Lars Ström, former design office manager at Nautor for more than 30 years, looks back at some of the design details of early Swans. Lars also helps you identify real Swans so as not to be fooled to buy a counterfeit one.
Lars Ström - Are older Nautor's Swan yacths classics? - HSS Classic
Are older Nautor’s Swan yachts classics? A presentation of some features particular to these yachts
How do I know it is a Swan? • Recessed cove stripe with arrows• Builder’s Plaque
Hulls have deep canoe body• This gives a high displacement/length ratio• Will not surf easily, risk of broaching• Floorboards are low down• Lower freeboard, still proper headroom• Skeg rudders – lack of control going astern
Materials and finish • Glass fibre and polyester resin • Hulls single skin with stiffeners • CSM, woven rovings, UDR, hand laid • Underwater double layers of clear gelcoat • Boot top and cove stripe coloured gelcoat • Decks foam cored with alum. backup plates • Keels lead attached with stainless bolts• Interior Finnish plywood with surface veneers • Mostly teak finish, but also koto was used• Varnished surfaces hand rubbed to satin finish
Trim screwsThese were put in on the centerline 12 inchesabove DWL forward and aft, and enable theexact flotation to be determined.Often it is assumed that this is some sort ofmistake, and the screws are removed.
Some keels with movable appendage• Keels may have trim tabs – then three wheels• Fairly large lateral area and low aspect ratio - good in big waves
DecksThere are This entrance hatch providesDoradeboxes, guardrails, win safety for offshore sailing, butches, cleats, tracks, and has been described as leadinghatch coamings on the deck. down into a dark cave.A big difference compared to The bridgedeck is required forthe decks of today a full-width aft cabin.
Mast Builder’s Plaque Also masts, booms, and poles have plaques. Unfortunately the plaques are not as corrosion resistant as the anodized surfaces where they attach
Tapered and welded mast tops with spinnaker cranes Hull number stamped into top plate
Hidden corrosion possible A good welding shop can repair this
Classic Nautor built masts • Mostly single spreaders • On bigger yachts double spreaders • This requires fairly big mast sections • Masts are quite stiff, runners not always needed • Mast sections have thin walls - are not very heavy • Luff tracks are separate extrusions riveted on• Masts are anodized in two lengths – there is a joint• Mostly in-line spreaders – Swan 38 is an exception
Rod standing rigging• Some rigs had lenticular (oval) rod rigging with threaded ends• Threads are rolled, not cut• The threaded rod rigging used high- strength pins and toggles – smaller than usual, to be considered when replacing• Rigging screws not needed with the threaded rods – turning the entire rod produces same effect• These rods have been described as Pieces of Art• The original supplier is not in business any more
Wire standing rigging• Wire rigging had Norseman terminals and rigging screws as well as normal size pins• Head- and backstay are same size – not right when using hydraulic backstay rams Long strap tangs are not intended for bendy masts Original Norseman terminal, they look different now
Classic set up with wire halyardsRoller reefing boom Spinnaker pole bell Wire reel winch with neat layers Wire reel winch with loose layers - bad These winches dangerous - advise crew Lower stretch with wire Low-stretch rope did not exist Single point lifting lug access Wire with rope tails for easier handling Wire to rope splice was useful skill
Booms Boom claw• Of round section with foot groove• Mainsail roller reefing was latest technology• This prevented fitting attachment along boom• Sheet at aft end, claw required for vang• Gooseneck sliding on mast• Jackline used for lower luff sail slides• Luff groove was considered unseamanlike
Boom forward endGoooseneck sliding on mast track Jackline for lowerSpecial cranking handle needed sail slides makingThroat for luff rope required them floating
Boom aft end with rotating bail Socket for outhaul screw crank
Classic Blake seacocks New model has reversingOriginal sea cock has handle with handle and grease nipple.square attachment to valve plug. Marked DZR, this meansMaterial is bronze de-zincification resistant brass
Steering system• Wheel steering with sprocket and chain• Wheel size and turns selected to suit boat size• Some smaller Swans have tiller steering• King spoke marked and straight up when rudder on centerline• Rod Stephens definition for a free steering system - 1 lbsft on the wheel makes it turn• Emergency tiller important item
Propeller shaft seal Morse plastic packing gland with adjustment nut Fork specified by Classification Society
Rudder stock packing glandCustom built by yard. Upper one is Tool for thegland, lower is locking nut round gland nut
S&S Swans Type Design # Hulls Produced Variations using built between same hull lines Swan 36 1710-C55-1 90 1967...71 Swan 43 1973 67 1969...72 Swan 40 2025 51 1970...72 Swan 37 2035 59 1970...74 Swan 55 2012-C1 16 1970...74 Sloop + Yawl Swan 48 2079 46 1971...75 Sloop + Yawl (First Swan-deck) Swan 44 2112 76 1972...75 Swan 65 2110 41 1973...89 Ketch + Sloop Swan 41 2150 61 1973...77 Swan 38 2167 116 1974...79 Nautor 50 2207 9 1975...78 Ketch Swan 47 2201 70 1975...83 CB + NYYC 48 Swan 431 2238 32 1976...78 Nautor 43 2239 24 1976...79 Ketch + Sloop + Deckhouse Swan 411 2150-C1 42 1977...79 Nautor 39 2301 4 1977...78 Ketch + Sloop Swan 57 2297 49 1978...84 Ketch + Sloop + CB Swan 76 2331 5 1980...81 Deckhouse + CB Total 858 hulls 15 Swans 9 variations Sum 24 3 Motorsailers 3 variations Sum 6 Total 30 modelsThe following models were also sold in the US 1969...1973 under the name Palmer Johnson: PJ 36, PJ37, PJ40, PJ43, PJ44, PJ48 firstname.lastname@example.org