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First look: Southern Wind Hybrid 108

Southern Wind Hybrid 108 is a brand new sloop with diesel-electric propulsion designed by BAE Systems with significant built-in regeneration capability

Cape Town’s Southern Wind shipyard has unveiled more details of its new 108ft hybrid sloop the Southern Wind Hybrid 108, which is already well into the moulding phase.

Penned by Nauta and Farr Yacht Design, it is the brand’s first project to be designed from the off with diesel-electric propulsion, being supplied by BAE Systems.

Identical to the system found in electric city buses, the BAE product should save the boat up to 30% in fuel consumption. It comes with regeneration capability that means the boat could arrive after an ocean crossing with its fuel tanks still topped up.

“The total weight depends on the battery capacity that the owner chooses to have, but if you compare like for like, it’s not much heavier than a normal diesel installation,” says Southern Wind technical manager Yann Dabbadie.

Full carbon build, an increased sailplan and a 6.2m lifting keel should keep the boat sailing even in light conditions. “The production of SW108 will begin with a well-canvassed, very powerful arrangement for exceptional performance in light winds, but also up through the wind range,” says Farr’s Jim Schmicker.

We’ve also been given a first glimpse of the Nauta interior, which resembles that of the boat’s smaller sister Taniwha. There’s space for three double cabins, plus a studio that can be converted into a cabin. It leaves room for an L-shaped social area with seating, a dining area and a TV lounge.

The yacht has been designed in Southern’s ‘smart custom’ programme, meaning the technical platform and hull shape will be reused for further 108ft boats. Deck plans, interior configuration, styling and outfitting are entirely at the owner’s discretion.

Southern Wind Hybrid 108 specifications:

LOA: 32.77m 107ft 6in
LWL:29.89m 98ft 1in
Beam: 7.51m 24ft 8in
Draft: 3.65m-5.60m 12ft 0in-18ft 4in
Displacement: 79.6 tonnes
Builder: sws-yachts.com


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