it is a treat to behold. In this way, cunningly, designer Steve Jones, has made up the volume of accommodation, lost by not having a box on top.
Down below she is impressive: I had to remind myself I was sitting aboard a 32 footer and not a yacht enjoying 38ft LOA.
A small man could stand up in her cockpit lockers so voluminous are they. It was hard to understand that such storage could be had on a shoal draught boat.
In fact – with ocean-crossing Category A status – it is hard to fathom why all boats do not now opt for rectractable keels.
But then again, in seriously heavy weather , an encapsulated keel makes a boat part of the environment: and it ain’t going to fall off, pop back up or bend.
The Southerly 32 can take the ground – as can all the Southerly range – as the keel end under the propellor is deeper than the rudders. But then again, peering at the twin, angled spade rudder blades, you would want to make sure you were taking the ground on a flat surface and not wedge the rudder tips on any obstruction sitting up proud.