“Once, when sea-trialling a 32 Grand Tornado with a prospective client in the Solent (which was being remarkably and unhelpfully flat), he asked to see how the hull handled a little chop.
“We saw a Nelson 45 barrelling down the coast off Hamstead at speed and made a beeline for it. We hit the wake with the boat gently wound up to 38 knots, cleared the white water streaming off his port quarter and landed absolutely flat in terms of cross-ship balance with a soft and reassuring whooomph. Deal done.”
I’m talking to Hugh Raynor, motor yacht broker at Windy dealer Berthon in Lymington, who is showing me a tidy 32 Grand Tornado berthed at nearby Lymington Yacht Haven.
Like all Windys, it exudes quality, but equally clearly, it’s a seriously performance-orientated boat.
Launched in 2005, it replaced the 31 Tornado. This earlier version was just as sporty and had a strong bias toward deck space with the cockpit to cabin ratio split 70:30.
It also had a rather unusual feature – the rear third of the cockpit was separated off to create a large teak-laid area, a little like the bed of a pick-up truck.
The theory was that this would make a great open spot for watersports, fishing or diving. The reality was that it mostly felt like wasted space.
When designing its Grand Tornado replacement, Windy not only created a sleeker, lower profile but also ditched the watersports area altogether, putting a traditional sunpad over the engines instead.
A walkway along its starboard side makes access from the bathing platform an elegant stroll rather than a scramble, with two shallow steps leading into the sociable cockpit.
Comfortable settees grace three sides, the backrest of the aft one sliding silently back across the sunpad at the push of a button to extend the length of the sunbathing area.
A highly polished table is stored beneath the port settee to complement the small wet bar opposite the helm. Liferaft storage beneath the starboard settee is a typical Windy detail, as is the plush navy blue Sunbrella material and teak-laid cockpit sole, although the latter was an optional extra.
In fact, there was also an option of Ivory White Luxury Vinyl upholstery, although most boats have the navy Sunbrella.
That feeling of quality is enhanced further by the stainless-steel deck fittings, the grabrail encircling the inside of the windscreen frame and, if you venture right to the bow via the narrow but perfectly useable side decks, details like the tiny gas strut that props up the bow locker lid when open and the concealed horns.