The Wild South 37 was designed and built as a concept boat for something that is quite radically different and superior to what the market has to offer. Over the years, a lot of considerations were discussed: larger and smaller vessels, same hull with a different look and appearance, different layouts…
In terms of construction, significant time and effort could be saved if the need for a hull mould was eliminated altogether. While there is nothing wrong with constructing a male plug and building a one-off, a preliminary amount of brainpower has been invested recently into such considerations.
The first option coming to mind is of course building a high-quality hull mould to produce shells. This makes most sense in the context of building finished boats for a local market, otherwise the shells can be cumbersome to transport and prone to damage. However, the hull could also be split into two halves or even also at the chine into four curved pre-manufactured panels that could be joined on the main transverse bulkheads in a record time. Such panels would easily fit within a standard 40′ shipping container and could be transported economically to most destinations. Such approaches require volume to be justifiable.
As for everything, and even more so when it comes to boats, demand is what decides what is worth doing and yacht design is at the thin end of the already very thin new builds market.
A few years ago, we explored the idea of producing a variant of the design for the European market with river and canal cruising in mind, where excellent economy, shallow draft and the ability to venture out to sea at times would be key assets. This led to an optimised variant using the same hull, but with a steeper stem to keep the overall length below 11.0 metres to reduce berthing costs. The cabin length was extended aft and the roof overhang covered the entire aft deck.
The discussion ended when the interested party asked for the roof to be turned into a flybridge and the look of the boat to that of a flush-decked Dashew FPB. Regardless of the questionable aesthetics, the boat was simply too small to offer the headroom forward without a hideous amount of freeboard. The old adage wants that “the client is always right”, but in this case there was no client and the purpose of the initial discussion is ensuring that the outcome sought is aligned with the philosophy of designing boat for the sea first and foremost. In this case, perching up on the roof would have been anything but safe.
Considering the nautical characteristics of the Wild South 37, the temptation of expanding upwards into a range always existed. The Wild South 37 was designed as a simple, compact, comfortable coastal cruiser. A little more length would make for a more slender hull, better economy around the upper end of the speed range and a faster boat overall while retaining all of the remarkable motion, comfort and stability of the original design. A little more flare in the topsides would increase useable beam while leaving the underwater body largely untouched. A length between 42′ and 46′ (12.5 and 14 metres) should offer enough differentiation from the 37 to warrant designing a new boat.
A longer boat based on the Wild South 36/37 hull was sketched and then a variant with a raised pilot house modelled. The latter one is really just a sketch obtained by “breaking” the standard 42′ and lifting the front of the cabin for a look; the aesthetics could benefit from some additional attention.
Neither boats had any interior layouts designed. This kind of initial transformative work can be carried out very quickly and efficiently to explore concepts before a design project is even scoped, but it has its limits.
Beyond this, the obvious development path goes towards a long-range, ocean-going motor yacht encompassing the same concepts of very moderate displacement, remarkable seaworthiness through form stability and superb economy arising from an efficient hull without any ballast. Simplicity combined with limited displacement immediately translates into a much more affordable construction cost with unmatched performance and economy afterwards when compared to heavy vessels. Technically, even a 44-footer would be ocean-capable within its range, but a vessel in the 50′ to 60′ length more easily offers such capability, with greater tankage, volume and habitability.