Windy made the debut of the SR44 SX at 2021 FLIBS and she was an instant showstopper. She’s loaded with upscale features, in addition to being highly customizable with a long list of optional features. She’s available in three versions — the Blackhawk, the SX and the Pro.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||8.7 seconds|
|0 to 30||10.2 seconds|
|Load||6 persons; full fuel; 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||75 deg.; 85 humid.; winds: 5-10; seas: 1|
2 x 600-hp Mercury V12 Verado
2 x 600-hp Mercury V12 Verado
Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
The SR44 SX is designed to serve multiple roles. Whether used as a superyacht tender, a chase boat, a family boat or a weekender, she ensconces her guests is a level of luxury that Windy has become known for in its 56 years of boat building. Most of the customers that have purchased the 44 have been focusing on her use as a weekender.
Windy was established in 1966 by Hugo Vold. Hugo’s father was a fisherman sailing in Skagerrak seas and he named all his fishing boats ‘Vindy.’ Today, Windy Boats is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Periscopus AS, Oslo, Norway – a privately-owned holding company with interests that include publishing, media, hotels and property.
All of the Windy boats are built at modern and well-equipped production facilities in Västervik, Sweden and two locations in Poland, Ostroda and Slupsk. The company employs more than 200 skilled people producing models ranging from 26 to 60 feet (7.92 m – 18.29 m).
The company has built a solid reputation on quality and craftsmanship that became self-evident as soon as I stepped aboard and saw the teak decking throughout the 44. Closer inspection revealed definite perfectionism in the fit and finish. It could be argued that it was really the success of the Windy Dubois SR52 Blackbird in 2010 that persuaded Windy to focus attention onto the market of specialized boatbuilding. We’ve been seeing the results ever since.
The Windy SR44 SX is built with a deadrise angle of 20-24 degrees on a planing hull, what Windy calls a monhedron hull. She has a sharp keel, entry and chines. Before construction began, she was completely modeled in 3D-CAD and tank-tested for optimization, and 5-axis machined for exacting precision.
Windy uses only Vinylester resin for its improved quality against osmosis and shrinkage. Then multiaxial fibers are used to reduce weight while improving structural strength. A Divinycell sandwich core material is used instead of traditional balsa for improved rigidity, weight savings and sound insulation. Windy says that all of this combined results in a weight savings of up to 30% vs. a conventional hand-laid hull.
Major Features (Including Distinguishing Features)
- Outboard, IPS or Sterndrive models available
- Volvo Glass Cockpit
- Humphree Interceptors
- Separate shower in head
- Sandwich infused hull construction
- Vinylester resin infused
- Sandwich foam/ply bulkheads
- Sandwich infused hull liner
- Recess in hull for flush hull fixed portlights
- Stainless steel air intake grille
- White gelcoat (standard)
- Integrated T-top
- Heavy-duty fender/rub rail
- Standard Sidepower Bow thruster
- Standard vacuum infused T-top
- Standard handcrafted wood cockpit table
- Cleaver electrically actuated retractable anchor arm
- Teak decking throughout exterior
- Overnight accommodations for four
We tested the Windy SR44 SX on a calm day off Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with light 5-10 mph winds and 1’ (.3 m) swells. With the twin 600-hp Mercury V12 Verados turning 27.5 propsets and run up to 5900 RPM, our speed topped out at 46.3 knots.
Best economic cruise came in at 4000 rpm and 28.1 knots. It was at that speed that the 46.8 gph fuel burn translated into .6 NMPG and a range of 228.5 nautical miles, all while still holding back a 10% reserve of the boat's 423-gallon (1,600 L) total fuel capacity.
We reached planing speed in an average of 8.7 seconds and she’ll hold plane on down to 16.5 knots. In acceleration tests, she reached 20 mph in an average 5.9 seconds, 30 in 10.2 and 40 came and went in 14.7 seconds.
The Humphrey trim tabs are dialed in quite nicely on this boat. With that said, just add a little bit of up trim on the engines to give the optimum running angle to get the 44 into her running angle. She has solid ride, a solid feel and she just scoots right along… there really isn’t much input required to achieve it.
There's a minimal bow-rise upon acceleration, again thanks to the Humphrey interceptors being dialed in so well on this boat. She's almost flat as you accelerate… it's really a nice feeling and you don't lose any visibility to the horizon upon accelerating.
This boat comes standard with the twin 600-hp Mercury V12 Verados. By now, plenty has been written about these innovative engines so we don’t need to get into it here. Most importantly, we do have to acknowledge that with their two-speed transmission, accelerations are much smoother and certainly more economical. We can also opt for triple 400s or triple 450s.
Now if outboards are not your thing, there are two other options. Sterndrives in the form of Volvo Penta D6-400 DPI ($1,021,200) or twin D6-440 DPIs ($1,039,400). Add joysticks to either of these for another $93,000.
