This is a long read on the process of a delivery, especially for new Seawind owners in he process of buying, building a Seawind. Some comments are generic, so apply to all models, others are specific for our 1260 model. It’s reflex our experience and is subjective to our believes.
A general remark must be made upfront. If in a review 5 to 10% of topics are discussed, it’s means it is an excellent job. As a student, quality manager, program manager I would be delighted with such a good score.
The build stage
I really like the design of our Seawind 1260 with a lot of practical solutions. Looking at her proportions, the shape of her hull, the length, she is a good sailor for a catamaran. Her jib is to small for her main, fully trimmed you need a ~ 8′ angle on the rudder to go straight. To be solved be adding a genua or screecher.
The starboard aft bedroom is small, but a wonderful place on a bumpy ride with high waves. One shortcoming, it is missing a rear window for better ventilation.
Coming to a really annoying part: the dinghy support “things” at the rear. There is no way the dinghy will stay at its base. We did multiple elaborated tricks high, low, tilted and with ropes, more ropes redoing the ropes etc. No good on a ride with high waves. I think the easiest way for the factory is to do rings just above and below of the support thing or redesign the whole thing.
The last one is almost comical. When putting on all 4 groups of light in salon and cockpit you generate enough light to go squid fishing. The solution is simple: don’t put them on and buy a soft focus table light. But ‘warmer’ leds or a dimmer at 1 or 2 groups is a better long term solution.
The option list
Oké, the option list, it is your enemy as well as your friend. So, let me try to explain this one. The whole option list is a commercial thing between yacht companies. The base price is important for ranking etc. Your specific usage of your Seawind is the distinctive factor. Big difference between a live aboard, doing 20 to 40,000 NM like us, or weekend sailing and on holidays.
So 30 to 50% of the option list is needed for every kind of use. I put an extra column “Need” on our own option list. Yes the web site does a good job of explaining the options. But only a Seawind expert know what the real value is. So you need assistance. Three sources of information Seawind/Corsair Marine International, Dealer of an fellow owner. Keep in mind dependencies like dinghy and outboard requires outboard crane and bracket. I did a separate post on options.
We added last minute, 2 weeks before launch, the outboard crane option, a set of sheets for my own ParaSailor, 3th reef with was somehow not on our option list, 2 extra fenders, 2 extra 25 meter 16 mm mooring lines, a 2.5 meters 8 mm chain for the dinghy. Communication and tracking was the hardest part. In total we had 4 variations on top of our first long option list. The outboard store away bracket was ordered to late and didn’t fit in the launch schedule.
This is the interesting part because with delivery you are dealing directly with the factory and not with a dealer. It isn’t there expertise and there is a language barrier. Also all kind of needed marine supplies are not as widely available in Vietnam as in the US or Australia.
I did a pre-check, with a survivor list, 2 days before the launch while Kiskadee was still in the factory in District 7 in HCM. Good exercise, excellent idea to get familiar with the placement of pumps, thru hulls, wiring, fuses. I spotted several items missing, not completely installed or not fully embedded in Silka kit. I think that Q&C from Seawind would have picked up thus items as well. The manual is not up to date, none of the diagrams in the Annex displayed my situation correctly or completely.
Part of the delivery was the 3 day sail/motoring from Bien Dong Port (HCM) to Nha Trang, Ana Marina. We had Phil Harper as delivery captain and his interference with the factory and local people through the factory, made it a successful commission. We had some minor issues which were resolved in Nha Trang after receiving parts by night bus from factory. All Phil’s doing.
We finish the commission with these issues solved:
- False gas alarm beneath the stove, fixed in HCM, at least for a week. Now filed as an issue to be solved in the future,
- We had a Triton display with funky menu keys, replaced in Nha Trang,
- We had a disconnected first block from the main sheet. It was in the same place as the outhauler, re-attached to the boom in Nha Trang,
- A very late activation of IridiumGo, PredictWind etc. I solved myself all connection issues and got the set working for a 100%.
- In the grey area, there is updating firmware/software to the latest version for Zeus3, Triton (difficult access), Nac and Radar. All where on the latest version, but Phil had all software on his laptop. Vesper Cortex I didn’t update, some issues with that update. Getting your knowledge up to speed before commissioning is quit essential, I think.
- The Spectra manual is overwhelming but day-2-day use is easy. Seawind struggle with it as well. We will write a separate blog on it. The installation is without the tank switches and I am not sure my Z-ion filter is installed. That is an open issue for when we reach Japan.
- We had several times a guided practice of reefing, unreefing, and especially a motor maneuver exercise in the Ana Marina harbor
- To sign off the delivery / commission Phil and I went trough the factory list for half a day and we double checked all items.
Luckily our last crew member came in a day later and he was able to take my original boat registration, captains license, SRC license etc which were still at the support office in HCM (Oeps) and some much needed 6 and 8 mm lines as well.
We wrote a separate blog on buying house hold and bed linen and cutlery and … All is available in Vietnam.
Tools and Spares
Part of the delivery is a whole bag of tools, some spares etc from Seawind, ask for the spreadsheet. We brought with us to Vietnam a drill and multi tools on batteries, a set of torx screwdrivers, small hamer, magnetic tip pick up, multimeter etc. But not a can of TFL or Dielectric spray, which ais hard to find. Same applies for some Collonite products to clean up the surface rust on your stainless steel. I shall try to make up a list off things we bought in the first 4-8 weeks in Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.
Some good, some less. We discussed our commissioning from Vietnam in the summer of 2022. They had a strong advice. Go to Subic Bay in the Philippines, there is a good Marina and we can flight in a mechanic with spares if necessary. So we went, its was a dirty, noisy bay, the marina was expensive with no yard facilities. During the crossing we developed a small leak and the advice was to get the ceiling down in the port hull. We expected a mechanic with knowledge and skills, which did not happen.
In hindsight, the leak is small, 30 drips a minute, only occurring when in rough water with a lot of water over the bows. But expectations of assistance was very different on our sight. We try to reproduce the leak, no luck. Our next option is to do a repair in Japan or delay it until Seattle.
We depleted our house bank (by using the anchor windlass in the morning and we didn’t turn StarLink off in the night). Trying to recharged them, we closed a relais on EasyView and then we charged only 1 battery. In our support group with the factory mister Hien was added. His first app was the solution. Super, solved that day and very valuable info as well.
The leak is annoying, it makes our hull damp, we need every change of ventilation and its hard to find. It will not influence the safety of the boat. The gas detector is just one of those things which happen. Silence the alarm by switching off the LPG fuse. The gas valve is closed because the solenoid is off. We put a mobile detector in the cupboard if we use the BBQ or Stove. We primarily use our IKEA induction plate.
Seawind provide a good build, quality and finish wise. Our delivery and commission was a good experience and sets us on our maiden voyage with no issues.
The support/after sales department acts within reasonable time and sometimes you have to remind them of an outstanding question.
We continue to sail happy and safely from Vietnam to Seattle, passing 14 time zones during this journey.