The SR44 SX from Sweden’s Windy Boats is the outboard-powered version of the open-concept day boat. From day boat to weekender to commuter to superyacht tender, she can play many roles well. And she’ll do it in style with luxurious appointments and exquisite fit and finish.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.0 seconds|
|0 to 30||9.7 seconds|
|Load||3 persons; 50% fuel; 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||42 deg.; 32 humid.; winds: 15-20; seas: 1|
3 x 425-hp Yamaha XTO
Report by Eric Colby
It’s hard to look at the Windy SR44 SX and see one mission. She has classic Scandinavian lines drawn by Dubois and the Windy Design Team who collaborated with Design Unlimited on the interior design. She combines the versatility of an open cockpit that has lots of convertibility with a cabin that sleeps four and strong performance to serve many functions well. The SR44 SX also wraps guests in a level of luxury for which Windy is known in its 56 years of boat building. Most customers that have purchased this model have focused on her use as a weekender and a commuter to a summer home.
Windy was established in 1966 by Hugo Vold. His 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 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’ (7.92 m – 18.29 m).
Windy has built a solid reputation on quality and craftsmanship that became self-evident as soon as we stepped aboard and saw the teak decking throughout the 44. Closer inspection revealed a high level of fit and finish. It could be argued that it was 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.
- Triple Yamaha 425-hp XTO Offshore
- Sandwich-infused hull construction
- Volvo Penta Glass Dash
- Vinylester-resin-infused hull
- Sandwich foam/ply bulkheads
- Sandwich-infused hull liner
- Integrated vacuum-infused T-top
- Heavy-duty rubrail
- Standard Sidepower bow thruster
- 9kW Onan generator
- Innovative anchor arm
- Cockpit table lowers to convert to second sunlounge
- Cockpit bar with grill, sink and refrigeration
- Overnight accommodations for four
- Private head with separate shower
Don’t let it be said that the BoatTEST crew doesn’t go the extra mile to find new boats to test. Capt. Steve headed to Vastervik, Sweden, the home of Windy Boats, to get a closer look at the outboard-powered version of the SR44, the SX. For this test, we evaluated the boat with triple 425-hp Yamaha XTO Offshore outboards.
The SR44 SX can have a total of five boarding points, the swim platform (each side), optional steps that fold in from the bulwarks at about amidships ($4,023), a step at the bow and an optional passerelle in the stern to port ($19,685 for a fixed carbon-fiber version or $23,324 for the hydraulic version). Stepping aboard at the stern, we immediately saw the focus that Windy placed on versatility. There’s an aft-facing sunpad with a backrest that can be set in 32 different positions.
The seat measures 8’2” (2.49 m) across. Put the backrest in the forward-most position to create a U-shaped booth around a table that mounts on two sturdy pedestals. The table has hinged leaves that fold up and in. There are beverage holders integrated into the table when the sections are folded up.
Lowering the table with the push of a button (electrically adjustable posts are a $4,954 option) moves the aforementioned backrest to the aft-most position to create an expanded sunpad that measures 9’ by 8’2” (2.74 m by 2.49 m). This could be a great place for kids to hang out and play because an optional Makefast Sunshade ($17,789) can be extended from the fiberglass hardtop to provide protection for the entire cockpit.
The hardtop has LED lights, a Fusion stereo and twin skylights. Up top, the Thule board rack is designed to convert to a car. Consider getting the Windy paddleboard. In addition to the hardtop, there are many yacht-quality features on the SR44 SX including stainless-steel rails on the inside of the bulwarks, teak decking ($12,589) and lacquer treatments that are buffed to a shimmering finish. ($125,895)
Moving forward, there’s 20” (50.8 cm) of space between the forward edge of the cockpit lounge and a wet bar with a hinged hatch that opens on twin stainless-steel gas struts. To port, there’s an optional grill ($1,820) with an appropriate heat shield on the underside of the fully finished hatch, plus a cutoff switch that kills the power when the hatch is closed. There’s actually space for a griddle or an owner can mix and match.
A sink is recessed into the Corian countertop to starboard. We also like that the hatch is equipped with barrel bolts that make sure it doesn’t bounce in rough water. An Isotherm refrigerator ($2,730) and wastebasket are in the base to port with an icemaker ($3,284) and storage drawers to starboard.
We measured the SR44 SX’s aft bulwarks at 22” (55.88 cm) high, while those at amidships are 28” (71.12 cm). There’s a 9” (22.86 cm) step up to the foredeck and the side decks are 16” (40.64 cm) at their narrowest broadening out to 22” (55.88 cm) in the bow. The lounge on top of the trunk cabin measures 7’ long by 5’7” wide (2.13 m x 1.7 m) and has raised headrests at the aft end. All the cushions are self-draining so guests won’t get wet when they take a seat on a dewy morning.
