How an impulse buy became part of the family

Following on from PBO’s trip to the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships, we find out more about the racing yachts’ predecessor.

A far cry from the 60ft machines competingon Cowes on the Isle of Wight last week, the Swan 36 was the first ever model produced by Nautor’s Swan.

Here’s some insight from Liz Lotz and Andrew Jameson, the owners of the Swan 36, Shaytana GBR, who sail with their cat Shackleton.

  • How long have you owned Shaytana?

  • This is our third season of owning her, having purchased her on

    25 January 2011. She

    had been sitting on a berth in Haslar marina and on our first weekend down to

    move her to Port Solent so that we could check the hull/anti-foul, the engine

    wouldn’t start (damn brokers!) so it was then another week before she made her

    way to her dry storage and then another few weeks before we could do any work –

    we also had a new rig fitted so that took us a little time to get sorted.

  • So by the time she finally went back in

    to the water it was April…..more work when she got back to Haslar, then only

    time enough to take her out twice before we sailed across for the Swan Euros in

    2011: we hasn’t even race/got the

    kite up before the SER2011!

  • What made you decide on a Swan 36?

    She was an impulse buy! AJ had done quite a bit of

    sailing/deliveries on Swans and I’d been heavily involved with Lutine since

    2004 (before taking over my Commodore-ship!) – we were in the process of

    looking for a house on the South coast when Lutine’s old skipper pointed

    Shaytana out to us.

  • Once I’d seen her we decided that we

    absolutely loved them (her) – took a look at some others on the market and

    realised that although she needed some work, modernisation (not too much!) and

    tlc, she was a fairly good deal (all things considered!).

  • She was bobbing about on the pontoon

    but looked sad and a little downtrodden. 

    I realised there and then that I couldn’t let anyone else have her and

    that we could look after her better than anyone else – we may not have millions

    to throw at her, but what we do have is a little time, love for her and a lot

    of energy to make sure that a beautiful old boat looks amazing.

  • We decided that we needed a boat that

    would be ours for life, that we would feel comfortable bringing our friends

    with small children on but also a boat that would be competitive. Her lines were stunning and we just

    knew she was for us.

  • What is your fondest memory of the boat?

  • So far – for both of us was our 1st

    channel crossing (and sail at night) on her last year – for a Lloyd’s Yacht

    Club race over to Cherbourg. It’s

    the race that started our club back in 1938 and the trophy is a replica of the

    Lutine Bell and has some amazing sailors and yachts on it. It’s close to our hearts because last

    year we won it!

  • However, that said, every time we go

    out with her becomes a memorable experience – such as pootling into Lymington

    and having a Squadron member on a Grand Soleil circling us telling us how

    beautiful she was!

  • Does the crew consist of family and friends?

    Yes – entirely friends! We are

    never short of crew – although with 2 of our good friends also owning Swans

    that are currently scattered around the world (Rob and Snowolf, who is

    currently in Sardina and Adrian who is racing with us this week and Selene who

    is in the Caribbean), we’ve decided to share boats! Means we always have a great Swan event to go to!

    I’m never short of finding people who want to sail with us – which is pretty


  • What are your thoughts about Nautor’s Swan?

    Still a coveted brand and the best yacht manufacturer.

  • What other memorable events have you taken part in?

    Just other Lloyd’s yacht club races and rallies really: we’re still learning about her ways and

    have only recently taken ownership of our very first new suit of sails (we picked

    up 27 when we bought her, but many were over 20 years old!) The new sails certainly make a


    Since she’s an old girl, we don’t want to push her too hard at the moment –

    until we’re really happy with the way that she sails.

  • Are you excited about Gazprom being involved with this edition?

    AJ is – they’re a key client of his!

  • Do you cruise Shaytana as well as race?

    Sometimes – AJ wants to do more cruising whereas I would like to do more racing

    – pretty tricky as we like to be together whenever we can! The plan next year is not to spend all

    our holiday from work racing (means no Caribbean 600 next year) but to cruise

    to the West country somewhere for 2 weeks.

  • How do you manage her upkeep?

    By sacrificing sailing in general, racing (with her or other boats), general

    weekends, parties and pretty much everything! She really is a labour of love, but we enjoy working on

    her. I would, however, like a

    large lottery win so that I could send her back to Swan to come out looking

    amazing! (I spoke to my brother who was up there the other week and sent me

    pictures of the 36 that was found and they’ve re-worked her – very


    In the winter, I tend to taste varnish for about 2/3 of the week – then just as

    I’m getting rid of the taste, we’re back to sanding again! This year has been hellish as it’s been

    so cold that the anti-foul/paint/varnish wouldn’t set for weeks due to the

    temperature, so we’re a little behind on some works…..

  • What is your greatest ambition with Shaytana?

    For the two of us to give up work, take our little man (Shackleton) and sail

    the world on her….although the Med would be a good start!