Power & Motoryacht
Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
Franco-AmericanBeneteau introduces a single-engine cruiser that’s got some American soul.I admit to harboring a prejudice when it comes to single-diesel-engine cruising boats—I like ‘em. Maybe it’s because I do most of my boating in New England where there are a lot of practical Yankee boaters. Whatever the reason for my affection, I admire the fuel efficiency,
Franco-American Beneteau introduces a single-engine cruiser that’s got some American soul.
I admit to harboring a prejudice when it comes to single-diesel-engine cruising boats—I like ‘em. Maybe it’s because I do most of my boating in New England where there are a lot of practical Yankee boaters. Whatever the reason for my affection, I admire the fuel efficiency, affordability, relatively low maintenance, and ease of handling (if equipped with a bow thruster) by a short-handed crew that are all inherent in this design.
An Overview of Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 34
MAR 30, 2015
There are reasons why the Swift Trawler 34 has been a success. It performs well. It looks good. It offers comfortable living space. And it’s priced competitively.
To begin with, its single Cummins 425 hp engine is an excellent match for the 34’s semi-displacement hull, providing good fuel economy when running at or near displacement speeds while also having the ability to get up and go at cruising speeds between 14 and 18 knots. Its asymmetrical superstructure provides extra interior space in the saloon while still allowing movement fore and aft along both side decks.
Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
You can set off on long adventures with a Beneteau Swift Trawler, which sips fuel at displacement speeds but can plane when needed to meet a tight schedule. The smallest in this series, the 34 offers comfortable accommodations for a coastal cruising couple.
Beneteau’s design team drew a modified-V running bottom with two lifting strakes on each side, wide chines and a sharp entry. At first glance, it looks like a pure planing hull. But with a curved transom, Lenco trim tabs and a single 425 hp Cummins QSB 5.9 common-rail diesel turning a conventional inboard shaft, the hull moves easily at displacement speeds and rises onto plane evenly when needed without obstructing the skipper’s sight lines. In our test, the bow ran just high enough at speed to effectively cleave seas. A keel forward of the shaft, deep spade rudder, and bow and (optional) stern thrusters helped her track well in all seas and maneuver smoothly in tight quarters.
Asymmetrical decks provide surprising benefits. The starboard deck is wider, with a full bulwark for going forward and a midship access door for boarding from a floating dock, placed beside a sliding door to the helm. The port deck is set higher, which allows a huge storage compartment beneath it inside the salon. The height also allows placement of an external propane tank compartment opposite the galley. I found grab handles securely anchored and strategically placed.
The cabin is compact but adequate. In the salon, a settee is to starboard, with a stable but movable central table. The settee folds out into a double berth. Below is a master cabin with queen berth forward and a double-decker cabin to port. The head is to starboard.
Motorboat of the Year
Beneteau Swift Trawler 34
The ST34 is the smallest of this French yard’s quirky, fun and very able trawler range and arguably its best
Joining the ST42 and the Motor Boat of the Year Award-winning ST52, this 35ft cruiser offers excellent decks including a proper bulwarked starboard deck complete with a side gate for stupidly easy boarding.
In place of the usual flybridge layout a long and very useable upper deck lies above, offering seating forward and an open deck aft where a tender can be stowed and launched using an optional crane.
The boat is powered by a single 425hp Cummins MerCruiser diesel, delivering a top speed of 22 knots and a useful cruising rate of between 15 knots to 17 knots, giving the boat a range of around 200nm.
With a good slice of keel to the planing hull, you can opt to slow down and use the boat’s added stability for efficient displacement-style cruising and a range of close to 500nm.
Swift by name and nature, this French trawler stands out in a land or sea of giants, discovers DAVID LOCKWOOD
Among other things, when Jonathon Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels he showed how the strength of little people, the Lilliputians, could tame a giant. The new Swift Trawler 34 from Europe’s biggest boatbuilder Beneteau is like that. The smallest Trawler in the range keeps company with the 52 flagship and popular 42, yet it is everything but short on good boating sense or adventure.
In fact, I will go so far as to say this is exactly the kind of boat more and more Australians should be looking at these days. In some ways, it’s a case of everything old being new again. Look around the marinas and the country’s big inshore waterways and you will see rafts of 30-something trawlers with badges like Island Gypsy, Clipper, Mariner and Cheoy Lee.