A few years back, I was fortunate to be the first journalist on the opening leg of the Beneteau Swift Pacific Adventure, which for me was a nearly 400-mile cruise on the then-new Swift Trawler 47.
We started in Seattle’s Lake Union and breezed through the Ballard Locks to the Salish Sea. From there, it was on to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where we took tightly spaced, 8- to 10-foot waves on the bow for several hours before a brief respite to fuel up in Neah Bay. We then rounded Cape Flattery—the northwesternmost point in the lower 48 states—in swirling conditions. Heading south on a following sea, we completed our nonstop voyage in sleepy Newport, Oregon, 26 hours later.
I was impressed with the 47’s performance in a myriad of sea conditions. I also felt comforted by her ability to cruise efficiently at trawler speeds, but also to get up and go faster than 20 knots when we needed to punch it. The unobstructed visibility from her flybridge was terrific.
The latest iteration in the French builder’s semi-displacement series, the Swift Trawler 48, smartly inherits the best of predecessors like that 47 while incorporating updates from newer sisterships.
“In typical Swift Trawler fashion, we kept what works and resonates with the customers,” says Beneteau America Powerboat Manager Justin Joyner. “The success of the ST41 emboldened us to use some of those elements.”
Joyner says the new galley and salon arrangement is an “optimal layout,” and I agree. The galley is now aft and to port, retaining stowage and refrigeration, but allowing for quick service to the aft deck and flybridge. This location also frees up the area adjacent to the starboard helm (which moves from centerline on the 47) for a C-shape settee, an ideal spot to keep the captain company or just enjoy the views from its elevated position. The settee converts to a double berth for extra guests.
What was retained includes the proven, semi-displacement hull form; a three-stateroom, two-head layout; full walkaround decks with high bulwarks; beefy grabrails in all the right places; a high bowrail on her foredeck; and, common to the series, an asymmetrical layout. Like previous models, the 48’s starboard side deck is much wider than the one to port, and is accessible from the aft deck or the salon via a sliding door next to the lower helm.
Standard power for the 48 is a pair of 380-hp Cummins QSB6.7 diesels, which the builder estimates will provide a 20-knot cruise and 23-knot top speed. At 8 knots, Beneteau expects the boat to have a 1,000-nautical-mile range. Options include larger, 425-hp Cummins diesels for a reported 26-knot top end, joystick control, a hardtop with an electrically retractable Bimini top (both have the same, 19-foot air draft because of the radar arch) and a range of interior wood finishes.
I’d include all of these options on my 48 and add the 770-pound-capacity hydraulic swim platform for easy egress to the water for the dinghy. I look forward to putting this latest Swift Trawler’s capabilities to the test in the near future.
LOA: 48ft. 4in.
Beam: 14ft. 9in.
Draft: 3ft. 10in.
Displacement: 27,958 lbs.
Fuel: 510 gal.
Water: 169 gal.
Engines: 2x 380-hp Cummins QSB6.7