Since others may find this older thread about the Swift Trawler 34 (or updated 35), I’ll add some actual information here to offset the conjecture and bogus comments. And for a large subset of cruising folks, I’ll show why this boat could serve as a good alternative to a sailboat. But let’s first revisit the gripes and assumptions stated above...and apologies for some videos not carrying over (but the links do work).
Engine under cabin = lots of noise and poor access:
Compared to what? Compared to the contortionist nightmares that exist on many sailboats?
which measures actual engine noise at idle in decibels and pegs it as below conversational level noise. (More on this later). This same video evaluates engine access. Watch the video and see what you think.
which gives further views of the engine access along with a survey
of the entire boat after a 6,000 mile Great Loop.
Parts are not “glassed down”:
For example? Known failures? For starters, consider the last video above. Did the survey
find any working, gelcoat
crazing or other hints of structural weakness. Not at all.
showing the 34’s smaller Swift Trawler 30 sister ship banging into a head
sea off Palma in the Med
. Same hull form, same build details. Was the reviewer concerned for the boat? No, quite the contrary.
Too much horsepower and too inefficient at slow speeds:
Well, let’s look at some tables
for the almost identical 35 that replaced the 34. Motoring down the ICW
or across Puget Sound
at ~6.3 kts, this 10 ton boat’s fuel burn is ~2 gph, or about twice my 10 ton ketch
. So yes, the 34/35’s engine is thirstier. Why? Because it has 6.5 times more horsepower on tap, and for a reason. (The sound level measured in the main cabin at 6.3 kts is 72 dba, comparable to a conversational level). It’s main underway tactical advantage for the cruiser, over the sailboat, is the ability to run at planing speeds when needed or desired. That is part of its defined mission. (More on that later).
That Cummins engine won’t last if kept to low rpm’s:
That’s opinion absent fact. How about hearing
based on his knowledge of the engine and while using it in both the 34 & 35.
It has too many cabins:
Really? We’ve had an occasional guest on all four of our sailboats while cruising, even our little 20’ Flicka. Beyond that, cruisers have another use for the 2nd sleeping cabin and its two bunk beds. Moving the top mattress to the bottom berth, they line the top berth with large plastic bins. What an easy peasy way to provision for the Bahamas
before jumping off.
Not a ‘real’ cruising boat:
Take a look at
, and also
. I’ve sailed in both these waters and I can tell you what you’re seeing. This is the kind of sea that European cruising folks get stuck with when they have to cross between Britain and the European mainland, they have left their departure too late, and they must accept the weather
they are given. Also, don’t miss the amount of engine noise being recorded. While these examples are anecdotal, those boats don't seem to be any noisier at displacement rpm's than any of my sailboats were. There’s a reason Beneteau has sold
hundreds of the 34/35 in Europe
and the UK with resale prices remaining high.
So why do I claim this is a reasonable choice for a large subset of cruisers?
Because like some of you, I’ve been up and down the ICW
enough times to know that slow motor boating
run becomes tedious, the engine noise day after day dulls the senses, and there are long stretches that become boring. Because we get tired of drifting around the Chesapeake during the summers, stewing in our own juice. Because it takes us way too long to get to Great Exuma since we have to plan the legs around our average 5 kt cruising speed. I would run this boat primarily at displacement speeds and enjoy 400-600 mile ranges with reserves. But for me, on occasion time can be more precious than fuel. Because I’d like more choice in where I ride out forecasted bad weather
. Because there are times I’d much rather be working my way over the banks or running a channel from up on a fly bridge rather than down in a sailboat cockpit…or be inside in inclimate weather…or have the option to extend my boating season absent significant discomfort. Reread Sail2Power’s post above; he gets it. This is a capable cruising boat in its own right and has its own set of benefits. It’s just not a sailboat.