Do you want to be informed on new Posts on this Thread? (members only)

Sail & Rigging - Deck Lay Out Swan 44
12 November 2021 - 09:22
Join Date: 14 October 2020
Posts: 5

Deck Lay Out Swan 44

Hello all, 


Is there someone who did upgrade the deck lay out of a Swan 44? We are in process of upgrading Northern Child. We never sailed with the yacht, so it is a bit difficult to decide what to do with the lines, cleats etc.

Is there someone with a Swan 44 somewhere in Netherlands we can make some pictures?


Current status of the project:



Bart Sluimer


12 November 2021 - 13:21
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Hi Bart,

while I cannot comment on the Swan 44 in general nor on Northern Child in particular I thought it might nevertheless be helpful to share that we did ask ourselves the same question before we embarked on a new teak deck for Kairos (Swan 57) this year.

For us, the answer was that after five seasons of sailing Kairos we couldn't think of any original deck fitting/cleat/winch etc. that could be improved in terms of size, type or layout. 

The few things we did change/get rid of were some non-original fittings e.g. brackets for a bimini and some brackets for long lost, unknown equipment installed by a previous owner. 

Maybe we are restricted in our experience or imagination but I'd like to think that this was mainly due to these Swans having been designed and built by people with much more experience and sailing skills than us, and are therefore near perfect (in my humble opinion).

Fair winds,


Kairos - 57/043

12 November 2021 - 14:24
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1014

Dear Stefan,

very wise words!!!

Fair winds,

matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

15 November 2021 - 14:45
Join Date: 14 October 2020
Posts: 5

Appreciate your feedback!

In the old situation believe the lines for the main sail were controlled at the mast. At pictures we found that the previous owner created some lines to go to the cockpit of the vessel. 

Currently we are doubting to make the boat original again in regards of the lines or stick to current idea.



Lines from mast to cockpit

17 November 2021 - 13:33
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 115

Hi Bart,

looks neatly done, even though possibly not original.

Imho, I'd base the decision to keep it or not on whether you think it might be useful to you and works as supposed or not . E.g. if you sail short-handed and the set-up is for something that get's used a lot then it might well be worth keeping.

From my experience, running lines above deck after into the cockpit has three main disadvantages, which you may want to way up against the benefits.

Firstly, they tend to be the perfect trip hazard when moving around/working on the deck, at least for me.
Secondly, the friction losses tend to be quite significant so when I came across these on (non-S&S) other yachts the system wasn't really worth having. We most of the time ended up with a man at the mast to haul directly and one at the winch in the cockpit, otherwise it would have been too difficult/heavy to handle.
Thirdly, most of the time you can't see what you are doing from the cockpit i.e. if something is stuck or not running as it should be you'd still need to go forward or at least have someone there.

On Kairos, everything is done at the mast, which works well for us. Admittedly, it's usually two crew that work together,at the mast so with your system one might be able to stay in the cockpit instead. We tend to sail with sufficient manpower so this is no problem for us. Only the furling genoa is operated from the cockpit via one of the winches but still needs someone at the bow (ideally).

As always, these things are based on indivdial circumstances and preferences - shame hat you haven't had the chance to sail and try it out before you have to make a decision! 

Fair winds,


Kairos - 57/043

18 November 2021 - 12:12
Join Date: 20 July 2020
Posts: 19

Let me share my own experiences from our 411.

We have the main sheet halyard on the mast. It has original non-st lewmar winch. I have had no problems of hoisting main sheet single handed, the most important thing is a working autopilot.

In my opinion the main points that suport having it on the mast are (Stefan also mentioned some)

-Less line on the cockpit. When you add guys and spinnaker sheets and furler line plus some other extra you have a perfect mess already.

-Halyard tension when preparin to sail close hauled is significant. I would not want more friction. Also feeling the tension is IMO easier when you are next to the main sail luff.

-The reef lines (and line locks) and reef hooks (with S411 original boom at least) are on the mast and can be reached from single place while hoisting. Having the halyard on the cockpit would make single handed reefing harder and slower. 

-Anyhow one cannot steer and hoist the main at the same time when it is on that location

-Shorter halyard means less stretch. I guess this is minimal thing anyhow.

What we have different is that we have a spring loaded rigid boom vang and no topping lift, which I think help hoisting the main. Just ease the kicker and ease the main sheet, point the boat to wind, go to mast, and hoist the main, walk back, take control.

If money would not be an option (our Swan service center in fact proposed this) you maybe could have andersen ST electrical winch on the mast and then just press a button. Then you could have all the benefits.

For single handed sailing having ST genoa winches (electric even better) is big bonus. In 411 the main sheet is on top of the coaming and not reachable by the helmsman, which is sometimes nasty when sailing single handed. In 44 it is on the front of the pedestal I guess.



  • Threads : 1696
  • Posts : 10195
  • Members: 820
  • Online Members: 0