1980 Nautor Swan 65 – Now in South of France


Grabau International is delighted to announce that the 1980 Nautor Swan 65 Ketch ‘CHOUCAS III’ may now be inspected in the South of France.

Iconic S&S Swan 65, a true ocean greyhound with capabilities far beyond most modern yachts, CHOUCAS III is known as one of the most elegant classic S&S Swan yachts of all the time and benefits of Rondal furling masts.


On 1st June 1973, at 79 Madison Avenue in New York, Sparkman and Stephens finish the design nr. 2110. Under this design the most well-known high quality yard soon start the production of what will be then better known as the Nautor’s Swan 65. This is the beginning of a myth.

Arguably one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable yachts of all time, the evergreen classic Swan 65, designed by S&S as one of their most successful Swan designs and built as only Nautor in Finland can, CHOUCAS III offers sparkling sailing together with build quality that is never to be repeated. Perfect for serious cruising, these yachts also shine in the Regatta circuit and are rare to the brokerage market.

CHOUCAS III was launched in 1980 and she has been under her current ownership for the past 36 years.

She is hull number 34 of the series which began in 1973 and ended in 1989 with 41 hulls launched. She is fitted with a ketch rig.

Timeless design still much sought after as the vessel that three times made its mark in the Whitbread Round the World (now Volvo Ocean).

Swan 65 named Sayula II won the first-ever Whitbread Round the World Race in 1974. Another Swan 65, King’s Legend took second place in the 1978 running of the Whitbread Round the World Race, finishing behind an aluminium boat named Flyer. That same year, the race’s first female captain finished fifth in a Swan 65 named ADC Accutrac. Quite a pedigree!


In hull form and general character, the Swan 65 clearly typifies a successful development under the IOR. She has proven to be an excellent cruising boat and it appears that the success of the class is based on the preference of the cruising owner rather than the racing owner.

Although the very happy result of the Round the World Race is convincing the evidence that the boat is not slow, two major factors in Sayula’s Round the World win were her strength and her controllability.

The major thrust of our design effort was to use the already successful Dora (e.d. design 2089 won the 1979 Fastnet Race) as a starting point for a slightly larger design and to modify that design in terms of displacement and structure so as to adopt it to fiberglass construction in such a way as to provide an extremely strong hull. Clearly these objectives were met and if the racing success of the 65 has been less than that of Dora, I think it is largely because of the conservative rig which is better adapted to cruising than to racing.

Most of the 65’s carry the standard ketch rig. The several that have been built with a single masted rig have not been engaged in very much competition.

Her interior seems both practical and attractive. She has good headroom throughout and the owner’s stateroom is generously roomy, the two guest staterooms are also roomy, and the forepeak can be used by one or two paid hands or guests. The location of the galley aft and the chart table adjacent to the companionway seems to have worked out well. Cockpit space is generous and the deck over all is both comfortable and practical. The Volvo auxiliary, an MD32, provides excellent performance under power.

While there may be some feeling that the divided keel and skeg arrangement is undesirable for cruising, I personally do not accept this criticism, feeling rather that when the skeg and rudder are adequate size and the other characteristics of the boat are in balance, one can get excellent control with a relatively shirt keel. In turn, the short keel which minimizes wetted surface permits good performance in light as well heavy weather with a small rig, which is ideal from the cruising man’s point of view. This seems to me the right way to design a modern auxiliary, whether intended primarily for cruising or for racing.


1980 Nautor Swan 65 Ketch – ‘CHOUCAS III’ –  Asking Euro 450,000 VAT paid – Now lying South of France – full details here

Do you have a yacht like this to sell? Grabau International is always looking for new high-quality yacht listings both in the UK and internationally. For further information about our tailored brokerage services, please look here or feel free to contact us.

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