With a hull and bulkheads in prepreg glass/carbon-fibre and a deck and structures in full vacuum, oven-cured carbon epoxy sandwich with Corecell foam, the new Swan 78 is a sophisticated lady. So far two of the four examples sold, Haromi and Kinina, have splashed.
The lovely Swan 78’s construction is the direct result of the experience the Pietarsaari yard has built up meticulously in the large yacht arena since it followed up its debut Swan, the 36, of 1967 with the Swan 40, 43 and 34.
It quickly found its sea legs in this particular niche. So much so that when Nautor launched the Sparkman & Stephens-designed Swan 55 flagship in 1970, it was one of the largest composite yachts in the world. Now, however, it is the turn of the Swan 78 to take centre stage.
Aside from encapsulating all the yard’s know-how, the new beauty reflects the way the evolution of yacht design has been driven by round-the-world races and other offshore events, resulting in ever faster, safer and more stable craft. Needless to say, Nautor’s Swan and German Frers have poured all their wealth of knowledge into the Swan 78. “She is the direct descendant of the original Swan 80 and 82 models of the past,” explains Frers. “She is slightly shorter overall – to meet the EC 24.00 metre length overall limitation – beamier and more powerful.
Her hull lines, wide stern above the waterline, twin rudders and racing-oriented keel design are a reflection of the rapid evolution of yacht design in recent years.” At 23.98 metres in length (22.18 along the waterline) and 6.39 in the beam, the new Swan 78 has a wide stern above the waterline and a slender bow. This sublime combination delivers an effortless balance of performance and seakeeping prowess.
The deck plan too reflects the latest trends in bluewater sailing. “With its uncluttered surfaces and simple, linear solutions for sail handling and living the sea, the deck is very modern in its design,” underscores Frers.
The coachroof is sleek and aerodynamic thanks to the semi-raised saloon offering great views from the interior. Germán Frers has clothed it in elegant lines that create a volume that protects the cockpit yet still creates extra space below decks. The result is the kind of majestic mix of curved lines and 360 degree windowing that only this great master could deliver.
The hideaway sprayhood and innovative folding bimini protect guests in the large cockpit which has two side C-sofas but can also be organised in a choice of other configurations including one with a central pouf. Aft of the guest cockpit is the twin wheel area which is brilliantly designed to make life easier for the crew.
There are five power winches in the cockpit (four to the side and one central for the main) and they are flanked by two others at the foot of the mast. Sail controls are great too and everything is optimised to make working safe and efficient for a short-handed crew. Behind the wheels is a completely uncluttered area which is matched by another forward of the mast. Both are great places to just chill – guest heaven! The transom opens out too to form a 4-metre wide beach platform. Moving inside, a choice of two interior layouts is offered with the master cabin either forward or aft – both Haromi and Kinina’s owners went for the former.
This delivers a suite that stretches 4.5 metres in length with the double bed free on three sides, a desk and a large bathroom with separate shower. Guests aboard both boats have a double forward of the mast just before the master and two other two-berth cabins aft of the saloon. The latter is the centre of life aboard with a beam of six metres and great windowing.
The dinette is to starboard complete with 10-seater table. The crew quarters is aft and comprises a crew cabin and an American-style galley. Needless to say, there is a chart table in the mix too. Once again this area is designed and executed to the standards we’ve come to expect from the Swans.