Windy 46 Chinook, HAVILDAR II & the story of the Windy Chinook
January 5th, 2024
When looking at boats, be they old friends, or new acquaintances, it is always interesting to explore and equally worth considering what company they keep in terms of Owners. In this case we are looking at the development of a mid-range fast sports-cruiser from the Windy Boats stable – the Windy 46 Chinook – and focusing on a 2018-built, two-Owner Mediterranean layout 46 as our subject. Fitted with the highest specification of drivetrain, HAVILDAR II sits on the twin Volvo Penta IPS-600 pod drive option, with electronic joystick steering, exceptional frugality, and power delivery that matches perfectly the characteristics of this deeply-veed, lithe and exceptionally stiff, Swedish-built hull.
You can view the Windy 46 Chinook, HAVILDAR II sales video here:
The 44 took over from the slim, feline offshore missile – the 43 Typhoon. The Typhoon was available as a soft, or hardtop, in either sterndrive or conventional shaft-drive guise, and was in many ways a grown-up 37 – offering two double cabins and an extra heads/shower – and was beautifully built in Norway. The hull was difficult to fault, but as new powertrains became available, Windy opted to launch a completely new machine – featuring three cabins, a full hardtop with powered roof and a two-level cockpit.
So Hans Jørgen Johnsen (Windy’s long-time naval architect and hull designer) penned the lines of the 44, and this early variant of the Chinook hit the market in 2008, instantly winning Powerboat of the Year, and filling Windy’s order book for this strikingly good-looking three cabin hardtop. The 44 was a breed apart from her rivals: the moulding of the hull, deck and major GRP components was via vacuum injection – not only reducing carbon footprint way in advance of the term becoming every-day, but also resulting in a lighter, stiffer, more fuel-efficient hull. Harnessing the many virtues of Volvo Penta’s tractor-pull IPS drives, alongside the eminently reliable, six-pot and clean-burning D6 diesel, the 44 could sprint to 38 knots, whilst retaining the Windy DNA qualities of class-leading sea-keeping, uncommon build quality and excellent ergonomics for helm and crew alike.
And what did those lofty arbiters of merit, the boating press think? Well – to be honest they didn’t need to think anything. 1:27 of video by Motor Boat & Yachting of the 44 at speed is all you need to know. It is still online and shows the hull dancing over the Norwegian waters off Arendal – the camera boat is struggling to keep up. It is a truly beautiful shape to watch nodding gently (at 38 knots.) through the seas.
I asked one of our 44 Owners why he chose the Windy:
“When compiling our ‘bucket list’ of essential qualities for our first sports cruiser, we set some challenging criteria; a boat that would inspire confidence through great sea-keeping; a boat that would see us safely home whatever the weather; a boat that would cruise at high speed, yet return excellent fuel economy; a boat that would flatter us when maneouvreing around a marina. On top of these essentials, we also wanted a vessel that would allow us to entertain six people in comfort and privacy, whatever the weather.
She has fulfilled our criteria admirably. That she is also a beautifully designed, thoughtfully detailed and exactingly crafted vessel are bonuses that we were confident we were going to benefit from when we narrowed our choice of brand down to the Windy Design Team and they didn’t let us down. Our next motor boat will certainly be another Windy.”
As with most good things, when it’s right, it’s right, and so the 44 stayed in production for another 5 years, only being superseded in 2013 by the 45. The 45 was the same great hull, but the incorporation of larger rectangular port-lights into the saloon lent extra light, a slightly elongated hardtop offered a little more protection to her cockpit (with a switch to a fabric sunroof to really let the sunshine in), and more horsepower meant a knot or so more top speed. The sensational agility remained bolted on, her three cabin layout was a tried and tested success by this point, so the Chinook was fast-approaching modern classic territory.
Thus the Windy 46 Chinook (the last of the sisterhood) went into production during 2015 and the world first saw her at BOOT 2016 in Düsseldorf. With a lengthened options list, the sleek 46 really hit the mark. All of the quality, all of the handling, all of the speed, and equally at home in the sun-kissed waters of the Med., or at anchor off The Hut, this last iteration of this great concept has proved unchallenged. No other sportscruiser can offer three cabins, 40 knot performance, a sensationally good helm position, or the quality of finish that sets the Chinook apart.
I asked the owner of HAVILDAR II, a seasoned yachtsman who has spent a considerable time offshore in his beloved Rassy, what he thought to the Windy:
“I see the Windy 46 Chinook as a modern classic. She boasts incredible sea-keeping qualities, can reach 40 knots, features three full cabins, and has a huge cockpit made for entertaining. We have explored the English and French coasts without a single issue, and I have kept the boat in full operational condition with all systems updated and working. The only problem with Windy is that they did not make a successor.”
This last comment is very true. The Chinook 46 was retired in 2020, and the gap was never filled, and likely will never be. Thus the market in used Chinooks is resilient, strong and fairly rarified. Options ticked by the first Owner need to be of use for the onward guardian, and thus HAVILDAR II’s specification includes both heating and air-conditioning, both a useful hi-lo bathing platform and a passarelle, and her Mediterranean sunpad cockpit option is actually as useful in the Solent, as it is in the Balearics. Her newly-polished Storm Grey hull also looks 100% the business, and equally gratifying is the fact that she has some engine hours on her tachos. These wonderfully capable boats deserve to be used in anger, and not just kept warped to the marina pontoon.
So, if you are looking for an exceptional, fast and seasure hardtop cruiser, beautifully finished to a standard unreached by most, then please do come and check out HAVILDAR II, now ashore and prepared for sale at our Berthon HQ in Lymington.