The Seawind Timeline
by Brent Vaughan on 27 Jul 2007
Seawind Catamarans is Australia’s largest manufacturer of cruising sail and power catamarans producing some of the world’s best designs that are sold all over the globe.
The Seawind 24 was the first model manufacturered by Seawind Catamarans Seawind Catamarans www.seawindcats.com
Since 1982 the company has been owned and managed by Richard Ward, an experienced yachtsman who has cruised the world, and and has helmed Seawind from strength to strength, now building over 25 boats a year and have built well over 200 catamarans.
Seawind has become Australia’s leading catamaran builder due to an uncompromising level of quality, ensuring each boat is always built complete to Seawind’s high level of standards. Our innovations in design have always been ahead of the field with concepts never considered before that prove time and time again to be successful.
Over 80 people are employed by Seawind in two facilities including a 60,000 sq ft factory in Bellambi in Wollongong and a new factory of 12,000 sq ft located in Nowra.
Seawind are also a popular brand amongst charter fleets in Australia’s beautiful Whitsunday region and many other boats operating in locations such as Sydney Harbour, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Darwin, and Fremantle.
Following is a brief history of Seawind's growth and development over 25 years, from 1982 to 2007.
Seawind Catamarans have advanced in leaps and bounds over the years, developing multihull designs that have significantly influenced Australia’s fleet of modern catamaran while enjoying the success from overseas interest. In 1982, the company commenced operations building small 'off the beach' catamarans of 4 to 5 metres in length known as the 'Maricat'.
These recreational craft quickly became the most popular Australian produced catamarans with over 3,000 built.
Through the 1980’s the company was best known for the amazingly successful Seawind 24. Years ahead of its competitors at the time, this 24ft cruising catamaran became a world benchmark for small cat design and over 350 were built. They were successfully exported throughout the world with proud owners in America, Japan, Holland, Hawaii, Thailand, Papua New Guinea as well as Australia.
We have also offered design and construction facilities for the custom catamaran buyer. These custom projects have been quite diverse with some well-known examples being the Scott Jutson designed Formula 40 racing catamaran, 'Simply the Best' which for many years was the fastest sailing boat in Australia. Also the super luxury 65ft catamaran 'Sydney Crystal' was built at a cost of $3 million for a very large Japanese Tourist operator and is one of the most elegant charter yachts on Sydney Harbour. These were two ends of the custom yacht spectrum.
The 1990’s witnessed a revolution of modern larger cruising catamaran designs from Seawind. Firstly introducing the 28ft Seawind 850 in 1991 with immediate success, despite Australia being in the grip of a recession and the world sailing market very low.
Approximately 25 of these were launched and sold to mostly Australian owners who placed many in charter companies in the Whitsundays. This popular cruising catamaran paved the way for the Seawind 1000
to become the success it is today.
In 1994, the company launched the Seawind 850’s bigger sister, the 33ft Seawind 1000. In that same year, this boat was awarded the 'Australian Sailboat of the Year', the first time ever such a prestigious award had been bestowed on a catamaran sailboat. This new cruising catamaran became an instant success with strong demand from many countries. As with the Seawind 850, many boats were placed in charter companies in the Whitsundays, Pittwater, Sydney Harbour, the Gold Coast and more recently, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. The versatile features of this safe, easy to sail and roomy yacht has been appreciated globally with exports to many counties including the East & West coast of America, Italy, New Zealand, Mexico, the Caribbean, Brazil, Europe and South East Asia.
Seawind Catamarans introduced two new designs to the marketplace. The Seawind 1050 Resort, a 35ft purpose built day sailor was developed and approved for commercial use for up to 32 people. The design formula provides a very viable investment for the day charter operator. The boat offers the exhilaration of sailing in safety and comfort by maximizing deck area and sailing performance combined with easy to clean interior finishes and high passenger capacity. As a result, the Seawind 1050 'Resort' has been a great success along the East coast of Australia.
The first annual Seawind Regatta was held in 1998 and has been a huge success every year since with on average about 25 or more boats attending this fantastic weekend of racing and social sailing on Pittwater, located just north of Sydney Harbour. Seawind Catamarans also commenced the Seawind 1200, a top of the range, luxurious world cruising catamaran of 40ft length. Appointed with beautiful Australian timbers including Rosegum, Jarra and Ash, 25 of these beautiful blue-water ocean cruising cats were built in just over 5 years with this model being just as popular for charter use as it is for live aboard cruising.
Seawind Catamarans acquired the Venturer range of luxury power catamarans including the Venturer 38 and the Venturer 44 that had previously been exported directly to the USA. Both are in production and to be proven popular fishing, cruising and charter boats.
Seawind was recognised for its outstanding export performance as was awarded by the Illawarra Business Chamber, the 'Best Exporter' and also 'Best Overall Business'.
The latest development for Seawind is the launch of the new 38ft Seawind 1160 which combines design elements of the Seawind 1000 and Seawind 1200 to produce a boat that is both comfortable and accommodating, while creating a unique combined saloon & cockpit that is unmistakeably Seawind featuring an innovative TRI-FOLDING DOOR that secures the interior from the elements.
Following the launch of the Seawind 1160 at the Sydney Boat Show in 2004, the Australian Marine Industry Federation (AMIF) awarded the Seawind 1160 the 'Best Non-Tralerable Sailboat' of 2005.
The awards kept coming in 2006 starting the promotional tour of the East Coast of the USA by winning the 'Best Sailboat' of the Newport Boat Show, Rhode Island USA and also won the 'Best Mulithull' and 'Most Innovative' boat as awarded by Cruising World magazine. Back in Australia and Seawind were awarded the Best Business, plus Best Innovation for the Seawind 1160 and Best Manufacturer of the Illawarra region.
Seawind continue to expand with an ongoing program of increased production, new technology and quality management systems. The newly refined Seawind 1000XL has also been launched with great success, selling more than 20 boats in just a few months.
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