Founded by Pekka Koskenkyla in Finland’s Pietarsaari in 1966, Oy Nautor AB is well known for building high quality and high performance yachts. Most Owners of Nautor’s Swan yachts choose sailing as a way to unwind, spend quality time with family and friends, as well as explore the world.
“A yacht is the ideal place to get people involved in a common goal. It’s a limited space where you can get to know people better and develop close friendships,” this is how Leonardo Ferragamo, Chairman of Nautor’s Swan, lives his passion for sailing — a passion shared by most Swan owners.
Getting away from it all, escaping to remote parts of the world, and exploring the natural world seems to be the new trend in a society dominated by Orwellian scenarios. Cruising yachts are growing in size to accommodate longer and more adventurous passages. Enrico Chieffi, CEO of Oy Nautor AB, is keeping a close eye on this trend: “We’re navigating to a relentless growth in size. But we also stubbornly keep in production the Swan 53, which is still the perfect boat to sail without a crew. You can go around the world with it, with elegance and quality.”
The Swan 53 yacht, the smallest of the current SwanLine, was indeed designed to be sailed by the smallest of crews and has included a number of clever design features to facilitate this. “We simply couldn’t love this boat more,” says Paul Glimcher, proud owner of Swan 53 sailing yacht Seastar. Looking for his ideal boat, Dr. Glimcher had a very clear vision: “I wanted a boat with which I could cross the Atlantic with my older son and a couple of friends, and also go cruising in the West Indies or the Mediterranean with my wife and the little ones. This boat is exactly perfect for that. The Swan 53 is very sea-kindly and robust, and this is a quality that I really cherish given my love for offshore sailing. I’ve taken the boat on a bunch of significant single-handed passages and I did a transatlantic passage just with my wife – it was the most romantic sailing trip of my life!”
While some owners enjoy pure cruising in style, others also enjoy the thrill of racing, especially when combined with fun social rendezvous and the lure of a warm winter in Caribbean waters. “We have competed in the RORC Caribbean 600 four times and every year the race is getting more competitive,” says Lucy Reynolds, owner of Swan 51 luxury yacht Northern Child with her husband Chris. “Our Swan 51 is such a fantastic boat, it loves offshore racing and passages and it cuts through the water with fabulous ease.” Even when the conditions are not smooth, Northern Child’s crew is comfortable, as the Reynolds point out: “Our crew has mixed experience and it works well because Northern Child is such a comfortable, well-built strong yacht. On deck it can be blowing 30 knots, but down below you can be totally comfortable as if racing inshore.” Northern Child is a great testament to all that stands for Nautor’s Swan – quality, elegance and performance: “She is 30 years old this month, and there are not many yachts this age that can still look amazing, sail beautifully, race competitively and cover 25,000 nautical miles a year. Swans are pedigree yachts that will keep on sailing indefinitely if looked after and maintained well: this is one of the main reasons why we bought Northern Child,” commented Ms. Reynolds.
When asked about their most memorable sailing moments, it is clear that the Reynolds have plenty of fun and many miles under their belt: “Cruising around Cape Finisterre on the southern corner of the Bay of Biscay in 40+ knots surfing down five meter waves. Northern Child was in her element, the off-watch crew was sleeping downstairs and the two of us on deck had grins from ear to ear as we surfed downwind. You feel really safe on Northern Child, and you can enjoy the sailing even when the conditions would be adverse for most yachts.” The best racing memory was “winning 1st Swan and 1st in class at the BVI Spring Regatta in 2012.” Northern Child will continue racing in the Caribbean until May, then she will sail back across the North Atlantic via the Azores to the UK. She will spend the summer in the Solent before cruising down to the Med for the Rolex Swan Cup, Les Voiles de St Tropez and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. “Beyond that, the more sailing we do on Northern Child the better,” concluded Ms. Reynolds.
Long distance racing is a passion also for owner Todd Stuart and the crew of Swan 56 yacht White Rhino, based in Newport, RI, USA. “We actively campaign there during the summer and we competed in two Newport – Bermuda Race. My crew consists almost entirely of Corinthians who live in Newport, Key West and as far away as San Francisco. Most have been racing with me for a number of years,” says Mr. Stuart, who took third in class at their debut in the RORC Caribbean 600 this year. “Our goals are to have a safe race foremost and secondly to have a great time. If we finish well that is the icing on the cake. One of the best things about owning a Swan 56 is that you are always competitive. Hopefully me and my fellow Rhinos will make Nautor proud.” They did indeed! Mr. Stuart does also enjoy cruising, although time is often a rare commodity for most Swan owners: “We still occasionally cruise White Rhino and at one time exclusively cruised. Now that we race it, cruising often takes a backseat. But we do sneak a weekend to Nantucket during the summer and we spent New Years in St Barths last year… although we did win the NYE around the island race!” It seems almost impossible to resist the temptation of racing when you own such a remarkably high-performing yacht.
“The reason for choosing a Swan is the combination of performance and cruising comfort and its quality. And looks of course,” says the London based owner of Swan 82 charter yacht Nikata, who has cruised quite extensively around the world: most of Europe including Croatia, Italy, Scotland, the Lofoten Islands in Norway, and the Caribbean, Galapagos, Tahiti and more. Nikata has also successfully raced in pure offshore regattas such as the Rolex Middle Sea Race (where they won in their class in 2010) and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (second in class in 2013). “It is a fantastically fun boat to race. I think the combination of cruising and racing is what makes Swans so outstanding. We’ve had some rough weather and the boat has always been extremely good in those conditions, it always felt safe, with the perfect balance of comfort and performance.” After so many miles, Nikata is still in mint condition: “We have continuously updated and maintained the boat to an extremely high standard so that she still looks like new, thanks to the work of our fantastic captain and crew, and the time and effort spent to do the necessary upgrades,” added Nikata yacht’s owner. When asked where his boat lives, Nikata’s owner was very candid and his answer really tells the tale of what inspires most Swan owners: “On the sea I guess… I am not really sure to be honest. It’s a wonderful way to see the world, it’s a lovely place to relax from time to time if you have a stressful job. I wish I could spend more time on the boat.” When it comes to recalling the most memorable sailing moments, choosing isn’t easy: “We have an endless amount of memories and that is a wonderful thing. I guess for me it is that you see places that you normally wouldn’t get to – like the Aeolian Islands outside Sicily, or Scotland, or the Lofoten Islands in Norway, or the Galapagos Islands there you wake up and have sea lions relaxing on your swimming platform. It is a wonderful way to show the children the world.” Indeed.
Tradition and progress go hand-in-hand as Nautor’s Swan continues to develop its product range, having recently launched the new flagship of the SwanLine, the Swan 115 yacht, as well as a performance cruising range (60-80-105 RS), built to the highest standards of excellence and seaworthiness, all exquisitely suited for short, long-range and bluewater cruising.
“Our boats should always have great sailing performance, be easy to handle, make good use of space, with a practical layout. This is why Swans are liked by real sailors, because they are built to the best quality standards with top technology, making Swans the most reliable yachts,” says Marcus Jungell, Sales Director at Oy Nautor Ab.
Progress is also synonymous with Nautor’s global vision. The company is taking great strides in expanding its horizons, as Jungell points out: “Traditional markets are Europe, especially the Mediterranean, but we have new markets in China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines, with agents around the globe. At Nautor, we believe our product and brand are very strong and will continue to be. We’re developing our products continuously. Cruising, is a strong passion among Swan owners, likewise we have just launched a range of pure performance cruising yachts.”
Below is a choice of other luxurious charter yachts built by Nautor’s Swan.