|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||2 x 300-hp Volvo Penta D4|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
The Swift Trawler 42, from Beneteau, arguably the world’s most prolific builder of sailboats. This could signal a sea change in the shift of European tastes. We love the teak deck.
Maybe you prefer it in blue? (Photo: Jerome Kelagopian)
Yes, the French love boating, and are darn good at it, so when their top sailboat builder, Beneteau, designs a trawler motoryacht, odds are it’ll be a good one – and the Swift Trawler 42 looks pretty good to us. Powered with a pair of 300-hp diesels, the Swift 42 will cruise at 18 knots and deliver a range of 400 miles on 396 gallons of fuel, according to the company. We haven’t tested the boat ourselves, but it sounds reasonable.
Gaining in Power
Beneteau has been building powerboats for a couple of decades and every year expands its franchise world-wide. It now builds over 20 powerboat models in five classes. Currently it is building four Swift Trawler models from 34' to 52'.
Or maybe red? Note the running strakes – not typical on a trawler. According to the builder, top speed is 26 knots with twin 300-hp diesels. (Photo: Jerome Kelagopian)
New World Heritage
Designers Joubert/Nivelt, although French, drew on classic New England/Grand Banks styling for the Swift Trawler 42. They got the rake of the stem and the almost-straight sheerline just right, at least to our eyes. The low trunk cabin is almost hidden behind the bulwarks, and the bluff-faced deckhouse sits at the precise point of aesthetic balance.
The deckhouse is long enough to contain a fairly roomy salon, keeping in mind the size of the boat, but short enough to permit a usable cockpit. The boat deck abaft the FB helm will hold an inflatable or light RIB; launch and retrieval is a manual chore using the mast and boom. You could always get an optional hydraulic davit, of course.
Many “New England” trawler yachts are built in the Far East, but the Swift 42 comes from France. The design team of Joubert/Nivelt nailed the aesthetics, in our opinion: We think the profile is just right.
Fabriques en France
Originally, the Swift Trawler 42s were built both at a Beneteau plant in France (the company has five facilities in the Vendee region) and at the American plant in Marion, SC. Now the manufacture has been moved entirely to France. At the time of writing this, there was still one new Swift 42 of American manufacture available in this country, along with one French-built boat. Once those are gone, how long will it take to get another one on this side of the Atlantic? A spokesman at Beneteau USA couldn’t tell me.
The flying bridge is comfortable and well-equipped, including a sink and fridge to starboard, just in front of the camera. Ahead of that is a built-in seat that serves as a co-pilot seat, although we prefer to face forward when riding shotgun. The bubble-shaped helm is compact, but has room for all you need; now that multifunction electronics displays are the norm, your flush-mounting space need not runneth over. The mast provides a nice high platform for the radar scanner and nav lights.
The side decks are plenty wide, and protected by a bulwark amidships; we’d still like a grab rail here. The foredeck is protected by double stainless steel rails. The overhang of the flying bridge not only keeps on-deck crew dry in the rain, but also shades the deckhouse a bit – a benefit in hot weather. (Photo: Guillaume Plisson)
A 1000-watt windlass is standard. If using an all-chain rode, be sure to install a stopper to take the strain; never rely on the windlass. The pulpit and guard are stainless steel. The opening gates make rigging the anchor easier, but afterwards the pelican hooks should be taped shut for safety. (Photo: Jerome Kelagopian)
They take anchoring seriously in France. Two anchor lockers let you carry one type of anchor on the pulpit (usually a plow) and another stowed neatly in the second locker. Unfortunately, without another anchor roller on the pulpit, using the second anchor will be awkward, unless you simply lower it over the side under the bow rail and belay to the cleat. Use the capstan on the windlass to retrieve it. (Photo: Guillaume Plisson)
The cockpit sole hides three lockers, each with gas-assisted pistons to help open them. Stowage on a boat this size is always at a premium, so these lockers will probably fill up fast; they are an ideal place for PFDs, as here. The propane bottle for the galley stove is also here. Propane should always be carried in a sealed locker with an overboard vent; that way, if there’s a leak the heavier-than-air gas will drain overboard, not into the bilge. Note the sturdy flying-bridge ladder, with its excellent handrails.
Joinery throughout the Swift Trawler 42 is cherry. The light-colored overhead provides an attractive counterpoint, one that reminds us of traditional yacht cabins. There’s 6’5” of headroom here, and a grab rail on the overhead, just where it should be.
Interesting that the galley’s laid out so the cook is often working in the doorway onto the side deck. We think that this is a brilliant use of space and very clever. Obviously, no one will be cooking when coming onto a slip when egress is needed. Opening the door will provide more elbow room, and fresh air, too. The galley has a three-burner propane stove and a double stainless steel sink. The 110v/12v refrigerator is nicely finished in cherry to match the rest of the space. There are ample drawers, including one for cutlery, and a built-in trash bin.
We like the lower helm station, with its neatly arranged instrument panel and expanse of glass for unobstructed sight lines forward and abeam. The three-panel windshield has both a trio of wipers to keep it clear, and a washer and defogger. There’s stowage under the pilot bench. The Swift’s CD/MP3 audio system is controlled from here, too; there are two speakers in the wheelhouse, another two in the cockpit.
Note the lift-up divide in the middle of the berth, to provide at least the impression of separation for folks sharing who would rather be sleeping alone. In the 17th and 18th centuries these were called “bundling boards” – an old idea that Beneteau has put to good use. Sailboats often have removable weathercloths in the middle of double berths so both parties don’t roll to one side of the berth when the boat’s heeled over.
This is the guest head/shower, abaft the owner’s head on the port side. We think it looks like an airliner’s bathroom, and is a creative use of limited space. The molded sink module will be easy to keep clean even when folks use the handheld shower. There’s a translucent dome overhead to admit light, and two opening ports.
The round ports add a traditional touch, like something from the 1930s. But underneath, the Swift Trawler 42 is all modern. (Photo: Guillaume Plisson)
We think there is a lot to like in the Beneteau Swift Trawler 42. Coastal cruising at 18 knots is a very good compromise between the 30 knots of an express cruiser and the snail-like pace of an 8-knot conventional trawler. (By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, Grand Banks is no longer building displacement speed trawlers.) With the twin 300-hp diesels, you can always throttle back and reduce fuel consumption and extend range. The boat has been well-thought through and it abounds with clever ideas that are a welcome change in a type boat that has evolved little in 30 years.
If you are thinking about a trawler yacht for serious coastal work, then we’d put this boat close to the top of our short list.
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
|Helm: Second Station|
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!