- Fleet - The Swan 120 - pushing the boundaries of a performance cruiser


The Swan 120 – pushing the boundaries of a performance cruiser

The new carbon fibre model further demarcates the three core pillars of Swan’s product range…

At the Monaco Yacht Show this year, Nautor’s Swan unveiled its latest maxi yacht model, the Swan 120, reaffirming its reputation for impeccable craftsmanship.

The new model, designed by Germán Frers, not only serves its purpose as a tremendous performance cruiser with the latest design refinements from the experts at Nautor’s Swan, but further demarcates the three core pillars of Swan’s range of products: the production Swan line up to 78ft; Swan superyachts (98 and 120); and the ClubSwan performance range.

“Out of the four 115s we have built, the first one, Solleone, was very cruising performance-orientated. However, the last two, Highland Fling and Odin, were designed more for racing,” explains Peter Naeyé, product line leader at Maxi Swan. “In my opinion, those customers should be attracted to the ClubSwan range, so what we’ve tried to do with the 120 is bring the focus back around to comfort inside and on deck, to have a more cruising-orientated yacht while maintaining a good level of performance.”

The hull and deck of the Swan 120 will be entirely carbon fibre – specifically, they will be built from epoxy SPRINT prepreg carbon fibre skins on a core of M-grade Corecell foam. The result, according to Naeyé, will be excellent structural stiffness and rigidity at the lightest possible weight.

“There are many carbon fibre-orientated owners and captains now,” he continues, “and while I understand their ambitions to make everything extremely lightweight, one thing I wanted on this particular boat was a good-sized tender, so that guests can make it from the boat to the restaurant on the shore [and remain] dry.” 

The transom folds down hydraulically to form a teak-decked swim platform – or ‘beach deck’ – and a clever storage area for a 4.5m tender of the owner’s choice. “Having a big tender, especially with an inboard engine, can be used for exploration of coasts while at anchor too, so it’s not only used for shore transfers,” Naeyé adds. Once the tender is launched, the deck area can be used for sunbathing or dining.

Two principal interior concepts have been put together by Genovese designer and naval architect, Misa Poggi, and the team at Nautor’s Swan: one has the master in the aft and one has the master forward. Both layouts feature three additional guest cabins, all of which are en-suite.

“What we’ve tried to do with the 120 is bring the focus back around to comfort inside and on deck.”

The saloon has plenty of natural light from the coach roof design and there is a unique layout option featuring a large hull window adjacent to daybeds – a soft-furnished space that is perfect under sail or just before the night falls.

“We have been overwhelmed by the number of enquiries since the unveiling of the model at the Monaco Yacht Show,” remarks Naeyé. “We are producing quotation after quotation at the moment, which is a good sign.”

Despite this popularity, Naeyé says the shipyard will not begin a project on-speculation in anticipation of a first order. The rationale behind this decision, he explains, is the multitude of options available to potential clients. “We’re sure these customers will have specific requirements. While the hull is the same for this platform, there are different layout options.

“For instance, you also have the option of three different rigs – you can have the standard pin-head rig, or a pin-head with a short bowsprit, or a square-top with a long bowsprit [over 3m]. These considerations have a significant impact on how you set up the boat, so we will wait for the first order.”

As well as the specific requirements to be met, the shipyard are confident in the short amount of time needed to deliver the vessels to the owner. “We have a very short lead time – we can build these boats in under two years. In addition to the speed of the build, we have managed to reduce prices without sacrificing Nautor’s quality and while using prepreg carbon,” concludes Naeyé.

One certainly has to agree that this concept makes sense for a multi-faceted yacht builder such as Nautor’s Swan, which is catering to a range of owners with different experience levels and ambitions, to have more clearly defined product ranges. The Swan 120 is certainly an excellent design put forward by the Finnish yard.

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