Shadow is the first powered boat designed by Jarkko Jämsén and built by Nautor Swan. In Florida, with three Mercury outboards we did over 44 knots
by Fabio Massimo Bonini – photo by Studio Borlenghi
I met up with Mariangela Barbato from Nautor Swan who accompanied me to the quay where we got onto the new design from Jarkko Jämsén. While we slowly made our way along the channels marked out by buoys to leave Biscayne Bay, I could only focus on the elegant lines and impeccable details of this walkaround, like the rope bags which have an elegant leather finish. The lack of steps ensures safety even when the sea gets rougher.
THE WAY THAT THE THREE OUTBOARDS HAVE BEEN LOCATED WITHIN
THE STERN PLATFORM MEANS THAT MORE DECK AREA CAN BE USED, WHILE THE OPEN STERN MAKES YOU FEEL CLOSER TO THE WATER. THAT IS JUST WHAT YOU WANT ON A BOAT THAT IS DESIGNED TO ENJOY
THE SEA AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
The layout can be completely customised, so buyers can choose how and where to locate the benches and sun pad. The hull opens up to a V, including going aft, and becomes practically a wing. It culminates in a very wide teak gunwale that holds the foldaway cleats and hides the water and fuel tanks. Behind the seats used at the bridge, there is a galley, which features two burners, a sink, an ice maker and a fridge. Large lockers everywhere can be used for a wide range of things.
The set-up of the boat I was on has a seat and table aft of the wet-bar, and going further aft still there is a comfortable sun pad. Wrapping around the three Mercury, each producing 300 horsepower, is a platform which, according to how it is positioned, can work as a beach area, or a ladder to get in and out of the water, as well as being a kind of stabiliser for the boat when it is at anchor. Deep in the bow, there is a large table with comfortable seats, and, of course, the table can be lowered to create a large sun pad. In the model we tried, the roof that protects the steering and living areas is a long top, that nearly covers the whole of both areas. It is supported by four poles which are clearly designed like the cross-section of the mast of a sailing boat. To get even more light, the roof sections have folding openings.
The Swan Shadow was developed for longer journeys, and so gives the option to stay on the boat for several days. The layout shows the importance of versatility and means that an additional crew cabin can be added in the bow. The interiors have been designed to deliver the greatest comfort possible on board, with the possibility of doing more than just day cruises. The bow cabin is perfectly set up for a couple.
When I went below, I found some areas that were definitely what you would expect from a day cruiser: a double bed, a WC that is nicely tucked away and a small basin. One certainly wouldn’t ask any more from a 43-footer that is mainly designed as a tender for a superyacht. Once we had gone under the bridge that joins Miami to Key Biscayne, we could finally open up the throttle. I timed it, and we went from 0-40 knots in 22 seconds. That is amazing if you think of the 4.5 tonnes displacement, four people on board and a full tank. The boat is always calm, there aren’t any vibrations and even in displacement mode, before it starts planning, the bow stays low and ensures perfect sightlines from the comfortable driving seat. I did the manoeuvre from the other side, it was easy, smooth and precise. I approached and as I opened up the throttles in a moment, I was back to 44.4 knots with the engines at 6050 rpm. We played around a bit with the trim and went a bit faster, but I am sure that it would have been child’s play to get to the 52 knots claimed by the producer with the 350 horsepower produced by the other engine setup.
The designers have included a large storage area under the deck, with extra bags that can be added under the bulwark, thus giving practical and safe access while underway.
The water in Biscayne Bay was very calm, and it would have felt as if we were practically stationary, were it not for the wind produced by the speed. I slowed down and went back to lower speeds. Shadow planes at 11 knots and 3000 rpm, and at 4000 we got to what was an excellent cruising speed – 26.6 knots with fuel consumption at 35 litres an hour per engine. The ideal cruising speed is 28 or 29 knots, at around 4500 rpm. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to put the hull to the test with rougher water. But the yard says that it handles very well, even with moderate seas. I was very happy with the test, I steered towards the bridge and gave the wheel back to the skipper. Our destination is a yard on the Miami River. Once we arrived and were waiting to go into the facility, and to cross the currents that are a feature of the river, we turned on the Sky Hook so the engines started to work independently, keeping the boat stationary, much like being tied up at the quay. For mooring, we used the joystick, a feature that has become standard. The test confirmed the brand’s identity: performance, quality, and elegance. As a sailor, Swan has always been close to my heart, but today it also won me over even with engines casting their shadow.
LOA 13.2m • LWL 10.7m • Maximum beam 4.3m • Draft 0.86m • Light mass displacement 4,500 kg • Fuel tank volume 1,000 l • Water tank volume 130 l
3xMercury Verado 300 V8 • Outlet mechanical power 221 kW (300 hp) • 8 V-shaped cylinders • Swept volume 4.6 l • Compression ratio 1.85:1 • Maximal rotational speed 5200-6000/min • Dry weight 272 kg
Boat as tested 735,000€ Excl. VAT. (May 2023)
(Swan Shadow, born from passion – Barchemagazine.com – May 2023)