Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-09-2012, 01:46   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Finland
Boat: Nautor's Swan 431
Posts: 16
S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Hi You all and greetings from Finland!

I've been a member of this group for awhile but not an active one... So here's my contribution to this great forum. One of the best I've ever visited!

I've been sailing all my life; started with dinghies and bought my first 24" keel boat at the age of 26. It was right after I've finished my studies and a dream come true at that time. Of course it was deeply against my parents will... but my (then becoming) wife accepted it. I deeply appreciate her broadminded acceptance.

Years passed by and after gaining a lot of experience of restoring old boats to a condition like new I was facing a big question - should I stay with my current Yacht, or is it finally time to buy the dream Yacht? I chose the dream Yacht after I my 50'th birthday had just passed by.

My current Yacht has offered me more than I could ask for, thousands of trouble free miles with my family and some Yachting also singlehanded. From Finland to Mediterranean and back etc. It was a great yacht and in very capable hands after selling her one year ago. I was looking for an Avance 40, designed by S&S and made in Finland quite near the Nautor Yard. After being not successful in my search I broadened it a bit and started looking for a looked after classic Swan with graceful lines and sailing capabilities above the standard.

There were some for sale here in Finland and in Germany but their condition was, should I say, challenging. At ClassicSwan.org I finally found the most proper one available. It was a S&S Swan 431 with all the new rigging (new rods, dyneema ropes), new sails, new teak decking, engine, propshaft, el.windlass, ... etc. Her awlgripped hull shines like new and after a very careful survey (*) I decided to leave an offer which was soon accepted.

(*) I've been a surveyor at the yacht Club level for over 2 decades.

We live in Finland and the Yacht CAID is located in Italy near Venice. I did'n find the distance as a big problem, just have to spend on the road a bit more (20 hours...) when traveling to do the spring preparations. I was there twice during the spring and spent some 20 very long days doing the next installations with a friend of mine (Juhani is also a S&S Swan owner): new electrical Lewmar ST54:s were installed to serve as primaries, new ST30 for the main sheets, Victron Phoenix 50A/1200W charger/pure sine-inverter, new Pioneer stereos and subwoofers with support to iPhone and other iDevices, Raymarine E7, Ais Class B, Sailor VHF, etc, etc...

After two and a half months of cruising at the Adriatic I was very pleased to find out that I actually made the right decision. The Yacht sails like a dream in a lightest of winds, which was a surprise after she's quite a heavy Yacht. She' very stiff (50% at the keel) and handles very well in the rougher weather too. We did'nt have more than 30...40 knots of head wind but with two reef at the radial main and some rolls at the 3DL genua she was sailed with one hand at the steering wheel with confidence. This was a huge difference in the Yacht's behavior compared to my previous more modern Yachts. But I was happy with them also and didn't know of this kind of handling capabilities the Swan offers.

My advice to You having similar dreams of classics: Buy it now, but only the best one You find and afford!

Here are some Youtube clips of our cruises from the last summer.

Launch:

First trip:

Second trip:

Enjoy!

IHe, Finland
__________________

__________________
ihe2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 04:25   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Excellent. My problem with the design of this yacht is the cockpit and access to it over the bridge deck... Cockpit seems too small and too exposed... f a waves comes over the bow in the ocean as it does unfortunately occasionally it seems it will flood the interior.

Good for you... you did the right thing.
__________________

__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 05:30   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Finland
Boat: Nautor's Swan 431
Posts: 16
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Hi, and thank You for Your comments!

This yacht was originally designed as a racing yacht (a 2 tonner); so it has some racing genes still showing. If I remember right the design idea of the main hatch (explained by S&S) was to keep the ocean away from the Yacht interior! It's located at the highest place You could find aboard. Small and well protected cockpit dries quickly and the main hatch is completely watertight when closed. It's also protected with a small dodger, which design is also watertight to protect from the waves splashing from the bow.

It can be read from the biography of Mr Koskenkylš (the founder of Nautor Yachts) that Mr Stephens himself visited every new Swan model and gave very valuable information about the details (as the water tightness, the integrity of the yacht, the installations, etc) and insisted his opinions were strictly followed.

Of course there are Yachts much easier to go into, this solution keeps You awake and trained!
__________________
ihe2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 09:45   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

I was aware of the racing origin of the design. The access would be a non starter for me although it is an exquisite yacht in every detail.

Although my Contest36s is no comparison to the 431 it has some features which for me makes it a wonderful yacht for live aboard and cruising. It's apples and oranges of course..

The 36s has a very large comfortable and dry cockpit... achieved by having high free board and what is very much a flush deck like the 431. The companionway access is very much protected with the dodger and one can sit on the bridge deck... under cover and have access to all the instrumentation including viewing the radar at the below decks nav station and drop *stuff* into the sink.

One spends enormous time in the cockpit and the ability to stretch out and lie down.. fore-aft or athwartship makes the 36s cockpit a real working space. I am rarely at the helm and have not bothered with the bimini many boats seem to have.

