This bluewater cruising catamaran can take you on fast passages in style and comfort
The saloon is the real star of the interior. With the sliding doors open, the space flows uninterrupted into the cockpit. Large windows keep the main cabin bright. The C-shaped galley is enormous, with copious amounts of counter space. All storage, which is plentiful, is located beneath the countertops to keep sight lines open. The galley features a double sink, top-opening refrigerator and three-burner stove.
A large U-shaped dinette seats six comfortably. The forward-facing nav desk is nearly 4 feet long with a pull-out seat. The desk has an unobstructed view forward and access to the autopilot controls, making it a good inside steering station on long passages.
Test sailing after the Miami show is complicated by the long process of breaking up the docks, with boats scattering to various locations on Key Biscayne, and I met up with the 1600 at Crandon Park Marina. The boat was popular with prospective owners and sailing media, and as 15 folks hopped off, I joined the next group hopping aboard. Even with all the people, the boat never felt crowded and there was ample opportunity for everyone to have a turn at the helm.
Shane Grover, Seawind’s sales and marketing director, was anxious for video of the 1600 under sail, and so the tender was quickly launched from the davits and Grover climbed aboard. As we set sail, it was quickly apparent that the dinghy would be no match for the speed of the 1600 and the dinghy was soon left in our wake as we set off across Biscayne Bay.
The cat tracked well, and maneuverability was quick. Under power, the optional 80-horsepower (57-horsepower engines are standard) Yanmars provided plenty of power, and the boat moved comfortably at 8 knots at just 2,200 rpm.
“With the rudders so far aft, it allows the 1600 to perform tight turns,” said Scott Wallingford of Wright Yachts, Seawind’s Northwest dealer. “When sailing upwind in less than 7 knots the daggers are down, when the wind pipes up you can raise them halfway. When off the wind, they are raised about two-thirds of the way up.”
Setting the 1,080-square-foot square-top mainsail furled inside a bag on the Park Avenue boom was easy with the electric winch, and a quick unzip of the self-tacking solent jib and we were off at close to 7 knots. Once out on the bay, it was a quick maneuver of rolling in the jib and rolling out the 990-square-foot screecher. With a perfect 15-knot southeasterly, we zoomed across the bay at more than 8 knots at 70 degree apparent wind angle.
The Seawind is meant for bluewater sailing with an optional inner forestay and storm jib. For downwind sailing, the 2,370-square-foot spinnaker would make short work of long trade wind passages.
The Seawind 1600 is designed for speedy bluewater passages in comfort and style. It’s first on my list for a post-pandemic world cruise.
LOA 51’8”; LWL 51’6”; Beam 25’10”; Draft boards up 2’1”; draft boards down 8’6”; Displ. 28,000 lb.; Sail area 1,558 sq. ft.
Base Boat Price: $899,000