The Seawind 1600 is a blue water cruiser designed to have a balance of sailing performance and cruising comfort. It is built with the latest techniques using a composite construction, and a great effort is made to save weight, making this catamaran fast and practical.
DESIGN – INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
The Seawind 1600 was designed by renowned naval architects Reichel Pugh and built by Seawind, an Australian based company that recently moved its production facilities to Vietnam. Designed with performance and weight saving in mind, it’s hulls are narrow and reinforced with Kevlar and carbon. The interior has a minimalist design and is offered in two finishes, “European” and “Traditional.”
The retractable rudders and daggerboards give a maximum draft of 8’6″ / 2.6 m down to 2’1″ / 0.54 m, which is ideal for accessing shallower areas typically reserved for smaller boats and allow beaching on the sand if needed. The engines are easily accessed, and the excellent space in the engine room makes performing maintenance very comfortable. Locker lids on the deck are solidly constructed, as is the walkway between the trampolines and should last the owner many years. Solar panels on the roof are recessed and designed with a guttering system to collect fresh rainwater, adding to the practicality of this boat as a blue water cruiser.
Visibility from the twin helms is exceptional, though taller sailors may find the hardtop a little low when standing. Being located outboard with such excellent visibility also means the helms are slightly exposed to the elements and can make the captain’s life uncomfortable when on watch in wet weather. Having engine controls in this position at each helm makes docking and maneuvering safe and easy.
The large opening lockers on the floor and under seating provide adequate storage space. The cockpit coffee table folds out into a dining table with the wrap-around L shaped lounge providing accommodation for eight people. A huge triple sliding window allows access from the galley to the cockpit lounge, making communication and delivery of food and drinks a breeze. Features such as bracing points, handholds, and attachment points are in good supply in the cockpit for added safety and security.
The Seawind 1600 is a performance catamaran with daggerboards, but conveniently don’t protrude through to the deck. This makes moving about on top much easier and safer, especially when offshore. The mechanism for operating these is in the cockpit for ease of use and safety. All lockers and hatches are well designed and finished flush to the deck. The main sheet is controlled by winches on either side of the rear seat in the cockpit. Also, for safety and practicality, most other lines are controlled by a power winch in the center of the cockpit, with the lines tailing into bins, keeping the area neat and uncluttered.
Moving from the cockpit to the saloon is unobstructed, through a good-sized sliding door and down two steps. The interior is bright and minimalist in design. Four forward-facing opening hatches provide good ventilation, and combined with wrap-around windows, the sailor has exceptional visibility. The navigation station is located up and forward on the starboard side. From this position, you have excellent 360-degree visibility all around and are also able to see the sails. The outstanding visibility makes the saloon suitable and safe for being on watch during poor weather.
A large U shaped lounge offers plenty of comfortable seating for up to eight, with a coffee table that folds out, converting into a dining table. The large flat-screen TV makes this space great for movie night. Communication with those outside is easy through the extra-large window adjacent to the galley. While the cabinetry could have slightly larger rounded corners for safety, they’re all solidly constructed with quality materials.
The galley is mounted up in the saloon on the starboard side in an enclosed U shaped configuration, suggesting it would be a safe, secure space during rough weather. With a large amount of bench space, deep double stainless sink, three burner stovetop, 130L front-loading fridge, and 90L top-loading freezer, this is a practical cruising galley.
Two accommodation configurations are available in the Seawind 1600. Four cabins with two in each hull, or three cabins with the entire starboard side allocated to the owner’s berth. The forward guest cabin is quite small and is a single berth, which is a compromise given the narrow hulls of this performance catamaran. Although the master cabin is quite comfortable with four opening hatches for natural sunlight and ventilation. The master has a vanity with a chair that can be used as a desk and a good number of drawers and storage space.
All cabins have recessed fans, which are a practical solution to ensure good ventilation. The separate showers have 2 meters, standing headroom, and the thoughtful opaque windows in the ceiling illuminate the area well but, most importantly, provide privacy from those on deck. The lighting is aesthetically pleasing and useful throughout, with recessed LED lighting utilized in many places. Although this catamaran doesn’t have the luxury of production cruising catamarans, the accommodation is functional and practical.
- Overall Length: 51’8″ / 15.74 m
- Waterline Length: 51’6/ 15.7 m
- Beam: 25’10” / 7.9 m
- Min. Draft: 2’1″ / 0.54 m
- Max. Draft (boards down): 8’6″ / 2.6 m
- Displacement: 28,000 lbs / 13,000 kg
- Diesel Saildrives: 2 x Yanmar 57 hp / 43 kw
- Fuel: 200 US gal / 750 litres
- Fresh Water: 155 US gal / 600 litres
- Mast Height: 71’ 8” / 22.8 m
- Steering System: Lewmar Mamba
- Underwing Clearance: 2’4″ / 0.75 m
- Upwind Sail Area: 1,558 sq ft / 144.5 sq m
- Mainsail: 1,080 sq ft / 100 sq m
- Jib: 478 sq ft / 44.5 sq m
- Screecher (optional): 990 sq ft / 92.5 sq m
- Spinnaker (optional): 2,370 sq ft / 220 sq m
The Seawind 1600 starts at $889,000. Although after adding some of the optional extras, the price rises up to $990,000, which is comparable to other catamarans of similar size and type.
With a thoughtful design such as a recessed daggerboard that doesn’t impede in the interior or deck and a minimalist interior, this catamaran suits the sailor who wants to be able to make fast passages while in comfort. This is a fast, performance cruiser, and some volume for storage and living space is compromised with the narrow hull widths to achieve the increase in sailing performance.
With a large cockpit and saloon that has many opening windows provide superb visibility from the helm and saloon for convenience and ease of communication. The forward-facing navigation station is a safe location when on watch, with the amazing visibility to see both the headsail and mainsail. Overall, the Seawind 1600 would suit those who want to travel fast and are happy to compromise space for performance and sailing ability.