BoatTEST.com

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-)
(w/ 2 x 600-hp Cummins )

Home  | Video Library
Already a member?
Login with your email address

Not yet a member?
To get full access to videos, test results and FREE Newsletter join now.
Join

Text Size: AAA

The Swift Trawler 52 was introduced to the world several years ago but this year the combination of rising fuel prices and the first wave of "official" baby boomers hitting age 65 in January make it very much a boat for these times. We're told that 52 of them have been built to-date. That’s a big number for so large a boat in these times, but we think it is only the beginning.

Key Features

  • Anchor platform with stainless steel frame and marine hardwood trim
  • Bow fitting with twin roller
  • Horizontal electric windlass Lofran Falkon 1500 W
  • Mooring cleat underneath
  • Peel strength of windlass 1600kg speed 17m/min
  • Remote control in mooring locker + windlass control from wheelhouse and flybridge steering stations
  • Self-bailing cockpit
  • 2 wing doors to protect cockpit from wind and spray
  • Stainless steel support for flybridge
  • L-shaped cockpit bench seat decked in solid

Specifications

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Specifications
Length Overall 55' 9''
17.0 m
Dry Weight 46,300 lbs.
21,000 kg
Beam 16' 1''
4.9 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft 4' 3''
1.3 m
Fuel Cap 1,057 gal.
4,000 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap 211 gal.
800 L
Max Headroom N/A Bridge Clearance N/A
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.

Engine Options

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-)Engine options
Std. Power 2 x 575-hp Volvo Penta D9
Tested Power 2 x 600-hp Cummins
Opt. Power Not Available

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Line Drawing

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Captain's Report

Beneteau Swift 52

Those big hullside windows are a feature that we haven't seen in this type of boat. Notice the Portuguese bridge and there are wide side decks on both sides.

Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--

First Impressions

Lord knows I love a good cruiser, and the Swift 52 is, to me, a representative example of what a fun time can be had when jaunting along the coasts of the world. For a cruising couple, I think she's ideal. If you cruise there are two guest staterooms that can handle four of them, in addition to the full beam master -- all of which will make this a very comfy home away from home… with scenery that keeps changing.

The Concept

Beneteau has chosen a middle path between the slow trawler and the high-speed sleek-looking motoryachts that can often go 40 knots or more. The word "Swift" in the name defines exactly what Beneteau is trying to do with this vessel: build a cruiser that goes reasonably fast but also has prodigious range at displacement speeds while adding roominess below for extended living. The Swift 52 has taken the best of both worlds and combined them into what I think will be one of the most popular concepts in the new decade.

Beneteau Swift 52

Powered by twin Cummins 600-hp diesels this vessel can go at displacement speeds or honk along at 24 knots WOT. Note how far forward the rub rails extend, and the lower spray rails really aid in throwing water off to the sides. With her round portlights she looks like a PT boat to us from this angle.

The boat has a high freeboard, a Portuguese pilothouse, a high stern, and a centerline keel that affords some protection for the props which are tucked up as far as they can be in pockets. She draws just a little over 4' (1.30 m) which means places like the Abacos, the Chesapeake Bay, the Baltic Sea and other notoriously shoal areas are definitely on the list of places to visit with the Swift 52.

The Audience

The whole Swift line, starting with the 34, is clearly a cruising couple's boat, and that includes the 52. Everything about the Swift 52 has been designed and engineered to be handled by owner/operators who are also a couple. In case you haven't noticed, except on yacht club cruises, that's how most people do long-distance cruising. Children and friends are usually too busy to come aboard for extended periods, so they just fly in now an then for a few days.

By far the biggest market for the Beneteau 52 will be the baby boomer powerboat owners who are moving up from express cruisers. These boaters are looking for their "cruise-into-the-sunset" yacht, and they are aware of the cruising limitations of the express concept.

Beneteau Swift 52

There are more hand rails on this boat than on virtually any powerboat we’ve seen, and that is a very good thing. The 3 pantograph windshield wipers are standard. We’d move the hatch in the pilothouse overhead just above the helmsman instead of centering it.

