Case Study



Marine > Performance sailing yachts

Smart-custom sailing Yachts, based on a standardized design 

Gurit full package solution of materials, Engineering and
Technical support 

Tailored performance, boats can be made using a range of technologies depending on the client’s needs 


Micheli further explains “Our design is always evolving and in the last five years, Southern Wind has made great leaps forward. Today and to an even greater degree tomorrow, we offer much more than semi-custom yachts. To this end we have coined a new phrase ’smart-custom’ where dependable base platforms have been created to allow owners to adapt the yacht to their needs. After listening to our potential client’s needs, we then respond with the best solutions based on our 30 years of experience. This smart custom approach blends innovation with tried and tested technology. We have been able to achieve this goal thanks to a new organization of our production that gives priority to flexibility while still respecting efficiency. By adopting this new build philosophy, Southern Wind has finally identified the sweet spot between customization and standardization, design, reliability and, most importantly, between performance and comfort. 

A great example of Southern Wind’s custom approach is the SW105’ project: where they have made five different yachts all with different setups using the same dependable base platform. This includes: 

  • Four different keel configurations
  • Three different sail plans
  • Four different deck configurations
  • Five different interior styles and layouts.

This kind of customization goes well beyond interiors.


As part of the smart-custom approach, the performance can also be tailored to meet the client’s needs. Yann Dabbadie, Southern Wind Technical Manager expanded on this “Most of our boats are ’performance luxury yachts’ but the performance cursor can be higher or lower depending on the intended use, around the racetrack or around the world. We use technology ranging from carbon prepreg and Nomex Core, to carbon or glass Infusion with Corecell™ and in some cases we hand laminate. It all depends on the brief and the components. The bulk of our production is made using infusion with carbon fibre and Corecell™ core. For us, this represents the best compromise of weight vs cost and is a process that we have mastered over the years. We see the boat as a complete object using the most appropriate technology in each place to give the best performance result to our clients”.


When adopting a number of technologies, having Gurit Technical Support on hand to advise on materials processing and best ways to optimize production has been paramount to the evolution of the Southern Wind Process. Explaining their collaboration with Gurit, Stefan Falcon, comments “I have always used Gurit materials. I built my first Tornado in my garage 40 years ago with SP 106 and have been with them ever since. Their products are formulated specifically for the marine industry and they keep developing them based on feedback they receive. Gurit provides an “after sales” service that is unparalleled. Whenever I need technical advice or have a question regarding a manufacturing process, I know that there is someone on the other end of the phone that can help me out quickly and efficiently.

It’s not only about the product, but also the people behind it. Gurit supplies to all industries, however, their roots are firmly in Marine and for this reason they are conscious about environmental issues, constantly trying to develop safer and cleaner products. Gurit offers a full range of materials for the marine Industry, you can literally build a boat using only Gurit supplied products. 

Rick Crutchlow, Senior Technical Support at Gurit has been working alongside Southern Wind Shipyard for several years, assisting to implement new technology in their production processes and answer questions regarding Gurit materials processing. Rick commented “It’s a pleasure working alongside Southern Wind, who are always evolving their high-performance fleet of custom sailing yachts. As well as assisting with materials processing support, Gurit has used our DNV approved Mechanical test laboratory to validate changes to build techniques, providing the confidence needed to adopt changes in their production process. 

The Southern Wind and Gurit partnership has delivered some amazing results: Smart custom performance sailing yachts which hit the sweet spot between customization and standardization, design and reliability and between performance and comfort. Long may this partnership continue.