“With each effort, we get coser to that perfect combination and that’s why I found so much to like on the new Seawind 1600”by Zuzana Prochazka from Pacific Yachting and SAIL magazine
SAIL Magazine has delivered a fantastic New Year’s present to Seawind Catamarans: The Seawind 1600 has been named the SAIL Best Boat, in the category “Best Large Multihull 50ft and Above.
At 52 ft, our Seawind 1600 is the flagship of our range with a brief to be the “ultimate luxury offshore cruiser”. And after thousands of design hours, and thousands more in the early construction and testing phases, that work has been rewarded in a competition we hold in high regard. And upon hearing this, we’ve spoken with the judges and dug into the criteria to identify the 5 great features which delivered this win.
Let’s check out the top five defining reasons this large cat stands out in the crowded market of over 50-foot cruising multihulls:
1. Protected Safe Steering
Seawind catamarans offer the protection of a pilothouse yacht, with the visibility and helming advantages of a catamaran. The twin stations (dual helms) are found on every Seawind model, and with a unique “raised-mid-helm” position to offer 360-degree visibility while remaining protected. The twin stations offer excellent unobstructed view, and allow greater open spaces in the cockpit. Under testing conditions, this was found to be especially beneficial for the helmsmans view in crowded harbour (or competition judging) conditions.
2. Exclusive Interior and Exterior Design
The Seawind 1600 stands out in the catamaran line with her attention to practicality – think multiple refrigerators, huge battery banks, and sail handling systems. But it was the beautiful classy design and finish that seemed the next most important factor. She is designed with a low coach roof that extends into a solid bimini. The sharp plump bows give the design a fine entry. More interior volume is created with distinctive hard chines above the waterline. For a clean look, and a trip-free side decks, the 1600 has a captive daggerboard system which hides the boards recessed into a flush deck. The ash interior and walnut floor was found to be another big win for the 1600.
3. Shallow Draft
Seawind sailors around the world often value the importance of shallow draft, both for navigational reasons in terms of access to shallow waters, but also to add more swimming, snorkeling and free diving possibilities. The Seawind 1600’s lifting daggerboards and more unique – the lifting rudders, deliver shallow draft performance you can truly enjoy. Safe access to coral reefs, shores, fishing areas, and much more are within reach.
4. Powerful yet practical design
The Seawind 1600 recognises that experienced sailors might be comfortable with, and prepared for handling a 50ft-plus performance catamaran – yet they choose to seek out simplicity and ease-of-handling. And with that in mind the balance of a powerful sailplan, and simple sailhandling systems was easy to find. Boom bensons (or “haystacks”) make mainsail handling easier – as does the optional park avenue boom. The simple three-point mainsheet purchase system, and versatile in-line sheeting winch layout mean handling the 1600 feels like managing a smaller boat. Taking the stress out of such a big boat, while keeping the speed, earned plaudits from the pundits.
5. Performance Sailing in Comfort
A decisive choice was made early to put sailing performance before pure volume, which is not the case of many modern catamaran designs. The benefits of this are multitude and include having a great sailing motion while under way, that you get to your destination faster and don’t become frustrated by the lag of performance after days at sea in light winds, and that volume isn’t added at the expense of robustness. Add to that our scrupulously considered interior – without a square millimetre of wasted space, and with all of the amenities required for a long passage, and this truly is performance cruising.
The Seawind 1600 will be exhibited at Annapolis Boat Show in October 2021, pending the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.