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The new flag­ship per­for­mance cruiser from the Aus­tralian brand made a wel­come world de­but at La Grande Motte in April. The Re­ichel Pugh de­sign sits in a sim­i­lar mar­ket to the Outremer 51 – a fast com­pos­ite cruiser, aimed at cou­ples go­ing long-dis­tance cruis­ing.

The first six 1600s sold off plans and Seawind, which owns Cor­sair, now builds in Viet­nam. All boats are built us­ing vinylester and Diam foam.

The 1600 is Re­ichel Pugh’s first pro­duc­tion mul­ti­hull and has a prac­ti­cal air about it that sailors will ap­pre­ci­ate. “It has been prop­erly de­signed to sail fast when loaded,” says Seawind sales man­ager Jay Nolan.

The helms­man can steer from un­der the solid bi­mini or can stand out­board, with a good view over the low coachroof. Re­tractable, cap­tive dag­ger­boards, along with foam-cored lifting rud­ders in cas­settes, al­low true shoal draught ca­pa­bil­ity. The dag­ger­boards are housed un­der­deck and con­trolled from the cock­pit.

The run­ning rig­ging is, un­usu­ally, led un­der the coachroof and bridgedeck aft to a sin­gle cen­tral winch on the aft cross­beam. Reef­ing lines and the self-tack­ing jib sheet also lead to this pro­tected, ver­ti­cally mounted winch. The cock­pit is small­ish, linked to the in­te­rior via a huge slid­ing win­dow.

The in­te­rior, also de­signed by Re­ichel Pugh, has a pleas­ingly yacht-like feel to it and good nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tion. Both the navs­ta­tion and gal­ley are well pro­por­tioned, though the din­ing space is less gen­er­ous. The cab­ins don’t feel quite as light and airy, largely be­cause the port­holes are small. Seawind says these are al­ready be­ing en­larged for the third boat.

Three or four cab­ins are of­fered and an op­tional per­for­mance pack in­cludes car­bon spars and syn­thetic rig­ging.

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