Beneteau trawler completes Great Loop voyage

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After 5,137 nautical miles and nearly four months circumnavigating the Great Loop, the Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 that made the trip returned to its home port of Annapolis, Md.

The hard-run boat used in a marketing campaign to promote Beneteau’s push into the North American powerboat market will be on display Oct. 11-14 at the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis.

“The success of The Greatest Loop’s adventure is quite remarkable, especially given her achievement of such an ambitious schedule, which began on May 15, 2012, and successfully concluded on Sept. 6, 2012,” Beneteau Powerboats Division vice president of sales and marketing Laurent Fabre said in a statement. “When we first consulted experts about our planned journey on the Great Loop, we were cautioned our schedule might be somewhat unrealistic, but we were fortunate no significant hurdles impaired our travel plans.”

The boat, named The Greatest Loop, is Hull No. 202 for the company. It was built at one of Beneteau’s trawler factories in Challans, France, and it arrived March 23 in the United States. At stops at each of the 12 legs, Beneteau invited media members and potential customers to board the vessel and learn more about it.

“Beneteau wants to gather feedback from real boaters in order to make their Swift Trawler even more appealing and better suited to extended cruising in North America,” Beneteau America powerboat division marketing director Maryline O’Shea told Trade Only at the beginning of the voyage. “There’s no better way to show consumers what this boat can do — and do economically — than by taking it through the Loop.”

Stephen Blakely, a contributing writer to Trade Only’s sister consumer publication, Soundings, chronicled the first leg of the voyage, from Annapolis to New York, in the August issue of Soundings.

Beneteau continues the evolution of the Swift Trawler range with the Swift 50, which is set to debut at fall boat shows along the East Coast.