GT touches down

The first sailing yacht commissioned by her passionate owners, SW105#04, "Taniwha" has been christened in Cape Town.

Photography by Southern Wind Shipyards

23 April 2021


Thanks to the owners’ input, commitment and passion, Taniwha can be defined as a “smart custom” yacht with strong character and an elegant and unmistakable style.

Taniwha has a GT (Gran Turismo) deck configuration carefully conceived for the owner by Nauta Design, also responsible for the yacht’s exterior and interior design.

“This new deck design has an innovative and clean look that is driven by the methods of composite construction and by racing yacht styling. We think that our GT design will be a successful new style because it rests on a solid base of concepts which are the expression of a pure design,” says Massimo Gino from Nauta Design.

Like a classic Gran Turismo car is designed for speed across long distances and enjoyment on shorter runs, this project is conceived as an elegant and fast bluewater cruiser that can also be enjoyed for brief jaunts.

Compared to SW105 DS and RS, this new GT version is characterised by a minimal coachroof, which gives the yacht sleek and sexy lines and a wider cockpit area on a single level.


The helm positions have been moved closer to the gunwales for better views forward and aloft, allowing a generous sun pad area just below the manoeuvering cockpit and a garage for a 4.2-metre tender.

With naval architecture by Farr Yacht Design, SW105GT has a full carbon hull with her foredeck and cockpit in Nomex and pre-preg. Lightweight and with a generous sail plan, the yacht has mast and boom in high modulus carbon and EC6 standing rigging.

Taniwha shows a single rudder and an extended fixed bowsprit of 3.12m and her lifting keel goes from 3.8 to 5.9-metre draft. These features combine to give her a fine-tuned balance between upwind and downwind performance.

The SW105GT is a yacht devoted to performance: to optimize weight savings the owner implemented materials that are high-tech and lightweight both in the interior and exterior.

Any and all weight saving options were evaluated according to their potential contribution towards improving the righting moment and longitudinal inertia.

Deck fittings such as pad eyes, toe rails, cleats and fairleads are in titanium, as are keel head components and the submarine anchor system. Mast and boom fittings are also in titanium. The hydraulic and electric power management systems are carefully engineered and designed for a lightweight and efficient yacht.

The interiors feature Southern Wind’s most popular owner’s cabin forward. Aft of the saloon Taniwha has two cabins, an ensuite VIP cabin with a walk-around bed and a second ensuite twin guest cabin. A day head and studio are placed fore of the saloon. With a deep sofa and a large desk, this space can convert to an ensuite double cabin. The crew area aft is an efficient working environment for five.

The owners contributed greatly to the yacht’s interior decoration where the main challenge was to keep the furniture as lightweight as possible while still allowing for the small details that make a yacht “home-like”. Particular attention was paid to choosing eco-friendly materials.

“The interior design is 100 percent new. It’s the result of a well-planned mixture of materials and geometries that we have developed on our most recent yachts. It’s elegant and understated but never predictable,” adds Massimo Gino.

Taniwha’s crew and the Southern Wind team are now ready for an intensive month of sea trials before the yacht leaves Cape Town.




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