The Storm was conceived as a racing yacht but with the usual Westerly interior comforts. They were an immediate success and were launched at the 1986 Southampton Boat Show.
They never really took off as a racing design most of the owners using them for cruising.
Storm 33 Statistics
The Westerly Owners Association Definitive Guides
Nick Vass (Marine Surveyor)
One of the first things that you notice when you step inside a Storm is the rather high galley top. This is so due to the dish shape of the hull. The hull is very beamy and tapered at the wide stern.
Like all Westerly yachts the Storm is well made and strong. They resisted using interior mouldings in favour of solid joinery of hardwood and plywood. This gave the yachts a solid feel but made them look a little dated compared to contempary fare from the continent. To counter this the interior of the Storm was redone by Ken Frievokh in 1993 when the Storm was re-vamped into the Regatta 330. The interior became very posh with light cherry woodwork and Most of the Westerly range was re-badged a Regatta at that time and the vessels included the Griffon Spirit (Regatta 260), Merlin (Regatta 290), Tempest (Regatta 310), Fulmar (33) and Typhoon (Regatta 370) plus the larger cruising yachts such as the Falcon 34, Seahawk 34, Ocean Ranger 38 and Oceanlord 41 and Ocean 43. Like most post 1980 Westerly’s the Storm was designed by Lymington based Ed Dubious but the Ocean 43 was by Ron Holland.
The Storm was intended as a performance cruiser with racing abilities for a one design class but most were used for fast cruising. The bilge keel version is rare and like other Westerly bilge keelers the keels can become loose with time if they are kept on drying moorings as the keels are splayed apart. They splay on the keels is great for sailing but put great forces on the hull keels stubs, keel bolts and hull to keel bonding. Look for stress cracks on the moulded in keel stubs and tabbings/bondings breaking away from keel support webs, semi-bulkheads and locker dividers under the saloon berths and saloon sole if you are lucky enough to find a bilge keeler. Fin keelers did not suffer from cracking around transverse floor beams as the smaller fin keel versions of the Griffon, GK24, GK29 and Merlin did. This was because the Storm keel support structure was rather more generous. The better headroom allowed for taller and thicker matrix beams. However, I have seen cracking to keel support beams on Storms and Fulmars.
Early models tended to have a list to starboard due to the location of the fuel and water tanks but this problem was easily put right and made little difference when sailing. The Storm was a very good yacht indeed. Great looking, strong and sailed well. However, her sister yachts the smaller Tempest and larger Typhoon were equally good looking, sailed well too but were a little disappointing in the speed department.
One issue that helped towards Westerly’s demise was that they had too many very good, similar sized and similar looking yachts in the range. For example, I’m not sure if I could decide between the great all rounder Fulmar (later Fulmar 33) and the slightly faster Storm. Like the Storm the Fulmar had developed a sugar scoop and aft cabin but was not so beamy at 10’11” (3.3m) compared to the Storm at 11’7”. Both were offered as bilge keelers and a few Fulmars left the factory with lifting keels.