Straight Talk about Seaward

INITIAL COST of the SEAWARD is a little more money, boat for boat, than most other trailerables. What are you paying for?

Quality...(an abused term) a feature realized even by the novice when surveying the SEAWARD. Stainless steel opening ports and four bolt yacht cleats are immediately visible, but not as conspicuous are higher tech. laminations and lead ballast. These are features that you "feel" as the owner of an engineered quality product.

Pride of Ownership is part of your reward for your life long efforts and pursuit of quality. The "look" and 'fed" of Seaward will reward you time and again for years to come. You will be complimented by your choice each time you launch and sail your "yacht ".

The best sailboat is an engineered blend of practicality and simple quality. Nothing should be overdone or underdone. There should be no wasted weight, space, or friction. Everything should be accessible, maintainable, replaceable, and easily cleaned. This is what we call "Simple Quality".

A sailboat must sail well in many conditions. It has to sail in deep water and shallow water, through a chop, a gale, or the doldrums. It has to treat it's passengers kindly and take them fast and dry and safely. It must be easy to rig and effortless to sail. We will attempt to explain why Seaward does all of this in the following:

Water Ballast or Lead

Well...Preferably platinum, the heaviest of all minerals, but it's a little too expensive. Water weights 65 lbs per cubic foot and lead 750 lbs. Which material would you like on your side of the see-saw?

Water ballast is stored up in the hull close to the center of gravity and axis of rotation. Lead is positioned low, well below the C. of G. and outside of the hull. What happens when you slide towards the center of the see-saw?

Would you worry, about storing water for very long between two fiberglass laminates inside your hull? Have you read anything on osmosis blistering lately?

Some transoceanic racers use internal water ballast but it is pumped up to the windward side of the hull where it is reasonably effective as a counter balance. To have even a marginal effect on stability more water ballast has to be used then lead ballast because of it's location close to the c.g. To us, this defeats the original intention of it's use. When retrieving a water ballast boat to the trailer, more mass and power is required by the tow vehicle than that needed for the lead keel boat of similar size.


Don't think that because Seawards have a classic traditional appearance that the underwater sections and sail plans are antique. The fact is, the Seaward Fox will out sail most 23 footers and the Seaward 23 and 25 wilt leave most cruiser-racer trailerables in their wakes. Speed is important, but the handling characteristics of Seawards are unequaled. She is light on the helm. will accelerate in a heartbeat, and can turn inside her own length.


Trailerability is one of the major reasons for selecting the Seaward Fox, 23, and 25. Many customers buy the 25 because it is the largest reasonably trailerable sailboat that you can buy. "Reasonably means it will launch in most ramps, the mast and rigging goes up easily, and has a maximum beam under 8'6" so no permits or special insurance is required.

There are advantages to owning a trailerable sailboat over owning a slightly larger boat that is non-trailerable. They include:
1. Ability to escape severe storms like "Andrew'. (Although there are hundreds of Seawards in South Florida none of them were damaged or destroyed by hurricane).
2. Quick mobility to new sailing places without having to sail there (and back).
3. Shallow draft for beaching and gunkholing without the loss of performance, stability, and handling.
4. Storage away from expensive marinas.
5. Greater marketability for resale. (We are currently looking for used Seawards as we have a waiting line of buyers.)

The Keel

Seawards were built with the shoal wing keel starting in 1989. Prior to that almost 1000 keel/centerboard boats were built. The design was simple and effective. However, no matter how simple the design, a centerboard is a mechanical device below the waterline and an eventual obscured problem created by. wear, electrolysis, or abuse. All builders that have produced many boats are aware of the potential for problems and it is precisely why almost every production builder eliminated the centerboard system. A generation later we are again seeing centerboard boats being built. Time erases memory...

