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Introducing our SWAN 53!

Sterna a Swan 53

Sterna ( ex Blanquilla) racing in the Caribbean with her previous owner.

The Swan 53 is an iconic design from the board of Germán Frers and was built in Finland by the famous Nautor yard during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Every hull was built using state-of-the-art materials and techniques to produce a yacht that can be easily and safely sailed across any ocean by limited crew (often couples). 

Our Swan 53 was commissioned in 1988 by an experienced Danish yachtsman. As a result, she was built with a multitude of unique features, including: a custom shallow draft keel with an improved righting moment, a modified bridge deck and an expanded aft cabin with two single berths. It is clear that the original owner wanted a true regatta racing yacht that can accommodate a large crew comfortably.


Further changes from the original design includes the installation of a 125 hp Volvo engine (instead of the normal 85hp) and a 7.5 kW 220V Westerbeke generator. All water and diesel tanks was expanded to enable longer periods of off-grid self-reliance.


The boat was eventually sold in 1994 to a second owner who mainly cruised the Mediterranean and Adriatic before selling her to a Swiss owner in 2001, who sailed to the West Indies where she stayed for exactly 20 years. In 2021, we bought her in Grenada and started our journey back to Cape Town.

A line drwaing of the Swan 53 sailplan

The Swan 53 sailplan is specifically designed for extended offshore passage with limited crew

Deck layout

The deck is for the most part a flush design and laid with teak. Thereby ensuring a safe working deck with excellent traction in wet conditions. Two large spayhoods are used to keep dry and in the shade, while custom made seats make the cockpits a comfortable place to spend extended periods of time. 


All working gear such as winches and sheets are positioned to help sail the vessel as efficient and safe as possible. Moreover, most of the winches can be operated either manually or automatically using hydraulics, which makes the boat easily sailed with limited crew. The genoa and main sheets are controlled using  65 SST HYD and 52 SST HYD Lewmar Commander winches. Two additional 55SST Lewmar winches and four 52 Lewmar SST winches are available for all other sheets and halyards. Both the genoa and main sails are bent on hydraulic furlers built by Reckmann (Germany) - a 125 year old company that is world-renowned for building the best rigging equipment for some of the biggest sailing yachts in the world.

The deck layout of a standard Swan 53

The deck layout of a standard Swan 53

Interior Layout

The interior layout of our Swan 53 is unique to the design as it incorporates classic design philosophies of the Swan yachts designed by Sparkman and Stephens, more than the cruising design ideologies of most modern boats. Consequently, she has no double berths - which can be uncomfortable and dangerous in a large sea. Instead, she has six single berths in three cabins, with additional crew pipe berths in the fo'c'sle for use during calm passages or at anchor. Two heads on opposite sides of the vessel makes life at sea a little bit easier as you can always choose the leeward option. Furthermore, the spacious saloon and galley is perfect for those off-watch to relax and cook without disturbing others resting in the cabins. 

The interior layout of Sterna

The interior layout exemplifies a meticulous offshore design and an ultimate seaworthy  sailboat.

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