The new cruiser that is so conventional it’s almost radical. Toby Hodges reports

The Swan 54 is designed as a pure bluewater cruiser that is ideally suited for a couple. It uses the hull mould of the Swan 53 (a 2005 Frers design), but the rest of the boat is completely reconfigured to give a more contemporary look and feel. But is Nautor’s decision to re-use an old design a step backwards, or is it just sensible to recycle proven lines?

A four-cabin layout is available, but the three-cabin layout is standard. Yet as this boat is very much aimed at couples, there is also a two-cabin model, which includes a large office.

Owners can also specify a chart table that splits the saloon sofa, as well as a third heads and a crew cabin.

Our verdict

When we first saw images of this 54, it was a little underwhelming, looking slightly dated by today’s standards.

However, it is clear from the enduring popularity of the Metre and J Class yachts that many sailors still yearn for more classic lines. Perhaps Nautor’s Swan is going for retro appeal with its renewal of an old model, or perhaps this is simply a sweet hull that had no need of a redesign. The reasoning matters not.

The Swan 54 is a dependable boat for couples looking to live aboard or cruise long distance – and particularly those looking for an aft cockpit model to suit stern-to berthing and warm climates.

With its quality build and finish its value is sure to hold up well.

In a year that saw Swan launch an array of very modern yachts: three 115s, a 95, a radical new one-design, plus announce a 78-footer, news of a return to the type of serious bluewater cruising yacht that made this yard’s name is particularly welcome.

Specifications: Swan 54

LOA: 16.48m (54ft 1in)
LWL: 14.40m (47ft 3in)
Beam (Max): 4.75m (15ft 7in)
Draught: 2.44m (8ft 0in)
Disp (lightship): 22,000kg (48,501lb)
Ballast: 8,200kg (18,078lb)
Sail Area (100% foretriangle): 142.8m2 (1,537ft2)
Berths: 5-6
Engine: 110hp Yanmar shaftdrive
Water: 730lt (161gal)
Fuel: 600lt (132gal)
Sail area: displacement ratio: 18.5
Displacement: LWL ratio: 205
Price (ex VAT): €1.1m
Design: German Frers

Pictures and video shot by Richard Langdon, Ocean Images. The full eight-page test is in the  Yachting World August 2017 issue.