By John Armstrong and Andy Adams
The most affordable Swift model is a spacious home afloat
At the last Miami International Boat Show, we had the pleasure of interviewing Delphine Andre, Product Manager for the Beneteau trawler range of boats, a position she has held for five years now. Her role is to coordinate the work of the Naval architects and designers with Beneteau’s engineering department to focus on customer needs and desires to help make their cruising dreams come true.
Delphine explained that a trawler is really a dream for a lot of their customers and the idea of introducing the Swift 30, which is more affordable and slightly smaller than their very successful Swift 34 model, opens up this type of cruising to more people. Starting with the 30 also begins a process where a loyal Beneteau customer can move up in size if they wish.
This is a new yacht that is full of innovative features, some are optional but many are included. The transom is both the first place you’re likely to experience the boat and perhaps one of the most innovative features. The main innovation is the opening transom that gives you walk-on or roll-on dockside access, even for people with different accessibility needs. The transom itself opens in three separate sections, the centre being a normal transom door from the swim platform while the two side sections swing to open up the cockpit significantly. The side sections conceal innovative optional foldout seats to make the most of the space.
Adding to the utility of the cockpit, the ladder to the flying bridge actually moves inward towards the cabin bulkhead saving considerable space. The cockpit is largely sheltered by the overhanging fly bridge and on the starboard side is a very large catwalk leading to a cabin side door by the helm, which is especially useful for docking, and a hull side door allows entrance from the starboard side.
Another great feature that isn’t immediately apparent is that Beneteau has incorporated aluminum framing into the construction of the boat resulting in particularly large, opening side windows and better sealing against rain and spray.
While the starboard side has the catwalk, the deck design is asymmetrical with smaller decks down the port side. This gives more room in the salon while still letting you get easily all the way around the boat.
Up on the bow are high rails, flat decks and a big anchor and windlass system is available. The propane locker is here too and there is an optional deck sun pad that is huge.
The aft bulkhead is all opening glass sections and with the large side windows and big windshield, there’s a lot of lot of light that comes into the boat. Privacy curtains are included.
Continuing the clever features is the asymmetrical base on the dining table. This allows it to slide almost completely out of the way against the salon couch, or pull it out for more dining space. We were impressed with the versatility. Two heavy-duty drawers pull out at either end of the couch. This is storage space with a cover over it. Lift off the cover, flip that upside down and you discover another padded seat cushion turning a straight couch into a wraparound dinette. In addition, if you pull out all three storage drawers, the couch becomes a full double berth to accommodate guests.
Because trawlers are designed for living aboard, the galley is up in the salon area and it’s very functional with large dual stainless steel sinks, very good counter space for a yacht of this size, available microwave, propane stove with potholders and a large capacity refrigerator. Then, for the North American market, a second refrigerator is available to go under the sink area, increasing the capacity for long cruises.
Trash and recycle is stowed under the helm seat and there is a big cutlery drawer for all your utensils, also under the helm.
As you head down below, it’s hard to believe that you’re in a 30 footer with generous standing headroom, tremendous light coming in the hull side glazing and from the overhead hatch in the forward stateroom. The boat we reviewed had the single cabin layout, which offers really spacious accommodation. The Swift 30 is also available with a second cabin for families with children.
Continuing with the main cabin, there is a portside hanging locker and inside that are all the pre-wiring and connections for satellite television. We noted that there are a multitude of A/C electrical outlets located throughout the boat.
On the starboard side is quite a spacious head, accessed through a sliding pocket door to save space. There are two portholes for light and ventilation, a large mirror over quite a sizable sink and with significant storage in the vanity cabinets. There could be a shower here but wait!
In the single cabin version, where Beneteau would have placed the mid-cabin, they had the space to install a totally separate shower compartment. This has two more portholes for ventilation and generous standing height. The faucets and fixtures are quite elegant.