The reasonable alternative that would allow a sailboat to remain trailerable and shoal draft is the winged keel. (A shoal draft beat without a wing to reduce vortices will deliver unacceptable sideslip. This problem, although played down by the respective builders, will usually frustrate the owner to the point that he will eventually sell or trade his boat in quest for better windward performance). However, the Americas Cup wing keel was not the answer for cruiser trailerability. Every, builder seems to have their idea of the correct compromise. Here is ours:

The long shoal keel that we combined with a centerboard for many years gave our boats the added bonuses of anti-broaching and strong directional stability. This characteristic is appreciated by anyone that has sailed sailed an O'day 24 or 27 with the short (for and aft) wing keel. In these boats, it is impossible to walk away from the tiller for even a second without the boat heading up or falling off.

The "short" keel- long wing design also has a disadvantage in tidal conditions where the keel can get stuck in the mud like a plow anchor. This keel also makes trailer retrieving difficult because the is no easy and effective way to guide the keel to the center of the trailer. Also, more draft is required to get profile surface area because of the lack of length. Of course, more dram means the boat sits higher on the trailer and the boat becomes less trailer launchable.

*Launchability of boat on a trailer varies with the distance of the waterline from the ground, and the distance between the back wheels of the towing vehicle, and the longitudinal center of buoyancy of the boat.

So putting our experience, new technology, and creativity together we came up with our long shoal-draft wing-aft keel design. The main section of keel has reverse draft. This means that it is wider at the bottom than at the top. This allows more ballast in the lower sections for a lower center of gravity and forces water to cling to the side of the keel rather than allowing it to spin off the bottom causing vortices, hence side-slip.

The wings aft accomplish several things; 1.) They force laminar flow over the main keel section. 2.) They become miniature keels as the boat heels. 3.) They act as skegs (like feathers on an arrow) contributing to excellent directional stability They do not interfere with trailering at all.

The keel is not cast, but laminated from biaxial fiberglass. Then a resin and ballast bead composite mix is poured into the keel. 5/8' stainless steel threaded rod is embedded into the composite and is used in the installation of the keel (The keel is later glassed to the hull as well). This system creates a structure that is much stronger that cast lead. The wings can withstand the full weight of the boat. Seaweed or lobster trap lines cannot get caught on the wings because of the sweep-back angle.

The warranty record is the most convincing measurement of the success of this keel. It's performance with our trailerable boats is the reason why we selected the same design for the Seaward 32' Eagle. If there was a better system, we would use it.


All Seawards have common design features:
1) Plumb Stem - This extends the waterline length of the boat without extending the overall length. That means you get more boat for a given overall length. More boat means: A)Faster speeds because speed - 1.41 X SQ RT of LWL, B)More interior space C) Bigger boat feel and handling characteristics.
2) Tumble Home Sections - Which extend the waterline laterally which means the boat is wider at the waterline. This feature creates; A) More stability and sail handling capacity while allowing a shallower draft, B) more interior space, C) Displacement volume outward instead of downward which decreases the prismatic coefficient (moves less water out of the way) and makes the hull more likely to plane rather than squat.
3) 40% Chord - The deepest hull section is 40% aft of the bow. This prevents suction (detrimental to speed) created by deep aft sections as the water leaves the underside of the hull. Seawards do not squat or suck up a stern wave when generously powered.
4) Steep Sheer Line - The high bow and transom provide dry and comfortable accommodations for passengers. Also, because of the high bow, we were able to mold in a raised bulwark (foot rail) forward to assure footing when changing a sail or raising an anchor. Seaward owners greatly appreciate this uncommon feature. The steep sheer naturally retains the traditional appearance in her otherwise modern design. A traditional appearance will help to maintain value, for as the boat ages, her beauty will be retained.


Probably the most commonly asked question when purchasing a boat: "How thick is the hull". This is a legitimate question to those boat builders who are still using antiquated materials. But for a progressive company like Seaward, the real question is "How strong is the hull". The same strength can be achieved with 50% less weight compared to older materials. Weight is everything. Reduce weight (without compromising strength) and you have assured performance.

