Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofThe Beneteau Swift 50 comes standard with two staterooms, but also has a third space that can be made into a third guest cabin with Pullman-style beds or an office with a large desk and elevated berth. An unusual feature is the dumbwaiter, which makes moving food and drink between the fly bridge and the galley much easier. High bulwarks, broad walkways and railings make access to the bow lounging area easy and safe.
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.
The mission of the Swift Trawler 50 is to provide safe and comfortable passages along the coast and to nearby islands for a couple or a large family at a reasonable price. She is not intended to go trans-oceanic, something that few people seem to want to do these days. Rather, she is designed to appeal to 99% of the boaters who dream of making passages to the Bahamas, up the Inside Passage to Alaska, and possibly even down the Windward Islands.
As her name implies, she is a “swift” trawler, not a slow, heavy displacement trawler that moves at 6 to 8 knots, often on a single engine. She is designed to get up and go, when she has to – we recorded a top speed of 21.3 knots at WOT.
She is 15,000 lbs. (6,800 kgs.) to 20,000 lbs. (9,072 kgs.) lighter than other boats in class – exactly half the displacement of one 50-footer we can think of designed to go oceanic. Her relative light weight helps her to go fast and to be fuel efficient at all speeds.
Most important, she is designed to look “shippy” and she does that admirably well. Just like automobiles, the selection of a yacht and its design signals what kind of boater is at the helm. Those who are drawn to the adventure of island cruising, and who do not need to be blasting around from marina to marina on a Saturday afternoon to show off, are naturally drawn to the more seamanlike details and look of a trawler.
The new Swift Trawler 50 is the result of evolution over the years and the new version has all of the best ideas incorporated that have come from dozens of owners and Beneteau skilled and experienced design team.
Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 50 is the flagship of the company’s trawler line, the result of the continued collaboration of the Beneteau powerboat design office with naval architect Michel Joubert and interior designer Pierre Frutschi. The hull was specially designed for her standard IPS engines, which allows her to be a happy medium between slow-moving displacement trawler, and a high-speed motor yacht.
Asymmetrical Deck Plan By designing an asymmetrical deck, Beneteau is able to keep side decks at proper width, while at the same time maximizing the interior space.
A Dumbwaiter. Anyone with a flying bridge understands the importance of a dumbwaiter -- and this boat has one.
Safety on the Bulwarks. Accessing the bow section of the boat comes via the teak side decks with a width of 15” on port side, 22” on starboard (this is because of the doors to the interior on starboard as well as a gangway door).
Sun Pad relaxing. The bow section has a large sunpad approximately the size of a double bed. Forward the sun pad is a teak platform with a stainless steel dolphin nose structure for the windlass. The Lewmar electric windlass can be operated from both the wheelhouse and fly bridge helm locations.
Aft Swim Platform and Cockpit
Access via the cockpit. The easiest way to board the Swift 50 when docked is via the aft swim platform, which has a retractable ladder equipped with solid wood steps and stainless steel protection.
Three steps up gets you into the aft deck/cockpit area. This space, under the fly bridge deck overhang above, has a teak slatted, self-draining deck, as well as an L-shaped seating along the transom on the port side. To starboard are the stairs up to the fly bridge and a gangway door that protects the cockpit from wind and spray and leads to the starboard bulwarks.
An optional joystick control is located in the cockpit, giving the option for docking from here if the sightlines are better.
An access hatch to the engine compartment is in the decking of the cockpit, as does another hatch, which gives access to the lazarette/crew quarters, a designation made by the owner upon purchase.
A social space. Moving up the stairs from the aft cockpit one reaches the flybridge. The flybridge has bench seating that extends all the way along its starboard side, with a large adjustable wood-surface table mounted in the center of the space. The bench seating on the port side extends back along the aft edge but stops short of the starboard counterpart in making room for the captain and companion’s chairs on the flybridge helm.
A dumbwaiter, makes moving food between decks much easier. On the flybridge, the portside bench seating has access to the “serving hatch,” which accesses and operates the dumbwaiter. Just aft of the port side bench is a galley unit with sink and hot/cold faucet, as well as compartments for optional grill and refrigerator.
The starboard bench seating has storage underneath. The canvas top can go up or be removed depending on the mood of the party.
The flybridge helm. Forward the seating is the flybridge helm, which has a steering wheel and steering compass, rudder angle indicator, fuel gauges, joystick control, controls for: windlass, flaps, lighting, navigation lights, and foghorn (some of which depend on options selected).
The pilot seat and companion’s seat are adjustable and can swivel 360-degrees to face the seating area.
Abaft the flybridge sits a large dedicated space for a tender, factory reinforced to withstand an appropriately-sized tender. The factory can install a hydraulic davit should that be required. The boat deck, then cleared, can be a venue for a cocktail party or sunning.
The interiors of the Swift 50 use Alpi mahogany woodwork, which is real wood that has been manufactured to be more durable in the saltwater environment. The laminated floors are parquet-type with the cabins using ivory carpeting.
