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S&S Swan General - Best S&S Swan total package
26 October 2014 - 11:24
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Best S&S Swan total package
I am generally happy with the design of my S&S Swan yacht given the knowledge base.
I am generally happy with the engineering works on my yacht.
I have at times been surprised and a little disappointed with some of the quality of the fit out works which have all been fixable. Remember 40 x 411-s were produced in two years. That is a lot of yachts to be hand built over the timescale.
Given the well published ups and downs of Nautor Swan in its early years and the companies inevitable growing pains could the professor comment on which yachts he feels were the best total package.

27 October 2014 - 09:25
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear John
Would suggest that customer reaction is the most important indication of the best package, i.e. how many yachts were sold of a certain model. The influence of yacht size is difficult to quantify, but it is clear that big yachts can be expected to sell in smaller numbers.
If we make a sweeping simplification here, and assume that the cost/weight ratio is the same for the whole size range, the total weight sold for each model can be used to put them in best package order. Total weight equals displacement times the number built, and I have prepared a diagram where this is shown.
It can be noted that the five bestsellers stayed in production longer than the others, quite exceptional is Swan 65 with 17 years, during this time for example the engine models changed several times.
Swan 65 is also my personal favourite.
The grand total of all models sums up to over 10 000 tons of S&S Swans.
Kind regards

28 October 2014 - 10:14
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 461

Dear Lars,
just ingenious!!!! As always you are a precious source of information and, at the same time, a smart proposer of clever and original interpretations of the data.
Daniel, 411/004

30 October 2014 - 21:34
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Dear Lars, whilst I agree the 65 is epic, my personal choice would be the 48.

However getting back to what I was trying to establish, which do you as the experienced builder do you feel was the best built of the S&S range? There must have been times when you felt things could have been done better given, more time, more in the budget and more resource in terms of numbers and quality of staff. I think the 48 was a better built product than the 411 and 47. I have looked at buying both over time.

01 November 2014 - 13:18
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear John
It is difficult to give a simple answer.
I would suggest that technically the quality of build is related to how well the model was specified in all details, and the project coordinated within the given time frame.
This is not the whole truth, however, as often unexpected problems upset carefully planned schedules, and force alternative solutions.
The workers and staff are individuals, not robots, meaning that the results of their efforts are not identical.
The basic things are normally well in hand, but there is also an enormous amount of details, and for them it is often a matter of personal skill and some luck deciding the final outcome, as in most human activities of this type.
Based on this I do not consider it fair to suggest some Swan types are better built than others, as there are individual variations also within the types.

Kind regards

01 November 2014 - 14:53
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Dear Lars, I agree with what you say.
Whilst my 411 did have some things which could have been better put together, and attention to some detail improved, the 411 model does not appear to have some of the problems related to build that others models have. The feedback between designer and builder is key I guess. I give an example, on the 411. The forward end of the keel step plate is bolted through the bulkhead, but you cannot get to the inside of the heads compartment to put on the nuts to tighten up some of the bolts. Designers have to put more thought into how the design is to be constructed, which clearly requires input with help from the staff who build the yachts. How did this work with S&S?

01 November 2014 - 18:48
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear John
Thank you for your answer.
Access to the mast step forward end nuts can be gained if you cut a small opening into the head compartment longitudinal bulkhead near the aft end below the floorboards. There is some space between the shower pan and the transverse bulkhead.

The opening should preferably be round, or have rounded corners. It would be good to restore the local strength for example by reinforcing the edges. They should also be sealed against water ingress, and checking done now and then for cracking in this area.

S&S, i.e. Rod Stephens inspected the yachts in build once a month, often accompanied by the Chief Lloyd's Surveyor in Finland ke Lindqvist. Then there was a friendly contest between them about who was able to find the most details needing improvement :-)
Kind regards

02 November 2014 - 21:46
Join Date: 16 May 2009
Posts: 252

Of course, we know that with the variation one must have (which is present in all boats of the vintage by other makers too, probably with worse statistics as far as deviation) that these boats are all quite well made. After that, it is so very personal. For my needs and wants and reasons, my 411 is the perfect vessel - bigger might be better for some things, but I wouldn't trade mine very easily for any other....

Fair Winds to all,

Geoff, Corazon, 411 #41

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