Beneteau Great Loop voyage starts Tuesday

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A year after launching its Swift Trawler 34 in the North American market, Beneteau's powerboat division is promoting the boat by taking it port to port on what the builder is calling "The Greatest Loop."

A Bon Voyage Celebration Tuesday in Annapolis., Md., will start the 7,000-plus-mile tour of The Great Loop. Members of the industry and the general public are invited to the free event, to be held from 5-7 p.m. at Pusser's Caribbean Grille, 80 Compromise St.

To attend, RSVP at www.thegreatestloop.com.

The event will launch the first leg of the tour, which takes the boat from Annapolis to New York City, where another celebration and open house is expected to be scheduled for May 18-19.

Stephen Blakely, a contributing writer for Soundings, Trade Only’s sister publication, will be aboard the newly launched Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 for the first leg and will file a report on his experiences and observations for the magazine.

The 41-leg tour will encompass the Hudson River, most of the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, the Tombigbee River, Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway and then north on the ICW, returning to Annapolis in September.

The trawler, aptly named The Greatest Loop, is hull No. 202 and was built at Beneteau’s facility in Challans, France. The boat is outfitted with equipment supplied by several sponsors, including Cruisair, Dometic, Interlux, Raymarine and ValvTect. It’s powered by a 425-hp Cummins QSB5.9 diesel.

To follow the voyage, visit www.thegreatestloop.com or the project’s Facebook page.

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