Sailing Today have just published their review on the fabulous Winner 9.00, This is an excerpt from Duncan Kent’s full review which can be found in Sailing Today issue 203, on sale Thursday 30th Jan.
"Sometimes boatowners can get so caught up in new gizmos that they forget sailing is meant to be fun. And the key to enjoying sailing is simplicity, because a simple boat is a reliable boat, which will leave you free to sit back and relish the thrills and spills of being on the water.
The Dutch-built Winner range of performance cruising yachts has an excellent pedigree, being created by Cees van Tongeren of the renowned Van de Stadt Design team. They are built by hand in Enkhuizen by skilled craftsmen using the very latest GRP construction technology.
In all Winner hulls the structural bulkheads are laminated and bonded to the hull and deck for maximum integrity. The hulls also sport a steel reinforcing grid around the keel area and foam-filled floor beams for maximum stiffness. Topsides are made from a high-density foam sandwich to reduce overall weight and provide insulation, and the anchor chain locker features a watertight bulkhead to protect from flooding should you hit something.
The Winner 9.00 is the baby of the range, but is no less a serious offshore yacht than her larger sisters. What is different about her is that she can be supplied in a choice of three equipment and finish levels (Welcome, Performance and Classic), but with the offer of several further upgrade packages that can be added later if desired. There’s also a choice of three keels; standard, shallow or deep (Performance), all of which have a cast-iron bulb at the foot for maximum righting ability.
The basic Welcome model is designed to get you on the water with enough gear to go coastal cruising for short periods. The Performance edition features the deeper T-keel, a flat-headed mainsail, Dyform rigging and a retractable bowsprit with associated deck gear. Finally, the Classic edition has all the bells and whistles and is intended for those looking for a compact performance cruiser with high enough comfort levels to make longer-term leisure cruising relaxed and enjoyable. By incorporating a cockpit transom box, adding lockers to the saloon and enclosing the aft cabin, she becomes a true Category-A offshore yacht for the whole family.
It’s good to see such a well-constructed sub-30ft yacht on the market and I like the ‘bolt-on’ options that can be added as you go. Furthermore, she has an impressive turn of speed and is an absolute pleasure to sail, whether crewed or single-handed.
The quality of the deck gear and fittings is well above the usual small, sport-boat standard and includes numerous big boat details such as a proper chart table, wet locker and useable saloon sea berths. The Classic model is positively luxurious below and brings her up to full offshore cruising standard.
Priced competitively too, the Winner 9.00 offers a huge amount of fun for the money, whilst still being short enough to save you a good few bob on your mooring.
Whether you fancy a ‘round the cans’ race boat or a cosy family holiday cruiser (or both for that matter), this baby is well worth a closer look"