Owner’s Perspective from Graham Wickenden
Bay Raider 20
Why did you choose Swallow Boats?
I owned a 17′ Lune Whammel open boat but noticed that Drascombes sailed closer to windward, so thought I should upgrade to one of those. Then I read about Swallow Boats in a sailing magazine and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of proper windward sailing. I also liked the numerous clever design features.
Why did you choose a Bay Raider 20 as opposed to other boats on the market?
I wanted a large open boat providing as much flexibility as possible but which would be light and easy to use and to launch solo. The water ballast is a great safety feature and makes the BayRaider 20 feel much more solid when needed, usually when I have nervous crew on board, less when I am bombing about on my own. The recently introduced cockpit tent opens up great new possibilities for exploration in places like the Stockholm Archipelago and the waterways of central Ireland.
How do you use your boat (trailoring/mooring/marina etc)?
All three! The highlight of the year is towing the boat down to Corfu each summer for a change of scenery and sea temperature. It becomes a mobile bathing platform, taverna taxi and is much photographed by tourists passing by on their caiques.
Please could you describe the most memorable experience you had in your Swallow Boat?
There are so many. The most recent is winning the toughest European sail & oar raid, Sail Caledonia 2013, against a strong field in a race up Scotland’s Great Glen from Fort William to Inverness. I would also rate using the asymmetric spinnaker for the first time on a beautiful late winter day on Lake Bala in Wales
How did you find the after sales care at Swallow Boats?
Always responsive and receptive to new ideas. Totally committed to honouring warranty work.
Would you recommend Swallow Boats?
I’m a huge fan and a very proud owner. If it was up to me, I’d have more than one – a stripped down lightweight epoxy ply one for racing and a GRP one for everyday cruising, exploring and camping. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space.