As #plasticfantastic as it gets: Swan 47 Sparkman&Stephens


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Among the VELAFestival participants as #plasticfantastic came a very special boat, a true icon of those years that forever marked the evolution of the sailing world. A fiberglass marvel, a sailing legend as only Swans designed by the New York firm of Sparkman&Stephens can afford to be. It is the Swan 47 Sparkman&Stephens owned by Matteo Salamon, president of the S&S Swan Association .

“What’s an owner in love with his boat to do, after caring for it, pampering it and restoring it for 16 years, and bringing it to be perhaps one of the most ‘beautiful in the world in its class(Sparkman & Stephens’ Swan 38)? He sells it and starts over! So it was for me and my wife Giulia, my partner in life and boating madness, with our little 1976 Sparkman & Stephens Swan 38, we turned it into our jewel, with unparalleled (and unreasonable) expenditure of energy, and then one fine day we decided that “we had grown up” and wanted to start a new venture with a bigger Swan. Sparkman & Stephens, of course…!
We talked to each other and realized that we needed to look for a Swan 47 drift boat, the version designed by the New York studio for the New York Yacht Club. And that is how we set out on “his” quest. We made a few phone calls to some friends “up north,” and after a few days they reported to us in a lovely marina in the north of Holland a Swan 47, not yet offered on the market, with a moving drift. The boat we were dreaming about! We took three plane tickets (for us and our little terrier Milu (after all, our family consists of the three of us, and Milu also had to see his new boat, before we decided), flew to Holland, and by the next afternoon we had already signed a compromise to bring home “our” Vanessa, the latest S&S Swan 47 to come out of Nautor shipyards, hull number 069.
Some bureaucratic paperwork later (and a crossing of the Alps!), the boat finally arrived in the Mediterranean. A new adventure begins. What joy!!! Only 17 days passed between deciding to change boats, finding and buying the new one, and selling the old one(power of S&S Swans, which have a bright global market even in these not-so-cheerful times).
Once she arrived, Vanessa was immediately and completely disassembled and overhauled in her essential parts (mast, pulleys, sheaves, blocks, forestay, backstay, furling, sheets, halyards, winches-revised the beautiful vintage Lewmar sails ), overhauled the engine, rebuilt the entire electrical system (keeping a graphic of the classic electrical panel but with the most modern and advanced safety and control systems), and now she is almost ready to face her next thirty years ( and not to miss anything at all, next year we will devote ourselves to aesthetics…you know, “She” is never beautiful enough…).





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