Phil Southwell


Phil Southwell established Southwell Yacht Design in 1989. The first boat off the drawing board - Get More Fun Telefunken - broke the record set for the Durban to Mauritius run on her maiden voyage.
Immediately thereafter, she took line honours in the 1989 Crystic Beachcomber crossing from Mauritius to Durban in the incredible time of six days, knocking more than two days off the previous record.
Next from SYD came the highly successful Sovereign 54, flagship of John Robertson Yachts and until recently, the largest and most excitingly versatile boat to go into production in Southern Africa. The yard stopped taking orders after the fourteenth was placed, as this represented two years of production,
generating an income in excess of R20 million. More production boats followed, including the Sovereign 40, the Islander 48, Jevan 32 and Sovereign 51.
Amongst others, SYD has on their books a 51’ pilot-house cruiser and three fast 60’ blue-water cruisers, commissioned by overseas clients and constructed in aluminium by the Jacobs Brothers, who built “Get More Fun” and “Hulett Aluminium.”
The latest in the 60’ range, the Richleigh 63, later went into production. At the time she was the largest production yacht manufactured in the Southern hemisphere - a major coup for the South African boat building industry. The Richleigh 63 was commissioned by an off-shore company to charter in the Mediterranean and Caribbean and is considered to be the ultimate skippered charter yacht.
The Maverick 400 is the third production catamaran from SYD. The first being the Island Spirit 380 (50 built) and the radical Falcon 26, a hot micro-multi designed for the “Need for speed” syndicate.
Phil Southwell sailed into Cape Town in 1981 and has been in South Africa on-and-off ever since.
Prior to forming his own company, Phil designed with Lavranos & Associates for approximately seven years, gaining the required experience after completing his degree for membership of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. During this time he took a BSc at the University of Cape Town to complement the CDip in Yacht & Boat Design from Southampton UK.
He designs exclusively in 3D and works with production builders, other stylists and 3D sculpting factories; focusing on marine and land vehicles and industrial design.
(Eds.: If we had contact information we would love to include it. )

Sailboats Designed By Phil Southwell

Model LOA First Built
MAVERICK 400 38.32 ft / 11.68 m 2010
SOVEREIGN 51 51.00 ft / 15.54 m 1995
SOVEREIGN 54 53.50 ft / 16.31 m 1990


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