In addition to all of the power boaters, Beneteau has also been aiming their sights on the sailor; and, well they might, since more sailors own that brand than any other in the world. By the time most sailors reach retirement age they have figured out going 6 knots covers ground very slowly and that 75% of the time they travel under power anyway. So why not get out of that cramped, dark sailboat and discover what millions before them have already figured out -- power is the only way to go!

Running Performance

When it comes to long range cruisers (LRC) and even moderate range cruisers (MRC), the defining aspect of the boat is its speed through the water. Boat buyers must make a very conscious decision about how fast they want to go, as well as where they want to go. Beneteau has carefully surveyed the market and has chosen to pick the middle course, one that is favored by many veteran cruising yachtsmen.

Most coastal cruising boaters we know would choose to cruise at 16 to 20 knots. At those speeds, 128 to 168 nautical miles can be covered in an 8 hour day outside the harbors. There is no need to go faster because -- by definition -- cruising yachtsmen are not in that big of a hurry. Otherwise they would be called racing yachtsmen!

Beneteau Swift 52

Test day in Annapolis was overcast and gray so we are salting this report with some of Beneteau's publicity photos taken in ideal conditions. Note the optional wood on the side of the superstructure aft. These are the kind of details that Beneteau is so good at.

WOT Speed

Powering out of Annapolis we tested the 52 in the Chesapeake Bay on an overcast day with a light breeze. Our test boat was powered by twin Cummins 600-hp diesels driving 4-bladed props through conventional straight inboard shafts. Our top average speed over the ground was 24.7 knots in the middle of the bay running reciprocal courses both into and with a 3-knot ebbing tide. At WOT the Swift 52 with the 600-hp Cummins burned 60.0 gph (227.1 L), giving her a range of 391 nautical miles with a 10% reserve.

Best Cruise

From a fuel-efficiency standpoint the boat's best cruising speed was 14.05 knots, just after she had gotten over the hump and was solidly on plane turning 2250 rpm. At that speed she was burning 26.9 gph (102 Lph) and getting .52 nmpg. At that speed the 52 can cover 496 miles on a load of fuel with a 10% reserve. And at that speed the distance can be covered in about 35 hours. That's what we call good MRC (Medium Range Cruising speed).

At 2500 rpm, where we think many boaters would like to cruise, particularly on short hops, she burned 36.08 gph (136.6 lph) getting .50 nmpg -- which is not much more than when going 14 knots. We suspect most cruisers would choose to go 18 knots.

Beneteau Swift 52

While much is made of the 52's planing speed, in fact at displacement speeds she can cruise for days on a load of fuel and her owners can smell the roses along the way. Note the air vents for the engine room high on the starboard side. We'd put these inside the gunwale instead of outside to reduce the chance of salt spray getting in the engine room.

Displacement Speed

How slow can you go? If you want to go transoceanic you must go at displacement speeds in any recreational boat. Turning 1000 rpm, the Swift 52 we tested -- with a 20% fuel load, light water, no stores nor gear and therefore far, far lighter than she would be if she were to set off across one of the great ponds -- went 7.35 knots, and burned just 2.45 gph (9.3 lph). At 1250 rpm she went in our tests 8.7 knots and burned 4.25 gph (16.1 lph). That is pretty stingy fuel consumption.

In no way are we suggesting that our test numbers could be extrapolated for transoceanic voyaging, and indeed, Beneteau did not design the boat for that. But even if you never go out of sight of land, you can travel for many days at those speeds even with a fully loaded vessel on the Swift 52's fuel load.

How Does She Handle?

I did a full performance evaluation on the Swift 52 and found her to be quite easy to operate. The lower helm seat is ultra-comfortable and I loved the big 29” (73.7 cm) destroyer wheel. With 6 turns from lock-to-lock, you can get as heavy handed as you’d like but the 52 will turn with grace. I’m also a “fingertip” sort of driver, especially with larger boats, and the steering on the 52 is so easy and gentle that I was right at home in my comfort zone.

Beneteau Swift 52

You can use fingertips and easily spin this big destroyer wheel for nice and gentle turns. While the myriad of information is available on the twin displays, I can't help but gravitate to the analog gauges for the boat information.

Cranking and Banking… NOT!

