ALLIED SEAWIND II
by Kristy Walson
Although Allied went out of business in the early 1980’s, they produced some of the sturdiest cruising sailboats around. Built in Catskill, NY, the Seawind II was an updated version of the Seawind, the first fiberglass boat to circumnavigate.
The Seawind II was constructed at a time when fiberglass was in its infancy, necessitating much experimentation. Our particular Allied boat, Cythera, spent 8 years in the water with little attendance prior to our purchase. Her hull bottom was covered with blisters, most of which lay only between the gelcoat/skin layer and the structural laminate. Though the damage still dictated that we perform a full blister repair job below the waterline, the location of the blisters gave us the peace of mind that her structure had not been greatly compromised.
Once the hull bottom was fully repaired, we began working on the portions of the boat that you can actually see when she is floating. Because the engine had been submersed on more than one occasion our next task was to replace the engine, exhaust, and fuel system fully. The Allied Seawind II provides a number of access points to the engine, making maintenance a snap; however, the designer failed to make the access opening in the forward engine compartment bulkhead large enough for engine removal – an unfortunate oversight. This deficiency forced us to enlarge the cut out in the bulkhead in order to extract the original Westerbeke engine and the rusted out steel fuel tank mounted to the underside of the cockpit sole. The generous new size of the opening in the bulkhead now allows us to access all points on the engine with ease.
Initially designed as a ketch, we later discovered that we owned the first Seawind II sloop built (Hull #76). In order to construct a sloop the mizzen mast was removed (originally located in the cockpit) and the boom was extended. As a result, this sloop’s cockpit is extremely spacious, easily capable of holding 7 people comfortably. The mainsail track is mounted on the forward cockpit seat and proves to be an obstacle to passing through the companionway while underway, but can be pushed well out of the way when at anchor. Moving forward along the deck, you will find that it is quite easy to maneuver during any type of sail, including during an emergency. Her sizeable foredeck, void of any toe-grabbing hatches, makes for an easy change of the hank-on foresail and the lack of breeze in the v-berth due to this feature has proven to be a necessary trade-off.
The bow is fitted with a sturdy, 2" thick oak bow sprit that carries two bow rollers. The main deficiency in the anchoring system is that there is no access to the anchor locker through the deck – only a small access port through which to feed the chain and scope. It is inevitable that a boat of this size and application will be equipped with two anchors and the minimal access to the locker is not likely to facilitate the anchoring process.
Though the deck itself is cored with ¾" balsa wood and is very sturdy, the lazarette and companionway hatches feel as if a hard chop and the loss of balance could send a foot right through the middle of them. On modern day cruisers, all walking surfaces, including hatches, are generally cored with either balsa wood or a foam core providing the additional stiffness needed to withstand the kind of point loads (such as feet) that these large flat panels are likely to see.
Below decks her furniture and walking sole are all teak. The only fiberglass in the interior is the white headliner, which provides the right amount of brightness to make for a cheery cabin. The L-shaped galley directly port of the companionway has a deep sink, an enormous built-in cooler, and a gimbled 3-burner stove/oven. To starboard is a small navigation station that’s not big enough to sit at, but provides a sizeable flat for mounting navigation electronics, as well as providing chart storage. The designer opted to keep the two large lazarettes, rather than adding a quarter-berth just aft of the navigation station and the increased access to fittings and the engine that this design decision provides is invaluable.
In the saloon, two bench seats offer plenty of room for 5 people to dine comfortably at the fold-down dinner table. The starboard settee pulls out to form a double bunk at bedtime, making this boat capable of sleeping 5 people comfortably down below. Forward you have a small head to starboard and then a sizeable v-berth, complete with a vanity sink and a hanging locker whose door swings out to become the berth’s privacy door.
The headroom down below is decent (6’2"), but you’ll smack your head on the door frame leading into the v-berth a few times before ducking becomes second nature. As with all discomfort, though, comes function as the beefed-up door frame provides the main support for the stepped mast on the deck – no mast to contend with down below.
The systems on the Seawind II are extremely simple and easy to access. She is equipped with shore power, though the lack of any A/C components on the boat makes this more of a battery charging system than anything else.
If you’re looking for a stable and dependable cruiser, then the Seawind II may be right up your alley. She performs well in a light breeze (we are able to reach 5.5 knots on a good 10-knot day); however, the weight that keeps her out of racing contention is the driving force to her stability. Her full keel and sturdy Edson rack-and-pinion steering system help her to perform well in all conditions. Additionally, the Seawind II has beautiful cruising yacht lines that can inspire even the most novice boater to appreciate her beauty. For a cruising sailboat most capable of handling the bluest of water with grace, you can’t beat the Allied Seawind II.