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Wylie 31
$45,000 USD
30ft 6in

The ultimate all around 30-footer.

Velella was designed by Tom Wylie of San Francisco and built in the cold molded style, making her strong and light, yet comfortable and capable as a long-distance cruiser. Launched in San Diego in 1979, she was built by her original owner, Michael Butler. Butler had worked for C&B Marine in Santa Cruz, California building a larger Tom Wylie designed sistership named Wild Spirit. Velella was sailed to the South Pacific by her owner/builder. After a series of owners in the Pacific Northwest, she was purchased by Garth Wilcox and Wendy Hinman and sailed 34,000 miles over 7 years in the Pacific, chronicled in Wendy’s book Tightwads on the Loose.

My wife and I have owned Velella since 2012 and have lived aboard, raced, and cruised extensively around the Pacific Northwest. She was extremely well conceived and configured for long term cruising and living aboard and her interior arrangement feels far larger than her 30 feet might suggest. And she is sneaky fast, always surprising other boats on the racecourse. We love this boat and if it were not for a growing family, we could see owning this boat forever. I can think of no boat that has the performance, strength, liveability and pedigree of construction in a 30-foot package that can easily be sailed and maintained on a modest budget. – Ryan Helling

Name of vessel Velella
Model Wylie 31
Year 1979
Designer Wylie
Price $45,000 USD
Location Seattle
Length (feet) 30
Beam (feet) 9'7"
Draft (feet) 6'
Displacement (pounds) 7,992
Ballast (pounds)
Engine model Universal M3-20
Engine horsepower 18
Engine hours 2135
Fuel tank capacity (gallons) 11
Water tank capacity (gallons) 45
Holding tank capacity (gallons) 10

Interior Accommodations

Velella’s interior planking is mostly bright finished with Herreschoff style off white painted bulkheads and mahogany trim. Her cabin sides and ceiling are beautiful varnished fir. The cabin sole is off white enamel with walnut nonskid, a surface that is bright and easily maintained.

In the forward cabin there is a v-berth. Beneath the berth, there is storage configured in two levels to maximize the space. Beneath the aft end of the berth there is a large drawer. To port, there is a large hanging locker and a locker with shelves. To starboard there is a narrow workbench with lockers above and below that is excellent pantry space. The Lavac toilet is located aft near the mast. A curtain separates this space from the main cabin. There is a large opening hatch overhead.

The salon is configured with a L-shaped galley forward to port, a curved settee to starboard and another settee bench to port aft of the galley. There is a fixed table with drop-leaf and a drawer for flatware. Storage is available outboard of the settees behind the seatbacks and beneath the aft/inboard end of the starboard settee. Six bronze opening ports and a small hatch provide ventilation.

The galley counter is bright finished cherry surrounded by mahogany fiddles. A deep stainless sink is located at the forward, inboard end with fresh and raw water foot pumps. There is a propane cabin heater mounted on the bulkhead above and two drawers below the sink. There are also open storage compartments on the inboard side of the counter near the forward bulkhead. Outboard from the sink is the top loading refrigeration compartment with cutting board top. There is open storage for dishes, glasswear, spices and other kitchen items outboard. Aft of the counter is the Shipmate 2-burner stove and oven with a stainless crash bar across the front. Custom knife storage slots aft of the stove allow safe and convenient storage. There is a large open storage space outboard of the stove and a locker for pots and pans below.

Aft of the starboard settee adjacent to the companionway stairs are the radios and electrical distribution panels. There is a large top loading storage space and an open storage locker in this area.

The aft berth is larger than one normally sees on far bigger boats. A bookshelf runs along the hull side to port. There ample storage space for clothes and other items in open lockers to starboard. A port opening into the cockpit and two ports in the transom provide nice light and ventilation.

Shipmate propane two burner stove/oven

Dickinson P9000 bulkhead mounted propane cabin heater

10# aluminum propane tank with remote solenoid control, pressure gauge and regulator

Propane system from tank to appliances replaced (2013)

Frigoboat BD35 12v refrigeration system with digital thermostat and Smart Speed controller (2013)

Fresh and raw water foot pumps at galley

Lavac toilet, holding tank with manual overboard pump

Salon upholstery in Sunbrella upholstery fabric (2012)

Fleece covers for salon upholstery and aft berth


Electronics & Navigation

Raymarine tiller pilot

Cape Horn self steering windvane

Raymarine ST40 Bidata speed and depth display

Suunto compass

Garmin 2010C chartplotter

Icom IC M402 VHF radio with wired ram mic

Icom IC 735 HAM radio with Pactor III modem (KISS counterpoise and insulated backstay currently not installed)