So while we would never want to be whipping the 52 around, we can still have pretty responsive steering capabilities, evidenced by the fact that I was testing in the Chesapeake, which was laden with crab pots that just seem to “appear” in front of the boat from nowhere. A quick spin of the helm had us swerving in short order with immediate response to my control inputs.

Full turns were completed with a roughly 5 degree bank angle, so we didn’t lose the dishes out of the cupboards, and I was able to complete a full speed turn in just a little over 2 ½ boat lengths at nearly full throttle.

View from the Flybridge

When operating from the flybridge you get a very “shippy” feel aboard the 52. I instantly pictured making a landfall to a distant island as the wide bows continued carving through the slop. It was very cool operating from up there.

The 52 has a sharp entry that cuts nicely through the short waves we encountered. Crossing our self-generated wakes presented little more than a bump in the road. In fact, when crossing the waves on the beam showed that the 52 had just a small list, with an equally small change in heading but we went right back on course after the waves passed under us.

Close Quarters

Of course all this doesn’t matter if you can’t get the thing into the dock. So we headed back to see how things worked after a couple of hours on the water. Before pulling into the dock I did some maneuvering when I had some space and found her to be pretty darn responsive. She won’t walk sideways, but the stern can get pushed around with just a little effort from the prop wash. (Actually, she will walk sideways with the standard bow and stern thruster, but I did not use that method.)

Beneteau Swift 52

Visibility was a little tough out the back of the salon, and it's even less from the flying bridge, but stick your head out the side door from the lower helm and you have a clear view of the whole side of the 52 while still keeping a hand on the controls. I was able to glance out through the salon to see the opposite side for clearance.

Beneteau Swift 52

As you can see, I was backing the 52 into a tight squeeze, but she handled it perfectly, even without a stern thruster. This is not a difficult boat to handle.

"Performance" Docking

While I didn’t get to see the 52 out of the water, I have a feeling that the rudders are fairly good sized, as there was good responsiveness even with the engines taken out of gear.

We decided to back into the slip. So I turned the boat around in front of the slip and backed her down slowly. While the rudder was turned to starboard (the same side as the main pier, the helm and -- thank you very much -- the rudder angle indicator). I used the port engine astern to keep us moving back, which eased us towards the dock. When the stern started getting too close, just a shot of “ahead” pushed the stern back out.

I then used taps on the bow thruster to keep the boat straight and moving diagonally into the pier as we eased into the slip. Frankly, I would have used the stern thruster but clearly it’s not necessary. In fact the bow thruster is not really necessary either, particularly with twin screws, but it is nice to have it.

Beneteau Swift 52

Looking aft: Her wide teak side decks and teak cap rail add a classy and distinctive look to the Swift 52. The side decks are symmetrical.

Beneteau Swift 52

There is lots of Alpi wood all over the interior of the 52. The salon sole is hardwood and virtually all bulkheads are cherry stained. The table is electrically adjustable and makes a dining table or a coffee table.

The Boat Tour

Stepping aboard from the dock at her swim platform, the first thing we noticed was how big the platform is. It is also 12" (30.5 cm) off the water. This platform has a standard four-step swim ladder. She has standard electric trim tabs. I found that the tabs are not needed for running, but rather for balancing the boat in a beam wind or asymmetric loading condition.

Beneteau Swift 52



The Main Deck of the Swift 52

The cockpit sole and side decks of our test boat were teak, but they are optional (part of the "Advantage" trim level). Put some cushions on the built-in L-shaped seat along the transom, add a table and you'll be ready for lunch.

Beneteau Swift 52

This credenza at right can handle the electrically actuated big flat screen TV.

The salon is standard for a vessel of this type. A U-shaped settee to port has a high-low table that makes a coffee table or a dinning table, and then to starboard is a built-in cabinet to a high-low TV with two chairs that fit snugly on either side of the credenza. When dinner is served, they can be pulled up to the table.

Beneteau Swift 52

The galley is fully equipped. The shelf over the counter at left is a great place to install extra cabinets if the chef doesn't mind being cut off from the saloon action. The steps at right have comfortable 7" (17.7 cm) risers and lead to the raised pilothouse.

