Sailboat Preview: Windelo 50 Yachting

This updated version of the model that first appeared in 2019 adds upgrades and a reimagined layout.
Windelo 50 on the water
The Windelo 50 is capable of true-wind speed due to its hull-design weight distribution. Courtesy Windelo Catamarans

The Windelo 50, which first grabbed our editors’ attention at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, is an eco-conscious cruising cat that prioritizes functionality in a comfortable package that’s capable of crossing oceans. Add to that a powerful rig, modest displacement, daggerboards and genuine electric autonomy, and it’s easy to understand why the boat turned heads at its US premiere in Miami this past spring. 

Since Hull No. 1 rolled off the factory line in Canet-en-Roussillon, France, in fall 2019, the Windelo naval architecture team of Christophe Barreau and Frédéric Neuman has given this crossover cat a racy, stylish look. The new version is billed as the Windelo 50 Yachting, and it underscores a substantial move upmarket with a sleek, dynamic appearance and solid craftsmanship. Significant upgrades have been made to the decks and superstructure, and the layout is reimagined for greater comfort and flow. 

The aft deck is expanded to create a more comfortable relaxation area with enhanced protection from the elements. The builder uses large molds, which is why the surfaces have a notably smoother finish. A new nonslip surface, with a more attractive diamond-shaped texture, is directly integrated into the mold.

The Windelo 50 is also built with a composite sandwich structure that includes environmentally friendly materials, basalt fiber and PET foam, which reduce the boat’s carbon footprint by nearly 47 percent, according to the builder. The integration of two electric motors, 5,880-watt solar panels and an under-sail hydrogeneration system facilitates zero-emission sailing. The combination also allows daily recharging of the battery bank, providing up to four hours of autonomous ­propulsion using exclusively green energy sources when cruising at 6 knots.

At the base of the mast, the forward cockpit centralizes all boathandling activity, while enabling the skipper to remain near the center of social activity. The cockpit can be fully enclosed, providing protection from the elements. The deck housing creates additional space for relaxation, and the living area can be transformed into a terrace via a winch mechanism and sliding or removable bulkheads, along with sliding glass doors. 

According to the builder, even in light air, the Windelo 50 can sail at true-wind speed, courtesy of the hull-design weight distribution.