BayCruiser 21: A Closer Look at Swallow Yachts’ Trailblazing Model

The BayCruiser 21, showcased for the first time at boot Düsseldorf 2024 by Swallow Yachts, stands as a testament to the distinctive attributes characteristic of the Welsh shipyard. Exhibiting a timeless clinker look and a robust deck featuring a high bow, this compact cruiser embodies the hallmark design elements associated with Swallow Yachts.

Noteworthy features include the ballast centerboard and folding rudder blade, emblematic of the shipyard’s craftsmanship. These features render the BayCruiser 21 an ideal trailer boat, appealing to navigators exploring tidal or shallow water areas. Weighing a mere 600 kilograms when unladen, the boat achieves stability through its 400-kilogram water ballast tank. Conveniently filled through the main sheet cap and a plug beneath, the tank’s location above the waterline eliminates any risk of water ingress into the cockpit.

BayCruiser 21
Courtesy Swallow Yachts

Effortless draining via a hand pump facilitates the process, particularly when preparing to trailer out of the water or encountering low wind conditions. Maintaining alignment with Swallow Yachts’ design philosophy, the BayCruiser 21 features water ballast and a carbon rig, facilitating easy towing and launching with a standard car, while ensuring self-righting capabilities and exceptional stability when the ballast tank is full.

Accommodations include a sleeping cabin for two and a spacious self-draining cockpit capable of comfortably seating six individuals. The boat’s deep, profiled swing keel and liftable rudder enable it to dry out or float in minimal water depths of 0.25 meters. Propelled by a conventional outboard engine, the BayCruiser 21 accommodates an electric outboard, complete with dedicated battery space in the cabin.

Enhancing performance are the fully battened mainsail and blade jib, suspended from an all-carbon rig, offering efficient single-handed rigging. Anticipating the shift towards electric propulsion, the boat provides ample space for substantial batteries within the cabin, doubling as storage or house batteries when not utilizing an electric outboard.

Further refinements include additional seating and lounging spaces created alongside the outboard well, improved access to the water for swimming, and a designated area in the cockpit, beneath the optional spray hood, for a small stove. The retractable bowsprit contributes to a reduced overall length, minimizing mooring and marina costs.

BayCruiser 21 interior
Courtesy Swallow Yachts

The foredeck, featuring a dedicated anchor locker, is recessed, instilling a sense of security for those working in this area. In summary, the BayCruiser 21 encapsulates a blend of functionality, innovation, and thoughtful design, positioning it as a compelling choice for discerning navigators seeking versatility in a compact cruiser.

The word goes to the designer

Matt Newland is the designer of the boat and owner of Swallow Yachts. Here is how he describes the new BayCruiser 21:

The idea behind the design was to improve on the Bay Raider expedition, which was already our biggest selling model and a very important boat in our range. It was essential we did not lose the character or features of the original, making only improvements, in certain key areas:

A longer waterline length, with slightly more sail area in a more efficient sail plan. These factors combine to give better sailing performance.

Fully self-draining cockpit, with or without the water ballast – you can leave her on the water safe in the knowledge she will never fill up with rain water.

Side decks you can walk on. We took the trouble to angle these and make them as easy as possible to walk on, within the confines of the beam. There is a sturdy toe rail outside the side deck to keep your feet secure.

A better view over the cabin roof. More freeboard allows the seats and backrests to be a little higher, relative the cabin roof, meaning you no longer need to sit rigidly upright just to see ahead.

The cabin bunks have been redesigned so that you step down into a footwell between the heads of the two bunks. This makes it easier to get in and out, but more importantly keeps wet feet well away from any bedding. 

Dedicated space for a chemical toilet in the cabin, that slides away under the cockpit floor when not in use. When daysailing, guests can close the cabin and have privacy.

BayCruiser 21
Courtesy Swallow Yachts

BayCruiser 21 specs

Hull Length: 6.02m (20’)
Length Water Line: 5.67m (18’7”)
Beam: 2.18m (7’ 2”)
Weight (empty): 600kg (1322lbs)
Water Ballast: 400kg (881lbs)
Draught (keel up): 0.25m (10”)
Draught (keel down): 1.5m (4’11”)
Sail Area: 19sqm (204 sqft)

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