The Galley

The U-shaped galley with three-burner electric stove top adjoins the salon area and is a bit larger than you'll find on most boats of this size. I'm happy to report that each burner has sea rails. These are ABYC requirements but I don't see them on many boats. The microwave oven is at a perfect height and the starboard bulkhead houses the refrigerator, freezer, and separate ice maker. There is counter space galore, and any sea-going chef will find that there is even enough room for his souse chef in this large galley.

Beneteau Swift 52

The Bezenzoni helm seat (standard) is electrically adjustable and oh-so comfortable. The angle of the screens is perfect for viewing either standing or sitting. The pilothouse has port and starboard sliding doors making short-handed boating easy when docking.

Raised Pilothouse

Up a few steps from the galley you come to the raised pilothouse. The helm is to starboard with a large destroyer stainless steel wheel covered in leather (standard). There is room for two 12" (30.5 cm) screens and lots of gauges, including my favorite… the rudder angle indicator. Visibility forward and to the sides is superb thanks to the narrowest mullions I have ever seen on this size of boat.

It is worth noting that there are defrosters or defoggers for the windscreen, something that is very important and all too few boats in this class have them. Overhead LED lights are red.

Beneteau Swift 52

Visibility forward is about as good as it is going to get with these narrow mullions. Unseen are windshield defoggers. Note the good location of the bow and stern thruster controls.

To port is a comfortable pilot seat and table. It's upholstered in Ultra-Leather and wide enough for three. Just ahead is a fixed teak table with a comfortable footrest. This will clearly be the most popular spot onboard when the boat is underway, and it will also make an ideal spot for the off-watch on extended voyages.

Beneteau Swift 52

Doesn’t that look comfortable? This is a great place for spectators while underway or a work station in port.

Forward of this is a genuine navigator's table complete with gooseneck light and a deep drawer for chart books. Say what? Yep, charts, you know those paper things that people used to use in the old days and which every cruising yachtsman should still use today!

The 52 has sliding doors to the side decks both port and starboard. This means that the helmsman can quickly and easily get to either rail for line handling. It also makes it easy to single-hand this boat.

Beneteau Swift 52

This is one of the largest chart tables we have ever seen in the pilothouse of a trawler this size, complete with a gooseneck lamp which most don’t have. The wide, deep drawer is not quite big enough for paper charts, but chart kits… yes. I'd add a repeater nav display to the space ahead to back up my paper navigation.

Below Decks

Beneteau Swift 52

An accommodation plan for the Swift 52 with an island berth in the VIP cabin and the lazarette used as a mechanical/utility room. Note the queen bed in the forward cabin.

Beneteau Swift 52

We prefer this layout with the more traditional and practical V berths in the forward cabin. Note the location and size of the mate's cabin in the stern. It is a great place for a Tom Sawyer or Peter Pan.

Master Stateroom

Probably the nicest cabin on the boat is the full-beam owner's stateroom amidships. It is 129 sq. ft (12 sq m) and that is a very good size in a 52' (15.8m) boat. This is the cabin that has the two large portlights on either side. You will not only immediately fall in love with the view (when not in a marina), but you will also come to rely on the sunshine to brighten your day in paradise. And you will thank Beneteau for having the courage to break with moss-backed cruiser traditionalists and install something that has become very popular on large production motoryachts which are not as tightly tethered to tradition.

Beneteau Swift 52

The full beam master stateroom is luxurious. This vanity could also hide a laptop. Note the cabin is wrapped in attractive cherry joiner work.

To starboard there is a large table or vanity, or both. The hanging locker measures 30” (76 cm) wide which is quite large. Forward is the head which is not overly large, but it passed muster with me because: 1) It has a separate shower stall, 2) two people can use the toilet and sink at the same time. I found plenty of room for taking a mock shower.

Beneteau Swift 52

There is plenty of room all round this queen-size bed in the master. The large portlights pay off with lots of natural light and spectacular views when underway.

VIP Stateroom

Beneteau Swift 52

The VIP stateroom is in the bow and is about the only place inside the boat not completely covered in wood paneling.

The hanging locker is 28" (71 cm) wide, which is relatively large for a forward cabin. It shares the second head with the guest cabin across the passageway. Again there is a separate shower stall.

Because Beneteau has a sailing culture, please note that the forward hatch is large enough for almost anyone to get through and is placed in such a way that one can stand on the berth to get out. The island berth is only accessible from the port side. The starboard comes in contact with the head bulkhead.

