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S&S Swan General - Swan 57 007 structural refit
15 December 2020 - 10:44
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Swan 57 007 structural refit

Hi all,

as I already put some pictures and begin to exchange on the net on Facebook and Instagram, I decide to put more in this forum...

I just bought the Swan 57 007, now named Algol V and French flag, ex Macobi (USA), ex Flyer (USA and Dutch). this boat raced a lot from 1979 to 1992, most in Pacific coast of USA, and then sailed a lot as a part of a sailing school between England and Brittany.

The survey before sale did not notice any structural problem, just some cracks at front and aft of keel, not mentionned to be important, and corrected by last owner before delivery.

But I wanted to be sure and had planned to check more deeply this when starting a big refit in Badalona. It did not take long to find more when taking the boat ashore, as the cracks had come back at aft of keel after sailing from Brittany to Spain, and the keel showed some flexibility from left to right, and up down at aft...

So we decided a huge ultrasound survey of the hull. And we found some delaminations at the junction between hull and false keel. the bottom of bilge (and the keel bolts) were only joined to the hull shell, and no more to the structural parts inside the boat...

The repair process decided by Nautor (Lars Strom and EMV Marine) was to remove the central part of bilge and false keel and rebuild in new more strong materials.

So the planning is : remove the keel - laminate a new external shell - block the new shell with external reinforcements - remove internal reinforcements - remove old shell by inside - rebuild internal shell inside - replace internal reinforcements - remove external reinforcements - replace keel

As already read on the web and in this forum, I seem to be the 4e Swan 57 to have to make this structural refit, and as all the others the history of the boat as an accident (for 007 in 2014) but nobody is 100% sure the accident is really the only reason we need to do that... these boats are now close to 40 years old and all the 57 owners or buyers must have a deep look at the keel on their beloved 57's.

I will now share some pictures of this refit in progress, and be glad to exchange with all, and as I am a new Swan owner, let me know if I should have another very close look somewhere else on my 57 !



Badalona - out of water

Ultasound survey

Keel removed

15 December 2020 - 10:49
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

after preparation, following steps : the external new hull

external preparation

external lamination

external vacuum

15 December 2020 - 10:53
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

external reinformcements to keep the good shape

internal removal

internal external junction to remove the old hull part

15 December 2020 - 10:55
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

internal old hull removed

15 December 2020 - 10:58
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

the new hull begining from the inside, epoxi and 3D lamination

internal new hull lamination

internal vacuum process

15 December 2020 - 12:46
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Cher Yves,

thanks so much for your full explanation and detailed photographic report, an amazing resource of information not only for 57's Owners. This is one of the reason why our S&S Swan community is so unique!

Looking forward to reading and seeing more in the future.

Fair winds,

matteo (47/067 Vanessa)

15 December 2020 - 14:07
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Dear Yves,

thank you very much for your post, very detailed and informative ... and, for oher 57 owners like us, also a bit daunting, I suppose.

Kairos is hull no 43 of 49 of the 57s built and my understanding was that only (mainly?) the first hulls built experienced structural problems.

Believe this was then addressed for subsequent hulls by Nautor - however, as you are rightly pointing out, 40 years is a decent age - even for a well-built S&S Swan.

While Kairos is showing no signs of a problem I might enquire with our yard about an ultrasound survey - better safe then sorry!

Thanks again,

fair winds


Kairos - 57/043

15 December 2020 - 18:46
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear Stefan 

Only one hull experienced structural problems in the keel area in the famous Fastnet Race 1979, but there were other 57s in the same race not having any such problems.
Nautor then decided to reinforce all 22 delivered 57s, and upgraded the construction of undelivered hulls from 023 onwards. 
This can be verified on photos of the keel floors, but the tanks need to be removed for this.
I would suggest later problems are caused by grounding.
Kind regards



15 December 2020 - 21:14
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Dear Lars,

thank you very much for your clarification, this sounds very reassuring indeed!

Thanks again and all the best,


Kairos - 57/043

15 December 2020 - 21:57
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Dear Stephan and Lars,

yes all the concerned 57 had an accident in the past, grounding or like 57-007 falling from a travelift, and in this case the consequences are only appearing five years after…

So if you know all the boat history and are sure the boat never grounded or something, no need to loose confidence in such a boat !

In all cases of delamination, it always seems to be in the same area, in the aft part of hull and false keel junction, and can be seen in the bilge with some cracks on hull between the battery racks, or when taking the boat ashore if you notice some little keel flexibility when suspended.

if you dont notice anything, no need to launch an ultrasonic survey…

Fair winds all !


Algol / 57-007

21 December 2020 - 09:50
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

here some updates from Badalona Yard

second lamination

end of second lamination

third lamination and post treatment

21 December 2020 - 09:55
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

still updates from EMV Marine

4th lamination

4th vacuum

21 December 2020 - 09:59
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

and end of new bilge lamination... now have to put some more lamination in front and aft, and replace the reinforcements...


reinforcements start

30 December 2020 - 14:42
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104


aft finished

front finished

internal reinforcements new foam

30 December 2020 - 14:44
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

continued... next updates in 2021 !!!

internal reinforcements replaced

external temporary reinforcements removed

10 January 2021 - 17:15
Join Date: 22 May 2016
Posts: 13

Thank you for reporting on this extremely interesting operation and do praise the people doing this excellent piece of work. Running an angle grinder in the bottom of a bilge is a gruesome experience.

Just a quick note on Ultra Sonic Testing. My firm is using Ultra Sonic testing of Cast Iron and Lead in radio active applications. In order to get reliable results first the operator needs to be certified and should be able to exhibit a valid certificate. Second, the U-S device must me calibrated on a piece where discrepancies can be detected according to known descrepancies in the calibration piece. This is necessary in order to determine for example what a fairing from polyester/microbaloons on the inside of the hull will show up like in the U-S device.

I do not doubt that in your case verything was done very well, but U-S testing is not simple so it could be a good idea to probe the practices a little before drawing conclusions.


Mats @Hermia II (Swan 57 #035)

12 January 2021 - 20:18
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Of course UV calibration was done before testing by a well known surveyor !

some holes were made in the suspected areas…

thanks for your help,

I hope Algol will look as beautifull as Hermias in some time…

Yves _ Algol V (Swan 57 #007)

23 January 2021 - 12:00
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Update on bilge woks

Yves (Algol 57 007)

Central lamination

Front and mast step


07 February 2021 - 15:49
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Hello all,

lamination is finished and now painting to prepare to reintall keel

Lamination finished

Bilge repainted

New false keel !!!

07 February 2021 - 15:53
Join Date: 17 July 2020
Posts: 104

Keel plates and new holes ready !

New plates for keel bolts designed

And ready

And new holes in bilge

26 February 2021 - 04:39
Join Date: 24 April 2020
Posts: 18

The paint in the bilge looks amazing - may I ask what product / brand it is?


Thanks/Adrian Little

Cygnus 47 048


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