ON TEST: CLUB­SWAN 50

For its 50th an­niver­sary, swan pro­duced some­thing so rad­i­cal toby hodges soon ran out of su­perla­tives

Yachting World - - Great Seamanship -

Ter­ri­ble. Woe­ful, in fact. This is a fe­ro­ciously ex­pen­sive yacht that makes no con­sid­er­a­tion for crew com­fort or ten­der stowage. And what about the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of park­ing such a tri­an­gu­lar hull? So, this is a showy de­sign. An ab­surd propo­si­tion, in fact. . . for any­one who is in the mar­ket for a blue­wa­ter cruiser.

Even if the Club­swan 50 did noth­ing else right – even if she were as im­prac­ti­cal as I have im­plied – she is a sight to be­hold. She is the most ex­treme-look­ing pro­duc­tion yacht I’ve seen. No com­puter-en­hanced ren­der­ings could do jus­tice to see­ing this yacht for the first time. She is fan­tas­ti­cally awe­some.

Nau­tor’s Swan well and truly re­moved the shack­les for this con­tem­po­rary beast. It has un­leashed a de­sign so fresh she de­serves an MTV doc­u­men­tary about her.

The only thing that looks Swan-like is the cov­eline with its fa­mil­iar blue ar­row head.

Nau­tor’s Swan has of­ten been ahead of the curve – the Fin­nish/ital­ian com­pany has been build­ing light­weight car­bon fly­ers for over a decade now – and for its 50th an­niver­sary it wanted to pro­duce a spec­tac­u­lar yacht. I think I can say it has achieved that rather hand­somely.

Mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Vanni Gal­gani said the com­pany didn’t re­ally care how many sold so long as the 50 had wow fac­tor. It has, but Ital­ian ro­man­ti­cism is not the point. This is the re­sult of a dili­gently re­searched, mul­ti­fac­eted pro­gramme from its first con­cept.

She’s a fab­u­lously fancy week­ender, per­haps, but more­over will be a fast and fun owner-driver one-de­sign class, with an am­bi­tious and ex­cit­ing Na­tions Cup pro­gramme (see the panel at the end) – and one that could only po­ten­tially suc­ceed un­der a name well prac­tised in or­gan­is­ing in­ter­na­tional re­gat­tas.

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