The Swan 59 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Swan 59, a masthead sloop, was designed by German Frers and built in Finland by Nautor Swan.

'Thindra', a Swan 59 sailboat leaving Jolly Harbour, Antigua in the West IndiesA Swan 59

Published Specification for the Swan 59

  • Underwater Profile: Fin keel with spade rudder
  • Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)
  • Length Overall: 58'9" (17.9m)
  • Waterline Length: 48'2" (14.7m)
  • Beam: 16'5" (5.0m)
  • Draft: 11'2" (3.4m)*
  • Rig Type: Masthead Sloop
  • Displacement: 62,400lb (28,305kg)
  • Designer: German Frers
  • Builder: Nautor Swan
  • Year First Built: 1984
  • Year Last Built: 1990
  • Number Built: 21

*Centreboard option: Board down 9.9", board up 4'0"

Published Design Ratios for the Swan 59

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: Not published

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 36.5

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 250

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 45.3

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

Read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Swan 59

1. The Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of the Swan 59 is not published, hence we are unable to comment on this aspect of the boat's predicted performance.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 36.5 means that a sailboat like the Swan 59 (which doesn't have its ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of a deep keel), is likely to benefit from being reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 250, tells us the Swan 59 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 45.3 suggests that crew comfort of a Swan 59 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a heavy bluewater cruising boat. Pitching and rolling will be well damped - your cup of coffee on the salon table stands a reasonable chance of staying there in most conditions.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Swan 59 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Cruisers' Questions about this Sailboat...

What are the features and layout of the Swan 59?

The Swan 59 has sleeping accommodation for six people, with two forward cabins, each with two bunk beds, an "L"-shaped settee and a "U"-shaped settee in the main cabin and an aft cabin with a central island double berth.

The galley is located on the port side abeam the companionway ladder. The galley is "C"-shaped and is equipped with a three-burner stove, an ice box and a double sink.

A navigation station is opposite the galley, on the starboard side. There are two heads, one in the forepeak and one on the port side in the aft cabin.

What are some notable voyages or achievements of the Swan 59?

In the summer of 2019, Andy Schell captained his Swan 59 on a cruise including the south shore of Newfoundland, exploring fjords, whale and iceberg watching. His crew included retired US senator Tom Harkin. The voyage was described in an article published in Yachting World.

Another Swan 59 named ICEBEAR sailed over 42,000 miles from the Caribbean to Stockholm with various crews between March 2019 and October 2022.

What is the price of a Swan 59?

The price of a Swan 59 depends on the year, condition and equipment of the boat, as well as the market demand and availability. Based on some recent listings, the price range for a Swan 59 can vary from around $250,000 to $370,000. For example:

  • A 1988 Swan 59 in La Spezia, Italy is listed for $277,900;
  • A 1991 Swan 59 in Lisbon, Portugal is listed for $312,498;
  • A 1988 Swan 59 in No Especificado, Italy is listed for $366,069;
  • A 1988 Swan 59 in Palma, Spain is listed for €249,000 (about $284,000).

These prices are based on today's currency conversion rate and may change over time.

How many versions of the Swan 59 were produced?

The Swan 59 has two versions: a fixed fin keel version and an optional stub keel and retractable centreboard version. The fin keel version has a draft of 11.18 ft (3.41 m), while the centreboard version has a draft of 9.75 ft (2.97 m) with the centreboard extended and 4.0 ft (1.2 m) with it retracted.

The centreboard version also has a shorter mast than the fin keel version, which affects the sail area and performance.

The Swan 59 also has an optional aft companionway into the cockpit from the aft cabin, which is not present in all models.

Why has the Swan 59 got two cockpits?

The Swan 59 has two cockpits for different purposes. The forward cockpit is the main working area for sailing, with the wheel, the winches, the jammers, the cleats, and the instruments. The aft cockpit is the leisure area for relaxing, socializing, and enjoying the views. The aft cockpit also has a table and a bimini for shade and comfort.
The two cockpits allow guests to unwind and stay out of the way during racing action. They also provide more space and privacy for different activities on board.

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

Other sailboats in the Nautor Swan range include:

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