The word “custom,” usually relates something built from the ground up, unprecedented and unexpected. Something unique, with the flexibility and creativity of a new design and the research for uncharted innovation. 

On the other side, “semi custom” recalls something reliable, designed and built in a standard way, then partially customized. 

Southern Wind has developed its bespoke new concept: the Smart Custom

By combining the virtues of custom with the efficiency of semi custom we have elevated the entire “custom” concept with an initial platform that has been purposely created to adapt to your needs while still leaving the reliable and tested base structures untouched.

The Smart Custom is a balancing act between customization and standardization, innovation and reliability, performance and comfort, design and functionality. 

Because efficiency is the new direction for the smart sailor.

Southern Wind yachts: Smart Custom for Smart Sailors.

With sailing yachts becoming increasingly more complex and challenging to build, the shipyard has chosen to rethink its construction philosophy by developing an effective alternative to the more traditional full-custom and semi-custom approaches.

We have coined a new phase, dubbed smart-custom, where the initial platforms have been purpose created so that owners can adapt them to their needs while still leaving the reliable, tested base structures untouched.

This process allows for each new build to optimize the production phase and increase the construction value for the owner. Ultimately, this new approach means that money now flows into the yacht, rather than being squandered into inefficiency.

Throughout its thirty years’ experience, Southern Wind has launched over sixty yachts. The knowledge if its internal process and the challenges we have faced has lead us to rethink and formulate a new build philosophy based on the belief that, as a shipyard, we would never cut corners nor passively accept any “wild” requests that could compromise efficiency, safety and blue water reliability”, states Andrea Micheli, Commercial Director at Southern Wind, adding: “We came up with the Smart Custom idea because we wanted to combine the best of both worlds: on one hand the virtues of a full-custom yacht, on the other the efficiency of a semi-custom approach. Today we can develop a “purpose created” platform able to adapt to the Owner’s brief while leaving the tested and reliable base structures untouched, which means adding value to the build thanks to a more healthier approach to construction”.


Over the years Southern Wind has constantly developed its base platforms in order to stay at the forefront of technological evolution while remaining true to its heritage. Today’s Smart Custom approach means maintaining high levels of quality, blue water reliability and custom personalization because no two yachts are ever the same.

By adopting this new build philosophy, Southern Wind has identified the sweet-spot between customization and standardization, design and reliability and – most importantly – between performance and comfort”, says Marco Alberti, General Manager at Southern Wind, adding: “By optimizing the build process, we can concentrate solely on construction while reducing to a bare minimum the project adjustments during this process. This improvement is also vital to our 280-strong workforce who now have a more comprehensive understanding of the “bigger picture” with regards to the shipyards future”.

Southern Wind | Smart Custom Yachts

This novelty, which represents a first for the entire yachting industry tickled the curiosity of the media with, among others, Superyacht Times’ Justin Ratcliffe who travelled to Sardinia during the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta to join Southern Wind’s 16th Rendezvous and to find out more about the new Southern Wind Smart Custom design approach. This was the perfect occasion to meet Southern Wind’s Andrea Micheli, Nauta Design’s Massimo Gino and Farr Yacht Design’s Jim Schmicker, three of the trailblazers behind this new and innovative approach to yacht design and construction.  

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