Common to all Seaward Hulls are Isothalic NPG gelcoats with a vinylester back-up (to protect from osmosis blistering), 34 oz. Triaxial unidirectional fiberglass throughout 100% of the hull, coremat (synthetic glass microballoons) veils and stringers.

Materials never used in any Seaward Hulls are wood, wood coring, roving, ortho-based gelcoats.

Twelve inches down from the sheer is a strike rail securely fastened to the hull. Check oat some older boats at your local marina and observe where most of the scratches are.


In many ways, the design and construction of the deck is just as important as the hull. The deck helps to absorb compression and tension forces of the rig, mainsheet system, lifelines and pulpits, and is the component most responsible for resisting damage when running the boat into a deck or piling.

It is most important that the deck be strong. It is just as important that the deck be light. Weight is critical for two reasons; l)The lower the total displacement of the boat, the less wetted surface area, and the better the boat will perform. 2) A heavier deck -higher center of gravity = less stability or deeper keel required.

With this in mind, Hake Yachts takes great care in selecting materials that maximize strength and minimize weight. Again, old fashioned plywood coring is never used. Synthetic coring materials such as PVC foams and coremat are unaffected by water exposure. Adhesion is permanent and they produce parts that are much more resilient.

The interior headliner of the Seaward is not just an esthetically pleasing and easy to clean component of the deck: It is a critical structural member that is vacuum bonded during lamination to the deck. Many builders use headliners just for esthetics (this can be detected by tapping the headliner with a coin and hearing a hollow sound), but structurally it has no purpose. As per the previous discussion, if it isn't part of the weight solution it's part of the problem.

Carpeting, cloth, and Formica are never used on Seawards. They have one or more of the following drawbacks: 1)They absorb moisture and odors, 2) cause mildew by retaining moisture, 3) they peel, chip, or tear, 4) they are difficult to clean. We have simply determined that these products do not have the endurance nor do they create the image of quality acceptable for a Seaward.


This is another frequently raised area of concern...We can state simply, the Seaward hull to deck joint is the best system available on any boat built today. The top of the hull forms an upside-down "J". It is difficult to mold, but the benefits are l)Double the strength, 2) Water sliding up the hull in heavy seas is deflected back down, 3) Wider bonding surface. The hull and deck meet for over 2' of bonding on perpendicular planes. Then, the two parts are through bolted on 6' centers. The seam cannot leak.


Regardless of the boat size, the interior is always regarded as very limited precious real estate. Careful thought and engineering precedes tooling construction.

Every square inch is carefully utilized in a Seaward. It is no accident that there is sitting headroom on all forward berths, and comfortable supported seating on the settees. Back rest cushions can be easily removed along with the other cushions so that the interior can actually be hosed down for spring cleaning!

Genuine privacy is accomplished in the head and forward cabins of the 23 and 25 by use of a solid door(not a curtain) with plenty of sitting head room. Changing clothing is performed easily with privacy. In the forward cabin with the door closed, there is still excellent ventilation from (3) sources: the overhead hatch and (2) stainless steel opening ports with screens.

The v-berths are more than 7' long and very roomy because of the forward extension of the cabin-house overhead. The water and waste tanks are secured underneath with ample storage remaining. Shelves surround all of the berths including the settees. There is a hanging locker in the forward cabin of the Eagle and 25'.

The tables on the 23' and 25' are very functional, simple, and unique. It swings down, and slides into the center between the settees, then hangs from it's cable which eliminates the need for legs. It can be stored effortlessly in 3 seconds without the loss of valuable cabin space. It's so easy that it's a table that you will actually use.

Headroom, both sitting or standing, is generous on Seawards but is carefully limited so as not to destroy beauty or performance. Too much head room in the 23 or 25 would make the profile of the boat too high. To raise the deckhouse would require raising the cockpit so that you could sec over it. That would raise the height of the passengers in the cockpit and everything would raise the center of gravity. You would then need a deeper keel and the boat would sit higher on the trailer and be less launchable. The "look" and "feel" of Seaward is not subject to compromise. Pride begins with the drawings and builds right on through construction and ownership.