Kenwood AM/FM/CD stereo receiver with (4) interior speakers

Weems & Plath clock and barometer

LED tricolor and anchor light

Running lights and steaming light


Electrical Systems

12v DC and 120v AC electrical systems

Blue Sea Systems DC distribution panel with ammeter and voltmeter

Weems & Plath AC distribution panel

Xantrex Link Pro battery monitor (2019)

Smart Plug 30 amp shore power inlet and 50’ cord

Victron Bluesmart battery charger (2019)

Lifeline GPL 4DL house battery (2018)

Optima SC34U engine start battery (2016)

(2) BP 50w solar panels on hard dodger

Flex Charge solar panel regulator

(2) 12v outlets

(2) 110v outlets


Mechanical Systems

Universal M3-20 18hp diesel engine installed 1994 (2135 hours)

ZF 5M 2:1 direct drive transmission (reconditioned unit installed June, 2018 at 1991 hours)

Universal engine panel with tachometer, coolant temperature gauges

New starter and raw water pump (2018)

Racor primary fuel filter

Morse throttle/shift control (new cables 2017)

Stainless propeller shaft (removed and trued 2016)

PYI dripless shaft seal (2016)

Gori 2-blade folding propeller (2016)

50-amp alternator (rebuilt 2012)

Balmar external alternator regulator (2012)

Manual bilge pump


Deck & Hull

Velella’s hull was built using cedar strip planking with two diagonal veneers on the exterior and additional veneers in way of the bilge all encapsulated in fiberglass and epoxy. A laminated backbone runs stem to stern. Her deck is two layers of mahogany plywood with mahogany planking, currently painted. A laminated sheer clamp strengthens the hull to deck joint. Her construction details provide an extremely strong and well insulated structure while only displacing a moderate 8,000 pounds. A complete set of drawings from Tom Wylie is included.

Her underbody is configured with a fin keel with lead ballast. The ballast is attached with bronze bolts through bronze structural floors in the bilge. Her rudder is stern hung with bronze gudgeons and a full length skeg. She is stiller steered.

Her cockpit is surrounded by a fiberglass coaming and protected by a canvas dodger with foam/fiberglass hard top. Solar panels are mounted on the hard top. There are two storage lockers in the cockpit to starboard – one that houses the 11-gallon fiberglass diesel tank and additional items and another large locker that houses the propane tank and additional storage. Her deck is surrounded by a short toe rail and double lifelines with stainless stanchions. A hatch at the bow allows access to the anchor locker. All halyards and control lines are located at the mast.

Lofrans Project 1000 electric anchor windlass with wired remote

Rocna Vulcan anchor with 240’ 5/16” BBB anchor chain

30’ 5/16” chain and 300’ 9/16” nylon rode for secondary anchor

200’ 7/16” nylon rode with with chain for stern anchor

(2) Spade A80 aluminum anchors

45lb CQR anchor

22lb Danforth anchor

Anchor snubber
Johnson raw water anchor washdown system (2016)

(2) 75’ 3/4” nylon mooring lines

(3) dock lines and (4) fenders with covers

(6) heavy duty mooring cleats

Outboard motor mount

Canvas cockpit awning

Canvas cockpit dodger by Sew Salty (2017)

Foredeck awning

Full boat awning

Canvas covers for tiller, transom, foredeck and anchor locker hatches


Sails & Rigging

Aluminum single spreader mast and aluminum boom, painted white

The forestay and cap shrouds were replaced in 2016 and a new heat set dyneema backstay was installed in 2018. A 1×19 backstay with Stalok insulators was new in 2013 and is currently in storage. All chainplates removed, inspected and rebedded between 2012 and 2016. There is a removable inner forestay for the storm staysail with dyneema running backstays and a dedicated storm trysail track on the mast.

(2) mainsail halyards, boom topping lift, (2) genoa halyards, spinnaker halyard, pole topping lift/staysail  halyard
Aluminum spinnaker pole

(2) Crown 22 stainless primary winches

(2) Crown 10 stainless halyard winches on mast

(1) Crown 16 and (1) Lewmar 16ST winch on cabin top for staysail sheets

(2) winch handles

Ballard Sails full batten mainsail on low friction Strong Track mast track (2014)

Ballard Sails 148% heavy #1 dacron genoa (2018)

Ballard Sails 155% AP #1 carbon genoa (2016)

Ballard Sails 100% #3 jib with battens and reef points (2015)

#2 dacron genoa

Light #1 dacron genoa

Storm staysail

Storm trysail

Ballard Sails S2 .6oz spinnaker, Superkote 75 (2017)

.75 oz symmetrical spinnaker

Assymetric spinnaker with ATN snuffer

Ballard Sails mainsail cover (2017)


Miscellaneous & Safety

Lifesling MOB recovery device

(3) fire extinguishers

Jordan Series Drogue

12’ parachute anchor

4-man liferaft (certification expired)

EPIRB (battery expired)

Flares and flare gun


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