• Swan anchored
  • Swan sailing 2
  • Swan sailing
  • Swan front
  • Swan race

Montana in shipyard 2

Work is progressing. We had hoped to be further along by now, but fortunately we have built in enough time.

The hull is now complete. It has been completely overhauled and is practically as good as new.

The mast step has been removed and will be replaced with a new one in duplex stainless steel. Unfortunately this is necessary for certification reasons, although the old one still looked quite good.

Once the new mast step is in place, work will be carried out on the installations, engine and electrics.


SY Montana, Swan 48 mit "neuem" Rumpf

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Montana in shipyard 1

The Montana has been in the shipyard in Hamburg Wedel since August. The first work on the underwater hull was carried out by Peter Wrede Yacht Refits.

There is still a lot of work to be done.


IMG 2014

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Disappointing Fastnet Race and now on the way to Hamburg

Unfortunately, the Fastnet Race was very disappointing for everyone, and especially for Markus himself.

The start in the Solent took place in extremely difficult conditions with very strong southwest winds and wind gusts of up to 45kt. Unfortunately, the mainsail fell victim to these conditions just a few hours after the start. It was torn so badly that a decision was made not to repair it and unfortunately the race had to be abandoned early. A small consolation may be that the Montana was in "good company". In the first few hours, around 90 ships had to give up, some with significantly greater damage, and a total of only 244 of the 415 ships launched reached the finish line in Cherbourg.

In the meantime, the Montana is on its way to Hamburg. A major refit is planned there in the next few months. Among other things, a new mast foot, a new paint job and a complete overhaul of the engine are planned. In addition, there will certainly be 1000 other smaller and larger jobs.



IMG 2014

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Preparations for the Fastnet Race 2023

In the meantime, Markus has arrived in Portsmouth and is preparing himself and the Montana for the upcoming Fastnet Race 2023.

The trip from the Azores to Portsmouth was very demanding, as the wind was practically always from the front. So 12 days hard on the wind. But the crew was motivated and qualified and mastered this as well. The weather is an effect that cannot be influenced, and sailing would not have its charm otherwise.

The RORC Morgan Cup Race, which served as a preparatory regatta for the Fastnet Race, was unfortunately dominated by calm, so that of the 90 or so boats entered, about two thirds did not finish the race. Only the fastest racing yachts made it to the finish. Nevertheless, it was a nice trip with interesting shore excursions and the Fastnet crew gained further experience with the Montana.

The sailor in the last picture in the middle is unfortunately not part of the Montana Fastnet Crew ;)


IMG 2014

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Atlantic Crossing 2023 - Arrived in Horta

After 17 days Markus and his crew arrived in Horta. This year's crossing was characterized by light winds, which made sailing very pleasant. However, the crossing lasted two days longer than in previous years.

All in all, another safe and eventful crossing.

Now it's on to Portsmouth and the wind forecast predicts a lot of upwind course.

IMG 2014

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Atlantic crossing 2023 -2

After a good week here are the daily comments from Markus:

"Have the first 140 SM behind us Speed is between 3.5 and 6kt. Easy 1st night."

"Continues to run well between 5.5 and 6kt. Course fluctuates between 30 and 60 degrees."

"Yesterday difficult day with 100 degree wind shifts and wind from 6 to 22kt. Now more consistent again. Etmal 129."

"Several hours of light winds again yesterday. Did 2 hours of motoring."

"Tonight went very calm and nice, good sailing at 7kt. Running straight 90 degrees, east. Looks like the front is catching up with us after all."

"Stayed a little too long on easterly course, but no thunderstorms or rain as a result. Running now at 6kt heading 055. Two hours of genacking. Etmal 148."

"Yesterday perfect sailing in bright sunshine. Tonight motored 10 hours. Now back under sail at 7-7.5kts. Etimes 155."

Atlantic crossing 2023 - 1

Markus and his crew have made their way across the Atlantic.

After an anchor stop at Dickenson Bay Beach, they have now left Antigua behind and are heading for the Azores. The weather window is looking quite promising at the moment. The last few days there has been very little wind in Antigua, but a refreshing trade wind is to be expected in the coming days.

As usual on this route, the trip begins with a close-hauled course. According to the current forecasts, the weak wind zone north of the trade winds could fail this year and the so-called horse latitudes could be crossed with a southerly wind on the west side of a high.