Beneteau Swift 52

This is the starboard guest cabin. I like the SS ladder, but would consider making the bunk a Pullman. Note the Roman shades and all of the light that is coming in. The half hanging locker is to the left.

Guest Stateroom

This cabin is small by any standard but since you're only going to be sleeping here, I won't deduct points, especially considering the berths are over 7' (2.1m) long. I would probably make the upper bunk a Pullman berth, thereby opening up the cabin when it is not needed.

As small as it is, I have cruised on powerboats in cabins even smaller than this one so let me point out some of its positive points: 1) You can actually close the door without having to stand on the bed, 2) there is a half-height hanging locker that you can reach without having to close the cabin door, 3) there are two cabinets for clothes, 4) it has two small round portlights, 5) the bunks are sufficiently wide that occupants can turn over. Kids will love it just as it is.

Beneteau will be glad to make this cabin into a dressing room, an office, a utility room, or most anything else you can think of. Just ask. It can also be accessible from the master stateroom is desired.

Beneteau Swift 52

This optional washer/dryer combo is one of the ways you can use the space in the large lazarette under the aft deck. The Glendenning Cablemaster at left is optional.

Mechanical Spaces -- Crew Quarters

There are two ways to get into the engine room. Either through a hatch in the salon sole or by stepping in from the lazarette, which you access through a hatch in the aft deck. Between the two engines below there is not full standing headroom, but the overhead is not as low as on some other boats this size that we have been on. I would call it “bend-over-head-room” vs. “crawling head room.”

Most important, even a 240-lb (109 kg.) 6' (1.8 m) tall person can get around the two diesels to get to the outboard side of each engine. Once there, the owner/operator will find an incredible amount of space in which to work or just check on things.

Abaft the engine room, through a hatch, is the lazarette which is highly customizable. Our test boat had a washer/dryer combo to port just in front of a cablemaster bin. Other 52s we are told, have had separate washers and dryers installed.

Our test boat even accommodated crew quarters for one mate. Because of the 52’s high freeboard and relatively high main deck, there is stooping headroom in the lazarette which is more than you find on some boats in class and that fact makes this space as pleasant as possible to work in.

The crew cabin has a head, a sink and a single crawl in bunk with a hatch to the aft deck for light and air. We would install two large opening portlights in the transom to give the space a more open feeling and for emergency egress. The friendly folks a Annapolis Yacht Sales said they would be glad to oblige with the change order.

Beneteau Swift 52

This is a serious cruising rig with dual anchor rollers on the pulpit. Note the large bollards. The two anchor rode compartments are separate. The hardwood foredeck is optional.

On Deck

On deck the Swift 52 is the equal of most boats in class, in my opinion. Starting from the bow, there are anchor rollers for two large anchors and a solid wood platform with a stainless steel frame.

There is a Lofran Falkon 1500 W windlass for chain and a gypsy head for line. This unit has a peel strength of 3,500 lbs. (1,600 kgs.) and can retrieve chain at the rate of 55’ (17 m) per minute. There is a remote control for the windlass stowed in the anchor locker, as well as in the wheelhouse and on the flying bridge. The mooring cleats are actually large bollards as you might find on a small megayacht.

Beneteau Swift 52

From the back of the seat to the coaming on the boat deck is 11' (3.35 m) which is fine for a small dinghy, but we'd prefer one at least 12.5' to 14' (3.18 m to 4.26 m) long. We would let the tender's stern and outboard extend past the railing and not worry about it so long as it was properly strapped down.

There is a bench seat cut into the Portuguese bridge protecting the pilothouse and under the seat there is storage for fenders and lines.

The side decks on the 52 are wider than they are on some 60-footers we have seen. The wide side decks, together with the high bulwarks, two amidships mooring cleats for spring lines and the port and starboard side entry gates make mooring as easy as it can be.

Beneteau Swift 52

Wisely, Beneteau has left it open the aft deck for customization, except for the built-in L-shaped bench seat across the transom and on the port side. (This also provides headroom below in the optional crew cabin.) All it needs are some cushions for back rests and a table and you have a perfect place for dining, cocktails, or sight-seeing.

