Bénéteau Swift Trawler 34

A minnow trawler, but an undoubted crowd-pleaser from the French yard

There’s no silver gelcoat, no 2,000hp and no huge list of party tricks but there has been a lot of hype about the latest and smallest member of Bénéteau’s Swift Trawler range.

The new 34 was packed to the gunwales with punters at the 2009 PSP Southampton Boat Show and on the back of that, Bénéteau sold five boats.

So what is so special about the new Swift Trawler 34? We borrowed one from Dickies in Brighton to see why this boat has been blessed with near-instant popularity.

The Tardis-like design is something that immediately draws you in.

The 34 looks like a neat package from the outside – a pocket ocean-basher – but it’s when you enter the spacious saloon that this boat really comes into its own.

The amount of light that floods in through the windscreen and side windows is quite brilliant, transforming the saloon into a space where you would be happy to spend time if the weather wrote off the flybridge.

As well as the sliding starboard side door, which provides you with easy access on to the deck and pontoon via a side gate, there’s good ventilation, too – every window in the saloon can slide open.

The sliding windows are useful if it is too choppy to have the side door open, and they were needed on test as there was a smell of diesel exhaust fumes permeating the saloon at times.

Down below, you’re given a very good forward master cabin with lots of storage and light, while guests will have to make do with a bunk arrangement in a cabin to starboard or the sofa in the saloon which folds out into a suprprisingly spacious double.


  • Spacious for its size, tough hull, singe-engine economy, light in saloon


  • Pokey guest cabin, Spartan interior

Price as reviewed:



A punchy little go-anywhere boat that is well priced and offers lots of big-boat qualities


Displacement: 7.3 tonnes
Top Speed: 22.7 knots
Cabins: 2
Fuel Capacity: 176 imp gal (800 litres)
Beam: 13ft 1in (4m)
Cruising Speed: 16 knots
Water Capacity: 70 imp gal (320 litres)
Air Draught: 11ft 11in (3.62m) ex mast; 25ft 1in (7.64m) with mast
RCD Category: B (for 8 people)
Length Overall: 36ft 5in (11.14m)
Engines: Single Cummins QSB5.9 425hp (test engines)
Boats for Sale: Search for a Beneteau ST34 for sale
Reprints: Buy the full review
Contact: Beneteau

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