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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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jhiller

new vs old Swans

17 posts in this topic

I owned a Swan 371. it was a Ron Holland design that I purchased in the mid-eighties. It was a tank ! No matter how big the seas there was never a creak or groan below.

Since Ferragamo purchased the company there has been a change in the brand. It looks to me like the new Swans are Jboats with a nicer interior. I wonder why anyone would spend the money on a new Swan ?

I am not trying to disparage the new Swans, I just don't know the answer

Jim

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The smaller ones are just big daysailers and the bigger ones are just smaller superyachts. Actually, the 53 is the only general purpose small one left.

 

The 45 is a verrrrry nice OD racer.

 

These days the Med market rules with Swan. Pity.

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A Swan 44 got rolled and dismasted last week off the east coast. They called the USCG, one coastie swimmer was injured and one sailor died during the evac. Don't know what year Swan it was, though.

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A Swan 44 got rolled and dismasted last week off the east coast. They called the USCG, one coastie swimmer was injured and one sailor died during the evac. Don't know what year Swan it was, though.

Not really sure the point you are making?

There are 2 different Swan 44's

The older ones are the S&S design

The newer ones are the frers design.

I personally like the older ones, but then again I am older and like leadsleds.

Regardless, I think both are good designs for ocean sailboats.

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I think the original Swan concept was to build bullet proof good sailing boats. The original S&S swans met that brief perfectly

What could be better than one of the original 65's or 47's.

No way the current boats compare in brute strength. Everything was overbuilt and damn near indestructable. The new Ferragamo versions are just not as rugged despite being well built and engineered.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't like a new Swan but I would never delude myself that it is as stury and long lasting as the old ones

Jim

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They were running off with the autopilot? Man o man I would be afraid to watch the bow simply disapear over a very steep wave. Anyone here with big time experience in these types of conditions? I have never been in something like what was described but I think I would fore reach and try to pick a spot to cross over the wave tops.

 

Sad

 

The Frers 44 (which is fairly comparable to my Hylas 42) that rolled was actually built like a brick shit house, not like the old S&S 44 (which I have some ocean time on) but certainly a stout ocean boat. When the 45s (a boat I have some ocean miles on) came along and ushered in the new era of Swan, it was clear that there was to be a compromise from the old Nautor tradition of building the strongest offshore production boats on the planet to building more competitive boats. The 45 was still well built but the philosophy had changed. Was sailing on a NYYC "Club" Swan 42 just this past weekend and it is quite a departure from that old Nautor formula or even the 45s. Nicely done mind you, but a Swan in the Swan tradition? Hardly. Would I trust it offshore? Well yes I would but I would also understand that it had limitations similar to a J 122 or like boat.

 

Now back to the 44 that apparently got rolled. For the life of me I don't understand why folks in storm conditions, with a storm sail set, in an agitated sea state such as you would find in or near the wall of the Gulf Stream, would allow the boat to be steered by the autopilot. Now the boat did have a short handed crew of three which poses limits but in extreme conditions you really need to hand steer. I have, when tired, sat at the helm with the autopilot taking the "light duty" and popping off the AP and hand steering in the more difficult wave sets. But to me, relying on an autopilot to steer in more extreme conditions is inviting trouble. That said, I was not there and we shall probably never know the particulars but in my opinion sailors have become way too dependent on electronic sophistication that just doesn't function as well as a human being. Because of this we as a community are losing the hone on our skill set and thus are becoming lesser seamen for it.

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The 42 isn't really a Swan. It was just an opportunity to grab a little Swan cred and slap it on a production racer. Those things are built to a price and only a touch better than a Beneteau or a J. Actually the J series offers better value. Think of the A Class Mercedes which was built to compete with small model Audi, Renault and Peugeot.

 

You would probably also find that there is more profit in selling one 80 footer than two 40 footers.

 

Just for the record, German Frers said that the best Swan ever was the 46 MKII. They rarely come on the market.

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The problem with just continuing building the old style Swans is that they weren't able to sell them effectively any more - they were on the verge of bankruptcy when Mr. F ended up making the acquisition. The big and heavy boats struggled to compete with the new faster composite built boats, and so they were losing in the performance elements of the brand. They needed to make major new investments in technology to compete, but didn't have the financial resources.

 

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to make a bullet-proof boat which can compete with the ULDBs, or even moderate displacement boats.

 

Of course, the shift into larger boats helps profits enormously - especially in a down market when those buyers are relatively unaffected.

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The problem with just continuing building the old style Swans is that they weren't able to sell them effectively any more - they were on the verge of bankruptcy when Mr. F ended up making the acquisition. The big and heavy boats struggled to compete with the new faster composite built boats, and so they were losing in the performance elements of the brand. They needed to make major new investments in technology to compete, but didn't have the financial resources.

 

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to make a bullet-proof boat which can compete with the ULDBs, or even moderate displacement boats.

 

Of course, the shift into larger boats helps profits enormously - especially in a down market when those buyers are relatively unaffected.

 

 

At least until the revolution! :)

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Seems to me that Oyster has done OK by building tough bullet-proof boats.

I think the Italian( read that Ferragamo) psyche of style and production required an end to the hand crafted, overbuilt work of the early Swans.

The stainless steel work on the early ones was pure art !

I agree that of the Frer's designs that the 46ii was a beauty but the first 65 S&S design and the 47 also an S&S were masterpieces of building and design.