Next, we went to the engine room. For access, you slide the dining table out of the way and a huge salon floor hatch opens to reveal the optional Volvo D6 370 horse diesel engine. All the main service points are easily accessed through this one large floor hatch. Delphine Andre made a point of noting that the boat is equipped with tanks on port and starboard to ensure balance and that the salon couch can slide to reveal another hatch for the less frequently needed service points. Long-distance cruisers will care that the boat carries 720 L (190 Gallons) of fuel and can make approximately 250 nautical miles while traveling at 14 to 15 knots.
The helm side cabin door is surprisingly large and offers excellent access as well as ventilation when running. There is a doublewide helm seat and tremendous glass areas for great outward visibility. A cruising couple can make a long passage together in the air-conditioned salon at the lower helm. It has a large ship’s wheel, footrest, controls on the dashboard, a centre mounted compass and an optional 16-inch Raymarine multifunction display.
Other important points about the lower helm are that the boat can be equipped with thrusters for easy docking, autopilot makes long passages effortless and there is easy access to all of the dashboard electrical systems.
Next, we went up the ladder to the flying bridge and Delphine emphasized the feeling of safety you get on this very generously sized flying bridge. Side rails are high and designed so that children can’t fall through. On the port side is a U- shaped seat around a small table with drink holders and the helm seat has a clever flip-flop removable backrest. The upper helm station includes a complete set of controls with multifunction display for full navigation from the upper station. To reduce the bridge clearance significantly, they have designed the table to be removable, the helm seat to fold down and the entire dashboard and wheel assembly to also fold down.
John Armstrong had the pleasure of sea trialing this new Swift model with Justin Joyner, Manager, Beneteau America Power Boats and renowned marine photographer, Billy Black.
The sea trial took place in Sarasota Bay where the winds were light to moderate, the tide was running and the temperature was in the low eighties. Getting off the dock was a breeze made possible by the thrusters, the stability of the keel and the single engine Volvo. Once out in Sarasota Bay, we put this new Lady through her paces. Best cruising speed seemed to be running at 3,200 RPM, reaching 20 Knots and burning 14 GPH.
She was a dream to handle in all conditions that we encountered. I was amazed at how true the boat tracked, taking into consideration the tide, wind and chop.
Beneteau has done it again. The Swift 30 is a home run. This yacht is spacious, well equipped, very economical to run yet also has the ability to out run weather.
Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s October 2016 issue.
Engine: Single Volvo Penta D6 370 diesel,.4 Blade 24×25 RH50
RPM Speed in Knots Fuel Burn in US GPH
600 2.3 0.3
1000 4.5 0.9
1500 6.5 2.2
2000 8.2 5.1
2500 10.3 9
3000 16.5 13
3560 23 21 MAX
Overall Length (L.O.A): 9,99 m 32’9’’
Hull length: 9,58 m 31’5’’- with platform (optional): 10,39 m 34’1’’
Beam: 3,53m 11’7’’
Light displacement (EC): 6 000 kg 13.224 lbs
Fuel capacity: 720 L 190 US Gal
Water capacity: 2 x 150 L 2 x 40 US Gal
Maximum engine power: 370 HP
Price as tested: $386,595.00 US$
Test Boat Supplied by Beneteau America, www.beneteau.com
Photo 1 – The remarkably well-organized Swift 30 delivers impressive accommodation in an easily-handled package.
Photo 2 – The Swift 30 is also available with an attractive coloured hull. It really moves along too!
Photo 3 – On our single cabin test boat, the cabin is in the bow, has good storage space and is bright and airy.
Photo 4 – On the test boat, the flying bridge area had a complete helm that could be lowered for bridge clearance, and port side seating with a table makes this a grand area for leisurely cruising.
Photo 5 – Especially with the innovative transom and glass bulkhead doors all open, the salon and cockpit seem like a much larger boat.
Photo 6 – For best fuel economy, cruise slowly and make good use of the fully equipped lower helm in the air conditioned comfort of the salon.
Photo 7 & 8 – These two shots show the very clever transom doors closed as a transom and open to add space, for swimming or at dockside.