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Behind the Scenes of Nauta’s Groundbreaking Design for Southern Wind 105GT Taniwha

Nauta Design św 105gt
Credits Rob Kamhoot

Nauta Design has showcased the depth of its design skills in the brand-new Southern Wind 105GT, Taniwha, one of the stars of the last Monaco Yacht Show. Delivered this summer, she has just had her first public outing and collected plaudits from across the sector.

It was a particularly challenging project because it meant interpreting the owners brief by adding customizations to the versatile SW105 platform and Southern Wind proved to be the right shipyard to master this challenge at best.  The Milan-based studio had already drawn the deck lines and designed the interior for the previous three hulls in this Southern Wind’s ‘smart custom’ line series.

When Southern Wind introduced us to the potential clients, we carefully noted all their wishes and brief and immediately had that light-bulb moment,” says Nauta co-founder Massimo Gino. “We gave rise to a sleeker, sporty,  automobile design-inspired version of the boat, featuring a new deck design which – together with Southern Wind Shipyard – we christened the “Gran Turismo”. When our new design for this SW105 #4 was presented, we could tell by the enthusiasm in the owners’ eyes that we had understood and matched their brief.

Southern Wind took a hard look at every element of the design in order to save weight in an efficient way– eventually delivering a yacht that displaced less than the fastest SW105 to date, thus not compromising the comfort typical of a superyacht. 

We wanted to save weight in a clever way. For every kilogram weight saving proposed we offered a rating. Saving weight higher up above deck is good and well spent, with a strong benefit in terms of distance from the center of gravity” says Andrea Micheli, Southern Wind Shipyard Commercial Director.

It drove Nauta to completely redesign the deck to create a sense of speed and streamlining. A lower toe-rail, a slender  coachroof and a cockpit that is wider and shallower – all have been combined to great effect.

Nauta Design Southern Wind 105GT
Credits Rob Kamhoot

This new deck design has an innovative and clean look that is driven by the methods of composite construction and by racing yacht styling,” says Gino. “The end result is a yacht that combines a powerful sail plan and lightweight construction with all the comforts of a bluewater cruiser.

It has also created some intriguing opportunities, which Nauta has fully exploited. Along the coaming of the stepless cockpit, Gino has envisioned a solid-looking teak cap to provide an aesthetic highlight and a comfortable spot for the helmsperson and trimmers to perch under way. You would never realise that it is a nomex cored composite structure with rich teak veneer.

It joins seamlessly to the hull side then bends to run parallel to the deck and looks as though it is floating over the cockpit, and is visually stunning by day, and even more special in the evening, when a hidden string of LED lights brings it to life. 

In celebration of fast lines

The Owners’ brief was very clear: they wanted to have a holistic indoor-outdoor connection, and that connection be expressed in all the styling under deck, which should be sober, clean, light as the deck design.

Natural materials should be used for the interior furniture of the Southern Wind 105GT Taniwha, and they requested that every detail was carefully designed so as to be “over the top” and set a new reference in interior design.

The transparent main companionway, sided with glass so you can see from indoors to out while moving between the deck and interiors, puts in direct communication interiors and exterior and creates a flow of life and style between outdoor and indoor.

From the helmsman position on deck, you can see throughout the interiors towards the TV lounge and even further.

In the same way, from the owner’s cabin you can look out and see what is happening in the aft cockpit. 

The interior design and geometry of the Southern Wind 105GT follows the natural curves of the hull rather than seeking to obscure it behind the 90-degree corners of standard cabinetry. Nowhere is this approach clearer than in the owner’s cabin forward and two guest cabins aft.

The cabins feature floating lockers fixed to the hull sides, which are functional and beautiful while also showing, instead of hiding, the yacht’s true hull shape. The beds are on slanted and curved bases that create extra foot room and harmonize the yacht’s hull shape.

There is the widespread use of teak below deck, just as there is above. It has been desaturated and oil-treated to create a finish that appeals to more than just the eyes. “It is lovely,” says Gino. “Warm but bright, easy on the eye, and soft to the touch. The combination of the light flooring and the fabric-covered wall panels gives brightness to the interior.

Southern Wind 105GT
Credits Rob Kamhoot

Generously sized bathrooms of Southern Wind 105GT feature lightweight moulded resin basins and surfaces, specially formulated by expert Italian craftsmen to perfectly resemble “Italian stucco”.  The main saloon includes a stunning teak dome around the skylight, which emphasises the abundant natural light and the headroom, while creating a sense of cosiness. 

Teak tables in the welcoming full-beam saloon have a double purpose, capable of rising to provide dining, or lowering to become a coffee table . The tables, too, are designed to look as if they’re light and floating by using a top that shows thin edges with metal inlay – echoing the effect seen elsewhere on the boat.

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