Windsor Craft 36
By Capt. Rob Smith
A few years ago, Irwin Jacobs decided he wanted to bring back to life the iconic old-world craftsmanship in mahogany boats with classic looks. He wanted to build a day boat that was as authentic as possible to those produced in the 1920s – but equip it with all of the latest amenities and with technology undreamed of in the Gatsby era. He wanted the real thing – not just a fiberglass replica with a high price tag.
He invested in design and later found a yard in Turkey that that had not lost the art of quality wood boat building. This yard, with Jacobs’ designs and vision could bring to life his dream. Ironically, the Turkish yard could do all of this and load the boat up with nearly every option imaginable for several hundred thousand dollars less than high-end glass day boats. To Jacobs, that was the best of both worlds.
Genuine Tree Wood
Wood boats have a reputation for requiring lots of maintenance. Planked wooded hulls also leak when commissioned until the wood becomes swollen and seals itself. Still they might leak slightly when the planks worked in a seaway, leaving a pool of water to slosh around in the bilge and often reproducing a pungent odor.
No one likes to maintain wood, so Jacobs had to build a boat that would be both wooden and have low-maintenance and dry bilges. He did it by building a hull using triple planked African mahogany that uses the West System of epoxy impregnation. The result is a hull that is as impervious to water migration as is fiberglass and needs no more upkeep.
On the forward deck and aft deck the Windsor Craft 36 has beautiful mahogany with dozens of coats of varnish. All that is needed to keep this up is some touch up every six months or so. The side decks are Awlgrip. So here we have a boat that requires no more maintenance than a fiberglass hull, but has all of the esthetic advantages of wood.
A Boat with Character
The Windsor Craft 36 is not for everyone. And, that is one of its appeals. It is really only for someone with a keen eye for classical lines, a Romantic heart that appreciates the context in which this type of day boat was conceived, and enough financial gravitas to understand that this boat is worth $600k.
When the Windsor Craft 36 enters East Egg she naturally commands attention and deserves it because she is the real thing. This boat is for people who are just not happy with imitations.
A Day Boat for Special Entertaining
Since we have established that this boat is not for everyman, we should also realize that the owner of a Windsor Craft 36 would want to entertain in a very special way. Chances are that beer and diet Coke, potato chips and cheese doodles won’t make it aboard this boat. Windsor Craft has paid special attention to providing the accommodations needed for the wine and Champagne that will undoubtedly be served.
Mr. Parker would be Proud
There is a wine chiller on the bridge deck for white Burgundies, in addition to two insulated iceboxes under the treads of the boarding steps so one can keep his favorite vintage of Dom Perignon for special occasions. In the console on the bridge deck there is a shelf that slides out which holds four bottles of Bordeaux. So white, red and Champagne are all easily at hand, depending on the occasion or the progression of a very special day. If all of that weren’t enough, the boat has a wine “cellar” under the forward berth – the coolest place on the boat. We can think of no other day boat builder who has put as much thought into fine wine entertaining.
Al Fresco dining in Style
The cockpit is huge. Eight people can be seated comfortably in the U-shaped lounge aft which has leather upholstery adorned with nautical themes and piping harking back to the halcyon days of classical yachting. A settee for more intimate dining is just forward of the wet bar console (which houses an icemaker/refer and electric grill).
When more serious cooking is required, the host or hostess need merely pop below to use the microwave and electric cook top.
The Helm Station
The helm station has a custom rosewood dash panel, mahogany and stainless steel steering wheel, and a leather seat for two which will ensconce you in executive comfort. You can comfortably stand at the helm even with the hardtop.
The cockpit, bridge deck and cabin soles are all of teak.
The boat comes standard with a bimini top and isinglass side curtains. A hardtop with sunroof is an option, and one we recommend as it extends your season.
A Special Cabin
Entering the cabin, one is immediately reminded of the interior of a classic wooden cruising sailboat design by John G. Alden or perhaps Sparkman & Stephens. You are wrapped in rich mahogany joiner work with attention to every detail. The overhead is made of wood planks painted with while Awlgrip which looks like lacquer, and mahogany strips run athwart ship, again drawing upon the classic interior decor of cruising sailboats of a bygone era. This space is cozy.
The settee forward will be your private dining car and personal space for enjoying your time aboard out of the eye of the public or evening chill.
The table and upholstery have the same detailed look and feel as that in the cockpit. A filler cushion is easily at hand should the occasion arise for a full-length bed.
The head is on the port side and is a small version of what one might expect to find in an executive suite. All counter tops, both in the head and in the galley are granite.
Open the hatch to machinery spaces and you will see pristine bilges, the backbone of the keel, and the thick ribbing, all of African mahogany. The bilges are pained with while Awlgrip – a testament to what Windsor Craft thinks of its hull, machinery and installation.
The engine room is fitted with sound absorbing insulation.
The Windsor Craft 36 is offered in either gas or diesel engine configurations from Volvo Penta. Volvo is recognized around the world should you need service. The engine spaces are well insulated and properly ventilated. Topside, the engine room vents have the same classic design in their metal works. Details like this make the difference.
The Windsor Craft 36 measures 38’ LOA and carries a beam of 11’10”. This model has an approximate dry weight of 14,000lbs and a fuel capacity of 180 gallons. Inside cabin height measured 6’ and bridge clearance measured 7’5” to the top of the windshield from the water. Standard engine power is twin 280hp Volvo Penta 5.7Gi DP-S gasoline stern drives. A 4kw Onan generator is standard. Optional engine packages up to 320-hp gasoline sterndrives and up to 350-hp diesel stern drives from Volvo Penta are available.
I tested the Windsor Craft 36 powered by the 350-hp diesel in the Intra Coastal Waterway outside of Sealine Marina in Miami, Fl with two people on board. She delivered a smooth ride due in part to her solid mahogany construction. She delivered a top speed of 41 mph at 3630 rpm and a cruising speed of 29.3mph at 2750 rpm. At cruise, she will deliver 256 miles on a full tank of diesel.
The boat comes standard with an electric bow thruster, which makes docking even easier with the twin sterndrives.
As you can tell, the Windsor Craft 36 is built for yachtsmen – both power and sail – who want not only the very best in a day boat, but one with truly rare classic attributes along the modern appliances and technology.
The boat is available virtually anywhere in the world and Irwin Jacobs personally guaranties the highest level of customer service.