Generally speaking, there are two ways an idea is brought to life on the drafting table: from scratch or with a previous iteration in mind. For Beneteau Power and Andreani Design, the Swift Trawler 35 was a practice in the latter, a reimagining of the highly successful Swift Trawler 34, of which more than 350 have been sold. Think of the 35 as the culmination of years of feedback from cruising couples and families that have completed countless Great Loops. Myriad observations have been addressed by this model, which features the same semi-planing hull design and let’s-have-an-adventure cruising ethos.
When I locked eyes on her for the first time, the now-retired 34 and 35 shared side-by-side slips, which made comparisons downright obligatory, if not inevitable. But it would take a careful eye, as the nuanced differences between the boats are not so obvious. So I kicked my shoes off and climbed aboard the 35.
Traffic aboard was nearing rush-hour intensity. As I opened the hatch in the salon sole to check out the boat’s single 425-horsepower Cummins engine, I unintentionally revealed a useful feature: Traffic had been diverted to a starboard-side door at the helm easily accessed by a roomy side deck. This is a nice touch, considering the settee in the salon doubles as a pullout bed. (Your guests can sleep soundly knowing they won’t be stepped on when you go for that early morning coffee run.)
The salon also comes with a movable dining table in varnished wood. I like to think I’m pretty strong, but this thing is heavy. You’ll need to ask a family member or friend to help move it if you want to enjoy alfresco dining in the cockpit, but the weight comes with peace of mind: You won’t be concerned with it sliding around while under way.
As for the accommodations, they share a similar configuration with the 34. The 35 (at 37 feet LOA) is a foot longer than the 34, so the accommodations—owner’s cabin with double berth forward and en suite shower, guest cabin with bunk berths to port, and a head to starboard—are a little roomier, but we’re talking pocket change. The 35 also has a wider companionway, but again, this is a change in inches. And with hordes of showgoers moving this way and that aboard, the boat’s roominess was being pushed to its limits.
As I was inspecting the helm—which comes with an opening dashboard console for receiving navigation electronics—two young boys came storming through the starboard helm-side door. Someone pointed them in the direction of the bunk beds. “That’s cool,” said the older of the two. “Can we sit on them?” Their verdict: officially kid-approved.
At the same time, a woman next to me was surveying the U-shaped galley across from the helm, with its twin sinks (that convert to a worktop), refrigerator, burners and gas oven. “I can definitely see myself cooking here,” she said, very approvingly.
No two ways about it: This boat is meant for a cruising couple or family that occasionally has guests on board, and it’s an ideal entry-level cruiser for buyers looking to get their feet wet on long trips. Originality is always appreciated, but it’s also nice to know you have a winner before it even hits the water. —Simon Murray
Beneteau Group, 410-990-0270; beneteau.com/us
Displ.: 18,187 lbs.
Fuel: 211 gal.
Water: 80 gal.
Power: 1/425-hp Cummins QSB6.7I diesel
Cruise Speed: Approx. 17 knots
Top Speed: 24 knots
Base Price: $387,200