And lastly, there are Volvo Penta IPS pod drives — IPS 600s ($1,074,500) or IPS 650s ($1,096,600), both of which will give joystick functionality of course.
Plenty of Boarding Options
There are several ways to board the Windy 44, five to be specific. Firstly, there’s the usual sides of the swim platform. Next is the extendible passerelle, located at the stern on the port hand side. This is an optional item that can be ordered in a fixed carbon-fiber version ($19,685) or a hydraulic model ($23,324) that our test boat was fitted with. At midships there are flip-out steps to both port and starboard ($4,023) and the edges are lighted when deployed. Windy also added a grab handle to the side edges of the standard hardtop when using these steps and they add a considerable level of confidence when stepping onto the caprail. Lastly, as with most boats with European heritage, there is a boarding point from the bow. To accommodate this, there is an electrically retractable anchor arm that stows inside the anchor locker when not in use.
Even with this boat’s outboard power, there's still 2’ (.61 m) of platform behind the transom and then 3’2” (.97 m) to both sides of that platform. Teak decking is an option ($3,695). There's a concealed swim ladder over to the port side. Some may voice a concern about the swim ladder being on the same side as the extendable passerelle, but the likelihood of both being used at the same time is slim to none. Underwater lights are available ($4,167). Now while on the subject of being in the water, there’s a stainless railing going over the outboards. While this isn't really a watersports boat, why not put a tow pylon at the top center? Otherwise, a water ski pole ($3,900) is available as an option.
Just ahead is a large sunpad that makes an ideal place to relax. It measures in at 3’ by 8’7” (.91m x 2.62m) with the seatback in a position to match the seating in the cockpit. We can also slide the seatback aft to form aft-facing seating for watching the kids play in the water. As a matter of fact, that seatback is on a track allowing it to be adjusted in any of 33 different positions, including moving the seatback all the way aft to create a sunpad that we can now use while underway. Of course, we could also bring out a retractable sunshade ($17,789) to add a little more relaxation to the day, should the sun get to be too much.
To the side of the sunpad is a 20” (50.80 cm) wide walkthrough with an 11” (27.94 cm) step. A gate is included to protect the passage. To starboard is U-shaped seating that includes the adjustable aft seatback we discussed with the aft sunpad. There's a table in the center with expandable leafs and in the closed position, there are beverage holders and a grab rail going all the way around that is leather-wrapped. The pedestals are both in fixed positions, but an electrically adjustable pedestal ($4,954) with a filler cushion will turn the seating area into a second sunpad.
The forward side of the forward seatback becomes a bit of a leaning station for the outdoor galley just ahead. It’s all under a closed hatch that can be latched into the closed positions, which seems like a bit of an overprotection as the hatch is a bit heavy and not likely to open on its own. But call it an example of Windy’s way of overbuilding. Nothing seems done halfway on this boat.
Under the large hatch, there’s a sink and an electric grill ($1,820). There’s obviously room for a second grill. These are flush mounted into a fiberglass surface. Missing from this equation is a cutoff switch that will kill power to the grill when the hatch is closed. There's a grab rail just behind and then underneath there are plenty of storage drawers along with an ice maker ($3,284) and a cockpit refrigerator ($2,730).
All of this is under the protection of the standard hardtop which is made out of carbon fiber to not only reduce weight but allow the 44 to maintain a lower center of gravity. It includes fixed skylights, LED lights, Fusion speakers and spreader lights ($869).
In addition to the hardtop, there are a lot of yacht-quality features on this boat and the premium level can be seen regardless of where we are standing. Stainless steel rails are going all the way around the inside of the bulwarks. All exterior decking is actual teak ($12,589), not Flexi-Teak or Amtico… Teak. Everything else is lacquered and buffed to a shine ($125,895).
Forward, there’s another sunpad that has an average width of 5’4” (1.62m) and measures a full length of 7’4” (2.23 m). There's are two pillows across the top of the pad and as usual, I'd like to see an adjustment into a chaise lounge position. Currently, it’s in a fixed position. Drink holders are in both aft corners. A removable pad in the middle exposes a hatch to the lower deck to admit light.
Because the SR44 SX is set up for bow-in boarding, there’s a concealed anchor in the bow forepeak locker. But this one goes much further. It’s actually on an electrically actuated retractable anchor davit that also stows inside the anchor locker. So what we then do, is open the anchor locker, retrieve the first remote to deploy the anchor davit (Windy calls this the anchor arm), then retrieve the second remote to deploy the anchor. There is a Lewmar windlass doing the heavy work. Now once we have the anchor davit extended, we can still close the anchor locker hatch, and there’s a smaller hatch that can be left open to expose the davit. But there’s a caveat. It’s hinged from the back, so it opens from the front. That means that it will bounce open as we are underway, or when any wave causes the bow to bounce. Considering the care that was taken for the galley hatch, this seems like such a clear oversight, but there it is and Windy assures me that it will be taken care of on future models. That’s believable since it's an easy fix. I can think of five solutions as I write this.