The Aft Deck

On the aft deck there are two large stainless steel fairleads on the top of the coaming on both the port and starboard quarters that can handle large mooring lines coming from nearly any direction. We like this arrangement rather than the more traditional hawse pipe in the bulwarks simply because it is much faster just to drop the mooring line into the fairlead and whip it around the cleat. (Incidentally, the Swift 52 comes standard with enough mooring lines to secure the Queen Mary II.)

Forward of the cleats is space for optional warping winches. Frankly with both bow and stern thrusters as standard equipment, we doubt that you’ll need these winches in the U.S., Europeans will go for the option for Med-mooring.

Beneteau Swift 52

Imagine the aft deck and the flying bridge buttoned up with isinglass. Then take her north, rain or shine.

Wing Doors Are Standard

An important standard equipment item are two wing doors which close off the side decks from the aft deck. These doors are essential if you plan to use the aft deck extensively. Because the boat deck above extends to the transom, the Swift 52 is made to order for having the aft deck enclosed to make this valuable space useable in all types of weather.

Beneteau Swift 52

The davit on the boat deck is 880 lb. (400 kg.) capacity. We would get a far bigger tender than you see here and not be bothered if it hangs over the aft edge of the deck. Note that the boat deck comes out to the transom and the hull sides make it easy to enclose. Look carefully just above the waterline and you will see another, lower rub rail that extends forward for about 1/3rd of the hull length. This protects the hull when pivoting off the stern quarter.

Depending on your mission for the 52, this large deck space can be a living area, dining spot, al fresco work station or with the addition of some racks, a staging area for scuba diving adventures, and – of course – a venue for a cocktail party.

Beneteau Swift 52

You don’t often find a SS rail around the swim platform of a yacht. The indentations are for tying up tenders or a Sunfish. The top of the platform is 12” (30.4 cm) off of the water.

The swim platform is large and the teak covering comes standard. The platform has a fold-away four-step ladder that is wider and more substantial than most, and it has wooden treads which are more comfortable on bare feet. Perhaps most unusual of all is the stainless steel rail that runs along the periphery of the platform. As this will be the first point of impact when a heavy handed captain backs into a dock this will take the brunt of the hit.

Beneteau Swift 52

Top view of the flying bridge and boat deck. Teak or hardwood in these two places as well as on the foredeck is optional.

The Flying Bridge

The flying bridge can be reached by either a staircase abaft the helm or by a steep ladder from the aft deck. While having two means of access might seem like a waste of space, they both have their special uses.

Beneteau Swift 52

View from the helm on the flying bridge. The Bezenzoni captain’s chair (standard) is adjustable. Covers for the helm console and chair are standard.

I like this flying bridge for several reasons, the most important of which is that it has high bulwarks. Even though this boat was designed and built in Europe everything about its flying bridge is large, secure and ready for serious use in a seaway. The U-shaped seating to port will easily hold seven people sitting and if you want to make it into a sunning pad that can be arranged.

Abaft the lounge seating is the boat deck with an optional 880 lb. (400 kg.) Bezenzoni hydraulic davit. Proper-sized tenders are a very important item on a real cruising boat and we wouldn’t mind at all if part of it, including the outboard engine, protruded well aft of the deck. We would put at least a 12’ (3.7 m) RIB tender aboard with a 50-hp outboard. The deck measures just over 11' (3.4 m) fore and aft to the back of the settee seating.

No matter what size tender you choose to have aboard, be sure to have chocks installed that can be easily removed from the deck. When the boat is at anchor, or even in a marina, much of the time the tender will be in the water, freeing up this large boat deck space for sunning, cocktail parties or grilling. A console on the starboard side can hold all sorts of optional equipment including a grill and fridge.

Beneteau Swift 52

The U-shaped settee can seat 7-8 people. The table goes down to hold a filler cushion for sunning.

Anyone who reads my reports will know how much I appreciate that Beneteau offers an optional Bimini top with cruising canvas. Same goes for the aft deck below. Cruising canvas is the lowest cost way to get more square footage of useable space in a boat.

Beneteau Swift 52

Looking forward in the engine room. Notice the room between the engines and that the overhead is not right down on top of the engines as it is in some boats. We call this “bending-over” headroom, and it is not bad.

