Calling a yacht a “hippo,” even if it’s the cooler-sounding Swahili translation “kiboko,” might not seem like the smartest name for an elegant sailing yacht—unless you recall that hippopotamus is the Greek name for “river horse.” Plus, when they need to be fast and sturdy, a hippo can sprint up to 19 mph and stay underwater for five minutes.
The 105-foot Kiboko Tres, the third Southern Wind superyacht built for the same owner, actually lives up to its name. It’s a sure-footed, steady sailing yacht with high volume and the ability to move quickly under sail.
Kiboko Tres hails from the Southern Wind yard in South Africa and features an interior by Italy’s Nauta Yacht Design and an exterior and running surface by Farr Yacht Design based in Annapolis. That combination of experts adds up to running comfort, internal beauty, and exceptional sailing performance.
The owner was thrilled with the design at the yacht’s launch. “I was looking for a high-performance yacht to race in the superyacht regattas on the world circuit,” he says. “At the same time, I wanted a place to spend precious time with my family and completely disconnect from our daily commitments.”
Kiboko Tres has a wide aft section and open transom, which gives the yacht plentiful exterior space for socializing, along with a twin-rudder configuration and increased sail area for speed and stability under sail. The yacht’s full carbon-fiber hull, deck, and bulkheads make it exceptionally light, giving it excellent speed in light air. A removable racing bowsprit, the “Mini-Maxi Southern Spars” boom, and custom titanium deck hardware add to the yacht’s racing pedigree.
The interior by Nauta includes a large saloon above the engine room, a convertible studio area, and a large forward master stateroom. Three cabins amidships are designed for guest privacy, while the crew cabins at the stern are well-equipped with generous sleeping areas, a galley, and a navigation station for the first mate.
The owner wanted a simple, airy interior. “Furnishings, suspended from the yacht’s structural elements, let us showcase the shape of the yacht and bring out some of the elements of her construction,” says Massimo Gino from Nauta Design. “We lightened and simplified the interior furnishings and left the interior hull sides and bulkheads exposed.”
The designers, working with the owner’s wife, chose oak furniture with light-blue and white upholstery in a traditional Mallorcan style. Kiboko Tres is now on its maiden voyage from Cape Town to Palma de Mallorca, where the yacht will be based.