Your Brilliant Traveling Companion

Darned clever those Beneteau people! Rather than just showing their Swift 34 at boat shows or in ads, the company rigged out a boat, named it “The Greatest Loop” and sent it on a 5,137 nautical mile journey of nearly four months traveling the circumnavigation of the Eastern U.S. and Canada commonly referred to as the “Great Loop”.

This was no vacation though.

According to Laurent Fabre, president of Beneteau in North America, “The success of The Greatest Loop’s adventure is quite remarkable especially given her achievement of such an ambitious schedule which began on May 15, 2012 and successfully concluded on September 6, 2012. When we first consulted experts about our planned journey on the Great Loop, we were cautioned our schedule might be somewhat unrealistic, but we were fortunate no significant hurdles impaired our travel plans.”

Beneteau’s The Greatest Loop boat stopped in the Toronto area during the Great Loop trip, and our Canadian Yachting magazine team jumped on board and ran the boat all around the Port Credit area, taking notes and shooting video...and getting a pretty good feel for a now well used Swift 34!

In all, twelve different crews had come onboard to run the boat through various segments of the Great Loop trip, so the boat had experienced many drivers, many dockings, had been run a long distance at an aggressive pace and had accommodated many people in its short life to that point. But, apart from having “things” stuffed in every nook and cranny and an over-the-top inventory of accessories and equipment, the boat ran like brand new, showed no sign of wear and was clearly ready for the next leg of the trip.

She was outfitted with equipment and products supplied by Beneteau partners Cummins, Cummins Onan, Raymarine, Dometic Group, Interlux, DeLorme and Zodiac. Other industry partners lending support for the journey included ValvTect, SGB Finance, BoatUS, Weems & Plath, America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, Marina Life, Trawler Fest, Dozier’s Waterway Guide, T2H Advertising and Annapolis Yacht Sales in addition to other Beneteau dealers around the country.

Overall, the Swift 34 is actually almost 37 feet long on a 13 foot beam and with a full and spacious flying bridge, so there is a lot of living space in a comparatively short length. That’s desirable so you can more easily find a slip when traveling, or at your home marina for that matter.

This is a modern “ fast trawler” design so it has the accommodation and seakeeping qualities of a traditional trawler yacht but instead of a top speed of 10 or 12 knots, the Swift 34 tops at about 24 mph and cruises very economically at about 17 mph.

That’s how you race through the 5,137 nautical mile Great Loop in under 4 months!

The boat is powered by a single Cummins QSB 5.9 diesel engine of 425 hp with common rail fuel injection, electronic controls and it delivers effortless and quiet performance at all times. In fact, you can barely hear it from the flying bridge helm. That’s where I’d run the boat almost all the time, but there is a full lower helm in the saloon to drive through inclement weather or scorching heat in comfort.

The upper helm includes a single helm seat that adjusts and swivels, so that you can turn around to join your friends at the dining table. The port side of the bridge has built-in seating for 4 or 5 people and we would guess that most people will have their meals up top in the breeze where there’s a nice view. The reverse flow venturi windshield does a good job of deflecting the winds up and over the passengers. The helm has MerCruiser SmartCraft controls, Lenco trim tabs, MaxPower bow thruster, Raymarine multifunction display and autopilot. The test boat also was equipped with FLIR night vision, a Raymarine VHF radio and a Plastimo compass.

The flying bridge covers the whole cabin top and carries all the way back to the transom providing a tremendously spacious upper level. The boat included a mast arrangement with Newmar and Harkin winches and hardware so that you could lift the Zodiac dinghy right up to the top. Incidentally, the Zodiac was equipped with a Torqueedo electric motor with lithium-ion batteries.

The hull design is a vee-shape with a partial keel so it can handle surprisingly rough conditions and tracks well over a long leg. The same features cause it to lean out a little on tight fast turns or steer itself down steep waves but that’s how these boats run so relax, engage the autopilot and sit back in comfort. The Raymarine nav suite will guide you to your destination and the big bridge with a Bimini top is the place to ride.

