Lucky Bird is a 1972 Swan 48 that has been accustomed a amazing new charter of activity by Younique Yachts in the Netherlands
Can you advance on perfection? The Sparkman & Stephens-designed Swan 48 is broadly advised to be one of the best iconic bluewater sailing designs of all time. To booty a archetypal archetype of this 1970s yacht and about-face it into a weekend sailor fit for a 21st aeon ancestors was brave, possibly alike a little heretic.
Lucky Bird’s aitionist face-lifting wasn’t consistently on the cards. When the Swan 48 accustomed at Younique the aboriginal plan was to absolutely restore the autogenous carpentry, but to accumulate it fundamentally original.
As added and added of her acceptable accessories were bare out, however, the adorableness of S&S’s aboriginal curve became arresting axial the hull, as able-bodied as outside.
Inspired by what they found, buyer Eric Bijlsma – who additionally owns the Hoek-designed superyacht Firefly – and the Younique aggregation absitively to change their refit plans. Instead of recreating article aboriginal they confused appear abating her with a abundant lighter, added avant-garde touch.
“I accept consistently been in adulation with the designs of Sparkman & Stephens, and I apperceive that Olin Stephens’s favourite architecture was the Swan 48. I’m actual agog on the curve and the ancestry of the brand, but I was missing a bit of the avant-garde feel,” recalls Bijlsma, who capital a simpler yacht to captain with his family.
Creating sightlines forth the bark edges and berth sole, rather than concealing them beneath abundant acclimatized joinery, was basic to the design. “Once you can see breadth the bark meets the floor, which gives a lot of space, you see how the admirable curve assignment from the interior,” explains Egbert Wattel, co-founder of Younique Yachts.
“Actually that was the starting point, and from afresh on we came up with new account to appearance the architecture of the hull.”
The capital apparatus they chose was afar of attenuate band sycamore planking, which creates an optical aftereffect of illustrating the aboriginal bark curve through the caliginosity amid the planks. The new woodwork takes its afflatus from the aboriginal Swan 48 interior, which had some areas of band planking arresting aloft bunks in the forepeak and saloon, but has now been acclimated throughout in a abundant lighter finish. The constituent were additionally changed, from arresting screws to aluminium ts with anniversary t arch hand-sanded and able for the acclimatized finish.
“If you attending carefully you can see about the hatches and the corners of the bulkheads, we capital to accumulate that and rather than do annihilation to bland it away, accumulate it honest,” explains Wattel.
Some areas of the yacht’s architecture accept been modified, and the autogenous reflects that. Lucky Bird’s new rig has distinct stays, which has appropriate new anatomy to be congenital beneath the chainplates for added stiffness.
“The new rig has one chainplate, so all the accent is focused on one breadth now,” says Wattel. “So we advised a new strut beneath the deck,a ample knee that we shaped in plywood aboriginal and chip it into the bunks, and afresh the accomplished anatomy was covered with glassfibre and carbon fibre.”
In befitting with the all-embracing appearance of assuming rather than concealing the anatomic elements of the yacht, the allegory carbon was instead chip into the alehouse berths. “All the things you need, it’s OK to see them, because if they are done appropriately anniversary affair is a assignment of art,” explains Wattel.
A avant-garde entrance
Other above structural changes were fabricated about the companionway, breadth the pit area, coachroof and bear accept been absolutely rebuilt.
“The admission was not originally axial in the boat,” explains Wattel. “It was 70mm tothe starboard side, and that was advised to get admission to the aft berth properly.
“But because we capital to accept all the curve balanced we afflicted the accomplished entrance, cut out the aboriginal one and replaced it, authoritative it added and balanced again.”
Over the companionway there is now a ample custom bottle structure, with a alike bottle bear sliding over the top of a anchored bottle breadth for best ablaze bottomward below.
A new arced anatomy advanced of the cockpit additionally houses channels for abysmal lines, arch to anew recessed electric Andersen winches.
“The accomplished ambition for me with this breadth was that it had to attending like it was original. A Swan buyer would apperceive beeline abroad that it is new but added sailors would anticipate it is original. So the curve breeze with the aboriginal curve – absolutely I anticipate it is alike bigger now,” comments Wattel.
The ambition of creating a flush, minimalist accouter on a 1970s architecture aloft some challenges, the best advanced bear proving decidedly technically difficult due to the curvature of the foredeck area. To accomplish a alike accomplishment Younique Yachts had to custom architecture aggregate from the ceramics to the hinges.
The aboriginal ballast accession was removed, and replaced with a buried ballast locker in the starboard bow. The appropriate Swan toerail was additionally pared down.
“The aboriginal Swan has absolutely a lot of aluminium toerail. We discussed for a while if we could refurbish it or board it. In the end we said we’d aish it, so we had to cut out the accomplished thing,” recalls Wattel.
“Then we had to bullwork out allotment of the laminate, administer new extra-strong coat because some of the backbone would be absent by accepting rid of the toerail there, and afresh the accomplished accouter was abounding alike again.”
The council basement appears aboriginal but is in actuality additionally all-new, sitting hardly college to board hydraulic controls for the backstay and vang as able-bodied as a joystick for the bow thruster, with a new custom caster and avant-garde compass.
A new college aspect carbon fibre rig with hardly aft-swept spreaders carries an acclimatized sailplan, a furling genoa, baby jib, and an agee which is set from a anchored tack point on the bow.
Down beneath there is an aft owner’s cabin, while pipecots in the foredeck accord added adaptation for weekending. The alehouse berths are on two altered levels, giving a basement breadth that can additionally be acclimatized to accommodate children’s berths for Bijlsma’s adolescent family.
The galley is one of the best affecting redesigns of the absolute boat. A custom advised white Corian galley includes a sink, buried decay bin, and electric hob. Stowage is bound by canoeing yacht standards with no over adverse cabinets, but instead crockery, accoutrement and cutlery is stored in custom-cut recesses, and there are distinctively advised cupboards for glassware. The industrial-style aperture aback of the galley is a ample fridge, set into the bulkhead with an American-inspired aperture design.
The avant-garde face-lifting is not to everyone’s taste, “Some bodies say you ashore the accomplished boat, it’s not a Swan anymore. But we don’t do that. We capital to accomplish it a bigger Swan, it still has to be a Swan, but we approved to advance it,” explains Wattel.
Bijlsma adds: “I consistently had in my apperception that if Olin Stephens were still animate and he had the advantage of today’s possibilities afresh how would he accept done it? I absolutely approved to clean this admirable baiter according to the way I anticipate he would accept done it.”
Designer Sparkman & Stephens
Build Nautor’s Swan, 1972
LOA 14.60m 47ft 11in
LWL 11.36m 37ft 3in
Beam 4.15m 13ft 7in
Draught 2.4m 7ft 10in
Displacement 16,300kg 36,000lb
Upwind captain breadth 114m2 1,227ft2
Spinnaker captain breadth 231,5m2 2,492ft2
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