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Old 04-05-2009, 05:13   #16
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Yeah, thats what I don't understand. You say cruising for you and your wife, but the beneteaus you query are First racing series.
Have you had a look at the cruising series? Much larger cockpits etc, no mainsheet tripping you over, cockpit table so you can have dinner under the stars etc.

My thoughts may be that someone has said to you only go to sea in a swan, never a beneteau.... then someone has said except a Bene First.

Ummmmm without sounding like a jerk who is flashing his own boat at you, but some people condemn without ever setting foot on the boat in question.

You will probably have a lot of boats to walk on, with your wife, before the final boat is purchased. Yes it gets maddeningly difficult, and lots of dock miles walked... but also its a most exciting time! Every next boat could be your dream come true

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Old 04-05-2009, 05:31   #17
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There would be a starteling age difference between the boats if a similar price.
The Swan would be late 70's or early 80's and the Bene's would be close to new.
Or do you mean a Bene in a lower price range?
A Beneteau dealership just opened at Lake Pleasant, 20 miles from where we live. We are going to stop by there today and check out prices on a new 36.7 and some used boats.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:39   #18
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Yeah, thats what I don't understand. You say cruising for you and your wife, but the beneteaus you query are First racing series.
Have you had a look at the cruising series? Much larger cockpits etc, no mainsheet tripping you over, cockpit table so you can have dinner under the stars etc.

My thoughts may be that someone has said to you only go to sea in a swan, never a beneteau.... then someone has said except a Bene First.

Ummmmm without sounding like a jerk who is flashing his own boat at you, but some people condemn without ever setting foot on the boat in question.

You will probably have a lot of boats to walk on, with your wife, before the final boat is purchased. Yes it gets maddeningly difficult, and lots of dock miles walked... but also its a most exciting time! Every next boat could be your dream come true

Mark
In 5 years we are going to retire. We are trying to decide between waiting to get a cruising boat versus getting a smaller, racier, boat now and trading up to a cruiser later. With the economy the way it is there should be some good deals out there. If we get a used boat now we shouldn't get creamed too bad on resale when things pick up in a few years. There is a brand new Beneteau 49 at San Diego with a $100K discount because of some minor flooding. I wish we could swing that deal right now. There are so many options open to us now, including putting the boat into charter in San Francisco or San Diego, we may just be able to get a larger cruiser now.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:30   #19
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we had a 1998 swan 48 prior to buying our hallberg rassy. the swans are well built and my wife and i think they are beautiful looking boats. we realized however that our style is to spend one or two hours at most sailing each day (our swan sailed like a dream) and living on the boat for the other 22 hours a day. therefore the switch to the HR. there are other boats better suited for living aboard than swans. the older swans, like a lot of boats from that era, have long overhangs and short waterlines. they perform best when heeled and are wet boats. as regards swans vs beneteaus; if i was to sail around the world i might lean more towards a swan but living aboard in the bahamas, cruising the caribbean, etc. i might be inclined to look at beneteaus IMHO.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:21   #20
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What about something like a Tartan 42 wich is a S&S design, blue water boat that can be handled easily or push hard if one wishes to suffer a bit and has a really nice galley and ample refrigeration for your wife.
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Old 04-05-2009, 15:50   #21
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today and check out prices on a new 36.7 and some used boats.
Check all their boats out.

By the way, if looking at new boats there might be big discounts even for pristine ones! They have to keep that line moving.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:59   #22
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S&S Swan - great boat



I think the 41 S&S Swans are great. So is the Smaller 38 and the bigger44. They are great SEA boats. I have crusied and raced all of them. A very good friend of mine lives aboard an Swan S&S 38 from ’73 with his wife. The boat has been up and down the east coast of the USA, around the Carrib and is currently in Malta (med).

You can update the tankage, gear and have a fantastic liveaborad boat that will also sail like a dream. If you invest a little time in setting up the reefing systems then sail handling will be easy single handed (or two up as well).

Every boat is a compromise but IMO the SWAN would make a great boat for what you want. The only down side is that it not as roomy down below as a modern 40 footer but it will look after you is any sea and be comfortable at anchor.

