What kind of Swan 48, Sparkman & Stephens, Frers from the 90's or the most recent Frers 48?
Assuming talking about S&S and I do not want to advocate our own ship which I probably do....
Living and cruising on a S&S Swan 431 for a couple of years now, we think they are great cruisers. We looked for years(10) at an S&S 48 to live on but decided in the last two years of planning to buy a Swan 431. The main reason was to have little bit easier to manage boat (for ocean sailing) with two persons. Also to reduce some cost in replacement of the bigger items like rigging sails
We think the 48 S&S is maybe one the nicest yachts build. I tent to believe it was build in a time when designers decided how it should be done and not what the market wanted. Resulting in very seaworthy
sailors sail ships. Sailing and safety
are coming before luxury. Still the comfort comes out when living on it, small windowns (not much sun coming in), good ventilation (big dorades), etc. just good design.
We thought the interieur of the 431 was better suited for living aboard
with two persons. You have to get used to the entrance, also with the 48 but you do and you get a lot of space back interieur wise in you galley
and aft cabin
. Even more important, waves have a hard time entering the cabin
because the cockpit
is closed, very seaworthy
. A lot of the interior
is build around serious sailing and being able to move trough the boat in heavy weather
. That is a form of comfort too.
All Swans are sailors sail ships but you can sail it with just two or even single
handled, you just be conservative with setting up sails
. They are power full but they sail great with reduced sails and feel like a rock. A lot of times not even slowing down. Those yachts are made to club race
with a crew, so cruising with the two of you means everything is overbuild. We like that as we know we will not break it easily. So sailing a Swan conservatively is a very save way of sailing, you know they can deal with that. That is a comfortable feeling in times of stress. You can trust these yachts.
We know from experience these yachts are extremely strong and solid sailing ships. The last two years we sailed from the Netherlands
to continue to a circumnavigation
when the world opens up again. We love the way she sails and we love living on it. You have to make some compromises as they have less room than a more modern yacht but you get used to it. We prefer the Sparkman & Stephens design as we think these are focused on seaworthiness and made less compromises for comfort reasons. And we like the S&S lines so much. Witch I think is important, if you gonna spend so much time and money on a yacht you better be in love to what you are looking at.
Now if they talk about a brand new 48, that is a different story. I think they are build for a short handed crew and are maybe better suited to use as a more modern liveaboard
. But they do have more complex machinery set up. If coastal sailing was my primary goal this could be the easier choice when funds are sufficient. Still I would probably prefer an S&S, but I'm biased
I cannot comment on the Frers Swan from the 90's but know they where very populair. Still a bit more club racing
than the new Frers 48
Maybe a new 48 would be the best way to go with not so much experience. These yachts are probably easier to manage. Still I like the classic
Swan more and if you have the funds for a new 48 you can have a lot of work
being done to a S&S 48. Than you always have a classic
Swan 48 that will always look stunning. Next to that you do good work
to restore a classic witch can be a nice thing to do to.
I also think you only live once and you should go for things you want if you can manage it and do it now before it is to late. Don't worry to much on getting to old just adjust the conditions of your sailing. Adjust the ship to your capabilities.
You will enjoy the quality of a Swan the moment you own her and that will not fade.