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An Overview of Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 34


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.

While it can be ordered as a sedan without a flying bridge, very few have been sold without the bridge. The upper deck has room for an inflatable dinghy, and the flying bridge features an upper helm and seating area. The mast is designed to be stepped by just two people so it can be lowered for restricted bridge clearances.

The saloon features a convertible sofa that can sleep two. For privacy, a curtain can be drawn to separate the area from the galley and helm. Two chairs and an adjustable dining table are movable for access to the engine room. Moving the table every time you need to do an engine room check can be a bother, however. The galley-up layout works well and allows the chef to enjoy the views outside.

The inside helm is to starboard and features a sliding door to the side deck. All-around visibility is good for docking from below, and the helm seat can fit two people. There is plenty of room for a full set of electronics, and the instrument panel is uncluttered. A bow and stern thruster are standard.

Below, the forward master stateroom features an island double berth with storage underneath, two hanging lockers, an overhead hatch and opening portholes. A guest cabin with bunk berths is to port. Having spent time in this cabin, its limited storage space makes it fine for kids or overnight guests. A head and shower compartment is to starboard, and the toilet area is kept dry with a surrounding shower curtain.

Overall, the interior styling is bright, cheerful and with a warm, yacht-like feeling thanks to the Alpi mahogany woodwork and parquet laminate sole. While I give the Beneteau high marks on aesthetics, I found some of its interior fit and finish details to be lacking. Little things can quickly show signs of wear and tear.

On “The Greatest Loop,” plastic moldings that covered edges of laminates were peeling off, exposing raw wood. The saloon table’s hardware became detached from the laminate wood, rendering the table useless. The hardware on the sliding door leading from the helm to the side deck malfunctioned, making it difficult to keep the door open. None of these things affected the performance of the boat, and any dealer could certainly remedy them—but they were annoying.

The exterior fit and finish is a different story, however, as the fiberglass work appears flawless. To save weight the hull and deck are cored with balsa. Standard polyester resins are used throughout. Generous bulwarks provide a sense of security walking the decks, and an overhang protects the side decks and cockpit. While an attractive teak cap rail adds to the yacht-like look, it also adds to maintenance. The forward and side decks have a sensible, functional diamond non-slip surface, while the protected cockpit deck is covered in teak.

A large lazarette has space for cruising gear and houses the AC generator and batteries. A large swim platform can be outfitted with a dinghy storage system, saving the upper deck space for extra seating. The layout of the engine room is well done, providing ample access to items that need to be checked, serviced and maintained.

Beneteau’s production efficiencies result in a competitively priced boat that is capable of serious coastal and inland cruising. Both inside and out, the Swift Trawler 34 is a modern interpretation of what a trawler is. But whatever one’s definition of a trawler is, this is one fine cruising boat.

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