Let's talk Swans... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Let's talk Swans...

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Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
Seems like an interesting thread but probably does not belong here. Can a moderator ... put these for postings into a separate thread)?
Done...
Ron (Faster)



Speaking of Swans, how come the reviews on these boats never come up on SN? My understanding are Swan's are among the best blue water boats ever made.

Any suggestions for a replacement for the "thing"?

Last edited by Faster; 02-11-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-10-2012
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I think Swan owners and would-be owners are too busy earning the money to be Swan owners to spend their time with us.

We actually looked at a Swan 43 before getting our Bristol (the Swan was about $50k more) and i was not as impressed as I thought I would be. The original owner had spent $24k reinforcing the chain plates which did not impress me. Our broker, who is very experienced and knowledgeable said that the earlier Swans designed by S and S and the later ones designed by Frers are terrific, the ones in the middle, designed by Ron Holland, not so much - the one we looked at was a Holland.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I think Swan owners and would-be owners are too busy earning the money to be Swan owners to spend their time with us.

We actually looked at a Swan 43 before getting our Bristol (the Swan was about $50k more) and i was not as impressed as I thought I would be. The original owner had spent $24k reinforcing the chain plates which did not impress me. Our broker, who is very experienced and knowledgeable said that the earlier Swans designed by S and S and the later ones designed by Frers are terrific, the ones in the middle, designed by Ron Holland, not so much - the one we looked at was a Holland.
Yea the swans seem expensive but look to hold their value, It seems in the older under 40 foot range you can get some good values once in a while (probably the designs you say are good). The companion way access looks difficult on these boats- although I guess that is what makes them sea worthy, alot have the traveller right at the companion way access, which is probably not a great cruising quality.

This baby looks nice, and a great price:
http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1968.../United-States

Last edited by casey1999; 02-10-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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post #4 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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Moderator, can you make this a new thread?

These boats were built with the emphasis on sailing performance and quality construction - designing to offer dock-condo comforts was not on the list, so they put the traveller where they thought it worked best. Not sure about the boat you posted but the one we looked at had about a four foot wide bridge deck between the cockpit well and the companionway. This was done to get an aft cabin (we also saw it on a Hylas 42 and perhaps on all aft cockpit boats of this size with an aft cabin), but it was a real problem for fitting a dodger - you would need to have the dodger close to the cockpit to be effective but this would mean that you would have to go out on deck to go below, which seems neither convenient nor safe. You would also need a little pram hood dodger for the companionway. Also, because the companionway was at the top of the deck crown there were a lot of steps (9 or 10) into the cabin. I think this is why where are so many center-cockpit boats in this size range.
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Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.

Last edited by Faster; 02-11-2012 at 01:25 PM. Reason: created new thread as requested
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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Beautiful boats and well built. Our neighbor has one. I literally cost twice what ours cost, is 5 ft shorter, sleeps fewer people, has less room in the cockpit, etc, etc. While I see some advantages, I could never justify the cost unless I just had to say I owned a Swan.


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post #6 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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A friend was interested in an older ('69 or 70) S&S Swan 39 or 40 and we went to check it out. It had the classic good looks of the era (before the bluestripe wedge deck period). It was not particularly roomy below, but of course that's a bit of an unfair comparison with today's beamy barges in mind..

Massive hardware, tree trunk mast very solid looking. BUT.. on both port and stbd the shrouds (chainplates on heavy 'knees' connected to deck and hull) was visibly lifting the deck. There was documentation on board of attempted repairs that had not been quite successful. This was extreme enough that not only was the deck lifting but the hull dimpled inwards in the same area. The cause was unclear and not mentioned, perhaps extreme rig tension by a PO..

But also almost the entire boat's gelcoat was spalling off the substrate and the topsides looked a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.

One expects defects in a 40+ year old boat, this may well have been an extremely isolated example and in no way am I trying to tar all Swans, but I'd been excited to get on a Swan for the first time and it was quite a disappointment.

The CRAZY part was they were still asking close to $100K - this was just five years ago.

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post #7 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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A lot of Swans have been raced HARD and so there is associated wear and tear.
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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I've logged over 20,000 miles on a 1973 Swan 44, S&S design. Great sea boat, that I'd take anywhere almost anytime. Had it out in a storm we got caught in with 40'+? waves on the way from Bermuda to Newport, got rolled on our side, had some damage to the dodger and a bent stanchion but nothing else. It is a very good design and they were well built. There may be some other boats that come close or maybe even are better, but you can't dispute that they are great boats!
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-11-2012
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When I was in my twenties a local hotshot imported an S&S Swan 38 - one of the original wedge deck style Swans. I would have sold my soul for that boat - you can't imagine nowadays how gorgeous, rare and special it was. Back then they were like the Ferrari's and Lambo's of the time. Both the boats AND the cars just don't have that same magic anymore - there's just too much other stuff that's just as good as them now. Back then they were truly special and a rare treat to even see in person. Now they are still very nice but have become almost commonplace.

To illustrate the change, back then there were three Ferraris - a Daytona, a 330 GTC and a 250 GTL and one Lambo Miura in Vancouver. You might have seen the Daytona occasionally but the others very rarely. Today, during a two hour shopping trip, just in my part of town, I saw three Ferraris and a Lambo.

Something really special has been lost in there somewhere.

I think the Swans fall in there as well.
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I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #10 of 34 Old 02-12-2012
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in last months Sailing they do a piece on a Swan 66FD, and No doubt they are well engineered-- still this one looked like a slice of cheese cake. Oh the price was $4,650,000. I will say again this is no doubt one great sailing boat, but it looked like the box my dream boat would come in....
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