In the accompanying performance chart, you’ll note that we have highlighted two most economical cruising speeds for the Beneteau Swift Trawler 30. Normally, only one speed is selected, but this is a boat that displays good manners, stability and maneuverability at both planing and displacement speeds. That capacity is just one of many characteristics that make this boat as ideal for a couple who is planning to make extensive cruises, such as the Great Loop, as it is for a family that enjoys harbor hopping on the weekend.
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 34 offers comfortable accommodations for a coastal cruising couple.
At higher speeds, the single 370 hp Volvo Penta D6 diesel inboard powered our test boat to a top speed of over 26 mph. It cruises easily at 23 mph, burning 16 gph. Our tester’s maximum engine speed of 3,650 rpm proved Beneteau propped the Swift Trawler 30 right because the maximum-rated rpm for the D6-370 is 3,500, and it’s best to allow a little over-rev for an owner to paint the bottom, load the boat with gear, and possibly operate in hot and humid conditions. We were able to keep the Swift Trawler 30 on plane at 2,500 rpm, which is just 13 mph, a nice speed if you have miles to go, beating into a head sea.
Get more certified test results, performance specs and news about Volvo Penta powerplants.
Now, if your frame of reference is that of an express cruiser or sedan owner, you may not consider the Swift Trawler 30’s top and cruising speeds to be fast. But, if you hail from the trawler camp, such speeds are phenomenal.
The fuel economy is pretty good too.
At slow speeds, the Swift Trawler 30’s draft, deep forefoot and near-vertical stem keep the boat on course, with minimal input at the wheel while underway. This is unlike many boats, which have less draft and cutaway forefoots that can require constant attention to the helm while at no-wake speed in choppy conditions. Around the dock, those same features provide enough lateral resistance and inertia to give the skipper a beat or two between maneuvers, a nice thing to have, especially in gusty conditions.
The Swift Trawler 30’s hull design manifests itself in the boat’s accommodations as well. For instance, the vertical stem, minimal convexity in the bow flare, and depth of hull allow for a bigger cabin than you might expect aboard a boat with this length overall. Check out the master berth forward, for example, where the mattress is at residential height so you can sit on it without hopping up. Due to more bow flare and raking stems aboard many boats this length, the forward berths must be installed higher in order for the builder to make them sufficiently wide, requiring you to hop or step up onto them.
Another nicety is the option for a true second stateroom, situated to port opposite the head. Coupled with the master stateroom and the salon settee that converts into a king-size berth, the Swift Trawler 30 could sleep six. Instead of this second stateroom, our tester featured another desirable feature: a split head arrangement with the WC located to starboard and the shower located in the space described for the second stateroom.
In any case, the lower deck is a bright space thanks to well-placed hullside windows and deck hatches.
This is a two-station boat, and the lower helm is located to starboard, opposite the galley. For a cruising couple, having the helm beside the galley allows for conversation during a passage. If day cruising or simply entertaining dockside, the galley being in view of and on the same level as the cockpit will prove advantageous for mingling and refreshment. The use of fiddles on the counters impressed us as one of many salty details done right aboard the Swift Trawler 30.
The second station is on the flying bridge, which comfortably seats six with its L lounge. There is no room for a dinghy and davit here; instead, a pair of neat dinghy davits retract into the transom corners. There is stowage space to port, opposite the ladder well, which, we were pleased to see, was protected by a sturdy hatch instead of just a flimsy gate or chain. The radar mast behind the helm seat is removable, which is convenient, but we found the raised boss to which it mounts to be a tripping hazard. (One would get used to it, we suppose.)
Board the Swift Trawler 30 through either the transom door or the boarding door along the starboard side that’s cut into the deep bulwarks that protect the sidedecks. There’s access to the sidedeck direct from the lower helm, and going forward to the flat, safe working area of the bow to handle dock lines or anchoring duties will be comfortable in any weather. The cockpit is lovely, offering a gate that opens the width of the boat onto the platform, providing unfettered access to and from the water. Jump seats are built in.
Shopping? The Swift Trawler 30 is unique, coupling attributes of trawlers and express cruisers in a 32-foot length overall. That said, check out the Ranger Tugs R-31 CB ($279,937 with a single 300 hp Volvo Penta D4 diesel). It’s a flying-bridge cruiser with a workboat style, luxury finish and 17 mph cruising speed. Sea trial them both and see for yourself.
Beneteau Powerboats – Annapolis, Maryland; beneteau.com