I try to update the Montana's position on this website on a daily basis.

RORC Caribbean 600

Markus and his crew after crossing the finish line at the RORC Caribbean 600. 600 nautical miles in 100h 45min result in an average VMG of 6kt.

Perfect sailing on the "beautiful old lady".

SY Montana, Swan 48 auf RORC Caribbean 600

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ARC 2022 pictures

Here are some impressions from the ARC 2022 on the Montana.

SY Montana, Swan 48 auf der ARC 2022


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ARC 2022 - Over the finishline

Crossing the finish line after 20 days 6 hours and 12 minutes.

Markus and his crew have arrived in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. Unfortunately, the wind dropped more and more in the last few days, so that it was unavoidable to use the engine for the last few miles to the finish in St. Lucia.

More pictures will follow.

SY Montana, Swan 48 Markus and his crew arriving in Rodney Bay

ARC 2022 - Quotes- 2

Here are a few more quotes from the Iridium communication with the Montana in correct chronological order:

Day 10: "Continue with Butterfly, lighter winds this morning. Have swapped jib for mainsail. Maybe genacker today. Waiting for the wind shift."

Day 12: "Tonight the wind dropped, now have 13kn true with butterfly genoa and mainsail, 5.5kn speed."

Day 13: "Went through the night with a 5kt butterfly headsail. Have now switched to mainsail and spinnaker and are running a 6kt target course. Have an eye on good sailing and weather rather than placement, since honesty is now important in the declaration of engine hours. Excitement is very good just a pity we may not be able to get through without an engine and we would have liked to have stayed under 18 days."

Day 14: "Yesterday only ran under spinnaker, sometimes only 3-5kt above deck, at night both headsails again. First small squalls. Switched back to spinnaker this morning. 97NM Etmal :-(. Will work through the day today and we'll see tomorrow. It would be nice if we could solve most of it by sailing."

Day 15: "Sailed well through the night in 10-12 kt half wind from the south. Still running with normal sails 5 kt. Crew is still motivated to make it without an engine. We keep fighting."

The whole crew is fine. There are still approx. 590 NM to St. Lucia, so an arrival in 5-6 days can be expected.

SY Montana, Swan 48 on the Atlantic

ARC 2022 - quotes

Here are a few quotes from the Iridium communication with the Montana in correct chronological order:

Day 3: "Further with 2 headsails. Life is easy. In 3 days 525NM, pretty good"

Day 5: "Fighting with light winds. Are unfortunately wind straight from behind, 6kt wind over deck."

Day 6: "Quiet night. Genacker hoist this morning, hot ride. Will switch back to Butterfly tonight."

Day 7: "We got through the night well with both headsails. This morning swapped the jib for the main. Spi stays down. Running about 5 degrees below target course."

Day 8: "During the night Butterfly could no longer be steered and we had to take main down, 4 hours only with genoa, under spinnaker since this morning, runs well."

Day 9: "Switched to butterfly with 2 headsails last night and are heading a little further south than target course, still at 7kt. Had Talisman next to us with spinnaker."

The whole crew is fine. Arrival on December 7th is possible, but a weak wind zone is building up in front of the destination, which prevents a quick arrival.

SY Montana, Swan 48 on the Atlantic

ARC 2022 started

The ARC 2022 has started. Markus stayed true to his motto "If everyone tries to start slowly, there's a lot of space up front" and started from the front row.

In the first night things really got going. Roomy winds with gusts of up to 40kt allowed the Montana to make good headway. It was only sailed with a reefed, outrigged genoa, and yet the first Etmal was over 170 nm. All of this left its mark on the stomachs of all the fellow sailors and some got seasick. But that is not unusual and after a few days the stomachs play along again.

The second night was much more relaxed. The seasickness disappeared, the watch system could be established and trades sails (expanded genoa plus expanded jib) were sailed downwind.

This sailing continued on the third night. In the meantime, 515 SM have been sailed in 3 days. In Group E, the Montana is currently in 2nd place.

