T&T: Fales Navigator

Lawrence Zeitlin lrzeitlin at aol.com
Sun Nov 13 20:29:24 EST 2005

Joel asks:


Hoping somebody can provide info on a boat that has come up on the radar. It is called a Fales Navigator 32. Some call it a motorsailer but wondering if it really carries enuf sail to justify that name. Believe it to be a William Crealock design. Displacing 17,000 of which 6000 is ballast seems about right to me but just guessing. Has a Perkins 4-107 for motoring and rough calc from pictures indicate about 130sqft mainsail and a 100% jib at prob 165 sqft. I really like the overall size/look and seems like a very seaworthy boat. I know there is also a Fales Carib 30' but that one is not the boat (although looks similarl) too....Just looking for any additional info at all. Googled ( and yachtworld too) it and not much came up. If anyone has a good reference book that would be appreciated too. Off list is fine if I threw in too many sailing refs...:) 


The Fales Navigator is a rip off of the Willard Horizon. Here is the official story from the Willard web site:

I would like to once again (and hopefully the last time) go over the painful
history of the relationship between Willard Marine and the Fales line of

Back in the '70's, John Fales who was a Pearson (as I recall) sailboat
dealer in New England contacted Willard Marine and said he loved our trawler
yachts.  He said that he wanted to build them on the East Coast under
license of Willard Marine.  He said he was positive he could sell large

There upon, a lengthy negotiation process began.  The final agreement was
that John Fales would purchase a hull mold only for the Willard 30 and build
the 30 on the East Coast under supervision of Willard Marine staff.  John
Fales would then pay Willard Marine a royalty for each boat that he sold.

When John Fales received the Willard 30 hull mold, he immediately cut it up
and added two feet in the middle to extend the hull to 32 feet.  This was
not done with approval of Willard Marine.  He said it was none of our
business since he now owned the tooling.  He immediately started producing
32 foot boats under the Fales name but he led his customers to believe that
they were a Willard Marine product, capitalizing on the well respected
Willard Marine name.  They were not.  Willard Marine staff did not
participate in the construction of any his boats.  We have no idea how his
boats were produced - constructions techniques, materials, systems, etc.

John Fales refused to pay Willard Marine any royalties because he said he
wasn't building a Willard trawler anymore, he was building a Fales boat.
This was not part of the agreement when the hull mold was sold to him.
Willard Marine considered legal action, but decided against it.  It was
better to swallow a bitter pill and get on with their lives.

John Fales died years ago, and as far as we know nothing is left from his
venture and there is no support for his boats as far as I know.  I
frequently get requests in my office from Fales owners for "factory" support
on their boats.  I wish I could help them, but I can't.  We know nothing
about the boats, - anymore than we should know about Hatteras boats or any
other brand.

So.....the Willard Owners can do anything with the List they want, because
it is your List.  However to include the Fales line of boats into the
"archive of the Willards" will continue to perpetuate the myth that Fales
boats are a product of Willard Marine.  They are not!  That would make no
more sense than adding Bayliners and Grand Banks to the Willard archives.

Should anything be done to indicate that the Fales boat is a Willard Marine
product, - directly or indirectly on this List, Willard Marine would
reluctantly withdraw its support from the Willard Boat Owners chat list.

I hope that everyone understands the subtle nuances of our position.

Patrick Gerety
PleasureCraft Division
Willard Marine
1250 N. Grove St.
Anaheim, CA  92806

714-666-2150 x 214



That being said, both the Fales Navigator and the Willard Horizon are very seaworthy fully powered sail assisted trawlers. I'd say they are 70/30. The sails are best regarded as an assist to the engine and as a fully independent "get home" system. Both the Willard and the Fales have about half the sail area of a sailboat of similar size and displacement so can always be considered as sailing in a fully reefed condition. They can carry full sail in a 25 kt. wind. When motor sailing in a beam wind, fuel consumption drops to a very low level, say 1/2 gallon an hour at 6 kts. The sails also act as an effective roll damper. 

William Crealock did not design the Willard 30 Horizon but did contribute to a modified sailboat version using the basic hull and an enhanced sail plan and deck molding. Although outwardly similar, the Willard has a better fit and finish than the Fales but the plastic hull of the Fales is reputedly less liable to blister. Both are fine looking boats and attract attention wherever they go.

Larry Z (A Willard Horizon owner)

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