Our resident used boat expert Phil Sampson explains how to find a good Windy 29 Coho on the secondhand market and what features to look out for…
In build: 2013 – 2018
Price range: £95,000 – £190,000
Windy has been building boats since 1966 when Hugo Vold, the son of a Norwegian fisherman, started manufacturing cabin cruisers and day boats.
The firm’s name is a nod to Hugo’s dad, who called all his boats Vindy. From the get-go, Vold the Younger focused on quality and precision in order to build boats of the highest order which, as the company’s website humbly informs us, are “acknowledged throughout the world as second to none.”
It has a point, the Windy name still generates squeals of excitement among members of the boating community, who appreciate the company’s commitment to building stylish, high quality boats that prioritise efficient performance, good seakeeping and agile handling over the current trend for internal volume. Speak to any Windy owner and you’ll find they are almost all in love with their boats.
Over the years Windy has produced a multitude of vessels with suitably breezy names, ranging from the extreme (Typhoon, Tornado) to the more evocative (Mistral, Scirocco), while the monikers of others blow in a completely different direction – Triton (Greek god of the sea) and Xanthos (a city in ancient Lytha) to name but two.
The subject of this review – the Windy 29 Coho – may well be named after the Coho salmon. It certainly seems a good fit, for the 29-foot Coho is a sleek and slippery performer that is more than happy to leap out of the water when cresting a wave at speed. Good looking too, in a typically minimalist Scandinavian fashion.
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Launched in 2013, and superseded in 2018 by the 29 Coho GT, (a facelifted model with a number of extra features), the 29 Coho evolved from the highly rated Windy 28 Ghibli.
Lighter, stronger and more economical than its predecessor, the Windy 29 Coho is faster too, its deep V hull capable of achieving a top speed in excess of 45 knots.
If that doesn’t impress the fast RIB owners out there, remember this go-kart of a boat also has a galley, double bed and a washroom, so it’s good for weekends as well as day tripping.
And should you require more evidence as to just how exhilarating the Windy 29 Coho is, check out Motor Boats Monthly’s 2014 test drive video of one flying around the Solent at speed.
The model we found for sale at Salterns Marina in Poole was a 2014 boat with an asking price of £140,000 VAT paid. It took a while to spot its low profile superstructure and discreet grey tonneau cover amongst the fleet of much taller, bulkier craft.
However, once the wrapper had been peeled away, the full beauty of the design was revealed. From the oversized bathing platform to the thoughtfully laid-out cockpit and long sleek foredeck (accessed via a step-through windscreen), Windy’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in every one of this pocket rocket’s 29 feet.
Entering from the swim platform, which incorporates a swim ladder and a draining storage locker, a single step takes you onto the narrow walkway past the rear seating and down again into the cockpit proper.
The cockpit itself is surrounded by two sections of super-sturdy grab rails. The first one is mounted inside the top of the windscreen frame and extends all the way aft to the transom bench, while the second one sits on top of the coaming and carries on the same graceful line to the aft cleats.
The cockpit seating consists of a pair of chunky helm and a navigator’s seats, plus sideways-facing settees on either side and a forward-facing transom bench.
All are firm, robustly constructed and, most of all, comfortable to sit on. Backing onto the aft bench, and sharing a backrest with it, is a double sunpad.
This backrest is track-mounted and can be slid all the way to the aft end of the sunpad to create a larger lounging area, which effectively places the sunpad inside the boat rather than facing out over the back of it. A second sunpad, an optional extra, can also be fitted to the foredeck.
While the Windy 29 Coho is a thoroughbred sportsboat, it does come with an attractive canopy cover to ensure the cockpit remains useable even in wet weather.
The canopy itself is largely transparent and folds away into the engine room when not in use. Once you’ve raised it and attached the poppers to the topsides and windscreen frame, a power tensioner built into its frame tightens it up to ensure a suitably smart appearance.
The engine room is located beneath the aft bench and sunpad assembly, which rises on hydraulic rams to provide excellent access to the engine(s), in this case a single Volvo Penta 380hp V8 petrol.
Other engine options included single 300, 320 and 430hp petrols and either single D4 300, D6 370 and 400hp or twin 220hp D3 diesels.
