A Touch of Nordic Cool - Sørvind
WORDS: Jack Gifford | IMAGES: Southern Wind
With the latest yachts on show in Monaco, TIDE checks in with South African yacht builder Southern Wind to take a close look at their new launch, Sørvind.
Built in Cape Town for a Norwegian with a lifelong passion for sailing, 105ft Sørvind is the fifth unit of the successful SW105 mini-series - the result of a solid collaboration between Southern Wind, Nauta Design and Farr Yacht Design. The order came in early 2020; less than two years later, the yacht was making her maiden voyage from South Africa across to the Mediterranean, a shake down sail of over 7,000 miles.
The name Sørvind is the Norwegian translation of Southern Wind, a tribute to the close and enduring partnership between owner and naval architect. Having previously chartered a very similar SW105, Wolfhound, the owner needed little convincing that this was the company to carry out his vision.
The brief was simple - “a high-performance bluewater yacht for fast and comfortable sailing” - and the owner worked with the Cape Town yacht builders every step of the way to achieve this dream. Crucially, the aim was to harness the sheer joy of ocean sailing without compromising on the comfort and luxury he has become used to on his motor yacht.
The client’s requirements perfectly matched what the design teams had to offer: 95 to 110ft of true sailing yacht, with options to customise. The limited SW105 series are billed as high-performance cruisers, the ultimate compromise between a modern Pocket Superyacht (see issue two of TIDE) and an inshore racer.
Talking with Jeremy Peek, deputy Commercial Manager of Southern Wind, it’s easy to see the appeal of the company’s joined up approach to yacht building and ownership; building, selling and managing their clients yachts in-house enables a seamless experience and one which de-risks the experience for both prospective and existing clients. Designing a custom, in-built yacht can still become an expression of your own tastes and requirements, but it certainly helps the decision making process if you can sail and try out life aboard a yacht that is more than a little bit similar.
The semi-custom or ‘smart custom’ approach allows one set of tooling to create many different yachts, in which rig, keel, deck layout or interior presents an owner with multiple modes of customisation without embarking on the off-piste journey of fully custom yacht building.
As Jeremy explains, these specifications have also allowed her to be orientated towards the charter market. Based primarily in the Mediterranean with the potential for trips to Norway, the owner is planning his own use mainly for the cooler temperatures of the early off-season, leaving the yacht free to earn her keep on the charter market from late June onwards. As such, extra saloon bunks have been provisioned, in addition to the four owner/guest en suite cabins, along with an additional bar space to enable greater service for larger parties of guests onboard.
Following the lead of the first SW105, Sørvind has a telescopic keel allowing a reduction of draft from 5.6m to 3.65m without the intrusion of associated structure into the interior of the yacht. A compromise between the standard fixed keel and more intrusive but lighter lifting keel, the telescopic keel fits some briefs better than others.
Less contentious is the choice of rig; 1 metre taller than the standard 105m mast, the intention was for the yacht to excel even in light winds, enabling her to switch off the engine as soon as possible. Twin mechanically linked rudders make for responsive steering with a very natural feedback to the helm, whilst the single point mainsheet and headsail sheeting points minimise the moving components or deck for a clearer, more charter-friendly setup.
Aside from the contrasting dark and light ‘Nordic Cool’ style of theinterior, further subtle customisations have been made to the yacht’s exterior. The design brief called for pared-back styling and superior comfort, with a view to optimise her for the charter market.
Sporting a raised saloon similar to her two sisters, Wolfhound and Kiboko Tres, the coach roof has been modified to create a unique silhouette and the hallmark chamfered edges radiused into curves. All of these touches combine to give the boata distinctive look both inside and out.
Delivered in only 20 months, Southern Wind supported the owner throughout the yacht’s conception, with remote design sessions, crew selection and the organisation of a full debut charter season. Setting off from Cape Town in April for a 5-week delivery to Mallorca, the programme went from one seamless transition to the next. By the time we catch Jeremy in Mallorca in mid-October, Sørvind is about to clock off at the end of her first season, with over 11 thousand miles, two owner cruises and three successful charters completed.
Despite the modesty and calm professionalism of the team, the success of their ‘smart custom’ platform is no accident. The clue is in the name, and if their production of two highly considered boats a year tells us anything, it’s that this is a yacht builder that prioritises quality.
For charter go to: pegaso-yachts.com
For the full experience, pick up a copy ofTIDE in print here