Wild South: Where From Here?


Wild South 37

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… One variant I have always been tempted to look into is the more classic “Pacific Northwest” look with a stepped wheelhouse.

From a construction point of view, significant construction 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.

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.

Larger Versions?

Considering the nautical characteristics of the Wild South 37, the temptation of expanding upwards into a range has 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.

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 and economy. 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 volume and habitability.

Any thoughts?

Feel free to contribute below.

  2 Responses to “Wild South: Where From Here?”

  1. Love your design, how many have been built? Has there been any interest in the longer versions you mention? What would you expect the performance gains to be for the 44′ version?

  2. Graeme,

    We built the one in the photos, launched in 2005, then the idea was using it to promote the design etc. It was a very long way from its target market however and the plan slept in my files until last year when I decided to do something with it. Several people tried to buy the finished boat in recent years. In the end it was just too successful in terms of seaworthiness and efficiency not to give it better exposure and I created this site.

    There has been a lot of interest from Europe in a slightly modified version at 36′ (just below 11 metres for marinas etc), with a steeper stem, a longer cabin, covered after deck and a slightly lowered profile overall, but nothing done yet. A very capable yard in Poland is interested in building them at a competitive price.
    I need to take the time and create a page for it one of these days.

    There have been occasional discussions about longer ones, but nothing definitive. A 44′ one would cruise very economically at ~10 knots with a higher top speed again. I also have a few ideas to make them go faster, but I need to do some CFD in this direction before I can say more. It has to do with the aft keel design and the stern sections.
    A 44-footer with a little more beam and volume would be a fantastic project and it would give passage-making capabilities together with greater habitability to live on board for long periods.

    Best regards,


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