Ten years after the SR52 Blackbird blew us away there is a new, smaller SR model ready to take on an ever-growing field of challengers. With a sunny Solent as our playground it was time to put the Windy SR44 through its paces...
Somewhere, tucked away in a highly secure location at Windy’s Västervik HQ, there must be a crystal ball. I say this because it was back in 2010 that Windy, in conjunction with Ed Dubios, created the SR52 Blackbird, a spellbinding custom-built 52ft chase boat with a deck-focussed arrangement and neat T-top perched above the helm.
Wind the clock forward to the present day and you can’t move for this style of boat as established purveyors of these T-top deck boats, such as Fjord, tussle with new blood from the likes of Pardo, Solaris and even the high-volume builders in the Hanse Group and Jeanneau.
There’s no two ways about it, the traditional sportscruiser is being displaced by a new genre of fast cruiser and with the shadow of the SR52 looming large, Windy was well placed to strike and build a 44ft offering all of its own.
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Like its bigger sister, the Windy SR44 Blackhawk is the result of a design collaboration between the Dubois studio and Windy’s longstanding hull design guru Hans Jørgen Johnsen, this time with superyacht designers Design Unlimited in the mix to handle the interior.
A fine looking thing it is, too, especially in the surroundings of Lymington, where boats of this style aren’t quite as common as they are in the South of France, Italy or the Balearics.
Even in an all-white colour scheme with muted grey upholstery it still has plenty of wow factor in the flesh, and in the stifling heat of an unusually warm July day its large sun pads and expanse of relaxed seating look almost irresistible.
The Windy SR44 is a bigger boat than it looks, partly down to its impressive freeboard and partly because of the heft of its mouldings, particularly around the superstructure of the hard top, wet bar and coachroof.
Read our full review of the Windy SR44 in the October issue of MBY, which is out on September 2.
Windy SR44 specification
LOA: 46ft 0in (14.03m)
Beam: 12ft 10in (3.96m)
Draught: 3ft 6in (1.10m)
Displacement: 9.5 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 900 litres
Water capacity: 300 litres
Test engines: Twin 440hp Volvo Penta D6
Top speed on test: 41.2 knots
Cruising speed: 20 knots
Fuel consumption: 66lph
RCD category: B for 12 people
Design: Dubois, Windy & Hans Jørgen Johnsen
Starting price: €690,000 (ex. VAT)
Price as tested: €839,335 (ex. VAT)