Power For the Glory

The standard power for the Swift 52 is provided by twin Volvo Penta D-9 575-hp diesels turning four-bladed props through conventional inboard drives. Our test boat was powered by a pair of 600-hp Cummins engines that peaked at 3100 rpm.

As noted above, at 18 knots the 52 has nearly a 500 nautical mile range with a 10% fuel reserve. That is also a very comfortable planing speed, and it is why Beneteau calls this boat a “swift”. Certainly it is a long way from being a “crawler" trawler.

This is an extraordinary and rarely-seen combination of speed and range. It means that the typical Miami to New York City delivery can be made with only two fuel stops! And that means with a proper crew, one can run outside at night and make the trip in three days.

The 52 comes standard with a 7 kW generator, but can be upgraded to something more. Why not more? Remember this boat is designed for economical cruising, and that means careful conservation of electrical power. Further, the diesel engine turning a generator should always be under full load in order to operate efficiently. For that reason, Beneteau engineers have tried to match the kW output of the generator set with the boat’s requirements.

Beneteau Swift 52

This is the space on the outboard side of the port engine. Note how much room there is and how easy it is to move forward to check a through-hull.

Beneteau Swift 52

Here is something you almost never see – totally exposed fuel tanks in a large boat! And why not? In fact there are a lot of very good reasons why the fuel tanks on any powerboat should be easily seen for inspection. First, if leaks occur they usually happen at the fill, the pick-up, or the return. In this picture you can easily see all three. Second, note that the fuel tank is rounded on top. That is so liquid won’t puddle on the aluminum tank and eat through it.

Beneteau Swift 52

The optional teak on the boat deck will make it look classy for a cocktail party or for sun bathing in a chaise lounge. Removable chocks for tenders are recommended so this space can serve double duty.

Noteworthy Standard Equipment

I like to draw attention to standard equipment that most builders in the class do not include because, of course, it is reflected in the price of the boat. To me it also tips off the buyer to the builder’s business philosophy and his attitude about the consumer. On the list of noteworthy standards that the Swift 52 has:

* Teak cap rails

* Electrically adjustable table in the salon

* Dish washer

* Electrically adjustable lower helm seat

* Automatically engine room fire extinguiser

* 4 bateries dedicated to the thrusters

Beneteau Swift 52

Recessed fuel fills for the port and starboard tanks are the best way to keep things clean.

A Middle Path

When it comes to pricing, Beneteau seems to have aimed for the middle range of the trawler price-point structure. By installing both a bow and a stern thruster in a twin screw boat, the builder has made this boat nearly as easy to dock as it would be with a far more costly pod and joystick system. And while this traditional inboard propulsion does not have the efficiency of a pod system, if the boat is operated at displacement speeds it doesn’t make any difference.

Beneteau Swift 52

Recommendation

If you are one of those handful of adventurers who want to go around Cape Horn and power to Tahiti – God bless you, but this is not the boat for you. On the other hand, if you are like most boaters we know – and you don’t have to be of retirement age – and would like to do some long distance coastal cruising and nearby island hopping, then this boat can fit the bill.

To my way of thinking, it is a nice marriage between a conventional motoryacht in terms of accommodations and speed and a long range cruiser in terms of its sea keeping abilities and its fuel economy at displacement speeds.

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) is 28.4 mph (N/A kph), burning 60.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 227.1 liters per hour (lph).
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Email

Standard and Optional Equipment

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
Radar Optional
Systems
Battery Charger/Converter Standard
CD Stereo Standard
Dripless Shaft Seals Standard
Head: Fixed Standard
Shore Power Standard
Trim Tabs Standard
Washdown: Raw Water Standard
Water Heater Standard
Windlass Standard
Galley
Microwave Standard
Refrigerator Standard
Stove Standard
Exterior Features
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Transom Door Standard
Canvas
Bimini Top Optional
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Bow Thruster Standard
Generator Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Warranty

Beneteau Swift 52 (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!


Members must log in to view the test results section.



Copying or re-using any of the material, in whole or in part, on this site, including
data, photos, articles and videos is strictly forbidden without
the written permission of BoatTEST.com, LLC.

Copyright © 2012 BoatTEST.com. All Rights Reserved.