BeCool: On board the latest member of Swan’s Maxi line

29 April 2021· Holly Overton

BeCool is the latest addition to Swan’s fast-growing line up of Maxi yachts and the first Swan 98 to sail away from the Finnish shipyard. The model represents a new era for the historical Maxi line, with refined lines and improved performance, that neatly plugs the gap between the smaller Swan 88 and the soon-to-splash Swan 120 flagship.

Naturally, BeCool features exterior design by veteran Swan collaborator German Frers, who has worked with the storied builder for over three decades, with an interior courtesy of Misa Poggi. Its hull is built from lightweight carbon-fibre composites, defined by a sweeping sheer line, clean foredeck, flared stern and a low-profile coachroof that sits almost flush with the deck.

“The Swan 98 is born to excel whether cruising or racing,” explains Giovanni Pomati, chief executive of Nautor’s Swan. Some configurations can be fine-tuned for regatta competition, like BeCool, while others are designed for long-distance cruising or sit somewhere between the two. The hull carries most of its beam far aft for stability when heavily heeled, which at the same time creates generous volumes below deck throughout the cabins and shared guest spaces. 

Below the waterline, twin rudders further increase stability, prevent broaching and offer the helmsman greater sensitivity while steering when fully heeling. Adventure-seeking owners can even opt for a telescopic keel, reducing the draft from 4.9 to 3.2-metres, which opens up a world of opportunities for exploring new ports and remote locations without compromising windward performance and stability in foul weather.

Twin helms and push-button sail systems allow the yacht to reach its full potential "even by a non-professional crew,” says Pomati. Either way, the Swan 98 is "conceived as a winner".

With the majority of sailing and social activity taking place aft of the mast, the foredeck is left free for lounging and soaking up the sun. The cockpit area is well set up for al fresco meals at anchor but even under sail remains clear of lines so guests can enjoy the thrill of sailing without fear of getting in the way of crew. The space is protected by a sprayhood that pops up from the coachroof for protection from sun and spray and disappears into a recess when not in use. Meanwhile, a third sun lounge is located right at the water's edge. The transom folds down hydraulically to reveal a teak swim platform, dubbed the "beach deck", as well as a garage big enough to hold a four-metre tender.

Designed to offer the best of both worlds, BeCool's interior is minimal enough to serve as a competitive racer but without compromising on the home comforts and luxuries required for adventures around the globe. Swan 98 owners are given the option of two different cabin layouts – one with the owner stateroom aft and one with it positioned forward – as well as three interior palettes and a long list of add-ons including skylights over the saloon and adjustable tables.

This “faux custom” model, as Poggi calls it, allows owners to mix and match depending on personal preference and how they wanted to use the boat. The second hull in the series, named Drifter Cube, will be used for both leisurely sailing and racing, while the third will be configured for global cruising and charter with onboard systems that favour comfort and allow for greater autonomy at sea.

“We wanted to explain three stories,” says Poggi as she explains the genesis of each of the three interior colour palettes on offer. Timeless Classic evokes a soft atmosphere with “cosmopolitan character” and sees a combination of light linens, natural browns and putty tones; Wine Cowes features a seductive blend of red hues paired with Canaletto walnut; and Traditional Navy offers a more “masculine appeal” with blue, white, tobacco and teak, and is reminiscent of traditional yacht clubs. 

BeCool's owner opted for the aft owner's cabin layout paired with the Traditional Navy interior (pictured). The saloon is laid out with a sofa and lounge area to port and a dining area to starboard with expandable tables for entertaining friends and family on cooler evenings. 

"The design philosophy is based on the fact that past and future are tradition and innovation that merge together without any useless extremism or virtuosity,” says Poggi. This very much aligned with the Finnish shipyard's pared-back Nordic-style seen across its entire fleet.

The secret to the mighty success of the Maxi though, as Pomati explains, is the shipyard's ability to tailor each and every unit so that "no two hulls are ever the same". “You can model a Maxi yacht according to your specific needs and lifestyle, bringing onboard the more comfortable solutions to allow you to cruise and explore the world at any length.” With four hulls sold so far, the third of which is set to splash this year, the Swan 98 not only marks the first of a new generation of modern Maxis but a continuation of the Maxi legacy.