Along the Croatian coast, swallows are a welcome sign of spring — and in 2019, the brand-new MS Swallow kicked off the tourist season in a big way.
Swallow is the brainchild of Igor and Irena Stančić, and their son Filip. The family owns Lastavica Cruising, a brand by Morska Lastavica (Sea Swallow) Ltd. tourist charter company in Betina, Croatia.
"Traveling enriches people's lives. We want our guests to do so in style and comfort," explains Filip Stančić, captain of the new cruiser. "Aboard Swallow, our guests immerse themselves in the treasures of the Dalmatian coast. In a single day, they can explore ancient towns and breathtaking islands and swim in beautiful bays."
The family wants to make sure Swallow embodies the spirit of Croatia's shipbuilding and maritime history. They also want to achieve the sumptuousness of a superyacht — including the latest cruiser-style technology and propulsion.
Sleek and traditional yacht design
The 49-meter-long by 8.5-meter-wide (160x28-feet) vessel accommodates up to 36 guests. Its classy, sleek exterior showcases a steel hull and marine resin deck floors, while the yacht interior is designed for indulgence and comfort.
The Stančić family worked closely with three naval architecture experts, a local shipyard, and local subcontractors to ensure structural integrity, space optimization, and maximum comfort. Swallow's hull was launched and tested in December 2018. The exterior details were completed and the interior and engines were installed. The superyacht was officially launched in June 2019, just in time for the summer season.
Engine reliability, no matter what
For Swallow's propulsion system, the Stančić family chose two 373-kW (500-hp) John Deere PowerTech 6135SFM85 EU Stage III and EPA Tier 3 marine engines, each driving a Dong gearbox and Michigan Marine 4-blade propeller. The marine engines drive the propellers through a gearbox ratio of 5.04:1.
"Eleven years ago, we installed John Deere marine engines in our classic Croatian sailing ship Lastavica," Filip Stančić recalls. "These always performed well, so we decided to stay with John Deere. As the captain of Swallow, I need to be sure that I can get her and our guests out of any potentially dangerous situations, whether at sea or in the busy coastal waters. The power of the engines combined with this gearbox ratio gives me the capacity and the confidence I need!"
Low noise and vibration, plus stability at sea, were also prerequisites, all while meeting emission regulations and delivering excellent fuel efficiency.
A larger ship such as Swallow catches a lot of wind, which can complicate mooring and docking. The engines and bow thruster provide Stančić with the power and agility to moor safely in confined spaces. The bow thruster is powered by a Linz 97-kWe generator set powered by a 120-kW (160-hp) John Deere PowerTech E 6068T Tier 3/Stage III A industrial engine.
Collaborative ship design
John Deere engine distributor GM Turbo d.o.o from Split, Croatia, helped select the perfect power range and supplied 3D drawings to simplify and speed up integration of the marine engine into the engine room. They also assisted in installation and testing.
"Our collaboration goes back 11 years to the construction of Lastavica. We were one of the first to order John Deere marine engines from GM Turbo, and in Croatia in general," says Stančić. "Meanwhile, we've developed a special bond that goes beyond business cooperation; we've become friends."
As the captain of Swallow, I need to be sure that I can get her and our guests out of any potentially dangerous situations, whether at sea or in the busy coastal waters. The power of the engines combined with this gearbox ratio gives me the capacity and confidence I need!