Light and Lively

Cruising World - - Contents - By Mark Pills­bury

Per­fect for coastal cruis­ing, the Seawind 1190 Sport is de­signed for fun.


t doesn’t hap­pen at ev­ery go-round, but oc­ca­sion­ally, Cruis­ing World ’s Boat of the Year judges are con­fronted with a sail­boat that re­ally can’t be com­pared to its peers but de­serves top ac­co­lades nonethe­less. At the U.S. Sail­boat Show last fall, the Seawind 1190 Sport proved to be just such an en­try, and so im­pressed the panel of ex­perts with its ex­e­cu­tion and de­tails that it was given the Judges’ Spe­cial Recog­ni­tion Award.

Com­pared to the more plush full-on cruis­ers be­ing con­sid­ered in the Cata­ma­rans Un­der 50 Feet cat­e­gory, the 1190 was dif­fer­ent by de­sign, which be­came read­ily ap­par­ent when com­par­ing dis­place­ment-to-length ra­tios. Lighter boats are more eas­ily driven and there­fore the­o­ret­i­cally more fun to sail. The 1190’s magic num­ber was 136; the com­pe­ti­tion’s ranged from 171 to 191. Out on the wa­ter, even in a mea­ger 3 knots that barely stirred a rip­ple, we man­aged to coax the speedo to 2.5 knots. “It re­ally is a boat that moves,” noted judge Tim Mur­phy. The­o­rem proved.

The 1190 is modeled loosely along the lines of the Seawind 1160, it­self a BOTY win­ner when it made its de­but in 2007. Then, the boats were built in Aus­tralia. In the in­terim, Seawind owner and Aussie sailor Richard Ward pur­chased Cor­sair Marine and con­sol­i­dated all man­u­fac­tur­ing at that com­pany’s Viet­nam fa­cil­ity.

True to its name, the 1190 is in­tended to be sportier than its com­fort­able-cruis­ing sib­ling. Car­bon was used in the layup of its cross­beam and arch to add stiff­ness and re­duce weight. Pounds were also saved by mov­ing to fiber stand­ing rig­ging, rather than wire, and re­plac­ing twin 30-horse­power Yan­mars and saildrives with a cou­ple of 20-horse­power out­boards that can be tilted up while sail­ing to elim­i­nate drag. Also con­tribut­ing to hull slip­per­i­ness are dag­ger­boards, used in­stead of stub keels. The net re­sult is weight sav­ings of about 1,300 pounds.

The 1190’s taller dou­ble-spreader rig car­ries a square-top main. A self-tend­ing work­ing jib is eas­ily han­dled when tack­ing up­wind; off the breeze, ei­ther a screecher or spin­naker can be set on the car­bon-fiber sprit that comes stan­dard with the boat.

Twin wheels lo­cated to ei­ther side of the cock­pit give the helms­man sev­eral op­tions when driv­ing: Sit out­board on the hull and en­joy the breeze, or duck un­der the bi­mini, out of the sun and weather, and take ad­van­tage of ex­cel­lent sight lines for­ward through the re­mov­able tem­pered-glass win­dows that let lots of light pour into the saloon.

IThe saloon it­self can be airy and open if Seawind’s trade­mark tri­fold door is lifted and stored un­der the cock­pit bi­mini top, or it can be snug against the el­e­ments with the door down. Ei­ther way, the in­te­rior is laid out quite well for ex­tended voy­ag­ing, with the gal­ley down in the star­board hull and cab­ins fore and aft. To port, the own­ers cabin is for­ward with an athwartship bunk; aft is lo­cated the best head and shower we saw at the show (there’s an op­tion to have a sec­ond head in the star­board hull).

Through­out, con­struc­tion ap­peared to be well-ex­e­cuted. The hull is resin-in­fused, with a foam core. The deck, also cored, is vac­uum-bagged. Re­ally, the judges’ only nit was that fuel hoses lead­ing from the ga­so­line tank to the en­gine were not up to U.S. specs, a mat­ter eas­ily cor­rected ei­ther at the fac­tory or by the dealer. Through­out, top-qual­ity hard­ware from sup­pli­ers such as Lew­mar and B&G is em­ployed; sails are by Doyle. The boat’s sail­away price of $442,000 in­cludes two 125-watt so­lar pan­els and AGM bat­ter­ies.

Sum­ming up his notes, judge Ed Sher­man con­cluded, “If I were go­ing to con­sider a multihull, this is one of the boats I’d look at for sure. … It would be a lot of fun, a lot of fun. I mean, that’s a great cou­ple’s boat.”

Mark Pills­bury is CW’S ed­i­tor.

For more photos and model spec­i­fi­ca­tions, go to cruis­ing­­wind1190.

The sporty 1190 has a sprit for off-the-wind sails and a self-tack­ing work­ing head­sail. Large cabin win­dows let in lots of light, and two open to let the breeze blow through.

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