Southern Wind has delivered the first hull in its “smart sailboat” SW108 series following "intense weeks of sea trials", according to the South African shipyard.
Gelliceaux has now departed Cape Town and is currently sailing offshore in Namibia, with plans to embark on a "high seas voyage" with her new owners.
Construction on the 35.5-metre sailing yacht began in 2021, with Gelliceaux being the first model conceived and engineered from the outset as a diesel-electric hybrid. She is inspired by the recent design loop and BAE HybriGen propulsion system of the shipyard’s SW96 model, Nyumba, and with this technology could "virtually extend her range indefinitely", according to Southern Wind. Naval architecture on this model is by Farr Yacht Design.
"It's incredibly rewarding to see and experience the boat we have created together," said the yacht's owners (both passionate sailors). "Gelliceaux is definitely a beauty. She will be great fun when cruising and should prove to be a beast when appropriately challenged."
The sailing yacht has a low-slung profile courtesy of Nauta Design, with a sportier look that departs from Southern Wind’s previous builds. A notable design element is the coach roof’s central skylight and side windows, which allow natural light to flood the yacht.
Gelliceaux also sees her internal structure optimised to suit the hybrid drive layout and long-range ocean passages. This includes a lower guest cockpit to provide a sheltered recreational area and the foredeck which, fitted with four winches at the mast step, enables safe manoeuvring.
Accommodation is across four cabins, with an owner’s cabin forward and the three additional guest cabins amidships. All cabins are centered around the spacious, split-level main saloon, which is fitted with an eight-person dining table and an extended settee that integrates the saloon with the TV lounge, creating a communal living space. Interior styling is also by Nauta Design, who opted for a neutral colour palette with warm undertones, light-wood panelling and soft backlighting.
On deck, Gelliceaux stands out with her beach club and garage. When the yacht is at anchor, the twin-fold transom facilitates direct connection with the sea. By opening the aft portion of the deck together with the transom door, the swim platform doubles its surface area to a total of approximately 10 square metres. The garage is designed to fit a five-metre diesel jet tender.
Southern Wind CEO Marco Alberti said: "Gelliceaux is the first unit of the new SW108 model which perfectly embraces the SW concept of Smart Custom. But being the first of a new series she is in reality very close to being a full custom boat."
Gelliceaux is able to generate 35kW while sailing at 16 knots and 25kW while gliding at 14 knots.
According to BOATPro, Southern Wind has one SW96 currently in build.Read More/Southern Wind sailing yacht Nyumba completes 7,500-mile maiden voyage