After recently unveiling the new SWCAT90 with Southern Wind at boot Düsseldorf, where he also showcased the plans behind a glamorous new 27m catamaran slated for delivery in 2021, we caught up with renowned Italian yacht designer Massimo Gino to learn a bit more about this new one-of-a-kind catamaran.
What is the most exciting aspect of the SWCAT90 project?
The most exciting part of this project is designing a catamaran (cat) for Southern Wind. The studio has been designing cats from series products to one-off units, and we discovered that there is no brand that manufactures high-quality cats with [such] a high level of interiors, insulation and conditioning. A Royal Huisman level, a Swan level or Southern Wind level did not exist for catamarans, as cats are often very industrial or, in the case of custom cats, are very basic and simple. No product on the market could provide the Southern Wind balance.
What was the aim then?
We’ve worked with Southern Wind for 20 years, designed their sailing yachts, so, of course, we want to keep their balance, which is quality, comfort, reliability – but with speed.
We had a client that wanted to transition from monohull sailing to cat. So, he sea-trialled different series of cats, those with great interior design (which we also designed), those fitting his length demands, but when he was looking at the boats available on the market – accounting for sail plan and of course weight, speed, motoring – he found none on the same level as a Southern Wind.
We wanted to keep the DNA of Southern Wind alive, creating a modern, sleek, pure – but with not too many lines – catamaran. A timeless design but without the “wow”. We don’t like that effect because, after six months, it looks odd.
Would you say that the SWCAT90 holds an Italian flavour, or do you try to be neutral?
It is impossible to be neutral I think (he laughs). We do not try to do something different than what we are.