With Gelliceaux, Southern Wind has successfully created a boat that is almost as sustainable as it is stylish. Here we explore how.

The green revolution within the boat-building industry continues apace with the launch of Southern Wind’s Smart Custom 108. This is hull number one in this range of high-performance luxury cruisers from the South African yard and the first boat they have built that has been specifically conceived
and engineered for hybrid dieselelectric propulsion. The results are compelling.

In custom builds, the relationship between prospective owner, designer and builder is pivotal to the outcome and it was the initial vision of the owner that drove Southern Wind to build a yacht tailored to diesel hybrid propulsion. Yann Dabbadie is Technical Manager at Southern Wind and has an intimate knowledge of the project. He explains how the relationship between owner and builder can drive a project forward.
“On Gelliceaux, the owners aspired to elevate the standards not only in terms of technical excellence but also in aesthetics and style. The husband, with a background in electrical engineering, expressed a keen interest in actively contributing to the boat’s technical development,” he reveals. “This collaboration sparked a highly creative synergy between us. A pivotal element for him was the integration of diesel-electric
technology, enabling the boat to incorporate cutting-edge innovations while efficiently regenerating electricity during sailing.



“Meanwhile, the wife had distinct interior styling preferences that deviated from our previous boat designs,” Dabbadie shares. “To achieve their vision, extensive research and development efforts were undertaken before finalising all the intricacies, resulting in the creation of this remarkable vessel.”
To add to the challenges presented, the owners also wanted a boat that would be competitive in Superyacht regattas and the yard turned to the expertise of Farr Yacht Design to help come up with the solution to this exacting brief. Farr previously worked on the groundbreaking hybrid powered Superyachts Canova from Baltic Yachts and Southern Wind’s 96’ Nyumba, so it was a logical choice.
Jim Schmicker, Senior Naval Architect and Vice President at Farr, explains. “Incorporating the hybrid propulsion system into the overall design brief and especially with respect to the performance targets was the most challenging aspect of the design.”

The owners are so passionate about the sailing capabilities of the boat, including the competitive aspects, it was critical to get the balance of all the components (sail area, displacement, propulsion system performance, stability) correct.
“Hybrid propulsion installations are relatively heavier with larger in-thewater components than conventional propulsion systems for yachts of Gelliceaux’s size,” Schmicker explains.
To meet the desired performance level the greater displacement and higher component drag must be considered in determining the hull volume and the sail area. For the Southern Wind 108 the hull design can accommodate a range of displacements because the slope of the profile was
made steeper.”

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