Why is a Powerboat Called "Windy"?
Hugo Vold started Windy Boats in 1966 in Skarpnes, a town in southern Norway with a long history of seafaring and boatbuilding. Vold's father was a fisherman, working the often treacherous waters of the nearby Skagerrak Channel. Even in the worst weather, the elder Vold's rugged boats always brought him home; all of them were called "Vindy." When he started his boatbuilding company, Hugo Vold named it in honor of his father and his father's seaworthy boats. Today Windy Boats is a wholly owned subsidiary of Periscopus AS, an Oslo holding company with broad interests across a wide range of industries.
Today, Windy Boats still relies on traditional Norwegian boatbuilding skills, but the old ways are supported by modern technology. The company is housed in a modern facility where 160 employees build Windys from 25 (the Mirage is the smallest) to 58 feet (7.68 to 17.75 m). The design department relies on modern computer programs to create new boats. However, skilled craftsmen and –women still attend to the details, using fine woods (mahogany in the Mirage), stainless steel fittings and high-quality fabrics above decks and below. The result is a line of very nice boats combining excellent construction and yachtlike appointments.
Gas and Diesel Power
The 25 Mirage is powered by a single sterndrive, but Windy offers both gas (benzine) and diesel options by Volvo Penta. The company doesn't publish an official list of engines – at least, we couldn't find one -- but in an email Windy Boats' president/CEO Knut Heiberg-Andersen said Mirages have been delivered with Volvo Penta 5.0 GXiE, 5.7 GXiE and 8.1 GXiE gas engines, and D3-220 and D4-300 diesels "to mention a few." All engines spin Duoprop drives.
If maximum top speed is your goal, a gas V-8 will be your choice. We haven't tested the 25 Mirage yet, but the company has, when the boat was first introduced in 2000. With a 280-hp Volvo Penta 5.7L GSi V-8, Windy claims 46.0 knots max, cruise around 30 knots. The 320-hp 5.7 GXiE should produce even better performance.But we think most folks in the Windy market will prefer diesel. With a single 214-hp D4-300 Duoprop, the 25 Mirage ran 38.5 knots max in company tests, again cruising around 30 knots. In 2001, the company also ran the boat with a 272-hp KAD300 Duoprop; top speed was 44.0 knots, cruise in the mid-30s. Today a 310-hp D6 will be the engine of choice in this power range. Check with a Windy dealer for up-to-the-minute engine choices. We'd stick with the D4-300: It's the best combination of speed, cruise and fuel economy, in our opinion.
Prices and Recommendation
According to Mr. Heiberg-Andersen, a Windy 25 Mirage will cost between $130,000 and $160,000, plus taxes, depending on engines and options. There are plenty of Windy dealers all over Europe, the Middle East and even in Thailand. At press time a Swiss dealer had a 2011 Mirage listed for 189,440 Swiss francs (€144,800, approx.), powered with a 320-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 GiE gas engine.You'll have a hard time buying a Windy 25 Mirage in the U.S.; we found only one dealer, in Connecticut. Nevertheless, we think buyers looking for a classy 25-footer in other parts of the world should check out this boat before buying anything else. She's not everyone's idea of a cruiser, but for dayboating and the occasional overnight, she should be a good choice.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!