Monday, January 30, 2017


The sexiest boats are rarely very practical cruising boats, even if they do better than none what they are designed for: sailing. This year on Dusseldorf there were lots of beautiful boats, but two stand out clearly in what regards beauty and one of them was a Swan Club 50:

Swan come to the boat show with two boats, a 54ft and a 50ft, a Duck and a Swan. I will not say more about the 54 than that it has a very nice interior on an outdated hull, built with outdated techniques (single skin), clearly a comercial attempt to capitalize on all those that like old Swans, building a less expensive boat with the looks of something coming out of the early 90's.

Shame on Swan to have made a Duck 😈. But the new cruiser racer, the Club Swan 50, is really something out of the ordinary, a very advanced design, really state of the art.

Looking at that hull from below is looking at an art work: very fluid shapes on a hull that looks narrower than what it is, all soft curves with very fine entries and a transom that is narrow at the water level but beamy at the deck level, a boat that upwind will sail very asymmetrically taking advantage of the increased hull form stability that beamy transom will provide and that's the reason for the two rudders on a relatively narrow hull.

The rudders are like whale fins and not perfectly rounded, to diminish drag. The hull has a very soft chine, from the bow to the transom. On the bow it will increase lift and will contribute to a dryer boat, opening the spay, on the transom will make it slightly easier to control downwind, increasing a bit the stiffness without adding any significant drag while deeply heeled close upwind.

A master piece of Design by a master NA, JK, with an interior to match the exterior, absolutely zen, all carbon, like the hull, with lots of leader on a mixture that is very light but also cozy and agreeable, much more agreeable than what looks like on the photos.

This boat will be used mostly for racing but I do not see any reason not to be used  exclusively as a performance cruiser, for a couple or even two. A nice galley, completely enclosed, that will be great for cooking without spreading the smell for all the boat, a good head with separated shower, two cabins, a big storage locker and a big saloon will provide more than enough amenities to cruise comfortably.

The draft is clearly excessive for cruising ( 3.50m) but the it would not be difficult to diminish that draft for 2.6m, increasing substantially the ballast and maintaining a similar stability curve and since this beauty weights only 8500kg, more 800kg will not make a big diference, in what regards cruising. With 9300 kg  it would still be 2300kg lighter than a XP 50!!! and only 400kg heavier than a Pogo 50.
Off course, it would not make much sense since the boat could only be sailed, solo or with a short crew, very far away from his true sailing potential, while a boat like the Pogo 50 could be exploited much more easily, but upwind or on light winds, what a blast and what a lot of fun...and that huge deck space aft the steering wheels would be more than enough for several reclining deck chairs...well, we can always dream LOL.

A very curious hull comparison between an old Swan (ahead on the photo) and the new Swan 50:

More about the Swan 50 here:

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