The SR44 SX has the usual storage under the seats and other expected areas, but Windy goes one better with twin in-deck lockers just outboard of the cockpit bar that measure 39” x 16” x 11” (99.06 cm x 40.64 cm x 27.94 cm). There are grates in the bottom that dividers can be inserted into or an owner can option to upgrade to refrigeration or a freezer. Adjacent to the aft sunpad, a section of the deck is raised on a gas strut to reveal a locker that’s 6’7” (2.0 m) fore and aft. It would not be available if an owner chooses the optional passerelle.
Windy also builds the SR44 as an inboard, but with the outboards, the area that could be occupied by the engines now becomes a large storage compartment. There’s space in an outboard compartment for the boat covers and lots of open space.
Press another button and the deck of this locker lifts up to provide access to a mechanical room that has the Onan 9kw generator, the batteries, water heater, battery switches and a clearly labeled circuit breaker panel. If an owner chooses the optional Seakeeper gyro stabilizer, it would be in this area as well and Windy reinforces the structure to support one. To port, there’s a hatch that provides another access point to the compartment, but directly under that hatch is the breaker panel. We would either move the panel or protect it against spray.
Back up on deck, in the port cockpit bulwarks is a hatch concealing the single freshwater flush port for all three engines. A switch alongside controls the flush-out pump. Alongside, our test boat had the individual trim switches for the outboards and the controls for the optional passerelle.
A sliding hatch adjacent to the helm opens to access the SR44 SX’s cabin that has 6’6” (1.98 m) of headroom. A small galley to port has a sink in a Corian counter with a refrigerator and storage in the base. There’s dedicated storage for a sink cover and for a cutting board. Underfoot, the decking throughout the cabin area is low-maintenance Estech.
Forward, the V-berth is 6’7” (2 m) long with an open feel thanks to windows in the hullsides and the bow plus an overhead deck hatch. Because there are also windows in the bulwarks, guests can see the great outdoors from this area. There’s a small settee to port with storage shelves plus a hanging locker.
Windy also provides space for an optional 32” (81.28 cm) TV on the bulkhead. To close off the area, the company uses a clever rolling-style partition that pulls down from the top of the opening. This is a smart, lightweight alternative to conventional hatches.
Abaft the stairs, the mid-cabin has two berths measuring 78” x 31” (1.98 mx .78 m) and have 14” (35.56 cm) between them. There’s 32” (81.28 cm) of clearance above the berths. The nightstand in between has a drawer with connectivity plugs and small storage compartments outboard.
The private head is to starboard with an opening port for added light and ventilation a recessed sink in a Corian countertop and an electric-flush toilet. The separate shower has a hand-held wand plus a rainfall shower head with integrated LED lighting.
Staying in the cabin, the master distribution panel is in a locker with the master controls on top, individual breaker switches, tank monitors and a generator control pad.
Moving to the foredeck, Capt. Steve described the ground tackle as “clean and elegant.” The polished stainless-steel anchor is concealed under the center of the raised teak deck on the bow. Lift up that hinged hatch and there are two remotes that control the anchor. Use the anchor arm remote to raise the anchor into position to be deployed in the forepeak. Then use the remote for the windlass to release the anchor. The center of the deck above the anchor arm is hinged at the back and raises with the anchor. It secures with a ball and socket to keep it from flapping.
Windy leaves the space in the locker open for the all-chain rode and anchor. The windlass is under a hatch in the step up to the forepeak. On each side of the bow, we found two 9” (22.86 cm) pull-up cleats. There are a total of nine on the boat.
At the other end of the boat, there’s 23” (58.42 cm) of platform space between the triple Yamaha outboards and the transom. There’s a hinged section of the deck that can be raised so the engines can be fully tilted out of the water. Windy made a safety provision that keeps the engines from starting if this hinged section is raised. To port, there is a boarding ladder and to starboard, there’s a 25” (63.5 cm)-wide opening to the cockpit that closes with a stainless-steel gate.
The helm has a no-glare finish and soft upholstery on top. Twin Garmin 17” (43.18 cm) chartplotters (an $18,200 option) are in the vertical section with a small compartment aft to contain a cellphone or tablet with a safety rail. A single 16” (40.64 cm) Simrad NSO evo3S comes standard. Accessory switches are in two rows to port alongside a VHF radio. To the right of the tilt steering wheel are the digital Yamaha controls, the Humphree switch panel ($2,299) and the standard bow thruster. Helm seats are three individual buckets with drop-out bolsters and folding armrests.
The top of the helm console is finished in a glare-reducing Nextel material. The single-piece windshield extends about three-quarters of the height of the frame and there’s an option for having it extend all the way up.
The Windy SR44 SX has an LOA of 47.44’ (14.46m) and a beam of 12.99’ (3.96m). She has an empty weight of 22,266 lbs. (10,100 kg), and with 50 percent fuel and three people onboard, we estimated our test weight to be 24,139 lbs. (10,949 kg).
