Beneteau, the largest producer of recreational vessels in France and owner of a major boatbuilding plant in Marion, South Carolina, recently rolled out the Swift Trawler 42, its first trawler yacht-and the company's first powerboat to reach the U.S. market. Beneteau is already well known on these shores for its wide and highly regarded range of sailboats, so it should come as no surprise that Beneteau's entry into the U.S. power market is a strong one.
The Swift Trawler 42 makes a very positive impression. I particularly appreciated the ease of movement about the decks, possibly a carry-over from Beneteau's extensive sailboat design experience. The interior space is very well used and avoids the negative impact of squeezing too much into a space. At anchor, she will be a very livable boat for a couple and occasional guests.
The Beneteau 42 can cruise all day at better then 20 knots without abusing her engines, structure or systems. The waterline beam, just under 14 feet, accounts in part for the ease with which the boat achieves her cruising speeds-it is somewhat smaller than what has become common of boats of this type. Whatever penalty the slightly narrow beam might have exacted on interior space and stowage is offset by Beneteau's experience building sailboats, where every cubic inch is put to use.
The secret of this fast trawler lies in the builder's combination of careful hull design, weight control and choice of efficient power plants. She is powered by twin 370 hp Yanmar six-cylinder turbo diesels and reaches a top speed in excess of 25 knots. Her hull has a sharp entry and maximum deadrise of 16 degrees, tapering to 12 at the transom. The yacht's draft, only 3 feet, 5 inches, combines with props that are partly recessed into shallow hull tunnels, allowing practical access to thin waters.
High hull sides, combined with the upper-deck overhang, provide excellent protection for the side decks. The house is typical of modern trawler-yacht design, with large glass windscreens forward and fixed ports on the sides. The highly efficient aft cockpit has wing doors that close off the side decks. There are two hull bulwark doors: one on the transom for access to the swim platform, the other adjacent to the lower helm station's sliding door. A welded stainless-steel rail surrounds the foredeck, with a sailboat-like lower security wire in the aft sections.