BOAT REVIEW Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 Sedan Vanilla

May 2024 Launch Reviews
Words by Andrew Howard. Photography and video by Roger Mills
Build Quality
MODEL Beneteau Swift Trawler 41 Sedan
BUILDER Beneteau
PRICE AS TESTED $1.4 million
LOA 13.42M
ENGINE 2 x Yanmar 8LV320 320hp
Maximum Speed 28 knots
Cruise Speed 16-20 knots
  • Master bedroom facilities
  • Walk around options
  • Ease of use
  • Safe and predictable handling
  • Useful range, modest thirst

Beneteau’s Swift Trawler 41 Sedan represents a blend of style, comfort and performance in trawler yachts. We delve into the different aspects of the Swift Trawler 41 Sedan, including its design, features, performance, and overall suitability for different boating applications.

The forecast for our testing session was for light westerly winds with smooth seas, but on the day conditions ended up gusting 35 knots from the southwest, kicking up a sharp chop, which for us was also a head sea – perfect conditions to explore the the Swift Trawler 41’s performance and test its flared hull to see how well it cut through the seas. This boat is named Vanilla.


Design and features
The Swift Trawler 41 Sedan’s design incorporates elements to maximise comfort and functionality for extended cruising. Inspired by traditional trawler yachts, its hull shape provides stability and seaworthiness while the design adds modern conveniences to broaden its appeal. The hull length is 12.52 metres and the overall length is 13.43 metres – a shade over 44 feet. With a beam of 4.25 metres and a draft of 1.15 metres, the vessel feels roomy but is still easily managed.
This trawler yacht features a spacious interior layout with generous headroom, three cabins, and a well-equipped galley, all catering well to the needs of onboard living. The yacht’s creative use of space, with convertible seating areas and smart storage solutions, enhances the motoryacht’s usability across the board.
A range of features are designed to lift the onboard experience. The yacht boasts a well-appointed cockpit area with seating, dining options, and easy access to the swim platform. These elements contribute to the Swift’s versatility and allow relaxed cruising and outdoor fun.
The test boat also had bow and stern thrusters, an autopilot, Ship Control digital switching and a large Raymarine MFD. Options for this model also include a diesel heater, air conditioning, and a generator.
Performance is an essential aspect of any vessel, and the Swift Trawler 41 Sedan delivers in this regard thanks to an efficient propulsion system and impressive cruising capabilities. Powered by twin diesel engines, the yacht offers a balance of power and fuel efficiency, making it suitable for long-distance voyages. The Swift Trawler 41 Sedan exhibits stable handling and respectable cruising speeds, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride, even in challenging conditions. The large hull chines conquered our water conditions on test day, ensuring the ride was smooth and quiet. The yacht’s modest diesel thirst and 1170-litre fuel capacity, split over two tanks housed amidships, make this model well-suited for extended cruising.
I found that the Lenco trim tabs worked effectively – I didn’t notice any heel-to in the windy conditins. The twin Yanmar 8LV320s on shaft-drives were the highlight. These eight-cylinder engines each output 320hp and 235kW from their 4.46-litre displacements. Leading diesel engine manufacturer Yanmar integrates its most advanced common rail technology into its marine engines. Common rail technology is a digitally controlled, high-pressure fuel injection with a sensor system to optimise engine efficiency and performance. This reduces emissions, minimises noise, and boosts peak power output, improving the engine’s overall efficiency and the comfort of everyone aboard.
Multiple sensors throughout the engine feed operating conditions and performance requirements to the ECU. The system monitors the throttle position, temperature and pressure at various locations including the rail, intake air pressures and crank and cam positions. Based on the feedback from the sensors, the ECU regulates fuel from the supply pump into a single high-pressure fuel rail with digitally activated injectors. This controls precisely when and how much fuel to inject. A common rail system can supply multiple fuel injections to each cylinder throughout a cycle, rather than just a single injection as happens with a mechanically controlled fuel system.
These twin-turbo engines produced torque with bite, snappy acceleration, and excellent response to throttle commands.
The fuel burn results were reasonably good on the test day, when we delivered the boat from Gulf Harbour to Westhaven, given the load onboard and the sea conditions. At 6.4 knots, fuel usage was 5.5 litres per hour per engine. At 8.0 knots, fuel usage was 9.9 litres per hour per engine, while at 12 knots, the craft was quickly on the plane and using 25.7 litres per hour per engine. At 24 knots, the engines each use 61 litres per hour. Full speed is reportedly about 28 knots, but conditions were too rough to find out for ourselves.
