The Ontario 32 Sailboat

The Ontario 32, a masthead sloop, was designed by C&C (Cuthbertson & Cassian) and built in Canada by Ontario Yachts.

An Ontario 32 under powerAn Ontario 32

Published Specification for the Ontario 32

Underwater Profile: Fin with Spade Rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 32'0" (9.75m)

Waterline Length: 26'6" (8.1m)

Beam: 11'0" (3.35m)

Draft: 4'6" (1.37m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 9,800lb (4,445kg)

Designer: C&C (Cuthbertson & Cassian)

Builder: Ontario Yachts (Canada)

Year First Built: 1974

Year Last Built: 1996 

Number Built: 160

Published Design Ratios for the Ontario 32

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.9

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 40.6

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 235

4. Comfort Ratio: 22.1

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 2.1

read more about these all-revealing numbers...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Ontario 32

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 16.9 suggests that the Ontario 32 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 40.6 means that the Ontario 32 will stand up reasonably well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 235, tells us the Ontario 32 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 22.1 suggests that crew comfort of a Ontario 32 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a coastal cruiser with moderate stability, which is not encouraging news for anyone prone to seasickness. 

5. The Capsize Screening Formula of 2.1 tells us that a Ontario 32 would not be a good choice of sailboat for ocean passage-making, owing to the increased risk of capsize in strong winds and heavy seas when compared to a sailboat with a CSF of less than 2.0.

Cruisers' Questions about this Sailboat...

How many versions of the Ontario 32 sailboat were produced and how do they differ?

There were two versions of the Ontario 32 sailboat produced: the standard version and the tall mast version. The main difference between them was the height of the mast, which was about 2.0 ft (0.61m) higher in the tall mast version. This affected the sail area, the PHRF rating, and the performance of the boat under different wind conditions.

The tall mast version had a larger sail area of 481ft2 (44.686 m2), compared to 461ft2 (42.828 m2) for the standard version. It also had a lower PHRF rating of 177, meaning it was expected to be faster than the standard version with a rating of 186. However, the taller mast also increased the windage and the heeling moment of the boat, which could make it more difficult to handle in strong winds or gusts.
The other features and specifications of the Ontario 32 were the same for both versions.

What is the history of Ontario Yachts?

Ontario Yachts was founded by Dirk Kneulman Senior and his wife, Maria Kneulman, in 1961 in Oakville, Ontario. Dirk Kneulman Sr. was a master craftsman who learned to build wooden boats in his native Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He immigrated to Canada in 1950 and started building wooden dinghies, kayaks, and Snipes.

In the late 1960s, Dirk Kneulman Sr. learned fibreglass boat construction from Dwyer Boats in Rhode Island and began to produce fibreglass production boats, such as the Viking 22 and the Albacore. He also built Olympic-class boats, such as the 5.5 Metre, and was the Canadian Olympic Sailing Team shipwright in 1968 and 1972.

In 1975, Ontario Yachts began to build the Etchells, a racing keelboat that is still in production today. Ontario Yachts is the North American manufacturer of the Etchells and has built boats for some of the world's best sailors.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ontario Yachts also built cruising sailboats designed by C&C Yachts, such as the Viking 28, Viking 33, and Ontario 32. These boats were popular among sailors who wanted a no-nonsense cruising boat with respectable performance and high standards.

In the mid-1980s, Dirk Kneulman Jr. and Don Oakie took over the helm of Ontario Yachts and continued to uphold the quality standard of composite boat building established by Dirk Sr. They also diversified into other lines of fibreglass work, such as building the fibreglass support for the pitcher's mound for the Toronto Skydome.

Ontario Yachts is now based in Burlington, Ontario and specializes in boat repair and refurbishment, as well as building Etchells. The company is run by Dirk Kneulman Jr., who is also a competitive sailor himself.

What are some of the pros and cons of the Ontario 32?

Some of the pros of the Ontario 32 are:

  • It has a spacious and comfortable interior with plenty of headroom and an open main salon;
  • It has a deck anchor locker, which was a North American first;
  • It has a lavish use of teak in refined interior cabinetry;
  • It has a T-shaped cockpit that allows easy access to the stern ladder;
  • It has a wide-for-her-length beam that provides stability and roominess.

Some of the cons of the Ontario 32 are:

  • It has a relatively shallow draft that may limit its performance in heavy winds or choppy seas;
  • It has a long fin keel that may make it harder to manoeuvre in tight spaces or shallow waters.

How much does an Ontario 32 cost?

The price of an Ontario 32 depends on its condition, age, equipment, and location. According to some online listings, the average asking price for an Ontario 32 ranges from $25,000 to $45,000 USD as of July 2023.

The above answers were drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.

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