A suspected mechanical malady meant that a recent passage home on my boat that would normally take 45 mins at 25 knots instead took almost three hours at 6 knots, and as we finally reached port we firmly agreed on one thing.
Cruising at displacement speed for a change had been brilliant! We’d chatted, relaxed, listened to music and enjoyed the scenery. And the icing on the cake was over two miles out of each litre instead of the usual three quarters of a mile – less than half the fuel burn!
That last facet is particularly relevant in these times of ever-increasing fuel prices and uncertainty over the future of red diesel. Displacement speed cruising is becoming ever more popular, and whilst people are reluctant to give up their 20 knot cruising ability, they are frequently opting not to use all of it. Manufacturers are responding.
Azimut, famed for its fast planing craft, launched the Magellano 43 in 2013, a boat described as having a hybrid hull, equally at home at lower speeds, and a deck layout more suited to displacement cruising. It was so successful that its Magellano range now stretches across four models. Cranchi launched its three-strong Trawler range soon afterwards.
But of course one company has been quietly building boats equally suited to displacement and fast cruising way ahead of the current zeitgeist. Beneteau launched its Swift Trawler 42 back in 2004 before bookending it with a 34 and 52. As the incredibly literal nomenclature suggests, these were trawler- style boats that were also surprisingly swift.
Read the full review in the January issue of Motor Boat and Yachting