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.