As her name suggests, Kiboko Tres is her owner’s third Koboko and, like her predecessors, she was built in South Africa by Southern Wind Shipyard the company whith internatoinal management and shareholders, that has an Italian branch who takes care of the Sales, Marketing and customer care.
This time, however, the owner chose to go all the way to 105’ with Farr Yacht Design supplying the naval architecture and Nauta Design the general concept and interior design for his new beauty. More tellingly, Kiboko Tres is connected to all of the yachts that have left the yard founded in 1991 by the late great Willy Persico by one thing:
“Coherency,” explains Andrea Micheli, who has been with Southern Wind since 2003 and is now its sales director. “Entrepreneurial coherency that focuses on achieving the right balance between performance and comfort, but, most importantly of all, coherency in building to the design brief shared with the future owner. Over the years, we have had to say no to some client requests. It would have been easier to say yes. But on our journey to achieve that perfect balance, which has seen us build 56 boats all of which, including the more race-oriented ones, could tackle a round the world, we have indeed said no. In the end though, both our clients and the market have always agreed that we were correct”.
Despite Micheli’s firm words, the yard could not say no to Kiboko Tres, the second Southern Wind 105. Her owner had started out in 2006 with a Southern Wind 72 with Reichel/Pugh naval architecture and Antonio Minniti interiors before making the upward transition to a Southern Wind 94 in 2011, with naval architecture by Reichel/Pugh and a Nauta Design providing the general concept and design.
This long history meant that Kiboko Tres’ development was always going to be very much a shared process. “Both the owner and captain were familiar with the way we build,” continues Micheli. “We knew his tastes and needs as well as the more technical requirements of his right-hand man. That meant we were able to make targeted choices”.
Massimo Gino of Nauta Design was delighted with the process too: “It was a very pleasant, friendly relationship right from the start. We were involved from the second Kiboko.
The first had the dark teak interiors that were so popular back then but on the second, we worked with the owner to develop more modern interiors based around limed teak. Now with Koboko Tres, we have come all the way to a very white oak that has that grey-ish hue of wood that has been in the sea for a long time. Most of all though, we cut back the amount of wood used in favour of light panels to make the spaces brighter and more comfortable”.
Natural light is actually the real star of the interiors. Kiboko Tres’ main deck is incredibly clean and free of clutter. She has a raised saloon arrangement and her lounge area gets its light from the deckhouse windows, skylights and portholes along the sides. The office-TV area, the three two-berth guest cabins, the master suite forward and the crew quarters aft are all equally bright.
The light also underscores an unusual styling feature adopted by Nauta Design. “It is something we used on Allsmoke, a 90’ custom built by Southern Wind,” says Gino. “Instead of hiding the interior structure and forms of the boat, we emphasised them. And Kiboko Tres’ owner liked the result”.
The furnishings along the walls don’t rest on the ground but float a bit above the floor which itself flows into the sides.
Aside from saving both weight and work, the result creates a feeling of spaciousness and much larger volumes. The shelving running along the walls and the structure of the bed make the master cabin ensure it feels larger too. The decision to use light woods, reveal the hull and lighten the interiors is more than just an aesthetic choice for us, especially on a boat like Kiboko Tres”.
Unlike the first, more cruising-oriented Southern Wind 105, Kiboko Tres is very performance-oriented, thanks to a string of modifications, including a more powerful sail plan to take full advantage of her 5.4-metre fixed keel.
“The aim was to optimise every aspect to make sure Kiboko Tres was a high performance yacht without making everything more complicated,” explains Micheli. “So we kept the usability, fun, contact with the sea and sailing pleasure that you get with smaller craft but combined them with the performance and comfort of a 32m”.
This called for the most advanced yet tried-and-tested technologies for what was an absolutely shared project from start to finish as Micheli confirms: “We are able to optimise plant and develop them to meet the boat’s real requirements.
The hydraulics and the winch package are good examples and both were bespoke-developed for Kiboko Tres. We ensured that the winches got maximum hydraulic power- well above the norm – and Harken created winches with custom gears and ratios to take full advantage of that”.
Of course to deliver results like that takes incredible coherency of both design and construction. So with Kiboko Tres we all joined forces on a 105’ sloop that sails like a smaller craft but is big on performance, comfort and functionality”.