The master bedroom has a well-proportioned island berth setup and a full-height headroom. The highlight of this space is that the master’s ensuite has the head and hand basin separate from the shower. The vessel’s day head also contains a well-proportioned shower compartment, vanity and basin.
On test day, the port bedroom was set up as twin single berths with a wardrobe, but this layout can quickly be converted to a double berth. The starboard cabin has a single berth and the dining table is also designed to convert into a double berth – a clever curtain system hanging from the ceiling creates privacy when needed.
The saloon’s dining table has wrap-around seating with a drop-leaf table-top setup, which increases seating capacity.
The galley has an LPG-fuelled triple hob and a stainless-steel Eno oven. The gas cylinder is concealed in a locker integrated into the cockpit bench aft. This cooking configuration, combined with the Vitrifrigo fridge-freezer unit, stainless-steel twin sinks, plenty of storage, and a clever cupboard for the rubbish bin, makes for a stylish and functional galley.
The galley is well-connected to the exterior, too, courtesy of the rear sliding door and an external fold-up bench top – an excellent lean-to for sharing a drink with the day’s chef or a serving table for the cockpit seating area.
Interior woodwork is Alpi oak strip, which can be optioned as Alpi teak strip if preferred. The Rovere Alévé type laminated floorboards look hard-wearing and easy to clean.
The helm station is very comfortable and provides excellent visibility. The twin helm seat can be adjusted for seated or standing lean-to driving positions. The helm seat can also be optioned with a mechanism that allows it to rotate and drop down as an extra seat at the dining table.
Next to the helm, the portside side-door provides easy, safe and quick access to the walkaround side-deck which affords easy access around the vessel fore and aft.
In the cockpit, the lazarette has enormous storage space, there’s plenty of seating, and good engine room access. The cockpit’s rear seat can slide forward or back depending to free up space in the cockpit or the platform as required. The aft swim platform is an excellent size to play on, fish from, or to house a tender hung from a pair of dinghy davits. The swim ladder on the starboard side of the swim platform folds away quickly into a closed-off cavity.
The flat foredeck area was home to a large, functional daybed, Rocna anchor and Lewmar winch. The anchor locker has decent drop for the chain and warp, which should prevent any dreaded tangles, the walkaround decks are framed by a stainless-steel rail and there is a step ladder to access the roof.
Safety and reliability
Safety is paramount in the design of the Swift Trawler 41 Sedan, with numerous features and systems to ensure peace of mind for passengers and crew alike. The vessel is robustly constructed and adheres to rigorous safety standards, including incorporating advanced navigation and communication systems. Additionally, bow and stern thrusters, and walkaround decks with railings, enhance manoeuvrability and passenger safety, reducing the risk of accidents at sea. The cockpit area also has several handrails covered in leather.
The fuel and water tanks’ filler necks are all on the starboard side near the sliding cockpit door. This setup avoids having to turn the boat around at the dock when filling up the second tank or having to drag the fuel line over the stern to reach the opposite side.
In an era of increasing environmental awareness, the environmental impact of recreational vessels is a growing concern. The Swift Trawler 41 Sedan addresses this by integrating eco-friendly technologies and design principles to reduce emissions and minimise fuel consumption. According to the manufacturer, the yacht’s efficient hull design and propulsion system result in lower fuel consumption than most similar-sized vessels, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. Additionally, including features such as energy-efficient appliances and solar panels further contribute to its eco-friendliness.
Beneteau uses its own formulation of vinylester resin on the decks and hulls. This resin is used in three ways for boat hulls and decks: hand lay-up, resin infusion, and injection moulding.
This vessel has much to recommend it for a couple or a family. The Swift Trawler 41 Sedan is a versatile, well-rounded yacht that combines style, comfort, and performance. Its thoughtful design, wide array of features, and reliable performance make it a compelling choice for short excursions and extended voyages both. With its blend of tradition and innovation, the Swift Trawler 41 Sedan sets a standard for modern trawler yachts.