Go for it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:52   #23
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yikes, It takes me five years...

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In 5 years we are going to retire. We are trying to decide between waiting to get a cruising boat versus getting a smaller, racier, boat now and trading up to a cruiser later.
...just to get a boat ready for cruising. I doubt that any boat you purchase, even a pre-cruised boat, is going to have all the systems you want, at least not fitted out the way you want them. If you're five years away from retirement, the time to fit out that dream cruiser might be now.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:11   #24
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The last thing I want for cruising and liveaboard is a large cockpit. For one thing a big cockpit is dangerous in large seas when you get pooped. It could be the difference between life and death. A large cockpit usually means storage space that is either wasted, too difficult to be accessed, or both. All you need for a cockpit is the ability to seat 2-3 people on each bench and to stretch out in for a nap. The stretch out ability isn't high on my list as I can't remember ever sleeping in the cockpit. If you are the social type and expect to entertain hordes of guests, get a catamaran.

My current boat has a huge cockpit and I'm not thrilled by all the space but then I hope I won't be getting into situations where where it's volume could be an issue. I would much rather have another 2-3 feet of cabin than the overly generous cockpit.

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Old 07-05-2009, 19:42   #25
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I think the 41 S&S Swans are great. So is the Smaller 38 and the bigger44. They are great SEA boats. I have crusied and raced all of them. A very good friend of mine lives aboard an Swan S&S 38 from 73 with his wife. The boat has been up and down the east coast of the USA, around the Carrib and is currently in Malta (med).

You can update the tankage, gear and have a fantastic liveaborad boat that will also sail like a dream. If you invest a little time in setting up the reefing systems then sail handling will be easy single handed (or two up as well).

Every boat is a compromise but IMO the SWAN would make a great boat for what you want. The only down side is that it not as roomy down below as a modern 40 footer but it will look after you is any sea and be comfortable at anchor.

Go for it.
I just found a 1981 Swan 47 at a Tartan dealer in California for just a little over $200K. It looks like a great boat but the decks are original, it would be ok if I could plan on that being the only major expense in the next 5 years. It looks like we have 3 reasons to make a trip to San Diego. There is a Swan 41 that is priced high at $190K but it has new everything. I prefer to keep things simple, for example the 3 previous boats we had did not have a main furler, the Santana-20's did not have any at all. We are not speed freaks but I would like a boat quick enough to sail into the wind, we tried an Island packet and did not like the boat. I look at mast/boom furlers as something that is prone to breaking at the wrong time and in the wrong place. The Beneteau dealer is trying to scare me away from a Swan (no surprise there) by referring to the IOR designs and that Swans have 97 winches, all in the wrong places. I guess the best thing to do is catch a ride on one of these boats and see what all the fuss is about.
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Old 18-05-2009, 09:05   #26
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I looked intot he swan 41 S&S but decided against it for the following reasons 1) First and foremost was the teak decks. Replacing them is very expensive 2) The tankage, 3) The boats were designed to be raced and require crew on the rail to hold them down otherwise you need to reef early and change headsails, and 4) I was told that they were kind of squirely downwind as many of the IOR boats of that time were.

I think there are better boats for the price.
I own a Swan 41 and would respectfully disagree with some of these statements.

These boats do not "require crew on the rail to hold them down." The Swan 41 is among the stiffest of fin keeled boats. The keel alone weighs nearly 5 tons. You don't have to "reef early." Much to the contrary. These are extraordinarily stiff and stable boats. Any of the stability and capsize ratio formulas (although I do not put a lot of stock in them) will bear this out. I can only conclude that you are thinking of a different model or maybe the new 42?

I would agree that, like most S&S designs, their strongest point of sail is going to wind, but I have never had any problem with squirrelly characteristics going downwind. However, I do not often use a spinnaker in high winds and could imagine it could be a lot of boat to handle with a kite in a heavy breeze.

