So what is the Swan 48? It is a beautifully-designed, tooled, executed and outfitted touring boat that will blow the doors off most cruising boats. Swan has certainly retained its position as the ultimate expression of the mass-produced yacht, and for good reason.

The Swan 48.

The Swan 48.

The sheer is subtle with its apex quite far forward. The freeboard is unusually high aft, and this is probably an effort to gain interior volume in the aft cabin. The D/L ratio is 200. The hull is shapely with a marked hollow entry with the forefoot knuckle right at the DWL. The topsides amidships are flared and quite flat. This is an interesting shape that appears to be done to increase deck area while not adding to hull drag. Given the Frers pedigree, I think you can be assured that this will be a very fast and forgiving hull shape. Note how far aft the rudder is. The keel for the cruiser-racer is 7 feet, 9 inches.

There are three rigs available. You can get the cruiser-racer with either a masthead or fractional rig. The regatta version has a tall fractional rig. The SA/D ratio for the cruiser-racer's masthead rig is 18.56. The SA/D ratio for the fractional rig is 18.99. SA/D ratio for the regatta version is 20.16.

Nowhere has Nautor's design influence been stronger than in deck design. The old Swan "wedge-deck" of the past has evolved to where it includes a couple of opening ports, although the wedge look has been preserved. Of course, this is probably at the expense of headroom forward, but it seems a reasonable compromise. The sculpted deck shapes are accented by the typical Nautor teak decks. The regatta deck has been modified to give the racing crew more open cockpit space in which to work by cutting a deep cockpit extension into the aft end of the cabintrunk. The cruising version offers a beautifully designed, fold-down transom door.

The interiors of the cruising models offer two- or three-stateroom layouts. The three-stateroom layout is attractive and has the head forward of the staterooms, each with upper and lower berths. The aft cabin features a big, centerline double berth with adjoining head. Neither version has a separate shower stall. The galley has a front-loading refrigeration box over the counter, and there is a top-loading freezer aft of the range. The 48 has a good galley with reasonable counter space.

Beautifully designed cruiser with a fast hull shape.

Boat Specifications
Displacement30,900 lbs.
Ballast12,100 lbs.
Sail Area1,142.48 sq. ft. (masthead), 1,168.37 sq. ft. (fractional), 1,240.74 sq. ft. (regatta fractional)
SA/D ratio18.56 (masthead), 18.99 (fractional), 20.16 (regatta)
D/L ratio200
AuxiliaryVolvo Penta 57-horsepower diesel
Fuel79 gals.
Water114 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.