Tinted sliding glass doors. Access to the salon comes via the sliding glass doors off of the cockpit, which are tinted with a black lacquered aluminum frame and a blackout curtain as well. The windows, on port and starboard, are also tinted with the black aluminum and can slide open or be covered with blinds.
To port are two removable armchairs as well as a cabinet bat with storage space and location provided for retractable 32” LED TV (optional), as well as any on-board glassware. To starboard is an L-shaped seating area, wrapped around a table in varnished wood that is both adjustable and removable.
As one moves forward, there is a step-up into the galley and wheelhouse, which comes with courtesy LED lights.
Cooking with a view. After climbing the step up from the salon, to starboard is a U-shaped galley with a sliding glass window above the sink (complete with wood blinds).
The galley has a resin countertop with a stainless steel two basin sink and garbage access. The faucet is a mixer tap. There is a three-burner countertop gas stove with protective glass cover and potholder and a gas oven underneath. There are cubbyholes for storage, a cutlery drawer, hanging unit for glassware with built-in lighting beneath the worktop in between the galley and salon.
The dumbwaiter-serving hatch resides here with a “serving tray” for easy transport up to the flybridge.
The refrigerator options are customizable with either two 4.6 cu. ft./130 L units to port off the galley, or swapping in one of these for a 2.1 cu. ft./60 L drawer refrigerator that has an 2.9 cu. ft./84 L freezer compartment instead. The galley also has a medium-sized microwave and further storage above the refrigerator space for small electrical goods.
Main navigational hub. The Swift 50 has three hubs for navigation with the most basic coming via the rear cockpit and its docking joystick. The flybridge helm and the main deck wheelhouse helm will get most of the use.
Captain’s dinette/sea berth. To port of the helm itself is a small dinette with an Alpi table that has an adjustable foot. This table is removable, and the space can be easily converted to a small berth with a filler cushion, all stored comfortably beneath for easy access and conversion.
Helm station. The helm sits to starboard and looks out through a huge, rounded windshield that extends both port and starboard to give one of the best views in-class. Extending to starboard the windows become a sliding glass door with access to the main side deck and a latch to hold it open and let the air in.
To port it extends as a window just over the captain’s dinette/sea berth with a non-tinted sliding glass window. The mullions on the main windshield are thin and unobtrusive, making for a clear view in all directions with a demister and automated windshield wipers standard.
The steering station is raised to face an ergonomic helm console, which can be raised itself on gas struts for access to connections and more space for navigation electronics and engine instrumentation.
The captain’s chair is simple bench seating, double-wide with flip-up bolsters. The captain’s wheel is 70cm in diameter and is stainless steel with leather cover, all in service of power steering.
Controls are here for wipers, demister, foghorn, navigation lights, and the windlass. The Volvo EVC screen is front-and-center with the availability to add more software later as an option. Rudder angle indicator, flap indicators, electric engine control levers, as well as rev counters, pressure and temperature indicators, and fuel gauges all feature standard on the Swift 50 helm. The joystick control also makes its third appearance in addition to the rear cockpit and flybridge helm.
Helm storage. There is storage available under the captain’s seat, as well as a cupboard for the 24 V and 220/110 V electrical circuits. Depending on option selections, further storage can be found under the bench seats.
Accommodation Options. The Swift 50’s lower deck comes with two staterooms standard -- a forward guest cabin as well as the master stateroom. The choice upon purchase is between a third cabin to port with bunk beds or an office space with a berth. A work bender or laundry room can also be placed here. In either configuration, the lower deck has two heads with two showers.
Master Stateroom. Situated in a straight line aft from the foot of the stairway, the master stateroom has a central double berth with slatted base and marine mattress mounted on a gas strut over storage. The space has two panoramic portholes that open and can be covered by blinds.
The master stateroom also has two large illuminated wardrobes with a hanging locker and shelving, as well as drawers, a full height mirror, and a desk to port with an electrical socket. The room is set up for TV and DVD player, as well.
Master Stateroom Head. The master stateroom has an en suite with private-only access -- however, the shower stall in this head is shared by whichever of the third cabin/office with a berth options is selected. It is shared via an access door in that space.
The master stateroom head has an electric VacuFlush toilet, mirror with backlighting, basin with hot/cold mixer tap, and portholes that can be opened. The shower is fully molded in and draws on an 21 gallon (80 L) water heater. The shower is teak slatted with a built-in seat and hooks for towels.
Forward guest room. The larger guest room is forward in the lower deck, and while somewhat smaller, features much of the same amenities as the master cabin. The bed is central mounted on gas struts for storage with a slatted bed base and a marine mattress. No desk, but the storage via hanging locker and drawers remains, as well as the full-height mirror, TV and DVD capability, and opening portholes with curtains.
The guest room also has a Lewmar opening hatch above their berth.