Cavernously spacious, given the relatively modest proportions of this boat, the engine room is also equipped with fender stowage bins and room to store the boat’s cockpit table. There is additional storage beneath two large cockpit deck hatches, which also provide access to the boat’s tanks.
The 29 Coho’s helm is a clearly laid out, no nonsense affair. Once again quality is evident with a heavy duty wheel, clearly labelled Carling switches and analogue engine management gauges with gleaming chrome surrounds.
Our review boat had a centrally-mounted multi-function display and the throttle, bow thruster and trim tab controls were all within easy reach. There’s a single cup holder to the right of the wheel, and three steps up to the walk-through windscreen on the left.
Alongside the helm sits the companionway. Guarded by a heavy duty, frosted sliding door, a single step leads to the below decks accommodation.
Such is the low profile of this boat that it’s easy to bang your head on entry and exit – we managed it both ways! On entry, immediately to port is a small galley with a double hob and a sink.
Lockers below and above provide a fair amount of storage space for the size of the boat, with chilled food being stored in an underfloor fridge accessed via a hatch in the cockpit adjacent to the companionway entrance.
Back downstairs, the living accommodation is completed by a v-shaped double bed in the bow with some open storage space below, and a heads compartment featuring a toilet and washbasin – the boat’s only shower is back on the bathing platform.
It’s fair to say that the 29 Coho’s below decks area is somewhat limited and restricted, both in terms of the facilities provided and the headroom on offer, but that, we would argue, is missing the point, for this boat is all about performance and having fun.
Our review boat with its mighty V8 is unquestionably built for speed rather than comfort. The cabin may be on the slender side but in our view time spent aboard this boat will provide thrills all day or, if you’re up for it, all weekend long.
Windy 29 Coho: Surveyor’s report
Windy Boats have carved out a distinct reputation for building fast, stylish and high quality craft. The Windy Coho 29 is no exception and features a resin infused hull that helps make it lighter, stiffer and more consistent than a comparable hand laid one.
Fully lined cockpit locker lids and good quality original equipment and systems back up this premium impression and should ensure high resale values if well maintained. Points to note when considering buying:
- Sportsboats often suffer from damp penetration into linings, fittings and furniture. Even on a quality boat, this can cause corrosion, rot or mould. Sourcing replacements can be costly so try to find a boat from an owner who used dehumidifiers to keep it dry over winter.
- Look for evidence of salt deposits and corrosion around deck and cockpit fittings, particularly any aluminium ones which are prone to reacting with stainless steel in a salty environment, unless regularly washed with fresh water.
- Any boat with this level of performance could have been pushed too hard in rough conditions so carefully inspect and hammer sound the high stress sections of the hull where it would land after take-off. Also lift furniture to check for signs of any internal movement.
- Check the aft quarters on the swim platform mouldings for signs of damage from berthing mistakes.
- Ensure the engine(s) has been correctly serviced, paying particular attention to heat exchangers, engine exhaust lines and anodes replacement.
– Chris Olsen, Olsen Marine Surveying
Windy 29 Coho specifications
LOA: 29’ 2” (8.85m)
Beam: 8’ 11” (2.7m)
Draught: 3’ 6” (1.1m)
Fuel capacity: 375 litres
Water capacity: 90 litres
Performance (with 380hp petrol engine): 2.52 l/nm @ 43 knots
Cruising range: 190 miles @ 21 knots
Design: Hans J Johnsen
Hull type: Deep vee
RCD category: C for 8 people
Annual marina mooring on the Hamble River (UK) downstream of Bursledon bridge: £5,850
Annual fuel burn: Approx 1,500 litres (based on 25 hours @ 25 knots and 25 hours @ 6 knots)
What’s on the market
Engine: Volvo Penta V8 430 CE DP
Engine: Volvo Penta 400hp D6
Lying: Mahon, Spain
First published in the September 2022 issue of MBY.
In association with SETAG Yachts. Design and refit specialists SETAG Yachts bring luxury to the pre-owned market – by creating the bespoke yacht of your dreams, with no compromise. To fall in love with your boat all over again visit www.setagyachts.com or call +44 (0)1752 648618 for more details.
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