Imagine you are the boss of famed yacht builder Nautor’s Swan – which model do you choose? Yachting World’s Toby Hodges took a ride on Leonardo Ferragamo’s own Swan, the sleek 90S Solleone, and found plenty of power to match her fantastic looks
Ask most sailors what yacht would top their wish list and the answer would probably be a Swan. Among the most recognisable brands in yacht building, Nautor’s Swan began 43 years ago in Finland, building alluring Sparkman & Stephens designs. They have continued over the last three decades with dependable German Frers models, resulting in numerous iconic models to pick from.
But what if you owned the Nautor yard itself? Which yacht would you choose? In the case of present owner Leonardo Ferragamo, the choice was a Swan 90S, and I had the honour to sail it even before he did.
Solleone, a name given to the midday sun at its hottest, and the amalgamation of the names of two of Ferragamo’s children, was the first of three 90S’ built in 2009. The ‘S’ stands for Semi Raised Saloon – and most current large Swans (66,75,82,90 and 100) provide this or the FD (Flush Deck) option. The primary benefits of the S are the views offered from the saloon and dinette, plus the ability to hide the engine room below the saloon sole and create extra cabin space.
The 90S is a shining example of today’s Swans: oh-so-easy on the eye. That modish white caulked teak on Solleone continues over a superstructure that blisters up so smoothly, it integrates seamlessly with foredeck and blends with her clean, flush lines. Strict adherence to these clinical lines is paramount, with nothing allowed to detract from them. Hence the acrylic-tinted hatches are custom made by Nautor to ensure flush-mounting, the foredeck winch recesses below decks, the titanium anchor roller that retracts hydraulically, the inner forestay attachment squirreled away below deck and the genoa sheets that lead under deck, adjusted by hydraulic car pullers.
Anything that is left out on display carries it’s own artistic identity and practical purpose – like those gleaming clear-coat carbon 1110 Harken winches, which look artistic in a field of teak.
The cockpit table lowers to double as a sunbathing den, while backrest supports can pop up from behind those low benches. Open or closed transom options are offered. The transom door lowers hydraulically to reveal the bathing platform and dingy garage, and closes with an airtight compressed piston seal, while a three-metre carbon retracting gangway stows deftly away.