However, each of the three launched over the past couple of decades – the Club Swan 42, Swan 45 and Gazprom Swan 60 – have been hugely successful, attracting some of the very biggest names in yacht racing, both among owners and professional crew.
The Club Swan 50 is the latest design in this range, intended as an extremely fast boat that would be easy to sail on the limit, yet able to be converted to a sports cruisers with efficient accommodation. Naval architect, Juan Kouyoumdjian, a veteran of successful America’s Cup yachts and race winning round the would designs, was also tasked with drawing a vessel that would excel in handicap racing, while also providing full one-design racing at Swan events around the world.
The low freeboard hull is of a bang up to date shape, with reverse bow, reverse sheer, concave aft sections and pronounced chines. Although the 8,500kg displacement is almost 1.5 tonnes heavier than the latest generation of TP52s, planing performance can still be expected downwind. Hull construction is of pre-preg carbon, as are the spars and the fixed bowsprit.
The sail plan has a fat head mainsail and running backstays – a configuration that’s optimized for the racecourse. However, when cruising shorthanded, in light airs the sweptback spreaders allow the runners to be positioned at the mast, while in heavier airs once two reefs are in the mainsail it will pass happily inside the runners.
Although it’s designed primarily as a weekend sailer, the interior offers a level of comfort and refinement that makes short cruisers, or longer sports cruising, a feasible proposition.
The preliminary drawings show a spacious double owners cabin, with a peninsular double berth in the forepeak.
The furniture in this cabin can be removed to make space for sail stowage when racing. There’s also a smaller double quarter cabin for guests.
The saloon features two generous L-shape settees, the back rests of which hinge up to make additional sea berths for use when racing offshore. There’s also a small, but ergonomic galley, aft on the starboard side of the boat, plus a well appointed heads compartment and shower stall forward of the saloon.
Hull length 15.24m
Overall length 16.74m (inc fixed bowsprit)
Upwind sail area 142sq m
Downwind sail area 296sq m