The first swan 55 was designed by Sparkman and Stephens in 1970 and was a success. Fifty years later the task of repeating it was entrusted to German Frers
by Niccolò Volpati
Starting with the hull, the study obviously took into account the displacement and positioning of the mast and sail plan. The new Swan 55 is a Blue Water Cruise and therefore has to meet the same characteristics that, after all, are those that have characterised all Swan production. Safe, reliable, and easy to handle, but also performing because Swan owners love sailing and love to do so for many miles.
The deck layout provides for all winches to be outside the cockpit square so as not to interfere with guests while cruising.
The quest is obviously for a balance between performance under sail and comfort in navigation, which German Frers is a master at. A bad compromise always displeases someone. A good compromise pleases everyone. Frers is more accustomed to the latter. Hence, to achieve this, in addition to the water lines, you need a very well organised cockpit.
The stern platform is very wide. It serves both as a beach area and to make hauling and launching the tender easier.
All five winches are electric, but they are also designed to be in the right position both when sailing as a crew in regattas and when being manoeuvred by a smaller crew when cruising. On top of that, typical elements for cruising comfort have been added, such as the convertible table and the long stern platform that is a sort of beach area, which is also functional for easily launching the tender from the garage.
Lots of natural light below deck to make the interiors more comfortable.
The layout of the interior has been realised by imagining a long stay on board. So the quest is for long-term comfort, in the sense that you really have to feel good on board. And all this translates not only into habitability, volumes, and the right fittings in the right place, but also plenty of natural light from portholes and hatches, natural ventilation and plenty of storage space. The dinette is dedicated to relaxation and living, while the sleeping area is divided into three cabins and two bathrooms, both with separate shower cubicles. As an option, there is a layout with a third bathroom and, again as an option, a storage room can be converted into a crew cabin.
Swan 55 – The data sheet
Overall length 17.75m – Hull length 16.60m – Waterline length 15.78m – Maximum beam 5.00m – Draught 2.50m – Performance version draught 3.40m – Dry displacement 21,800 kg – Ballast 7,530 kg – Fuel tank 800 litres – Water tank 600 litres – Mainsail 95.11 sqm – Jib 80.15 sqm – Gennaker 275 sqm – Engine Yanmar 4JH110CR 81 kW (110 hp)
In the opening photo, German Frers has designed a hull capable of good performance, but also easy and safe to drive.
(Swan 55, history also belongs to the future – Barchemagazine.com – September 2022)