SailboatsSouth Africa

The Design Evolution of Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux

Designed and engineered with meticulous attention to detail, Gelliceaux represents a pioneering achievement in maritime engineering as the inaugural unit in Southern Wind’s SW108 Smart Custom series. Boasting a diesel-electric hybrid configuration, this yacht epitomizes the fusion of innovative design and advanced technology. With naval architecture meticulously crafted by Farr Yacht Design and both exterior and interior design masterfully executed by Nauta Design, Gelliceaux sets a new standard of excellence in luxury yacht construction.

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux deck
Credits Giuliano Sargentini

Massimo Gino, co-founder of Nauta Design, offers insight into the meticulous design process behind the 35.41-meter masterpiece, Gelliceaux.

From a design point of view, Gelliceaux is the latest in the ‘GT’ series of Southern Wind bluewater sailing yachts that started the SW105 Taniwha and then the SW96 Nyumba. During this creative evolution, the exterior lines have been tailored to become more sporty and dynamic with the Owner’s involvement. Gelliceaux’sdeckhouse is clad in teak with a huge central skylight and the teak sidedecks aft morph into ‘floating’ bench seats that also provide a handy platform for winches. It’s a feature we’re very proud of that has been ‘borrowed’ by other designers” observes Massimo Gino.

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux detail
Courtesy Giuliano Sargentini

Another defining exterior detail is the Z-shaped composite coaming of the deckhouse that looks like a stylized lightning bolt. It lends the yacht a low-rise, agile look when viewed in profile. 

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux, the interiors

The owners were closely involved in the whole design process: he mostly for the technical specifications and deck layout, and she more for the interior design. What really won them over was when they saw our section render of the split-level saloon. We were on the same page in terms of taste, but we were given free rein to come up with styling proposals and that made the creative process all the more rewarding,” continues Gino.

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux sailing
Credits Jesus Renedo

The words ‘calming’ and ‘Mediterranean fresh’ cropped up a lot in our discussions and I think you can see that in the natural colour palette, fabric-lined walls, and contrasting light and dark veneers in Alpi wood composite. Everything is very easy on the eye and the overall ambience is classy but cool, understated but sophisticated, stylish but warm.”

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux salon
Credits Giuliano Sargentini

Nauta Design envisioned a distinct approach to the fixed furniture, aiming to impart a sense of freestanding elegance rather than a built-in appearance. This deliberate choice allows for a more spacious and inviting atmosphere within the interior, reminiscent of the openness often associated with contemporary design concepts. The sofa seating within the expansive, split-level saloon reflects modern residential trends, prioritizing comfort and size. Notably, the bespoke nature of the furnishings extends to the chairs surrounding the 8-person dining table, showcasing the meticulous attention to detail throughout.

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux sofa
Credits Giuliano Sargentini

In lieu of stainless steel accents, the yacht’s interiors feature satin-finished black bathroom fittings, handrails, and accessories, contributing to a sleek and contemporary aesthetic while facilitating ease of maintenance for the crew.

Considerable effort was dedicated to the lighting design, with a focus on adapting high-quality hardware from a reputable brand for maritime use. The resulting lighting not only serves practical and atmospheric purposes but also enhances the perception of space within the yacht. Intricately crafted headboards in the cabins utilize upholstered panels arranged in relief to create nuanced shadows, adding depth to the interior ambiance. Numerous iterations and mock-ups were employed to achieve optimal lighting placement and shadow effects.

Southern Wind SW108 Gelliceaux cabin
Credits Giuliano Sargentini

Since its delivery in October 2023, the SW108 Gelliceaux has traversed nearly 12,000 nautical miles. Following a noteworthy 7,500-mile Maiden Voyage from Cape Town to Lanzarote, during which the owners validated the vessel’s bluewater capabilities, they embarked on a transatlantic journey bound for the Caribbean in preparation for the winter season. This voyage served as a definitive test for the yacht, affirming its seaworthiness and performance prowess.

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