I have appreciated the depth
of archived information in this forum and the knowledge shared by those contributors who are out there doing it. As an introduction
I thought I might put some thoughts down regarding my recent purchase
, as I keep running into this recurring theme of bluewater capability.
Admittedly I am still in the honeymoon stage so you can call this a biased review, but I wanted to offer first impressions of the 32' Allied Seawind Cutter
. Maybe others considering a boat of similar style and vintage might find this helpful.
I spent a lot of years sailing on Lake Texoma -where the Valiants were built. I was in a Cal
9.2 at the time, a broachy, lightweight Ron Holland
IOR design that seemed to occupy the opposite end of the sailing spectrum. I was instantly in awe of the Valiants. Robust, purpose built, no BS. Exactly what mine was not. But I was sailing on a lake with fluky winds so there was nothing wrong with what I had, just that after getting to know the Valiants my personal vision of what a sailboat should be changed drastically.
Fast forward to present day. Boatless, young family
, new life in NYC
. Time for a new boat.
I went looking for my own Valiant. By that I mean a boat that mimicked the attributes I admired in the Valiants. Tough, dry, stable, cutter
rigged, reputable, capable of long passages. But my Valiant had to be cheap
, therefore it could not be a Valiant.
My search led me to the Allied's -first a sexy Seabreeze yawl, then to the husky Seawind
. I purchased a rare cutter version, freshwater since new in 1977 (even rarer) unadorned with obsolete aftermarket junk. She had no furling
, no radar
, late 70's gauges, factory upgraded interior
, a fastidious owner since new, and a solid bowsprit
. A beginner Valiant.
What struck me initially about the Seawind was her heft and feeling of security
. Full keel
, pronounced sheer, high bulwarks and a loaded weight pushing 8 tons plays into this general sense that she can take on just about anything thrown at her. On my first sail I remember thinking this is what offshore
capable means. The cockpit
is big, admittedly, but it is nice to have a big cockpit
on a smallish boat. With no pilot berth it also means I have cavernous (to me) cockpit lockers. The direct quadrant steering wheel
is a quirk that is all function over form but I have grown to appreciate it's tiller like control.
The winds in the Sound this spring have been good and we have been out every weekend for the last month. I have used only the high cut yankee with stays'l and full batten main. We have seen 5-10 knot
winds where we move along just fine at 3.5 to 5 knots, to 20 knot
winds and 7+ knots where I haven't had the slightest urge to reef. She tracks true with little need to be constantly on the helm
and seems to point decent enough. What's all this about heavy, full keel
boats I keep asking myself. But I researched this enough to know the Allied's were spirited sailors so I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be the case. In my opinion a sailboat needs to be able to sail well in both light and heavy winds.
are hanked on, which seems to suit her style and doesn't present much of a management problem given their relatively small size. I purchased a jib
bag so all sails
stay in place. We cook most every night we are on the boat. The alcohol stove/oven works fine. We have all the comforts we seem to need -pressure water
, good shower
, good music
, good tankage and tons of storage
There are many upgrades being considered -furling, radar
, Instruments, windvane steering
. But at the moment none of these things are detracting from my enjoyment of the boat. By the same token I am under no illusion that after a year of wrestling with hanked on headsails, that that view won't change. What is clear, however, is that this is a long distance bluewater cruiser. It is not as easy to jump on board and be off like in my old boat. Furling
WOULD help but I am still on the fence about it. I am adjusting to the reduced maneuverability of the full keel when leaving the mooring
under sail and when docking
but as far as I can tell the benefits of this hull
design far outweigh any disadvantages. One thing is certain, however, once she is dialed in she is solid as a rock and sails beautifully. I have never been truly offshore
but I could picture a solo run to Bermuda
in this boat and be confident in doing it.
So in the final analysis, the Seawind has lived up to my expectations. Some wouldn't "get it" but for anyone with offshore aspirations on a budget
, the Seawind is a great, safe cruising platform worth consideration. We are off to Block Island and points beyond in August as we gradually begin to stretch our horizons. With a young family
I have the confidence I need in my boat to take us wherever we want to go and to do it in safety
and comfort. My definition of bluewater capable.
If anyone wants to know more about the Seawind I will gladly provide any information I can.