Customizable portside space. As mentioned earlier, the remaining lower deck space can be one of two things -- a third guest cabin with Pullman style bunk beds or an office with an elevated berth. In either selection the space comes with hanging locker, reading lamps, and a storage locker. An optional washer/dryer can be stationed in this space as well.
Lazarette or crew quarters? Aft of the engine compartment comes standard as a lazarette with storage lockers, accessible via the rear cockpit hatch. The option exists, however, to utilize this space as crew quarters, and as such would then come with berths and head. Additionally, the rear swim platform can then be outfitted with a lockable door for easier access to the crew quarters if required.
The Swift 50 uses IPS drives, and has a hull specifically designed for this particular engine and power profile.
The Swift 50 operates via two 350 L fuel tanks, and has foam soundproofing in the engine compartment.
The Swift 50 has a LOA of 49’2” (14.99 m), a beam of 15’3” (4.65 m) and a draft of 3’5” (1.04 m). With an empty weight of 35,264 lbs. (15,995 kg), 40% fuel and 4 people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 28870 lbs. (17,631 kg).
With a pair of 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 pod drive engines powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 21.3 knots at 3500 rpm. Best economy is pretty much were you want to set it at for how far you want to go. At 10 knots she’ll burn 13.5 gph combined and can keep going for 476 nm. Drop her down to 7 knots and the 3.3 gph fuel consumption will last for 1372 nm. All this of course while still holding back a 10% reserve of her 714-gal (2703 L) fuel supply. Such is the world of trawlers.
Now let’s take a look at her handling. We tested on a breezy day with sea running at 1 to 2’ (.31 m to .61 m) and were certainly impressed. First off, she accelerates with practically no bow rise so no concern about losing visibility here. Once up to speed we motored through the slop and the trawler lifestyle really showed through with no pounding whatsoever as we drove into the head sea. Spray was kept low and wide for a dry ride.
As we came around to the beam sea, it got even better. She stays relatively flat during the turn and once in the beam she remained stable. At this point we were cruising at 15 knots and staying comfortable throughout.
As we come around to a following sea, again, the turn shows little to no roll. Once established on this leg there was even less movement and it felt as if we could go on like this forever. Which judging by the test results we practically could. The speed dropped only slightly as we approach the forward wave but there’s no sense of plunging into the wave and certainly no hint of stuffing. Putting it into its hardest turn, she still only rolls a maximum of 5-degrees so clearly the bulk of her weight is well below the center of gravity, a good sign of a stable boat.
Now this is interesting… with her roughly 5 degree bow high cruise attitude she keeps a dry ride with the spray coming out right about at the level of the helm. But, if we slow her down and drop the bow, she starts to throw the spray more forward and then the wind catches it and puts it back into the windshield, and of course the bow pads. Basically, what this is showing is that the captain can absolutely control the comfort level on the Swift 50, and adjust for everything from ride to spray. From the flying bridge helm, we not only have an impressive vantage point, but for once, we’re on a boat where the forward windscreen actually blocks the wind.
When it came time to return to the dock, it was the lower helm station and the side door that I immediately gravitated to. I made my initial approach while still on the sticks, and then when adjacent to the slip, I transferred control to the joystick and started maneuvering us in. The ease of use thanks to the joystick and thruster positioning can’t be overstated… it was just such an easy boat to dock thanks to this. You can keep your hand on the IPS joystick, while at the same time have your palm on the thruster controls, manipulating both at once with the same hand. Once in the slip, because the dock was to port, I simply went back to the cockpit station and used that to ease her over for the tie up.
Options to Consider
Beneteau is judicious about what to make standard and optional -- it isn’t simply an effort to cram standards on the list to impress the buyer; instead, items that may not work in certain climates or usage patterns are relegated to options and they’ve tried to keep the “standard” features ones the boat wouldn’t be the same without. Here’s a look at some of the Swift 50’s individual options and options packages.
Beneteau offers a three-year parts and labor warranty. Beneteau, acting on your dealer’s diagnosis, will replace all parts deemed defective by Beneteau’s technical department for a period of three years following the delivery of your new boat. The warranty applies to both parts and labor and is valid as long as the boat gets a full and compulsory annual overhaul from your dealer at your expense.
Beneteau also offers a seven-year structural warranty. Beneteau will repair any defect to the hull and deck of the boat as per a dealer’s diagnosis, agreed upon as being the result of faulty manufacture with the Beneteau technical department, for a period of seven years following the delivery of your new boat.
Base MSRP starts at $1,049,500.
Trawlers, having evolved a great deal since the 1960s, are now largely divided into two groups -- those that are slower but with ocean-crossing range, and boats without the expansive range that can go a great deal faster and are designed for coastal and near-island cruising. The Swift 50 is the latter.
The result is good value for the consumer in this market; an option for a boat with top-flight design credentials, premium attention to engine and hull detail, and a comfortable ride overall.
Test Result Highlights
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $1,049,500.00Prices, 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.
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.