The cockpit is equally important as the cabin in a cruising boat. The deep Seaward cockpit provides comfortable seating with back support, even against the transom. With a little experience, you will quickly learn that the best place to sail a Seaward is sitting leaned against tile transom, with your legs stretched up on the seats, looking forward! Having experienced this, you will never buy a boat that forces you to cock your head sideways all day to look forward.

Have you ever noticed that, while driving a car, when you turn to reach behind your seat for something, that the vehicle you are driving wants to drive itself off the road? That nuisance experienced with end boom sheeting is eliminated on Seaward. We want you comfortably focused on where you are steering! (Especially in close quarters like an anchorage). Cockpit panic is minimized. Other advantages of mid-boom sheeting are far shorter sheeting lines and no need for boom vangs.


Hardware on the Seaward is unquestioned. Stainless steel everything, including cleats, anchor chain pipes, hawse pipes, ports, rails, chainplates, etc.

Plate stainless steel is cut, welded, ground, and polished to form the best opening ports that money can buy. Six, Eight, and Nine of them are used on the Seaward 23, 25, and Eagle, (respectively) to provide abundant ventilation and lasting beauty. On a hot summer day, the Seaward is one of very few boats that will be cooler below decks than on top.

The unique dual stainless steel bow lights are recessed out of harms way into the bulwarks and additionally protected by the sheer flange. All lights are fed by duplex wire that travels unspliced directly from the circuit breakers.


Self tacking jibs... if you know what it is, you have to like it. They are available on all Seawards. Imagine sailing upwind in a narrow channel single handed... effortlessly without panic! All you have to do to tack is turn the tiller! The unique design allows for a 100% jib and boom-batten to travel in an adjustable purchase line for increased performance on all points of sail. The boom-batten acts as a whisker pole for off wind sailing.

Well, how about a furling jib? No problem. It's on our option list. But, it's not compatible with a self-tacking jib. Let us remind you that roller furling is inconvenient for trailering and is only used once or twice a day, while the self tacking jib could be used up to 100 times a day. Think about it...

It should be noted that roller furling jibs, and especially roller furling mainsails, reduce performance and handling characteristics of all sailboats. Due to their mass and proportion, a smaller boat looses more performance than a larger one. Roller furling is a convenience with a price.


Free Standing - Translates to no complicated wire rigging. The rig is clean and simple. Efficiency is at its peak. It is the wave of the future.
Rotating - The mast rotates towards the direction of lift to be even more efficient in every point of sail. The mast will turn 360 degrees to allow the mainsail to be released and float in a stalled position off the bow. Sails can be set or stowed at any position to the wind!
Carbon Fiber - Light weight strength. One third lighter than aluminum means you can step the mast easier and you are carrying less weight aloft so the boat can handle more sail area and be stiffer. The mast on the Fox weighs less than 40 lbs and can be stepped by a child.

The proof is in the pudding. Sail a Fox or 23 and become a believer. Performance is increased in every point of sail.

Fully battened mainsails are standard on all Seawards. Both sail area and power are increased dramatically with the application of full battens in the mainsail. Other advantages include; I) High quality sail shape even in light air, 2) No "slatting" in light air, 3) Lower center of effort, 4) Easier sail management when raising and lowering, 5) More sail is exposed when sailing off-wind - better off-wind performance.

All Seawards include: 1) A leech line in the jib to eliminate flutter, 2) Bright red tack, clew, and head, 3) one set of jiffy reef points, 4) Sail bags.

A careful look at the mast, boom, and all of the built in rigging, including internal halyards and triple internal outhauls, will demonstrate convincing evidence that this rigging appropriately compliments Seaward quality. All masts call be stepped by one person.