 

I suppose that its my age but for many years my Swan 371 named Hot Rod Lincoln sat next to Jerry Schostak's Fujimo and people would stand and stare at the boats as if they were nuseum exhibits. It was hard to belive how perfectly tooled the toe rails were and the mast fittings looked like Swiss precision clockworks

 

I miss that stiff

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I have been in 20+ breaking waves. Nothing compared to 40-50 footers, but even so the autopilot would not have worked out well at all :o

 

They were running off with the autopilot? Man o man I would be afraid to watch the bow simply disapear over a very steep wave. Anyone here with big time experience in these types of conditions? I have never been in something like what was described but I think I would fore reach and try to pick a spot to cross over the wave tops.

 

Sad

 

The Frers 44 (which is fairly comparable to my Hylas 42) that rolled was actually built like a brick shit house, not like the old S&S 44 (which I have some ocean time on) but certainly a stout ocean boat. When the 45s (a boat I have some ocean miles on) came along and ushered in the new era of Swan, it was clear that there was to be a compromise from the old Nautor tradition of building the strongest offshore production boats on the planet to building more competitive boats. The 45 was still well built but the philosophy had changed. Was sailing on a NYYC "Club" Swan 42 just this past weekend and it is quite a departure from that old Nautor formula or even the 45s. Nicely done mind you, but a Swan in the Swan tradition? Hardly. Would I trust it offshore? Well yes I would but I would also understand that it had limitations similar to a J 122 or like boat.

 

Now back to the 44 that apparently got rolled. For the life of me I don't understand why folks in storm conditions, with a storm sail set, in an agitated sea state such as you would find in or near the wall of the Gulf Stream, would allow the boat to be steered by the autopilot. Now the boat did have a short handed crew of three which poses limits but in extreme conditions you really need to hand steer. I have, when tired, sat at the helm with the autopilot taking the "light duty" and popping off the AP and hand steering in the more difficult wave sets. But to me, relying on an autopilot to steer in more extreme conditions is inviting trouble. That said, I was not there and we shall probably never know the particulars but in my opinion sailors have become way too dependent on electronic sophistication that just doesn't function as well as a human being. Because of this we as a community are losing the hone on our skill set and thus are becoming lesser seamen for it.

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Seems to me that Oyster has done OK by building tough bullet-proof boats.

I think the Italian( read that Ferragamo) psyche of style and production required an end to the hand crafted, overbuilt work of the early Swans.

The stainless steel work on the early ones was pure art !

I agree that of the Frer's designs that the 46ii was a beauty but the first 65 S&S design and the 47 also an S&S were masterpieces of building and design.

 

I suppose that its my age but for many years my Swan 371 named Hot Rod Lincoln sat next to Jerry Schostak's Fujimo and people would stand and stare at the boats as if they were nuseum exhibits. It was hard to belive how perfectly tooled the toe rails were and the mast fittings looked like Swiss precision clockworks

 

I miss that stiff

 

Oyster is a bit different, as they really aren't selling to the performance segment of the market. Swan owners have always wanted to win races in their boats. I've done 1000's of miles in Oysters, and while they are comfortable and seaworthy, you will have a hard time winning races in them.

 

The 65 was probably the best production ocean racing boat ever made, but it's very dated now.

 

The market for new boats built as heavy as those old Swans would be pretty small. The Swan 46 is not a fast boat by today's standards.

 

Anyway, Richard Mathews just sold Oyster to a group of investors - I think he probably sold at the top of the market.

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the new swans are not built to the same level as the old ones. our captain has an 80s 53ft which is indeed bulletproof and bought the cs42. his main reason to buy the 42 was the amount of crew which could be reduced from 17 to 9. Since F took over swan, the boats get more purposefully built. the 45 as a great and fast all round boat, ready to race and easy to cruise. the 42 is not built to do some cruising as it is too weight sensitive. the new 60 is also being built as a racer while the 66 is meant as cruiser. i think it will show those differences in positioning of the boats.

 

I quite like the older swans. i love their wide bodies and the way they "thunder" through waves. the 42 has to my opinion not much to do with swan. the interior finish is horrible and definately not swan like. the same goes for the deck. i do like the boat (a lot) but must agree that there are cheaper alternatives (as always).

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I believe that the Swan Club 42 is actually built for them not by them. They have only said that it is molded elsewhere.

Jim

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I owned a Swan 371. it was a Ron Holland design that I purchased in the mid-eighties. It was a tank ! No matter how big the seas there was never a creak or groan below.

Since Ferragamo purchased the company there has been a change in the brand. It looks to me like the new Swans are Jboats with a nicer interior. I wonder why anyone would spend the money on a new Swan ?

I am not trying to disparage the new Swans, I just don't know the answer

Jim

 

Let me get this straight, you had a Swan, then a Hinckley, now a Valiant. Jim, I hate to say this, but I am running low on sympathy for you! B)

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Hi my name is Jim and I'm a boat-a-holic

 

My wife says I could have worse addictions.....

Don't forget the Contessa 32 , the Bruckmann 36 and the Bristol Channel Cutter.

The only person I know who is equally sick is Bernie Jakits. Poor guy...We spent an entire evening sharing our addictions.

 

Jim :rolleyes:

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Oyster is a bit different, as they really aren't selling to the performance segment of the market. Swan owners have always wanted to win races in their boats. I've done 1000's of miles in Oysters, and while they are comfortable and seaworthy, you will have a hard time winning races in them.

 

 

An Oyster won cruising division in this year's Newport to Bermuda race :)

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