ISABELLA 1979 Downeast 32

dockside w canvas

dockside w canvas

Isabella is a cutter rig built in 1979 in Santa Ana, California. She has classic lines and a beautiful bowsprit. She was a sailboat show model boat, so has many non-standard upgrades including a stunning all-teak garage over the companionway hatch (recently refinished), a charming teak butterfly hatch (refinished in 2004), and a teak boarding ladder that has seen only light use and oval bronze ports.

The spacious interior is all Burmese teak, which combined with a step-down salon with 6’7″ headroom makes it feel warm, cozy and roomy all at the same time. Four large non-opening ports in the main salon give excellent natural light.

The u-shaped galley has a large, double stainless steel sink; 3-burner gimbaled propane stove and oven in excellent condition (Princess); 9-cubic foot draining refrigerator (Adler Barber 12-volt system) with 4 inches of polyfoam insulation; Formica counter tops.

A navigation area opposite the galley with a full-size chart table that includes storage underneath, separate AC/DC control panels and electronics console. The chart table settee converts to a navigator’s quarter berth.

The forward v-berth is large with ample space to sleep two (88″ wide at the top, 80″ long at the middle), a roomy hanging cedar-lined closet and drawers, all in luxurious Burmese teak. The salon has two settees that convert to a double and a single berth plus a quarter berth under the cockpit on the starboard side. The head is accessible from the main salon.

She displaces 17K pounds and rides nicely in rough or choppy water. Isabella has been a full-time cruising boat sailing around the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal and an active daysailer on the Outer Banks.

The cutter rig is easily handled by two crew or an experienced single-hander, thanks in part to the size of the sails and location of the winches.

–Solar panel
–Givens buoy life raft 1992
–Spare water pumps, impeller, starter, engine gaskets and many, many more
–Fully battened main and Mack Pack (1997) Cost: $5000
–Sails: Yankee jib and staysail, storm jib (like new), genoa (like new), asymmetrical spinnaker and pole
–Navico 5000 Autopilot
–3-foot emergency tiller
–35 pound CQR anchor with 100 feet 3/8 inch chain
–20 pound Danforth anchor
–Drogue chute
–Custom made dodger and Bimini (2000)
–Simpson Lawrence 550 high speed windlass
–Zenith Trans Oceanic SSB receiver
–Seaward 3-burner stove purchased 1997

Recent upgrades:
–Custom-built teak-frame screens in v-berth and main salon
–New faucets and plumbing for pressurized water
–Restored and installed bronze hand pumps in galley and head
–Professionally cleaned stainless steel fuel tank and polished fuel with biocide
–New tachometer
–New temperature gauge
–New Raycor
–Replaced electric fuel pump
–Installed new alternator
–New muffler, muffler hoses
–Installed custom-made STAINLESS STEEL exhaust elbow
–2 new AGM maintenance-free batteries in 2007
–Refinished propane tank locker
–Purchased new propane tank and new gauges
–Repainted and sealed cockpit locker
–Meticulously stripped, sanded and refinished teak toe rails and all-teak garage (2008)
–Replaced double purchase main halyard and staysail halyard in 2004
–VHF radio new in 2004
–Stanchion repairs to offshore specifications
–Refinished teak bulkhead in salon
–Repainted bowsprit and mahogany bowsprit seat



Displacement: 17,000 lbs
Draft: 4’9″
Keel: FULL
Beam: 11′
LOA: 35’6″
LWL: 25’10”
LOD: 32′
Ballast (internal): 5,500 lbs
Fuel: 72 gallons
Water: 45 gallons
Diesel range: 900 miles
Sail area
Mainsail: 280 sq ft
Working jib: 188 sq ft
Staysail: 125 sq ft
Yankee jib: 328 sq ft
Total Sail area: 593 sq ft
Bridge clearance vertical: 46 ft

New motor mounts in 1992
Injector nozzles in 1992
Standing rigging replaced in 1997
Xantrex Truecharge 10TB Multistage Battery Charger new in 2004
Boat was in fresh water for seven years and has been in brackish water for six years. No blisters.


isabella’s interior is spacious and cozy at the same time.


we refinished the bulkhead, and it looks fabulous!



salon looking aft

salon looking aft

salon looking forward

salon looking forward

salon table

the teak table has been refinished with teak oil, sanded up to 1000 grit.



New Hatches and Shoring Under Settee

Starboard side settee that had two small coolers built-in:

New locking, removable hatches:

Shoring added plus bulkhead in center (not shown):

New, improved storage under settee!:


Sanded 40-grit, 6, 80, up to 120-grit

Sealed with 50% varnish/50% mineral spirits

Sanded with 150-grit Coated with 85% varnish/15% mineral spirits

Sanded with 220-grit Varnished Sanded with 320-grit Varnished and so it goes ....

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