Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 48 Reviewed

The Swift Trawler 48 has a 1,300-nautical-mile range and can also speed away at 26 knots.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
The Beneteau Swift Trawler 48 is based on the builder’s 47-footer, with a resin-infused fiberglass hull. Nicolas Claris

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For traditional trawler enthusiasts, the Beneteau Swift Trawler 48 offers a range of 1,300 nautical miles at a leisurely 6.7 knots, or 1,000 nm at 8 knots. Owners can run nonstop from New York to Miami or San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

And yet, with the twin 425 hp Cummins diesels on the Swift Trawler 48 that I got aboard (380 hp Cummins are standard), owners also can scamper for home at 26 knots, if foul weather threatens or reservations for dinner ashore are waiting.

In other words, yachtsmen can have the best of both worlds: range when wanted, speed when needed.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
The Swift Trawler 48’s dinette is raised 8 inches, enabling scenic views like this one. Nicolas Claris

The Beneteau Swift Trawler 48 is based on the builder’s 47-footer, with a resin-infused fiberglass hull. It’s also based on owner feedback, with a three-stateroom, two-head layout, including a near-king transverse berth in the master stateroom.

In the salon, the galley is aft and accessible to the cockpit. There, the seating and dining area can be fully enclosed, with tracks in place for side curtains. Just forward of the galley is a dinette; at the touch of a button, it disappears flush into the salon sole, leaving a wraparound sofa.

The skipper has a bolstered, pedestal bucket-style seat with a flip-up footrest. The 48 I got aboard had upgraded 12-inch Raymarine HybridTouch monitors (9-inch displays are standard), with backup analog dials and a separate Cummins engine monitor. Side-Power bow and stern thrusters are a savvy option, especially for short-handed cruising. Speaking of that, a sliding door allows easy access to the side deck right at the boarding door through the coaming, for hopping out to help with the lines. I liked the helm door stops that let the door slide to various opening widths for fresh air. And, like all the doors, this one had pullout screens to defeat those pesky no-see-ums.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
The Beneteau Swift Trawler 48 offers a range of 1,300 nautical miles at a leisurely 6.7 knots, or 1,000 nm at 8 knots. Nicolas Claris

Opposite the helm and under the windshield is a dead giveaway of the 48’s cruising intentions: an oversize locker for full-size charts (because some of us still like paper backups).

The dinette and lounge to port is raised 8 inches, giving guests a panoramic view through side windows, but Beneteau recognizes that not all of us are Michelin-starred chefs, so a sizable backsplash keeps spills from intruding on the dinette. This galley has all the amenities for making extended voyages, including a 9-cubic-foot Vitrifrigo full-height fridge, Miele convection oven and Kenyon two-burner stove. There is also a dishwasher, an undercounter ice maker and a wine chiller. The eye-level cabinet to starboard—almost a decor item with Lucite doors—was fitted for highball glasses on this 48.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
Two windows with opening ports add brightness to an already cheery space with standard light-oak decor. Nicolas Claris

The cockpit has more thoughtful touches. First, the ladder to the bridge not only has double handrails, but also the whole unit slides out of the way when owners want to free up deck space to entertain guests. Double doors lead to the transom platform, which, on this boat, had the optional hydraulic lift for a tender up to 700 pounds. The folding swim ladder has hinged rails.

Because the sitting area is offset to starboard, a Lucite door is fitted at the end of the side deck to protect against spray or wind. The port side is accessible via a pair of teak steps from the cockpit.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
Note the safety rails and elements on every deck, without any compromise in views or relaxation space. Nicolas Claris

Up on the foredeck, I liked the solid double stainless-steel rails from the cockpit to the twin anchor rollers—a good setup for cruisers who need anchors for mud and sand, or want to swing on two hooks. Both rodes are handled by the Lewmar windlass with a gypsy for chain and a capstan head for either rode or for warping dock lines, with controls at both helms as well as a wired remote. The cabin top forward has a sun pad that flips up to become a forward-facing couch. And the 16-inch cleats all around the decks can handle the oversize lines that cruisers might encounter at marinas.

Up top, the flybridge is arranged for lounging as well as dining, with L-shaped settees on both sides and a dining table to starboard. Next to the radar mast are a Kenyon grill, sink, fridge and ice maker. The skipper, again, has a bucket seat, but this time there is room for companions; the backrests for the two settees flip to face forward. Just abaft the galley is a deck to stow water toys or put out chaise-style chairs for lounging.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
Two settees, a dining table, grill, sink, fridge and ice maker make the flybridge an alfresco oasis. Nicolas Claris

When the party’s over, the master stateroom down below is forward with a queen island berth that has walk-around space on each side. Two windows with opening ports add brightness to an already cheery space with standard light-oak decor (teak is available). The en suite head, with Villeroy & Boch sinks, has two ports, and there’s an overhead hatch to get rid of the steam from the stall shower, which has a teak seat.

Just aft is the guest stateroom to starboard, with the optional washer/dryer hidden away, and another guest stateroom to port with twin berths. The twin stateroom has direct access to the second head, which also serves the guest stateroom across the hall and functions as the day head.

Beneteau Swift Trawler 48
The Swift Trawler 48 we got aboard had optional twin 425 hp Cummins diesels. Top speed: 26 knots. Nicolas Claris

I also give the Swift Trawler 48 points for the engine room, which is accessed via two oversize hatches in the cockpit sole. Even with the upsized 425 hp Cummins diesels, all the service and maintenance points were within arm’s reach. There was a 7.5 kW Mase genset with convenient access for maintenance, as well as Webasto air conditioning. On deck, the fuel and water fillers are on the starboard deck.

In the lumpy Gulf Stream at 18 knots (2,370 rpm), this Swift Trawler 48 ate up the miles comfortably with nary a drop of spray on the windshield. For owners looking for a yacht that can either cast off tomorrow for faraway ports or harbor-hop with enough speed to get everyone home for work on Monday, the Beneteau Swift Trawler 48 is worth a look.  

An App for That

A feature unique to certain Beneteau yachts, including the Swift Trawler 48, is Seanapps, a proprietary program that lets owners monitor yachts from smartphones or tablets. The program can request routine maintenance, order a pre-departure wash or fuel-up, monitor battery and bilge levels, or check on interior temperature or water-tank levels. It integrates a maintenance logbook to schedule service.

Euro Certification

The 48 meets the standards of Euro Category B Offshore, which means it’s deepwater-rated for winds up to 40 knots and “significant” seas up to 13 feet with 14 people aboard. With 16 aboard, the yacht is Category C Inshore for winds up to Force 6 (27 knots) and 7-foot seas on coastal waters and large bays.

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