How Beneteau Swifts Shook Up The U.S. Trawler Market

December 30, 2018 3:00 am

Dominated for decades by Asian imports, the demand for trawlers has remained fairly consistent over the years with the exception of the 1970s when high fuel prices caused a dramatic surge in sales. Characterized by their fuel-efficient operation and classic lines, most boating enthusiasts associate trawler designs with such well-known brands as Grand Banks, Albin, Marine Trader + Kady-Krogen, all Asian imports.

The trawler market was significantly impacted in the early 1990’s when Mainship Yachts began producing a series of American trawler-style yachts at a price point competitive with Asian models. Sabre Yachts, until then known for their high-quality sailboats, also entered the trawler market in the early 1990s with their Sabreline series of sedan and aft cabin cruisers. The introduction of the Swift Trawler 42 in 2004 was significant because Beneteau was a French manufacturer best known (like Sabre) for their line of sailboats.

In 2011, Beneteau followed up with the introduction of the now-iconic Swift Trawler 34, a stylish and value priced coastal cruiser that hit the sweet spot with many American buyers. Out of nowhere, this European builder was becoming a serious player in the U.S. trawler market. Recent years have seen the introduction of several new Swift Trawler models, all of which share the sleek styling, agile performance and innovative features buyers are drawn to in a modern trawler yacht. 


Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 yacht for sale trawler walkthrough video

Beneteau 30 Swift Trawler ST30 | 2016–Current
Watch ST30 Walkthrough Video

Swift Trawler 30 At a Glance: The Swift Trawler 30 is the smallest trawler-style cruiser to come along in many years. Boasting an asymmetrical deck layout (the starboard side deck is wider than the port side deck), the compact salon is well appointed and functional. The cabinet to port houses the galley and storage cabinets and a door at the helm provides easy deck access. 

Her dinette table can be moved to the cockpit. To conserve space, the head is split with the shower room to port. (A second cabin with bunk beds can replace the shower room.) The cockpit isn’t huge but with a removable ladder and two gates on the swim platform, it’s big enough. The engine bay is reached from hatches in the salon sole. Note the wide 11’7″ beam. A single Volvo 370hp D6 diesel will cruise the Swift Trawler 30 at 15–17 knots. Over 100 were reportedly built in the first year of production.


Beneteau Swift Trawler 34

 Beneteau 34 Swift Trawler ST34 | 2011–2017
Watch ST34 Walkthrough Video

Swift Trawler 34 At a Glance: The boat that put the Beneteau brand front and center in the U.S. market — over 400 were produced. The 34’s roomy interior has the galley all the way forward on the port side, directly across from the helm station. Large cabin windows provide panoramic views of the water. Four steps down, the master stateroom with centerline double berth is forward and a guest cabin with upper/lower berths is to port.

Her aft deck/cockpit is sheltered by a bridge extension. A large hatch in the sole provides access to a lazarette storage area as well as the generator. With her high bulwarks, sliding door at the helm and asymmetrical side decks — the starboard side deck is wider than the portside deck — getting around the 34 is easy. Built on a lightweight hull with hard aft chines and a long shallow keel, a single 425hp Cummins diesel will cruise at 10–12 knots (low 20s top).


Beneteau Swift Trawler 35 — Exceptional Performance

 Beneteau 35 Swift Trawler ST35 | 2017–Current
Watch ST35 Walkthrough Video


Swift Trawler 35 At a Glance:
Successor to the super-popular Swift Trawler 34 (of which more than 400 were built), the Swift Trawler 35 will appeal to sailors and powerboaters alike. Traditional layout has a convertible dinette to starboard in the salon and the U-shaped galley forward to port. Large salon windows flood the interior with natural lighting and a door beside the lower helm affords easy access to the deck.

There are two cabins and a single head with separate stall shower below. The asymmetric design — the starboard side deck is wider than the port side deck — makes the most of the Swift Trawler’s interior space. A unique foldout transom opens the cockpit to the swim platform. Bow and stern thrusters, teak cockpit sole and a starboard boarding gate are standard. A single Cummins 425hp diesel will cruise economically at 12 knots (16–18 knots top).


ST42 Swift

Beneteau 42 Swift Trawler ST42 | 2004–2009


Swift Trawler 42 At a Glance:
First of the Beneteau Swift Trawler series, notable for distinctive styling and simple, no-nonsense construction.  A trawler in appearance only, the 42 is built on a modified-V hull making her capable of cruising speeds well beyond those of traditional trawlers. Appealing two-stateroom interior features a roomy salon with mahogany joinery, compact galley with deck door and double-wide helm seat. 

An island queen berth is in the master stateroom while the guest stateroom is fitted with a double berth. Flybridge overhangs shade both side decks as well as the cockpit. Wing doors are unique in any trawler design. Wide side decks are a plus. Note the large cockpit storage lazarette, spacious engine room, centerline transom door and entry gate in the starboard bulwark. Cruise at 20 knots with twin Yanmar 370hp diesels (low to mid 20s top).


Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 walkthrough video

 Beneteau 44 Swift Trawler ST44 | 2011–Current
Watch ST44 Walkthrough Video


Swift Trawler 44 At a Glance:
Agile, seaworthy and fuel efficient, the Swift Trawler 44 was designed to replace the Swift Trawler 42 with the extra length coming from the 44’s swim platform. The similarities end there however and the 44 is a generational step up from her predecessor. The roomy two stateroom interior features a well-appointed salon with mahogany joinery and a lower helm with deck access door.

The Swift 44’s styling is distinctive and her asymmetrical deck layout results in a more spacious salon than one expects in a boat this size. An extended flybridge shelters the cockpit where wing doors offer additional protection from wind and spray. Note the rounded front windows and starboard-side boarding gate. On the downside, the engine room is a tight fit. Twin 300hp Volvo D4 diesels cruise at 14–15 knots (low to mid 20s top).


Beneteau 50 Trawler

Beneteau 50 Swift Trawler ST50 | 2014–Current
Watch ST50 Storage Walkthrough Video


Swift Trawler 50 At a Glance:
Designed for IPS pod drive propulsion, at just over 35,000 pounds the Swift Trawler 50 is lighter and more fuel efficient than most 40-footers. Available with either three cabins or two double cabins plus an office with an extra berth, wide doors open into a compact salon with panoramic views in every direction. The starboard C-shaped lounge is a great place to hang out while enjoying the entertainment center housed in the storage lockers to port.

Below, her full-beam master stateroom is accented with mahogany paneling and two large portlights. The 50’s asymmetrical deck plan maximizes salon space and the aft deck/cockpit is sheltered by a flybridge extension. A pilothouse side door makes docking easy. Built on a semi-displacement hull with a long keel, twin 435hp Volvo IPS 600 diesels cruise at 16-18 knots (mid 20s top).

 

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