My kind of performance boat
By Andy Adams
You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!
With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat. All the dimensions are substantial – high and solid with a great spacious feeling onboard. I could comfortably go just about anywhere on the Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and again, that’s the kind of performance that really counts in my books.
For a bit of history on what is now the well-known and very successful Swift Trawler line, three years ago there were three models and the company had a plan to get up to six Swift models. The 47 is the newest addition to the line which now features a Swift 30, 35, 44, this new 47 and a 50.
They are all similar but each is very different in accommodation and price so happy Swift Trawler owners can move up (or down) in size as their needs may change, yet they can still enjoy the qualities that make the Swift line so popular.
Approaching the Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 from the dock, it looks substantial and salty. The flat deck areas and huge forward sun lounge will be easily used and much appreciated.
Starting at the stern, the swim platform with available hydraulic lift is designed to take a tender of up to 770 pounds. We see this as being more convenient than other boats that have davits to carry the dinghy on top. You can just drop this swim platform two feet down into the water and float on or off the integrated chocks.
From the swim platform the transom door on port takes you into the cockpit with almost a full width bench seat, teak flooring with big cockpit scuppers and a clever ladder that leads to the flying bridge.
Glass salon doors slide open to make the single level layout ideal for entertaining and the boat comes with the famous Swift Trawler table that has a hidden leaf built into the top allowing it to easily expand in capacity. This dining table can be picked up and moved from the salon to the cockpit quite easily.
Other cool features include the ladder to the flybridge which slides closed to vertical, keeping it out of the way and also controlling guests from making their way up to the flying bridge if you don’t want that.
Again, Beneteau has gone to an asymmetrical deck layout. The starboard side is noticeably wider with high sides and overhead deck protection leading up to the sliding side door by the helm. This makes docking and getting around the exterior easier and keeps you dry if it’s raining. We noticed that canvas can be fastened up under the overhang for even more protection.
Inside the salon as you pass through the three section door there is a foldout full-size sofa bed and the mattress stays in place so you can make it up to be ready at a moments notice. This expands the sleeping accommodation to four separate areas. It can be curtained off for privacy.
A great feature of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 is that it has even more refrigerator capacity than the 50 with an icemaker and three refrigerator / freezer drawers. The galley is up and on the port side with fiddles all around the generous counters.
The double-wide helm seat flips down to clear a large counter area expanding food prep and serving space greatly. There is also a counter top storage locker that would be ideal for all sorts of small items.
In this area is the ship’s control for the house lights, air-conditioning, stereo, generator /inverter and more. Wireless switches are everywhere and in the future, the next step is internet connectivity so you can control the boat remotely through the web – that is coming soon. The hardware and architecture has already been established.
The interior lower helm station is centered in the salon rather than being to one side which gives great ergonomics when sitting. You have a commanding view all around and the boat has little or no noticeable bow rise when planning off.
Flying bridge and upper helm
For long distance travel, I love the flying bridge helm. Fully equipped with two big Raymarine Hybrid Touch screens, Cummins engine controls and instrumentation Quick thrusters, Raymarine autopilot and VHF radio. The autopilot is ideal for long cruises with maximum relaxation. Analog instruments are included as well.
The helm seat is a swivel bucket so you can swing it around to join the conversation when moored and there’s an angled footrest when driving. We really liked the port and starboard double companion seats. The whole gang can sit facing forward. You can also flip the seat backs to be aft-facing sun lounges for added versatility.
Also on the flying bridge is a two leaf table that changes position to seat six for dinner and you can spread the two leaves right out to the sides for very spacious eating accommodation.
The test boat also featured a complete bridge galley with a grill, sink, refrigerator, trash locker and storage. There’s storage in the side benches and there’s a big open deck area over the cockpit where you can put out deck chairs or carry things like kayaks or bicycles.
The hard top is optional but you will really appreciate the shelter and it has an electric sunroof which opens up a huge area as well so again, maximum versatility.
In the foyer there are magnetic door latches on the lockers to keep from catching your clothes as you go up or down. A Splendide combination washer / dryer was fitted on the test boat; a great feature for cruising.
The owner’s cabin is forward with a TV, private head with shower, hanging lockers, overhead hatch and big hull side windows for light and a spacious feel. Storage lockers around the sides and under the berth accommodate extended cruising.
On the starboard side is the guest cabin that features a TV, storage and twin berths that can convert to a double. We noticed grab rails were everywhere we wanted them and also that the generator was very quiet. In the engine room is a little gray box. This separates water and exhaust gas from the generator and discharges below the waterline keeping the exhaust very quiet.
A third cabin lies on the starboard side. It’s smaller but still OK for an adult and would make a great storage space for a cruising couple. And, remember that there is the queen-sized sofa bed in the salon so the Swift Trawler 47 really has 4 separate cabin areas to accommodate plenty of guests.
The engine room
The Swift Trawler 47 features twin Cummins 425 hp QSB 6 .7 litre diesel engines and a Quick thruster system which enables you to spin it like a turntable. Each thruster has its own bank of batteries which is the better way to power it and the boat has hard chines to help it be very stable at rest or underway. It’s a semi-displacement hull that does 25 kn (about 30 mph) and the running surfaces have a defined keel and then prop shaft tunnels. The boat has a 1000 mile range at 1,250 rpm doing 9 mph and a range of 300 miles at 25 mph. To really stretch it, the 47 does 4 mpg at 8 mph.
Out in the bay, we found the acceleration to be very good. The boat was unaffected by the wind driven 1 to 2 foot chop and crossing our own wake was smooth, stable and always quite comfortable.
It’s very responsive to the throttle from mid range up because the diesels are already spooled up and producing big power. We cranked it over for a tight turn at top speed and the boat responded like a fast vee bottom only without much lean – it turns flat. There’s a big ship’s type wheel at the lower helm which is very nice. The flying bridge has a simply fabulous view and it’s a very large and spacious living area. The hardtop is simply huge and frankly, it’s as big as the hardtop on their 60 foot Monte Carlo.
There are 2×510 gallon fuel tanks in the engine room. The fuel filters and priming pumps are beside the water separators – it’s all very organized. A huge hatch gives easy access. We noted that the Cummins wiring harness for the engine management software helps Beneteau to reduce pounds and pounds of wire for the Smartcraft systems and you can use the Smartcraft coding system to diagnose any problems.
Our friends from Beneteau commented as they showed us through the Swift Trawler 47, that the design of this boat is a “relationship builder”. It has a remarkable number of separate areas as well as great common areas to suit everyone and every mood. You can live in peace on the 47 and see the world in comfort and with economy. That’s my idea of great performance!
RPM SPEED MPH
Overall Length (L.O.A): 14,74 m / 48’4’’
Hull length: 12,77 m / 41’11’’
Overall width: 4,5 m / 14’9’’
Beam: 4,42 m / 14’6’’
Light displacement (EC): 12 685 kg / 27,958 lbs
Fuel capacity: 1 930 L / 510 US Gal
Water capacity: 640 L / 169 US Gal
Holding capacity: 170 L / 45 US Gal
Grey water tank (Option): 320 L / 85 US Gal
Engine power: 2 x 425 HP
Price (as tested) $988,000 USD$
Boat and pricing supplied by: Beneteau America, www.beneteau.com