Swan 65: World’s coolest yachts

Published on August 30th, 2021

Yachting World has been asking top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times, and Tracy Edwards, who skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, nominated the Swan 65. Here’s the report:

Tracy Edwards says her heart will always belong to Maiden, the 58ft Bruce Farr-designed maxi she raced round the world in the 1989-90 Whitbread Race, now restored and being sailed as part of the Maiden Factor project.

“But if I had to choose another one it would be the Swan 65.”

A legendary design in its own right, the Sparkman & Stephens-designed Swan 65 became lastingly famous name in the first ever Whitbread Race in 1973-74. When it was won by Ramón Carlin’s Sayula II, finishing in 133d 13h.

This was the first of many honors for the design: in the following Whitbread three other Swan 65s finished in 2nd, 4th, and 5th positions.

2nd placed Kings’ Legend was skippered by Nick Ratcliffe (Skip Novak was the navigator) and beat Conny van Rietschotens Flyer and Clare Francis’s Swan 65 ADC Accutrac.

When the Swan 65 was first built at Nautor in Finland in 1972, it was easily the largest fiberglass yacht on the market.

Tracy was first bewitched by the design when she sailed on a 65 in the early 1980s. “They are so beautiful, and gorgeous to sail. The interior makes this a boat you could live on forever – the woodwork is sublime.”

For Yachting World’s list of cool boats, click here.

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