, 2022-07-25 08:00:00,
In mid-2021 the South African shipyard Southern Wind announced a new sailing yacht concept, one that went beyond a single vessel and focused on a fresh new approach to semi-custom yacht design – ‘Smart Custom’. Created to enrich the process of yacht design and construction, the Smart Custom concept was unveiled alongside the first model which would feature the approach; the hybrid SW108. With exteriors and interiors by Nauta Design and naval architecture by Farr Yacht Design, the SW108 began with a formidable platform and it is no surprise that the first owners of the series signed on the dotted line before the end of the year. The husband and wife duo are enthusiastic sailors and they shared their experience of Southern Wind and the Smart Custom approach first hand with SuperYacht Times. The SW108 is your first yacht, what encouraged you to go with Southern Wind?
Aside from a Laser dinghy I had as a child, she is indeed our first yacht, but we have been chartering with the children for around eight years in various parts of Europe and have become enthusiastic about sailing as a family.
We had previously chartered Southern Wind’s Freebird and Southern Star but had also sailed several yachts from Nautor Swan and Oyster which gave us a feel for the differences in character and execution between shipyards. What we liked about Southern Wind is the ability to reconcile strong performance with blue water cruising capabilities as well as the strong commitment to quality and reliability.
My husband is an engineer by training and did a huge amount of research before we made the decision to build the yacht. Our brief was to build a fast race-cruiser that is exciting to sail but could also cruise comfortably and safely around the world. We then evaluated the construction of a full custom yacht with other yards against semi-custom options, in particular with Southern Wind.
The Smart Custom approach of Southern Wind felt like an opportunity to benefit from all the lessons learned from previous successful series and to help shape an ambitious modern platform. Why did the Smart Custom approach suit your desires?
We realised in conversations with other sailors that a full custom build is not only more expensive, but also comes with increased risk. As first time owners we were…
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