There appears to be a general trend for sailing yacht builders to break out of a small circle of sailing fans to appeal with yachts that offer creatures comfort and are easier to handle. Without breaking with tradition, the new Nautor’s Swan 105 seems to embrace this trend.
Pekka Koskenkylä founded Nautor’s Swan in Jakobstad, a Finnish town with a long tradition of boatbuilding, in 1966. While his business model was series production, the yard’s skilled craftsmen created each section by hand, establishing a tradition for detail work that endures today. Nautor’s Swan yachts are renowned the world over for their varnished teak and quality fiberglass construction. The company tends to be conservative, and their loyal following in the competitive world of yachting is due in no small part to their respect for brand integrity. Technological advances, new models and other changes were prudently introduced over time.
In 1998, Italian fashion titan Leonardo Ferragamo took the helm and brought a new sense of style to the traditional Nordic detailing without interrupting a sense of continuity. In 2000, the company opened its Boat Technology Center (BTC) in Pietarsaari, a large waterfront facility that can accommodate construction of 11 yachts. The most recent development is the addition of the new Swan 105 to the company’s existing lineup. Described as a “race salon,” featuring a higher deckhouse with interiors optimizing comfort over performance, it is meant to be a cruising-oriented sailing yacht designed to appeal to families who, on a moment’s notice, can sail confidently and safely into the horizon.
While die-hard sailors covet the older models for their seaworthiness, this new Swam follows the sailing yacht industry’s general trend toward creating user-friendly yachts with advanced technology and systems that allow them to be sailed single-handedly or with a small crew. Nautor’s Swan CEO Enrico Chieffi, a former competitive sailor who met Ferragamo sailing, and long-time designer Germán Frers Jr., who penned the new Swan, hosted a press conference in the glorious model room of the New York Yacht Club a few months ago, to introduce the Swan 105, a perfect opportunity to get some insight into this iconic brand.
To read an interview with Enrico Chieffi and Germán Frers Jr., click here.