If the sun is still too much, move to the cockpit sheltered by the bridge overhang. Once moored, this is the best spot to be. We liked the liberal use of teak surfaces and there’s a big hatch leading to the lazarette for storage and service access. There’s also a large aft bench seat accommodating up to perhaps 5 people.

The swim platform is generous and the teak surfaces are smooth and usually offer safe footing. There is a great folding ladder but it’s secured where a man overboard could not reach it. That’s a little thing we don’t like on most new boats. I’d like to see emergency MOB ladders  on every boat. The transom door has a spring-loaded latch which struck us as a very secure mechanism and there is a transom shower plus a serious manual bilge pump there too.

The three-section glass cabin door opens wide and latches open for safety. Opening screened side glass and a cabin side door to the starboard walkway lets the breezes flow through the cabin. The starboard side deck is protected under an overhang and there is a hull side gate which is sometimes the better way onboard, depending on the docks.

The lower helm features a double wide sliding helm seat, a wooden ship’s wheel another set of SmartCraft controls, Raymarine Hybrid Touch MFD, Raymarine autopilot and controls for the Cummins Onan generator. The boat was air conditioned too.

In the saloon, having the galley up is a nice feature and the cook gets double stainless steel sinks that are deep and big enough for dinner plates and pots - great! We also liked the ENO stove which is propane and has a glass cover that becomes a backsplash when you’re cooking - clever! Also there’s an oven so you could bake a cake or even cookies.

The cutlery and utensil drawers are appreciated and pot bin even more so. There is a garbage container with an automatic lid and ample counter space but we noticed there was no built-in for the microwave. Perhaps the Greatest Loop boat had lost some counter space when it was outfitted.

There are window blinds for privacy but the cabin is very airy and open. The Greatest Loop boat had sisal fiber mat that snaps down to protect the floor.

We really liked the clever dining table that slides open with a center leaf that slides out. It’s a high low table and the top tilts so it stays out of the way when you’re going in and out.

Moving forward, it’s four steps down to the staterooms with the quarter berth to the port side.  That has two singles, a mirrored locker door and two opening port holes.

The master has a shaped queen berth and an opening overhead hatch. The berth lifts up to reveal a major storage area underneath. There are two side bins, a starboard side locker and the portside hanging locker. We especially liked the storage bin underneath the dressing seat.

In the head there is a Jabsco Rule MSD with level indicators for the holding tank as well as gray water tank. We felt there was plenty of storage available under the vanity for towels, toilet paper and more. The head is set up with a curtain and a hand-held shower which results in a pretty large area and there is a side porthole as well as a deck hatch to help dry things out after use.

The mirror is positioned nicely for shaving or doing makeup and there is an access hatch for plumbing under the dashboard instruments.


SPECIFICATIONS

Test boat engine: Single Cummins QSB 5.9 diesel, 5.9 liter / 359 ci four stroke diesel, electronic fuel injection, turbocharged and aftercooled, 425 hp with ZF transmission.

ENGINE RPM    SPEED MPH
Idle 600 4.2
1000 6.2
1250 7.9
1500 8.2
1750 8.9
2000 9.1
2350 15.1
2500 16.9
2750 20.1
3000 23.2
3100 23.8

CRUISING SPEED rpm / mph
2500 / 16.9

SPECIFICATIONS:
OVERALL LENGTH: 36’7” / 11.14 m
BEAM: 13’1” / 4 m
WEIGHT: 16,356 lbs / 7,471 kg
FUEL CAPACITY: 211 gals / 800 L
WATER CAPACITY: 85 gals / 320 L
PRICE AS TESTED: $423,998 USD

Test boat, Performance data and specifications by: Beneteau Groupe - www.beneteau.com

Price quoted by: Anchor Yacht Sales, www.anchoryachtsales.com

By Andy Adams

Related Articles

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 09:23

The 2013 First 36.7 North American Championship (NAC) Organizing committee is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2013 First 36.7 NAC.   Scheduled for September 5-8,...

