In a racing scene that’s bristling with innovation, legacy builder Nautor’s Swan refuses to be left behind in its quest to dominate the champagne end of one-design sailing. Arriving hard on the heels of the radical Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50, the ClubSwan 36 offers a similar blend of razor-sharp styling and no-expense-spared construction in a smaller, more accessible package.
Again designed by “Juan K,” the ClubSwan 36 is packed with new ideas and clever twists on established features. The reverse stem and radiused deck edges, as seen on the latest IMOCA 60 designs, cut weight and windage but promise a wet ride to windward; the twig-like, deck-stepped carbon fiber spar can be raked and bent to eye-popping extents; the L-shaped tiller lies flush with the cockpit sole so it doesn’t interfere with crew movement; the propeller and shaft retract into the hull.
The most intriguing feature, though, is the C-foil, a manually controlled semicircular daggerboard that works in tandem with the deep torpedo keel to cut leeway upwind and provide enough lift off the wind to get the boat partly out of the water—“skimming,” as Swan calls it—while remaining easy to control. Juan K’s polars predict offwind speeds in the mid-20’s.
Weighing in at less than 7,000lb ready to sail—including a maximum weight of 1,124lb for the six-person crew—the 36 has kneeling headroom and minimal accommodations. There are four pipe cots below in what Swan calls “protected shelter.” The standard sail wardrobe is comprised of a mainsail, two jibs and one spinnaker, while auxiliary power can be provided by either a Torqueedo electric motor or a small Nanni diesel.
Nautor’s Swan already runs a series of one-design regattas, and the 36 will have its own starts in these. The ClubSwan 50, with 26 boats sold, is already well established, and the 36 should be even more popular. Whether racing one-design or not, this new flyer from Juan K looks like an awful lot of fun to sail. For more information, visit clubswan36.com.