The afternoon we were to take off for a two-day delivery to Newport, RI for the boat show in September started off windless. When I arrived at Bob and Jane Gleason’s waterfront home in Wareham, MA, the tops of the scrub oaks that line the beach were barely moving and the surface of Buzzard’s Bay was barely creased. Off the beach, the new Seawind 1190 Sport lay to her mooring with no hint of waves moving under her.
Buzzard’s Bay is a lovely part of southern New England with charming towns and summer colonies scattered along both coasts, long beaches, rocky outcrops and here and there an osprey soaring overhead looking for a meal. Out on the bay, a few cruising boats motor sailed under mainsails alone and a tug and barge steamed slowly toward the nearby Cape Cod Canal.
We jumped into Bob’s RIB that was pulled up on the beach and motored out to the new 39-foot cat from Seawind. Her looks were familiar since the new boat is based on the popular 1160 cruiser that MQ reviewed a few years ago. The hulls had a noticeable reverse sheer line and large, oblong black windows on each side. The cabin sits up quite high above the sheer line and has huge windows on all three sides and an extra-large doorway aft between the saloon and the cockpit.
As we brought the dinghy up to the port hull, we could see the mounting pods built into the insides of the hulls for the two outboards that propel it under power. The engines kick up out of the water when not in use so there is no drag from a sail-drive or a shaft and prop. The rudders mount in V-shaped indents in the after end of each hull, and fit in cassettes so the blades can be raised or removed when beaching the boat.
We got our gear stored and soon were ready to get underway. With me aboard were Bob and his wife Jane, and Sidney who is married to Bob’s partner Ira at The Multihull Source and has been a family friend of the Gleasons for many years. They are all good sailors and have sailed together many years.
We hoisted the big, square-topped laminated mainsail while still at the mooring and the women did this with practiced ease. Bob lowered the engines, the women let go the mooring lines and away we went. Under power, the two 20-horsepower outboards shunted the 1190 along at about seven knots and allowed the boat to be turned in just about her own length, an attribute that would come in handy the next day.
As we motored out into the bay, the seabreeze that we had hoped for began to stir and within a half hour, we had 15 knots or more on the nose. The tide was running down the bay against the wind so we had the pleasure of sailing closed hauled in that famous Buzzards Bay chop—square four-foot waves about 30 feet apart.
We had rolled out the laminated self-tacking jib and lowered both daggerboards, so the 1190 was making good progress and holding seven knots or better despite the regular collisions with each passing wave. The boat has twin wheels on either side of the large cockpit. These are not raised so you don’t look over the top of the saloon but through the large windows forward. Off the wind, you can open the windows for an unobstructed view but on the wind you have to close them due to the spray coming off the bows. Still, as we pounded and leaped our way upwind, the visibility was just fine and at the helm I was protected from both the spray and wind.
Our destination for the night was to be the legendary Hadley Harbor on Naushon Island, which is just west of Woods Hole. To get there we had to tack several times and the 1190 carried her forward motion well through the tacks, despite the bumpy road. The self-tacking system works well but you do have to be careful not to over trim the jib, which closes the slot and chokes the power out of the headsail.
The 1190 is a sport cruiser and has a tall rig with a powerful mainsail. Both sails looked great and had a lot of drive. The daggerboards offer good upwind performance and in the chop we were tacking inside 100 degrees. In flat water it will do much better. The rudders are carbon and high aspect foils. Sailing the boat for the first time, I found it tricky to hold the groove in the waves and a couple of times lost it and sailed into irons. As the afternoon wore on, I got better at this. Bob said that there was a discussion going on about adding surface area to the rudders in new boats coming off the production line.
The 1190 is handy enough under sail that we sailed right into Hadley’s, between rocky ledges covered with cormorants, and only lowered the mainsail and started the engines when it was time to drop the anchor. The boat has a self-deploying Spade anchor with an all chain rode on a windlass that can be operated from the helm so one person could lower and raise the anchor by him or herself.
With the hook down and the sun over the yardarm, we cracked open beers and enjoyed a magnificent early fall sunset from the comfort of the cockpit. The 1190 has the galley down in the starboard hull and it is a proper little kitchen with a large side opening fridge, a three burner stove and oven, twin stainless steel sinks and plenty of storage. Once the sun was set, Jane and Sid very nicely whipped up a pleasant dinner that the four of us consumed around the saloon table.
The 1190, like her sister cats, is an indoor-outdoor boat. The door that enclosed the saloon, folds on itself and then can be folded up to its storage position under the hard Bimini where it is completely out of the way. This leaves the saloon wide open to the cockpit and, with the protection of the Bimini, you can leave it open in nasty weather.
The port hull is the master suite with a large double berth forward, a large head with an enclosed shower aft and a small desk amidships. You will find the electrical panel and battery switches at this little desk.
The starboard hull has a single cabin aft, the large galley amidships and the double guest cabin forward. On the boat we sailed, there no second head in the starboard hull so all crew onboard shared the port head. The forepeak in the starboard hull is a large storage locker.
The 1190 has one accommodation attribute that makes the boat somewhat unique. The fresh water tank is mounted inside the nacelle under the bridge deck, which is a good place for that weight. Because the space is large, the boat carries 185 gallons of fresh water.
As a floating home for a couple or a family with two kids, the 1190 packs a lot into a modest space. You don’t need a 45 foot cat to be comfortable.
SAILING TO NEWPORT
We left Hadley Harbor fairly early and were pleased to find an uncommon fair northeast breeze blowing. It was forecast to swing to the southeast and then south later in the day, but for the first two hours we had the wind behind us. That meant we could hoist the asymmetrical spinnaker and really have a pleasant sail. The 1190 is a performance cat. With the large laminated mainsail and a good cruising spinnaker, the boat moves very sweetly. We were seeing eights and nines and really enjoying ourselves.
By the time we got to the entrance to Narragansett Bay, the wind had swung to the south and we had a ripping run right into the bay and to Newport Harbor. This is what the 1190 and all performance cats do so well. And the speeds can be exhilarating.
We dropped the chute and then the main as we entered Newport and with engines lowered motored to the Newport Yachting Center where we were right on time to stage the boat into the boat show. This is where the twin outboards really showed off since the slot we were going into required two sharp turns in spaces just barely longer than us. A couple of times, the carbon bow sprit actually swept over the heads of people on other boats. But it worked and we moored in our spot without incident.
Seawind is an Australian company that now builds its boats in Viet Nam with the sister brand Corsair. The finished products are very finely crafted. The fiberglass molding of the hull and deck and interior parts is excellent. The joinery of the cabinets and furniture is of top quality for fit and finish. The boats are modern without being extreme. And we think, very good value for money.
The 1190 Sport offers owners something different, a cruising cat in the mid-price range, that will sail circles around most production cats. The use of many carbon parts, the spade rudders, tall rig, bowsprit and daggerboards all enhance sailing performance. The 1190 will be a winner among cats on the race course and always a blast for her owners to sail, since they will leave the cruising fleet in their wake.
Seawind 1190 Sport
Displ. 15,400 lbs.
Deck clearance 2’4”
Water 185 gals.
Fuel 71 gals.
Waste 34 gals.