The Swan 43 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Swan 43, a masthead sloop, was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built in Finland by Nautor Swan.

'Thistle', a classic S&S designed Swan 43 sailboat from the 1970s.The S&S designed Swan 43

Published Specification for the Swan 43

Underwater Profile: Fin keel with skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material: GRP

Length Overall: 42'9" (13.0m)

Waterline Length: 31'0" (9.5m)

Beam: 11'8" (3.6m)

Draft: 7'2" (2.2m)

Rig Type: Sloop

Displacement: 19,850lb (9,000kg)

Designer: Sparkman & Stephens

Builder: Nautor Swan

Year First Built: 1967

Year Last Built: 1982

Number Built: 67

Owners Association: S&S Swan Association

Published Design Ratios for the Swan 43

Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.1

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 52.4

Displacement/Length Ratio: 297

Comfort Ratio: 33.7

Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Swan 43

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18.1 suggests that the Swan 43 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 52.4 means that the Swan 43 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 297, tells us the Swan 43 is clearly a heavy displacement cruising boat. You can load her down with all your cruising gear and equipment and it will hardly affect her waterline. Not an ideal choice for coastal sailing, but she'll come into her own on an offshore passage in testing conditions.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 33.7 suggests that crew comfort of a Swan 43 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Swan 43 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

The Swan 43 Sailboat: A Classic Cruiser-Racer

The Swan 43 sailboat is a classic design by the renowned naval architects Sparkman & Stephens, who created some of the most successful cruiser-racers of the 20th century. The Swan 43 was first launched in 1967 and was built by Nautor, the Finnish company that is famous for its high-quality and beautiful yachts. The Swan 43 is a boat that can take you across oceans, around buoys or to your favorite anchorage with style and grace. Here are some of the features and characteristics of this remarkable sailing boat.

The Swan 43 is a monohull sloop with a raked stem, a raised counter reverse transom, a skeg-mounted rudder and a fixed, swept fin keel. It has a masthead rig with a single spreader and a large sail area. The hull is made of fiberglass with wood trim and has a distinctive sheer and tumblehome. The boat is 42.78 feet long overall, with a waterline length of 31 feet and a beam of 11.67 feet. It displaces 19,850 pounds and carries 10,400 pounds of lead ballast. The draft is 7.16 feet with the standard keel, but there was also a short mast option with a lower draft of 6.5 feet.

The Swan 43 has sleeping accommodation for eight people, with a double V-berth in the bow cabin, two straight settee berths and two pilot berths in the main cabin and an aft cabin with two single berths. The galley is located on the starboard side just forward of the companionway ladder. The galley is L-shaped and is equipped with a three-burner stove, an ice box and a sink. A navigation station is opposite the galley, on the port side. The head is located just aft of the bow cabin on the port side and has a marine toilet, a sink and a shower. The interior is finished in teak and has plenty of storage space and ventilation.

Hull and Deck
The hull of the Swan 43 is solid fiberglass with no core material. It is stiff and strong and has no signs of osmosis or structural damage. The deck is also fiberglass with a balsa core and has teak planking on top. The deck hardware is stainless steel and bronze and includes winches, cleats, tracks, blocks and stanchions. The cockpit is spacious and comfortable, with a wheel steering system, an engine control panel, an instrument console and a folding table. The cockpit seats have lockers underneath for storage. The boat has a custom-made double bow roller with a windlass and an anchor chain locker. There is also a stern ladder for easy access to the water.

Mast and Rigging
The mast of the Swan 43 is aluminum and is keel-stepped. It has a single spreader and swept-back spreaders for stability. The boom is also aluminum and has in-boom reefing for convenience. The spars are original but have been well maintained and painted. The rigging is stainless steel wire with swaged terminals and turnbuckles. The rigging includes a forestay, a backstay, upper and lower shrouds, intermediate shrouds, running backstays, an inner forestay and a baby stay.

Keel and Rudder
The keel of the Swan 43 is a fixed fin keel with a swept-back profile. It is made of lead and is bolted to the hull with stainless steel bolts. The keel has a trim tab that can be adjusted from the cockpit to improve performance upwind or downwind. The rudder of the Swan 43 is skeg-mounted and has a balanced shape. It is made of fiberglass with a stainless steel stock and bearings. The rudder is controlled by a wheel steering system with cables and pulleys.

The above text was drafted by using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; we believe it to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.

Other sailboats in the Nautor Swan range include:

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