It’s been no less than 60 years since Germán Frers designed his first boat…a thoroughbred sailor indeed. Having earned celebrity-like status for his intricate knowledge of sailing yacht design and naval architecture, the standard of Frer’s designs are a far cry from the majority in the sector. So, any product combining his experience and that of an expert yard is sure to be a frontrunner as far as design pedigree is concerned.
The Swan 98, which is now in build, is just that – an amalgamation of Frer’s and the renowned Finnish yard, Nautor’s Swan’s, prolific legacy. And while Enrico Chieffi, vice president of Nautor’s Swan, labelled the yard “the market’s best-kept secret” during a tour of the facility earlier this year, with a fleet of over 2,000 yachts on the water, it is a secret that many have discovered and loved.
“The 98 had to be a stunning yacht of the highest quality – no cutting corners, or changing construction methods or using materials other than the best,” explained Peter Naeyé, product line leader of Maxi Swan Yachts, during the yard’s press tour. “This model had to be one of the fastest in its class, but also a true cruiser; a family boat that could do longer cruises.”
Naeyé’s task was to create two different layouts – one with the owner’s cabin forward and one with it in the aft. “We also had to consider drafts – the standard boat has a fixed keel of 4.9m, but there is an option for a telescopic keel, which lifts into the engine room and, together with the standard twin rudders, can reduce the draft to 3.2 metres,” added Naeyé.
“The 98 had to be a stunning yacht of the highest quality – no cutting corners, or changing construction methods or using materials other than the best.”
The deck provides dual-purpose spaces for both efficient sailing and lounging. The spacious open foredeck provides the perfect sun deck while at anchor and space for sail handling while cruising. “It’s a 65-ton yacht,” continued Naeyé. “We could have got it to 57 tons but we wanted it to be seaworthy and easy to handle. She has a beautiful coach roof and deck – we concentrated on comfort in the cockpit, so you feel protected when sailing.”
There are four interior styles, which are the work of Genovese architect, Misa Poggi, and the yard’s interior styling director, Heini Gustafsson. “In a very tasteful way, Misa has respected all that Swan is about and paid tribute to the classic detailing,” explained Gustafsson. “There are beautiful hand-stitched leather panels and vertical slats in four colours. Nordics are minimalist and toned down at heart, so Misa added some Italian spice.”
There are two sail plans, two layouts and four interior styles available. For Chieffi, a key facet of the product offering is that, in his words, “You are able to build a unique yacht out of a common and proven platform. You are not entering into a world where everything has to be tested. Everything that makes the boat reliable is proven.”
Frers praises the yard for its forward-thinking attitude. “I’ve been working with the company for 38 years and we’re lucky to have an owner who is very involved in the development of a new way to build yachts. The changes are clear and we can combine our experience to produce something that is very good. All the improvements they make to their designs are for a reason and continuous.”
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