In addition to being so roomy and functional on deck, the Windy 44 is also a qualified weekender for four. The entry to the cabin is to the port side of the helm through a sliding door. The first impression upon entering is one of an area that is open and roomy thanks to the overhead height of 6’6” (1.98 m). Clearly Windy spent a lot of time and effort in the design stage towards maximizing the use of space here. While it’s efficient and functional, it’s also not crowded or cramped. All of the key ingredients are present but well thought out in placement and ergonomics.
Decking is low maintenance synthetic Estech. The master stateroom is forward and a privacy shade pulls down from overhead. A 32” (81.28 cm) TV is standard. There's natural light coming in from side windows and openings in the bulwarks allow sightlines right to the water. An overhead hatch gives additional natural light.
Two more people can be accommodated in the mid-cabin that includes two single berths. This is another well-thought-out design feature and signals another departure from Windy’s traditional methods. Here they’ve accommodated this cabin space by moving the aft bulkhead well aft, past the helm station above, and thereby opened up the mid-cabin option.
To port is a modest galley with a sink nestled into a solid surface counter. There's storage just behind as well as below that also includes storage inside for a cutting board and the cover for the sink. Windy also uses unique latches for the cabinet doors that open by pressing down on them and it has a natural feel to it. Alongside the lower storage, there’s a refrigerated drawer.
The head is to starboard, and it features a sink recessed into a solid surface counter. There’s an opening portlight in addition to an electric vent fan. This head even features a separate walk-in shower.
The helm is highlighted by two 17” (43.18 cm) displays ($18,200) on our test boat. A single 16” (40.64 cm) SIMRAD NSO evo3S comes standard. If we stick with the 16” (40.64 cm) size, then the panel can accommodate three of the SIMRAD units ($27,300).
Being a glass dash layout, there are no gauges, so there is not only a dedicated page just for the vessel’s electrical system but a separate page for the engine displays. There is a controls panel for the Humphrey interceptors ($2,299) and right alongside that is the joystick for the standard SE 60 bow thruster. An upgrade to a more powerful SE100 is available ($3,674).
The top of the console is an antiglare NEXTEL. The windshield is a single piece that goes 3/4 maybe halfway up there's an option for having it go all the way up, or there's an option for having Strataglass go to the top. The three helm seats are upholstered and in fixed positions. Each armrest includes beverage holders. I can't help but notice that the cup holders don't have drains at the bottom so any condensation will be staying in the cup holders.
Underneath the aft sunpad, there's not only huge storage but the vessel’s mechanical components as well. It’s here where we can find the 7kW diesel generator (35,289). If we had a Seakeeper gyrostabilizer that would be installed just in front of the genset. All of the electrical components are installed in this compartment, including the battery charger and master breaker panel. There’s also the fuel tank, battery for the generator, the house batteries, engine start batteries, crossover system, the fire protection system… all nicely labeled.
To the port side, there's a hatch that provides another access point to this compartment. Directly under that hatch is the breaker panel. I’d recommend Windy move that panel to another location. Open the hatch on a rainy day and the panel gets wet.
Back up on deck, to the port cockpit bulwarks, there’s a hatch concealing the combined engine flush-out port. A switch right alongside controls the flush-out pump. Alongside are the individual trim switches for the engines and controls for the passerelle.
Options to Consider
Aside from the many options we’ve already mentioned in this report, there are others worth looking into. They include….
- Air conditioning 18000 BTU: $15,408
- Upgraded air condition for tropical climates: $25,650
- Upgraded semi-automatic anchor system: $29,380
- Automatic switch 12V/110V for refrigerator: $616
- Battery upgrade to Lithium batteries: $11,768
- Bimini aft of HT retractable: $21,553
- Boatname SS backlit: $6,103
- Bow lights LED: $4,598
- Camera engine room: $1,724
- Chain counter, bow winch: $629
- Extra cold storage below cockpit floor: $4,666
- VHF Garmin: $2,250
- AIS Transciever: $1,437
- Radar Garmin GS020: $3,592
- Garmin Sonar module: $2,012
- Lights Deck LED strip (cockpit and platform): $1,581
- Lights Deck low forward: $2,586
- Lights Deck low aft: $2,155
- Thermal Camera FLIR: $39,342
- Underwater Lights: $5,337
The Windy SR44 SX has a price range from a nicely equipped base of $1,215,789 to $1,906,876 fully loaded.
Luxury and upscale treatments seem to be the key factors from Windy and they are exemplified in the SR44 SX. While this SX is the model we tested, it is also available in two other versions… the Blackhawk, with a black hull and interior treatments and either IPS or sterndrive power and the PRO version with, among other things, a setup that very much lends itself as a professional level dive platform. Regardless of which version, all will have the quality and strength of build that Windy stands behind.