Paganini doesn’t do repeats, as they say, but Swan do. The 58 is the latest in a long line of boats that are great successes both in terms of performance under sailand also for the amount of room and comfort levels both above and below decks
by Niccolò Volpati
THEY DO THINGS WELL AND HAVE ALWAYS DONE SO WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THEIR YARD IN FINLAND. Swan is nearly self-contained because except for the German Frers project, everything else is born at Pietarsaari. But the new 58 represents a model that starts to benefit from the enlargement of the team. Thus far that has only taken place in the design area, given that Frers, the irreplaceable Argentine naval architect, has been joined by Misa Poggi, who handled interior design.
It is not by chance, given that the entire production process of the yard is being organised to optimise times, improve engineering and use certified suppliers. This includes the arrival of Michelangelo Casadei, the new Chief Technical and Operations Officer who has lengthy experience at the Ferretti Group. The aim is simple: to continue to ensure very high standards in production while increasing output. It is the market that demands it. And not just because Swan has recently decided to open up to the world of powered boats, but also because the demand for their sailing craft is as strong as ever. An example of this is the 58, of which thirteen units have been sold off-plan, while other contracts are being finalised for a boat that costs nearly two million euros. And buyers have to wait until 2023 for delivery.
There is no doubt as to the quality, and Swan includes as standard what a lot of other yards consider to be optional. So at the end of the day, two million isn’t an unreasonable price, but to understand the value of the brand, and its reputation, you have to bear in mind that there have been thirteen buyers who have decided to sign a check after just seeing the rendering by German Frers. Let’s begin from that point. Frers’s work is incredible. He manages to design a new boat every time but without betraying the yard’s approach. The design is incredibly clean, but nothing is missing on board. The result is still a bluewater cruiser, so a comfortable boat that performs well and above all that is capable of tackling long trips throughout the world.
The deck design was something I especially liked. The concept is easy: to give the maximum comfort and liveability at rest, together with maximum efficiency for short-handed sailing, without losing the capability to race with a full crew, thanks to a deckhouse and the cockpit lines well balanced able to create a clean feeling, but without losing out on spaces that are essential to keep life on board comfortable. The L-shaped benches in the cockpit are a perfect example of that. And a beam that is easily over five meters is a further reason why there is no lack of room.
The experience of the yard has combined well with the designer’s ability. That is what is behind some particularly fortuitous solutions in the setup. Like the five-deck winches, one for the mainsheet in the center, and two on either side. Everything is to hand. Anyone using the boat in a race wants to have winches that are also accessible to the whole crew, and not all of them right next to one another. The helm can easily reach one of the five electrical winches and so the boat can be handled alone, but if there are a lot of you, perhaps because you are taking part in a race, all of the tailers have got space for themselves. Attention to detail can be seen in the stern platform in the ladder for getting to the water, which folds away but nevertheless has handrails, and in the tender garage that can take a three-meter dinghy with the stern that can be opened up and, above all in the locker for the self-inflating life raft located in the middle of the cockpit, where it is very easy to get at.
It’s the same story below decks: it is comfortable and the headroom is good and is well set up for sailing. It can be customised by choosing between the options that the yard provides. The first choice involves the number of cabins. The standard version has three, with three bathrooms, while the optional has four and yet does not lose the bathroom. That is why half of the off-plan buyers have gone for the four-cabin/three-bathroom version. The fourth cabin can have a single bed or two bunk beds and can have three functions. The owner/skipper can use it during long journeys or, in the two-bed version it can be used by two youngsters or even as a storage area. There are also a lot of options for the map area. You can choose the size of the table, and even where it is located. It is a customisation that has been designed to cater to the preferences of a variety of potential buyers. People who sail a lot, perhaps in the ocean, need plenty of space for maps.
During our test, the wind varied between eight and twelve knots, and we always registered between seven and eight and a half knots speed. We use the mainsails and the mainsail furls into the boom, so it certainly doesn’t carry too much sail. Despite that, the Swan 58 moves beautifully. At forty degrees and with true wind at just under eleven knots, we did nearly eight and a half. Using the engine, not least because we had a 150 hp Volvo D3, rather than the standard 110 horsepower motor, we got to a similar performance level to motorised navetta boats. So, without pushing the engine very much we did between eight and nine knots. That is a speed that means you can get around quickly when there isn’t any wind. It is also easy and pleasant enough to handle that even with a breath of air it always makes sense to unfurl the sails.
PROJECT: German Frers (naval architecture and superstructure) • Misa Poggi (interiors)
HULL: LOA 19.11m • Length 17.96m • LWL 17.09m • Maximum beam 5.27m • Draft 2.70m • Performance draft 3.80m • Light mass displacement 25,400 kg • Ballast 7,500 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,080 l • Water tank volume 946 l • Mainsail 116.52 m2 • Genoa 97.48 m2 • Gennaker 334 m2
MAIN PROPULSION: Volvo Penta D3-150 • Outlet mechanical power 110 kW (150 hp) • 4 stroke • 5 cylinders • Bore&Stroke 81mm x 93,2mm • Compression ratio 16,5:1 • Swept volume 2,4 l • Maximal rotational speed 3000/min • Dry weight 301 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT A
(Swan 58, bene, bravi, bis – Barchemagazine.com – October 2021)