The SR44 SX is designed 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. For this test, our boat was powered by triple 425-hp Yamaha XTO’s and when spun up to 5900 rpm our speed topped out at 51 knots or 58.7 mph. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 25 knots (28.7 mph). At that speed, with a fuel burn of 34.9 gph, we were making .7 NMPG and a range of 272 nm. All while still holding back a 10 percent reserve of the boat’s 1600L or 422.68-gal total fuel capacity.
With the throttles pinned we accelerated briskly and got up on plane in 4 seconds flat. Reducing the throttle showed her ability to stay on plane right on down to 15.4 knots (17.7 mph). Continuing to accelerate though, showed us passing 20 MPH in 5.9 seconds, 30 in 9.7and 40 MPH in 13.9 seconds.
After running the boat with inboards, Capt. Steve expected similar manners with the triple outboards and he was not disappointed. Her sharp bow cut through waves cleanly and she leaned comfortably into turns, even aggressive maneuvers that no one other than a test captain would perform.
With the Humphree interceptors, all we had to do was add a little bit of positive trim on the engines to set the SR44 SX at an optimum running angle. She had a solid ride and feel. We experienced minimal bowrise when accelerating and maintained a good view of the horizon.
Windy SR44 SX: Triple Yamaha 425s vs. Twin Mercury 600s
It is not often that we get to compare two divergent engine options on the same model of boat, but that occurred with our recent test of the Windy SR44 SX. Last year we tested the SR44 SX with twin 600-hp Mercury V12 Verados in the U.S. and this spring we tested a new SR44 SX with triple 425-hp Yamaha XTO Offshore outboards in Sweden. Unfortunately, we cannot make a pure apples-to-apples comparison, because the boat with the twin Mercs weighed 1,823 lbs. (828.6 kgs.) more.
When we examined the conditions we found the test of the SR44 SX with the twin 600-hp Mercurys was recorded in an ambient temperature of 75 degrees F/85% humidity. With the three Yamahas, the ambient temperature was 42 degrees F/32% humidity. So, in addition to the extra weight, the colder, dryer air favored the triple Yamaha 425 test.
However, and despite these differences – a 7% lighter boat in 35-degree F colder air – we found the test results arresting.
With the above caveat, note these data points of comparison—
- At 5900 RPM the Yamaha-powered boat was faster – 58.7 mph vs 53.3 mph.
- A speed match: The Yamaha-powered 44 hit 43 mph at 4500, where it burned 57.6 gph, and the Merc-powered boat had to turn 5000 rpm to match the same speed and burned 72.8 gph (26% more) in the process.
- At 3500 RPM, the triple Yamahas went 28.7 mph, burning 34.9 gph, while the Mercs went 25.4, burning 40.0 gph — going 3.3 mph slower but burning 5.1 gallons more.
- At 3000 RPM, the Yamaha-powered Windy SR 44 SX was solidly on plane at 22.8 mph, getting .8 mpg, while the Merc 600s went 15.9 mph, just beginning to overcome the bow wave, getting .6 mpg, or 25% less.
- Comparing the SR44SX at 9.3 mph and 1500 RPM with 3x Yamahas 425s, and the 9.5 mph at 2000 RPM the 2x Mercury 600sgot, we find the mpg was 10% better with the triple 425s.
Pricing: A Mercury V12 Verado retails for about $78k, compared to $45k for each Yamaha XTO Offshore. That makes the triples about $21k less costly.
As we said above, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, but it is close, and our guess is that with Sharrow props on the three single-prop Yamahas, the 425s will have no trouble besting the twin Mercury 600s with dual props.
Before construction began, she was modeled in 3D-CAD, tank-tested for optimization and 5-axis machined for exacting precision.
Windy uses 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.
Our test boat was priced at about $1.4 million. Windy prices the boat at $1,021,200 with twin Volvo Penta D6-400 DPIs or $1,039,400 with twin Volvo Penta D6-440 DPIs. Add joysticks to either of these for another $93,000.
For pods, twin Volvo Penta IPS 600s put the retail price at $1,074,500 and IPS 650s raise that number to $1,096,600. This includes joystick operation.
Options to Consider
- Air conditioning 18,000 BTU: $15,408
- Upgraded air conditioning 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
At first, the Windy SR44 SX profile may look odd with its blunt stem, raised bow sections, and slab-sided bulwarks — at least they certainly did to us when we first saw this design concept four years ago. But, since that time our nautical eye has gotten used to these lines and we now find them quite arresting.
There is a strong design trend coming out of Scandinavia these days and we would not be surprised if it spreads to southern Europe and the United States. This design concept finds its roots in the Wally powerboats introduced in 2003. More recently, several other Scandinavian brands have adopted the concept for dayboats.
Currently, the Windy SR 44 SX is one of the largest and most luxurious boats in this design genre. There are pros and cons for both inboard and outboard power, but the overwhelming trend is to outboard power these days. While outboard fuel economy does not match inboard power, speed and ease of maintenance seem to tip the scale for most buyers. Outboards also free-up room inside the boat and effectively give the boat more utility.