Friday, 03 January 2014 15:49

The Beneteau Oceanis 38 claims more flexibility than seen before on this size of boat and a new way of looking at below decks, giving the boat an airy loft than a traditional cabin arrangement.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 11:56

The Beneteau Oceanis 55 was unveiled at the Paris Boat Show in December 2012.  We had the pleasure of sailing the Oceanis 55 immediately following the North American debut at Strictly Sail – the...

Friday, 03 January 2014 10:56

I had the pleasure of running and reviewing the Swift 50 when I was in Annapolis last October; the boat was supplied by Beneteau America and was moored at Annapolis Yacht Sales.The French-built...

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:29

The new Beneteau Barracuda 9 is set to devour old-fashioned competitors as it redefines the design and performance realities for power boats under 30 feet.  Parts of the Beneteau Barracuda 9 may...

Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:55

Beneteau America has announced an extensive schedule of owners’ events including 16 Owners Rendezvous and 4 Beneteau Cup series to be held in North America this Summer and through Fall.

 

 

Viko S35

By Katherine Stone

I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

Read More

 

 

Four Winns H4

 

Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

The Cadillac Michigan-built H4 is a brand-new design this year and we think it's especially handsome. The vertical stem bow is all new and innovative. It is a design feature that was chosen to give Four Winns and the H4 a sense of modern and contemporary look while the stern remains more traditional. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

West Side Story

by Jennifer M. Smith, drone photos by Alex Nikolajevich

It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

We made the 10 a.m. bridge out of Little Current and motor-sailed east southeast in light northerlies. We’d often sailed past Snug Harbour, a nearly land-locked anchorage on the north side of Lansdowne Channel because the chart suggested we’d never make it in there with our six-foot draft. 

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
You’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into your boat so naturally, you want to find ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Do you have abnormal engine vibration; rubber dust around engine mounts; telltale signs of possible ...
As Thanksgiving heads our way, it tends to be the ‘last hurrah’ on many fronts:  the last long ...
As the busy season starts to wind down, many boaters turn to the maintenance that has been ...
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...

Supplies and Colour Matching

by Marc Robic

After 27 years of sun and traffic, the cockpit floor on Aquaholic was starting to look faded and had many small pinholes and minor surface cracks. These pinholes are mostly caused by small air pockets that lay just below the gelcoat surface. Of course, this is exacerbated by particles such as small rocks or debris under shoes, dropped winch handles, etc.

Luckily, Catalina Yachts is still very much in business and are very helpful when owners have questions or need parts. I ordered a small quantity of original formula Catalina grey and white gelcoat for my model and year.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
What happened. Where did our summer go? Well, never mind that, it’s time to start thinking about ...
Cruising boaters visiting new destinations can face challenges when the marina's shorepower system ...
Worn plastic hatch covers can detract from a boat's appearance and its functionality, especially ...
The first builder of electric boats, founded in 1893, Elco now introduces new designs of its EP-6, ...
More than 3/4 of all recreational boats (power and sail) are under 26 feet and towable.
One of the top requests in the electrification of water transport is for a jet ski that can deliver ...
Many boat toilets have dimensions similar to a five-gallon bucket—and are nearly as uncomfortable. ...
Working alongside a US-based designer and boat building company, Burlington ON-based MarsKeel ...
It’s still vacation time and that means calories don’t count. The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 ...
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...

News

  • Prev
Parks Canada advises that the Kirkfield Lift Lock will begin single-chamber lockages for through ...
The Four Winns TH36 Catamaran had its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September ...
After borrowing boats for a couple of years, longtime J105 fanatic and many-year organizer of the ...
Due to ongoing mechanical issues, the Kirkfield Lift Lock will remain closed for the foreseeable ...
BCI Marine is announcing that it will become Canada's distributor of OXE Marine's ...
US Team Zing’s increased boat speed and improved crew work were no match for the extraordinary crew ...
Vision Marine, founded in Montreal and currently based in Boisbriand QC, in partnership with ...
On Sunday, August 21, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) held its fourth annual ...
While there’s still some good weather left, let’s take a moment to celebrate this summer. Sunny, ...
Light air conditions prevented racing on Saturday, which meant there were three fleet races on ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More