A door at the forward end of the foyer opens onto a slightly narrower guest stateroom. It has a hanging locker and direct access to the day-head, but its Pullman berth makes do with a foam mattress. The captain’s cabin is in the bow. A hatch gives him direct access to the foredeck, but his other route of escape takes him through the starboard-side guest stateroom. When the accommodations are buttoned up, the 66 FD offers its passengers an unusually high level of privacy.
Designing a deck plan for a yacht that serves two masters always requires compromises, but the 66 FD didn’t have any that troubled me. All of the Harken self-tailing winches run off 24-volt electric power. The three-speed mainsheet winches live closest to the helms; the three-speed primaries are right forward. The traveler, adjusted via small winches, spans the forward end of the working cockpit. Electric halyard winches are on the coachroof, either side of the companionway. Our crew of nine, some manning the boat and others relaxing in the forward cockpit, proved how well the arrangement works — no one tripped over another crew member.
We cast off and motored into the open waters of Narragansett Bay with winds of 12 to 20 knots blowing from the southeast. I was below stowing my gear at the nav station when the captain started the auxiliary. The six-cylinder Steyr purred very quietly as it warmed. A short while later, after I’d gone topside, we motored at 9 knots, but still the engine refused to raise its voice to an annoying level. Then the captain throttled back and headed into the wind. We hoisted the main, unrolled the jib and bore away on a starboard tack.
The mainsail has full-length battens on an Antal batten-car system and sets on an Offshore Spars carbon mast. Three sharply swept spreaders preclude the regular use of running backstays in most conditions on the good side of storms. Jib sheet tracks mounted on the outboard edges of the trunk cabin give Lionessa clear side decks and permit a tight sheeting angle, which aids her ability to sail close to the wind. We found her groove at 28 degrees to the apparent wind on one tack, but the conditions changed frequently. At one point, we saw 15 knots of wind aloft and almost nothing at the surface. She seemed happiest to me sailing at 33 to 35 degrees to the apparent wind in these gusty conditions. Our speed over the ground fluctuated between 9 and 10 knots.
Later in the afternoon, as we headed up the bay under gennaker and diminishing wind, we slowed to 5 to 6 knots. Throughout the sea trial, Lionessa steered accurately, showing a moderate amount of drag from the autopilot. She’d have a fingertip helm with the pilot disconnected. She tacked quickly and positively, accelerating briskly when I steered out of the tack at the right time. Sight lines over the low-profile trunk cabin were excellent, whether I steered from the high side or low side.
I was reluctant to leave the boat, because this sea trial, like nearly every other, didn’t last long enough for me to become well acquainted with the vessel. I suspect, though, that this Swan and I would enjoy one another’s company for quite a long time.
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DISPL.: 66,000 lb.
SAIL AREA: 2,336 sq. ft.
SAIL AREA/DISPL. RATIO: 22.89
DISPL./LWL RATIO: 167.78
FUEL: 211 gal.
WATER: 264 gal.
ENGINE: 1 x 160 hp Steyr MO166K28 6-cylinder diesel
PRICE: $4,530,000 (approx.)
Nautor’s Swan USA East, 401-846-1090; www.usaeast.nautorswan .com; USA West, 510-236-6633; www.usawest.nautorswan.com