The 36s has a large cabin with very high head room... no stooping anywhere and it's very manageable single handed when set up for that. This was my first and only boat and so I somehow managed to get a design suited to my needs. Call it luck.
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 09:55   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
Azul's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Beaufort, NC
Boat: 1968 Cal 34, 1984 Catalina 22, 1987 Sanibel 18, 1968 Tanzer 16, 1989 BW Outrage 19, BW SS 15
Posts: 525
Images: 2
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Well done videos, and the yacht is a piece of art! What a beautiful sheer line, I bet you have to walk away from her backwards to keep her in sight as long as possible. Not as pretty as mine of course, (just kidding.)
__________________
Azul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 10:10   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,359
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Wow.... sweet machine! what year is it?
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2012, 10:23   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Boat: Able 50
Posts: 3,057
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

I used to own a 431.

If you want to keep the cockpits drier then you will have to fit two dodgers. The dodger that you have now was designed for racing and is a little small. Getting in and out of the companionway will be easier if you fit one to the full width of the raised deck. You can do the same with the aft cockpit.

If I was only going to fit one dodger it would be the forward one. A bimini will also help keep the aft cockpit drier. If you get a bimini be sure to take it all the way to the gunwhales which will be a big help in rain.
__________________
savoir is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 16:09   #8
Registered User
 
deluxe68's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arizona/Rhode Island
Boat: Swan 432
Posts: 581
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

How does the 431 work as a cruiser? There is one for sale on the easy coast but it does not appear to have a chain locker. I love the cockpit BTW.
__________________
deluxe68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 01:24   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Finland
Boat: Nautor's Swan 431
Posts: 16
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Hi, it's a perfect cruiser but I might be biased of course . If You like Your Yacht being fast in most conditions, stiff in a blow, easy on the helm and a beauty to Your eyes it might be worth buying. But forget a Swan in a project condition unless You have very deep pockets.

You sure have read the classicswan.org?

BTW at least in my Yacht the anchor chain is routed to the bilge via a very stiff hose from the deck to it's dedicated locker beneath the forepeak beds.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1346.jpg
Views:	1487
Size:	428.2 KB
ID:	87899   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1328.jpg
Views:	453
Size:	377.4 KB
ID:	87900  

__________________
ihe2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2014, 07:37   #10
Registered User
 
deluxe68's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arizona/Rhode Island
Boat: Swan 432
Posts: 581
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihe2 View Post
Hi, it's a perfect cruiser but I might be biased of course . If You like Your Yacht being fast in most conditions, stiff in a blow, easy on the helm and a beauty to Your eyes it might be worth buying. But forget a Swan in a project condition unless You have very deep pockets.

You sure have read the classicswan.org?

BTW at least in my Yacht the anchor chain is routed to the bilge via a very stiff hose from the deck to it's dedicated locker beneath the forepeak beds.
Great looking boat, thanks for the info!
__________________
deluxe68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 07:57   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Boat: Baltic 38DP
Posts: 333
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Fantastic, I'm a bit jealous! I love these kinds of ships. Perhaps we (S/Y Salsus) will run into you some time in the Med or even the Baltic.

Fair winds and following seas.


Onno
__________________
JazzyO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 08:14   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,937
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

I've always been a real sucker for those S&S Swans. The closest I got was an S&S Tartan 44, sailed like a witch and it takes a hell of a modern design to stay with these boats upwind. Yours is a real beauty!!
__________________
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 08:46   #13
Registered User
 
fst415's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: East Hampton/ Ft. Myers
Boat: Ranger Tugs R-25SC (2015). 24' 7"
Posts: 15
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Thanks for sharing your experience and for the video clips. Swans' and Hinckley's, while different in many way, are two of my favorite sailboats. Both are thoroughbreds! Many years ago, I visited the Hinckley yard in Southwest Harbor, Maine and saw for myself the quality of the workmanship and level of skill deployed in building each boat. I am sure the same degree of quality and skill go into building each Swan. In the video showing the Swan 431 sailing in the Adriatic, the sail settings of the jib and main suggested the boat was close hauled, but yet there was very little heeling. I'm sure she is a very comfortable vessel to sail.
__________________
fst415 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 09:41   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

For each person who has saved up their money for their dream boat- Good on ya! I wouldn't trade my old Valiant for a Swan, but I knew what I wanted and now I am in love. I think the same can be said for this gentleman. I am glad he loves his boat.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2014, 15:47   #15
Registered User
 
taildragerdrive's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Halfway, Oregon, USA
Boat: Swan, 1968, 36'
Posts: 102
Re: S&S Swan 431 - a dream come true

Newt:

I think your Valiant is wonderful and I see on a different post that you got a monitor wind vane which for me would make it even better. I'm very glad you love it and appreciate why you do it is a great fit for how you sail.

I'm just glad that I have a boat I love as much as those on this thread.

I love my Swan 36 and love it more each time I sail it. It is wonderful to be fortunate to be one of those lucky few with these beautiful boats. Being a less experienced sailor it makes life easy and fun when underway.
__________________

__________________
Taildraggerdriver - Flying in the mountains of the west. Sailing/cruising as much as I can.
taildragerdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.