What is a Valiant 32?

By Norman Ralph

Article taken from Good Old Boat magazine: Volume 2, Number 2, March/April 1999.

Jeanette Ralph aboard Bluebonnet

Jeanette Ralph enjoys her gorgeous “new” boat and the prospect of retiring in style.

The Valiant 32 was designed by Bob Perry as a smaller version of the successful Valiant
40. In the 1970s, a 30- to 35-foot boat was considered the optimum-size
boat for a cruising couple. In response to this demand, the Valiant 32 was
produced. About 67 were built in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The boat
is 32 feet on deck with a waterline length of 26 feet. The beam is 10 feet
5 inches, and displacement is 11,800 pounds. Ballast is 4,700 pounds, and
the displacement-to-length ratio is 283. This translates into a boat that
is moderate in displacement, yet extremely seaworthy. It has the traditional
Valiant lines with the canoe stern and moderate flare at the bow. The underbody
features a modified fin keel with external ballast and a skeg-hung rudder.
The hull is laid up in solid laminate, and the deck and cabintop is balsa-cored.

The interior, as you come down the companionway steps, has a U-shaped galley
to port with a forward-facing navigation station to starboard and a quarterberth
aft. Forward of the galley and nav station, are opposing settees with a
drop-leaf table around the keel-stepped mast. The port settee slides out
to make a small double/twin bed. There is storage behind and under the settees.
Farther forward, the head is to port with a large hanging locker to starboard.
The door to the head swings aft and will latch to the hanging locker to
give a privacy area for the V-berth. Our boat has an optional large hanging
wet locker with a storage shelf aft, instead of the quarterberth. We don’t
miss the quarterberth, and lee cloths on the starboard settee work very
well for a sea berth. Others have commented that they ended up with their
quarterberth being used as a storage area anyway.

The boat is powered by a 4-cylinder 25-hp, L-25 Westerbeke diesel. Ours
has never given us any problems. Tankage is 48 gallons of fuel and 80 gallons
of water. The engine burns a half gallon an hour at hull speed which translates
into a cruising range under power of more than 500 miles.

Most Valiant 32s are cutter rigged, which breaks the sail area down into
an easily managed sail plan. With the mast stepped aft for the inner forestay,
the boat develops weather helm when winds exceed 15 knots, but with the
first reef in the main, it balances nicely. The boat is a dry boat and sails
best with the rubrail (about 10 inches below the caprail) out of the water.
We have sailed in winds higher than 35 knots with two reefs in the main
while remaining fairly comfortable and never feeling out of control. The
standing rigging is very substantial for a 32-foot boat. The headstay, backstay,
and uppers are 5/16-inch 1×19 and the lowers, inter-forestay, and intermediate
backstays are 1/4-inch 1×19. A few late V-32s were sloop-rigged with the
mast stepped farther forward. This was in part to reduce the weather helm
and to cut production costs. We have installed a large “pelican hook”
on our inner forestay. For local light-wind sailing, we tie the inner-forestay
and staysail in its bag back by the mast and sail the big genoa as a sloop.

In overall appearance, the Valiant 32 is similar to the Pacific Seacraft
Crealock 34. Both boats have canoe sterns, but the form varies. The Valiant’s
stern is fuller and somewhat broader in the “hips,” while the
Crealock’s stern is more pointed. While the Crealock 34 is two feet longer
on deck, both boats have the same waterline length and beam. Displacement
is similar. Interior layouts are practically identical.

Since Rich Worstell, the present owner of Valiant Yachts, moved production
to Texas in the early 1980s, the Valiant 32 has not been in production.

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