Northwind 43


Northwind 43 • Spanish offshore cruising agenda with an S&S pedigree

The Spanish sailing heritage embraced the age of seaborne empire and the unveiling of the New World, but it didn’t end there. Given the Med to the south and east, and the Atlantic by way of the notorious Bay of Biscay to the west, Spain geographically and culturally throughout its history has always enjoyed a unique perspective on the world as an ocean event. In Barcelona, boatbuilder North Wind Yachts has turned a contemporary Sparkman & Stephens design into a capable passagemaker with typically astute sailing smarts and a distinctive European flair. It is the North Wind 43, a great midsize cruiser well recognized abroad, and in the past two years making noise on the American market.

BWS took a look at the North Wind 43 in the April 2002 issue, and although our time aboard the yacht was limited, we came away with a positive impression of the program behind the design and the potential of the vessel in oceangoing conditions. The 43 is the smallest in the North Wind line of semi-custom and custom cruising boats. Hardly designed as a race boat, nonetheless this capable S&S design is perfectly suited to ARC-type offshore events and it combines this performance edge with a comfortable interior that favors a couple, not a crowd. We noted last spring, “The 43 is very much intended to be a couple’s boat able to be handled by a lone watchkeeper in a wide range of conditions.” Significantly, 43 feet is an ideal size for the achievement of these goals.

In the modern-day European vernacular, the North Wind 43 features a center-cockpit, raised deck/saloon cabin element atop a moderate fin-keel, spade-rudder cruising hull. It was our contention that the yacht is long enough and carries enough fullness in the hull to enable her designers to give her a relatively stylish, low-profile appearance. The ability of S&S to blend volume, good looks and performance in a single package is formidable. “The resulting design,” we suggested, “shows a modern canoe hull form with enough rocker fore and aft to give the hull an easy motion in a seaway and enough volume for the required 6’4” headroom throughout.”

Performance is (hopefully) ev-erybody’s issue. We found the 43 to accelerate more quickly than anticipated and to balance on a whim. “In 15 knots and sailing at 45 degrees true, the boat heeled to about 15 degrees, and shot forward to seven-plus knots. We had hit the boat’s best upwind groove in our first attempt.”

In the end, it is the quality of construction and the efficacy of the design that combine to determine the success of a vessel offshore over the long haul. The North Wind yard has built more than 500 commercial and pleasure craft over the years with a good, established track record; certainly the S&S legacy speaks for itself. To our way of thinking, “The 43 we sailed was meant to be sailed in all conditions, meant to be taken across oceans, meant to be lived aboard by a competent sailing couple and their friends, and meant to be maintained by her owners in the easiest and simplest way possible.”

LOA 42’7” (13.1 m.)
LWL 36’9” (11.3 m.)
Beam 14’0” (4.3 m.)
Draft 6’4” (2.0 m.)
Ballast 8,500 lbs. (3,840 kgs.)
Displ. 25,000 lbs. (11,390 kgs.)
SA (100%) 1,070 sq. ft. (100 sq. m.)
Ballast/Displ. 34%
Displ./Length 225
SA/Displ. 20.0
Fuel 90 gals. (360 ltr.)
Water 145 gals. (650 ltr.)
Auxiliary 56-hp Yanmar
Designer Sparkman & Stephens

North Wind Yachts (USA)
100 Second Avenue South
Suite 2005
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Ph: 727-895-7444


Author: Blue Water Sailing