Swift Trawler 47 has been designed for long stays on board covering many miles. It doesn’t burn much fuel, it is comfortable, very spacious and easy to move around
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Nicolas Claris
One point should be made clear from the start. This is a boat that is made to be on board. To sail, obviously, but also to spend a lot of time at sea. Where does this characteristic come from? From a very specific demand from the market. From a research of the yard, it emerged that Swift Trawler owners spend as much as eight months a year on board. Bénéteau took this into account when it started to design the new 47.
The hull is by Micad and by the engineering department, and there are two Cummins engines with in-line transmission developing 425 hp each, the most powerful engines it will take. It feels good at the helm. The way it handled made a good impression on me, both when under way, and when manoeuvring. This was probably partly thanks to the joystick that “compensates” for the straight drive transmission.
But even more than that, it is the fuel consumption figures that are impressive. You can’t fail to notice from the display on the bridge that both engines only use 28 litres at nine knots in displacement mode. That is an interesting figure. It only takes three litres of fuel to travel a mile, and the range at this speed is notable: over 600 nautical miles, which means sailing from the Balearic Islands to Sardinia three times without having to refuel.
The noise level at the bridge only just exceeds sixty decibels, and it is the same in the master cabin. Even at five in the morning city dwellers are probably subjected to more noise than that. And then there is the level of comfort provided by the trawler hull. It is naturally stable, and doesn’t suffer a lot from wave movement, but when in displacement mode, this pleasant feeling is amplified.
But a trawler, however, is not just a shuttle boat and indeed the Trawler 47is not limited to sailing at nine knots. We did over 26 knots at top speed, but of course fuel consumption levels changed when we did. The flow meter showed more than 150 litres a hour and nearly six litres per mile. There are also intermediate speeds. The range is fairly large, given that it only takes 2,200 revs and 14 knots to glide.
I also enjoyed the feel of the driving seat on the fly deck. Visibility is always good, except looking aft – but that is inevitable since the fly bridge is decidedly large and covers the entire cockpit. But the remedy to this inconvenience is already installed on board: there are video-cameras that are controlled by the display on the bridge.
We liked being up on the bridge, not just because everything felt under control, but also because – and this comes from the trawler design and having nearly four and a half metres beam – there isn’t much rocking. In fact you don’t feel any. The Swift Trawler 47 always holds the water well.
When under way and turning at full lock, it doesn’t tilt, and when you are at anchor it really doesn’t feel the effects of the undertow as it hardly rolls at all. We didn’t find particularly rough sea, but it is clear that a trawler is more stable than a traditional single-hull boat when it is moored.
The rest of the project, so the interiors and deck,which were designed by Pierangelo Andreani, are in line with the spirit of the boat. The steering position on the flydeck isn’t for loners: two small sofas are available for people who want to keep the helmsman company. The same is true in the interior position, which is in the dinette.
It is easy to get around everywhere. That is because of the large number of grab bars both on the deck and in the interior areas, and also because of a layout that has been specially designed to allow people to get around easily when on board.
The dinette, for example, is asymmetrical, so it has a very wide passageway that is easy to get through on the starboard side. The sideway to port useable, but the one to starboard is most definitely comfortable to use.
Some of the details make it clear that not much has been left to chance. From the interior steering position you reach the starboard gangway through a side door. There is nothing unusual in that, but what it also has is a hatch in the side of the boat so that when it is moored parallel to the quay it takes just two or three steps to get from the bridge to land.
Even some of the details feel as if they were deliberately developed to help on-board stays. The entire cockpit area, for example, can be easily closed up with a protective awning. That means you get an extra “room” so that you can increase living areas, even when the temperature means it doesn’t exactly feel like summer.
So in the end the nice thing about the Swift Trawler 47 is that it can meet very different owner requirements. It works for a newcomer who is looking for a comfortable boat that essentially feels as much like a home as possible, but it also works for an experienced owner who wants to do long trips without having to stop and who isn’t just thinking of getting on board for a few hours at the weekend.
Bénéteau Swift Trawler 47
Project: Andreani Design (deck and interior design) and Bénéteau Power • Micad (naval architecture)
Hull: LOA 14.74m • Length 12.77m • Maximum beam 4.42m • Light mass displacement 19,617 kg • Draft 1.15m • Fuel tank volume 1,930 l • Water tank volume 640 l • Waste water tank volume 175 l • Grey water tank volume 320 l
Main Propulsion: 2 x Cummins QSB6.7 Joy • Outlet mechanical power 312 kW (425 cv) • 6 cylinders in-line • Swept volume 6.7 l• Bore&Stroke 107mm x124mm • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Dry weight 168 kg
EC Certification: CAT B-14 people – CAT C 16 people
Price:485,700€, Excl.VAT with 2×312 kW (425 cv) Cummins QSB6.7 Joy
2 rue du Grand Large • CS 82531 Givrand
F – 85805 Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie Cedex • France
(Bénéteau Swift Trawler 47, a very long range. The sea trial – Barchemagazine.com – May 2019)