Southern Wind launches its luxury maxi catamaran (and the war between shipyards begins)

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If Southern Wind also gets involved in producing maxi catamarans then it means that the future for luxury sailboats with two hulls is bright. Several details of why the South African (but commercially based in Italy) shipyard, a leading manufacturer of monohull maxi yachts, enters the maxi cat world with the SW Cat 90 (27.07 m x 11.17 m) were revealed during the Dusseldorf boat show. The launching equation chosen is SWCAT90 = SWS2, meaning a boat with twice as much space as a monohull for the same length, well explained with this video:

Co-designers from the Italian firm Nauta Design were even more explicit: “The space and volume available on a catamaran of this scale is comparable to a 39 m monohull. With 171 square meters of indoor area and outside walkable area as much as 207 square meters, the increase is 50 percent compared to a similarly sized monohull.”

IN THE BEGINNING WAS NADAL’S CAT

Southern Wind to embark on this venture realized that the multihull is beginning to be appreciated even by the very high-end top spenders, those who can afford a maxi yacht.

The interior of the Sunreef 60 sailing cat: it feels like being in a luxury apartment
photos: Katarzyna Seliga-Wróblewska, Marcin Wróblewski / Fotomohito
client: Sunreef Yachts

One of the outriders has certainly been tennis player Rafa Nadal, who last year had a Sunreef 80 built by Sunreef, a leading manufacturer of large catamarans, abandoning his previous monohull maxi yacht. Nadal who is Majorcan and a very good sailor said that for him there is no match, catamarans are better than monohulls.

Sunreef is perhaps the first shipyard to believe in luxury maxicatamarans as an alternative to traditional maxi yachts. Today it has a range starting from 50 feet (15 m) and reaching 156 feet (48 m) with as many as 12 models.

The Privilege Series 740

GERMANS BUY FRENCH PRIVILEGE

It is no coincidence that even the large boat group, Germany’s Hanse (which also owns the Moody, Dehler, Fjord, Sealine brands), has recently purchased the Privilege shipyard which launched its 22-meter Privilège Series 740 maxicat and is already planning to expand its range upward.

The interior of the Lagoon Seventy 7

THERE IS THE HAND OF NAUTA’S ARCHISTARS

The first shipyard to launch a dedicated range of luxury maxi catamarans was Lagoon, owned by France’s Beneteau, the world’s leading manufacturer of pleasure boats, which already created a range four years ago with its first maxi, later enhanced by two other models. Today it produces the brand new 20.50-meter maxicatamaran Sixty 5 and the 23-meter Seventy 7. The Lagoon’s interior and design is the work of Italian luxury nautical archistars Nauta Yacht, who designed the world’s largest pleasure boat, Azzam, measuring 180 meters. and are also the co-designers of the new Southern Wind SWCat90.

Alegria 67

THE OTHER PLAYERS

Also in the war to capture the promising large maxi catamaran market are the French Fountaine Pajot, the market leader in catamarans who have Alegria 67 (20.36 meters) in production. Then there is the French Catana with a 70-foot (21-meter), listed as Beneteau/Lagoon and Foutaine Pajot. There are also those who instead of two hulls make multihulls even with three. This is the case with Neel Trimarans, which has a 65-foot (19.80 m) in production that increases space even more than the monohull.

THE ACE IN THE HOLE FOR CATAMARANS

Ultimately, compared to a monohull, catamarans have a formidable trump card: for the same length they have space that is 65 to 70 percent greater (catamarans are not only nearly twice as wide as a monohull of the same length). This counts for a lot, and the visual impact is striking: you step aboard a 40′ and you find the saloon, forward cockpit, and cockpit or forward sundeck that you have only seen on a 60′. In fact, the bow pretty much retains the maximum beam, and so to get the same spaces in front of the deckhouse you have to go to an 80′–clearly something like that is striking.

That is why Southern Wind has decided to enter this world, with the goal of writing a new chapter in the luxury boat segment, competing with the historic multihull manufacturers. The war has just begun.

L.O.

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