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Flight Deck REPORTS – The Windy UK Review | 2018

BY BEN TOOGOOD

We had a fantastic year in 2017, with sales really picking up across the Windy model range. The highlight without doubt was the handover of our first SR52’ Blackbird,unofficially dubbed as the “coolest SR ever delivered”. Finished in sleek black lacquer she also has special custom dragon scale graphics. The pre-delivery inspection was memorable, with her owners enjoying wake surfing off the Opacmare (bathing platform) transformer in the beautiful (but cold!) Swedish Archipelago.

We have now signed our second SR52’ with the yacht currently in build and destined for the Mediterranean, where she will be used as a chase boat / limo tender. This version comes with a custom cockpit layout and an extended T-top for extra shade, and a canvas cover designed to quickly pull out and be drawn closed for added inclement weather protection. This concept gives her the potential for use as a fast commuter without the claustrophobic feel of some dedicated limo tenders. There is also talk from Windy of an “expedition version” with an enclosed wheel house for adventures into colder climates. This really demonstrates the versatility of the SR range, which means that they should not be branded simply as “yacht tenders” as they can be adapted to meet a wide range of different requirements.

On the techy engine front, the SR52’ since conception has been offered with the triple Volvo IPS 600 engines. However Windy have now launched the first SR with two new IPS 800 engines achieving top speeds on sea trial, of up to 43 knots. The IPS 800 engines cost less than the triple installation, and offers some advantages in terms of economy, vibration and noise levels.

Windy have also announced the launch of the new SR43’ Blackhawk, with 2 yachts due to be completed this year. The first yacht is due for display on our stand at the Cannes Boat Show in September 2018. The original designs came from Ed Dubois, who sadly died in 2016. We understand that she was one of the last yacht designs to leave his iconic design office.

The SR43’ offers a sleeker, more driverfocused alternative to the ever increasing Mediterranean deck boat market, with a choice of engine installation, including Volvo IPS, Outdrives or the ludicrously fun twin Seven 627hp outboards. The SR43’ will also offer a full raft of features, including accommodation for 4, a wellappointed wet bar, social u-shaped seating, carbon bimini, tender garage, hydraulic platform, hydraulic gangway and much more.

We are seeing more and more of our clients choosing to use their yachts in warmer climates, and yachts such as the SR43’ Blackhawk will without doubt prove very popular. To cater more to sunnier climes, Windy have paused development on the new 38’ Alize cruiser, and instead have expedited the new 35’ Shamal sports boat, taking much of her DNA from the renowned Windy 35’ Khamsin and Windy 39’ Camira.

The 35’ Shamal is currently being developed by Windy in collaboration with Espen Oineo, who is responsible for super yachts such as GALACTICA SUPER NOVA, SERENE, SOLANDGE and OCEAN VICTORY to name but a few. He has worked with Windy previously on their special projects and limo tenders.

Volvo Penta recently signed an agreement to become the major owner of the Seven Outboards brand, an innovative premium outboard manufacturer. The demand for outboard engines continues to rise dramatically and we have also seen an increase in demand for inboard petrol engines.

When compared to diesel installations, petrol engines now cost less, and are in many cases quieter, more environmentally friendly and have become more fuel efficient. Traditionally in the UK, we have sold predominantly diesel installations, but with new models such as the 27’ Solano the V8-430 petrol engine is proving most popular. The 31’ Zonda can now also be ordered with twin V8-430 petrol engines, achieving a blistering 55 knot performance at full chat.

The 39’ Camira has continued to be a particular success, and seems to stand alone in the market with very few direct and truly comparable alternatives. The key is that she offers all of the benefits of an aggressive 40’ deep-v hull (upscaled from the Zonda), but without the faff, unnecessary volume and detached handling of a traditional cruiser. She is not however uncomfortable, and her two generous cabins are beautifully finished and cleverly designed.

We have also put a lot of work into our “Windy community” here in the UK, with the launch of a Windy Owners’ Group on-line, to help our clients communicate more easily with one another, thereby allowing them to cruise in company and plan adventures. This has been complemented by several very successful owners’ events, both here in Lymington and at the Dusseldorf boat show in January this year.

We continue to focus on the importance of detailed handovers with our experienced instructor. We have found this really helps to build our clients’ confidence in their new acquisition, allowing them to use their yacht more often, travel further afield and to have even more fun.

We are very much looking forward to the 2018 summer season and currently preparing the delivery of our first Windy 27’ Solano in the coming weeks.

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