Yes, they are smaller below than more modern boats of the same length. But they are also built much better and, in my opinion, safer than many of the more modern designs. The wood work below is beautiful and I have heard that Nautor allegedly keeps wood from the same batch used in each boat of this vintage on file in case you ever want work done so that it will perfectly match. (Not that I would expect to do that but it does demonstrate the commitment to quality and detail [if it is not just a myth]). The newer boats might be brighter and bigger and if that appeals to you or your wife the Swan clearly wasn't for you.

My wife and I are very comfortable cruising this boat. We also race it (non-spin) in beer can races with a small crew. I would agree that someone thinking about this boat might want to talk to those who have actually sailed it instead of relying on comments from others including brokers who might be trying to sell them another boat.
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Old 18-05-2009, 09:13   #27
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I couldn't think of anything worse that a 1970's Swan.

They are over-built for family cruising. Break a gadget on deck and the replacement will cost a fortune.

Nor do I go for the floating Condo.

But Swan has never realised there is another market out there for them: the double handed cruisers. OK they did for a few years with the 57 RS but then they dumped the whole range.

I sailed on a 651 trans altlantic and it was a fine race boat but inside built like and ugly brick public toilet. We had 6 on board and we buisier than a 1 armed wallpaper hanger to sail it.

I had an interesting experience seeing an old 45' in Sydney a few months ago: On the boat you are looking at, you want to pull the floorboards up and look down into the black hole of the bilges... because thats what it will be. A smelly black hole full of tankage. Stuffed if I know what you do if you get a problem down there!

Just to make matters worse the Swan name will have a price premium on it. So a $50k Swan would be worth, say, $30k (imho) its just everyone wanders around and says "but its a Swan!"

1976 - 2009 = 33 years. Would you buy a 33 year old car? What about one reguralry dunked in salt water?

If you have $75k there's boats around that will be much better suited.

Its a buyers market out there. Squeeze the pips till they squirt juice in your eye
We can agree to disagree but there is one counterpoint I wanted to make. There is no doubt that Swans cost a premium (some might argue based on build quality and performance, not just the name), but they also hold their value unusually well. It is not unusualy for people to cruise these boats for a few years and then sell them for what they bought them for, or more. How many other boats can you say this about?
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Old 23-09-2010, 20:50   #28
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I own a '74 Swan 41 and can attest to her absolutely beautiful open ocean performance. I love the way she sails, and I do most of mine single handed.

They are real sea boats and won't fall start falling apart in a seaway when the weather turns nasty.

The 70's vintage Swans had beautiful lines. The newer ones seem quite spartan and austere and seem to lack the character one falls in love with. They are a bit small in the interior and I would change the layout if I could but I'd rather have a boat that can really be sailed. If you love Swans, nothing else comes close. SIngle handing the 41 is easy. I suspect that much of the complaining is from inexperienced sailors.
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Old 23-09-2010, 21:34   #29
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I did talk to people about the 70's Swans and they said that they had to have two people on the tiller when going downwind on a blow. These were racers. To my mind a boat with a wider transom is more stable off the wind and given a choice I try to set my course for downwind. The old IOR designs with the pinched stern are nice to look at but their performance is not up to that of a boat that was not designed to a particular rule.
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Old 23-09-2010, 23:07   #30
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Swan 41s

Charlie;
You're right about the downwind performance on IOR rule boats such as the Swan 41, to a point. On a spinnaker run in strong winds, the Swan 41 tends to start oscilating, largely because the rudder is too far forward and therefore does not have enough authority (this is why it is moved aft on the 411.) Oscilations can be controlled by controlling the shape of the kite (ie: not allowing the shoulders to become full, and keeping the angles between the foot and the leech and the foot and the luff as near 90 degrees as possible.

They must have had midgets on board to need 2 on the helm.

I have taken my 41 through the Hecate Strait and on the outside of Vancouver Island in some horrendous weather and she stands beautifully. Very confidence inspiring. On the other hand I've been on Beneteaus and boats of that ilk whose hulls start panting in similar conditions. Definitely not confidence inspiring, IMHO.

I would also venture to say that the 41 is as fast as any Beneteau of the same length. In rough conditions, faster.
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