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Yacht Review: Seawind 1160 Lite

Oct 1, 2015

Simplicity and economy

The 1160 Lite under sail in Sydney Harbor.

The 1160 Lite under sail in Sydney Harbor.

Photos courtesy Seawind

In 2004, Seawind Catamarans launched the 38-foot Seawind 1160. The new design quickly gained traction in the catamaran market for its innovative layout and use of space, ergonomics and short-handed sailing performance. The boat also made a name for itself in the competitive bareboat charter trade thanks to its simplicity and rugged build.

The new Seawind 1160 Lite is the evolution of that design and offers a cruising design that is easily single or short-handed in all conditions. Built in Vietnam, the cat has a sleek modern interior that is easily maintained due to the use of laminates and hard-wearing fabrics. The layout is spacious with an open flow from the main saloon to the cabins below and the forward wet locker. The interior spaces are light and airy and the main saloon design offers 360-degree views. The boat also offers the flexibility of an indoor/outdoor saloon and cockpit thanks to a unique tri-fold door system. The Seawind 1160 Lite is 38 feet overall with a beam of 24 feet 4 inches. The scant 3-foot-1-inch draft makes it a perfect gunkholer or Bahamas cruiser. The underwing clearance is 2 feet 4 inches. There are also twin helm stations for redundancy and visibility. 

The cat’s modern interior.

The Seawind 1160 Lite does not feature traditional diesel engines. Instead, it has twin 20-hp Honda or 25-hp Yanmar outboards mounted in wells with an electric tilt system. The use of outboards in lieu of inboard diesels is a space and weight saver as well as an economic alternative. The capability to raise the outboards from the water also eliminates drag when sailing, reduces electrolysis and keeps fuel external to the cabin. The external fuel tanks can hold 52 gallons and the freshwater capacity is 185 gallons. 

The cockpit hardtop is full width and extends to an arch over the transom. It serves as protection from the weather and provides a walking surface when handling the modern, fully battened, flat-top mainsail. The hardtop is also a perfect place for mounting solar panels. Sail-handing is a breeze thanks to lazy jacks, and the jib is self-tending. Owners have reported excellent performance with speeds of between 9.5 and 11.5 knots in a 20-knot wind.

With so many varieties of catamarans on the market, the sheer simplicity of function, styling and economics of the Seawind 1160 Lite make it a catamaran worth considering. 

 

The cat’s fractional rig has a fully battened main.

 

The two outboards have access hatches for servicing.

     
 

The salon table converts to a berth (right).

   
     
   
     

 

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