SY Montana, Swan 48 preparations complete

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On the trip Vigo -> Lisbon

Markus sailed the trip from Vigo to Lisbon in September. In terms of wind, it wasn't exactly ideal. The first few days were characterized by strong southerly winds. This was followed by days with very little wind. But the weather is part of sailing and, as is well known, you cannot change it. Nevertheless, a nice trip came out of it.

SY Montana, Swan 48 in the Marina of Cascais

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Safety training at the Maritime Training Center Wesermarsch

Markus used his stay in Germany to complete further safety training.

The Offshore Personal Survival Course was very informative and also physically demanding. In addition to imparting the theoretical knowledge in the classroom, the practical exercise under realistic conditions was an important component. You got a very good impression of the challenges that await you in an emergency.

Markus Bocks beim Sicherheitstraining

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Montana as the Cover of Segler-Zeitung

A particularly beautiful ship was pictured in the "Fahrtensegeln- Spezial" (Cruise Sailing Special) issue of the Segler-Zeitung. ;)

SY Montana, Swan 48 on the Cover of Segler-Zeitung

Skipper on Holidays ;)

Markus has started his well-deserved vacation. After a successful and demanding round of the Atlantic with many new and "old" guests, he can now enjoy midsummer in Germany before heading back to the Montana in September.

In the meantime, the Montana is in Vigo and is undergoing the maintenance and repairs that have become necessary.

These include: new main halyard, new genoa halyard, new navigation lights, new upholstery, new mooring lines, rigg inspection, bimini, engine maintenance and much more.

Pictures from the Atlantic Crossing Antigua -> Horta

Here are a few impressions of this year's Atlantic crossing:

SY Montana, Swan 48 at the Atlantic crossing

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Montana arrived at Horta

The last few days at sea have really challenged the crew with strong winds. The Montana, on the other hand, has once again distinguished herself through its strong wind abilities and did not "let it upset her".

Now it's time to relax and enjoy a drink or two in "Cafe Peter Sport".

More pictures and reports will follow.

Crew of the SY Montana, Swan 48 on the first shore leave in Horta after crossing the Atlantic

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On the Way to the Azores (3)

In recent days, very good Etmals have been sailed towards Horta. Today, a strong wind field had to be passed with wind of 25kt, in gusts 35kt. The plan for the next days is initially to sail towards Horta at reduced speed to allow a low with the associated fronts and strong winds to pass.

From Tuesday, sailing towards Horta again at full speed and arrival there is expected on Thursday, at the latest Friday. Just in time for the next approaching low.

The position is regularly updated at https://swan-montana.de/en/position.

Position of Montana on Sunday, the 29th May

On the Way to the Azores (2)

The first days of the crossing went as expected. In the steady, warm NO Passat wind, we sailed closed hauled towards NNO and made a good distance. The crew still had to get used to the on-board life with the continuous inclination, but it was easier every day.

Then, as expected, we came to the area of the so-called horse latitudes with little to no wind. We crossed these under motor in a northerly direction and for several hours we have been under sail again. After we first travelled a bit east with the prevailing light NE Wind, the wind now turns north and we sail directly to Horta.

The forecast for the next few days is good. We try to continue sailing directly to Horta on the south side of a stationary low.

The position is regularly updated at https://swan-montana.de/en/position.

On the Way to the Azores

Markus and his crew start crossing the Atlantic towards the Azores yesterday.

According to the weather forecast, light winds from different directions can be expected for the coming week north of the weakening trade wind. So it doesn't look like a particularly fast crossing. It will become clear how well the crew succeeds in making optimal use of the light wind fields.

The position is regularly updated at https://swan-montana.de/en/position.

SY Montana, Swan 48 on its way from Antigua to the Azores

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Markus and Montana in German blog „Sailing escape“

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2022

The first race started with wind gusts up to 35 knots but all sailors returned safe and with smiles on their faces. The Montana placed 4th in her "Historic Class" on the first day of racing.

On Saturday, the second day of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, the trade winds were still strong, putting the beautiful classic boats and their crews to the test, especially after Friday night's dock party with a steel band and lots of beer and rum. On the butterfly course, Montana won her historical class.

The last race had to decide on the placement in the overall ranking. Markus and his crew took 2nd place and that also led to a 2nd place overall.

SY Montana, Swan 48 at the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

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Montana wins Concours D‘Elegance

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta started today with the single handed race being canceled due to high winds. However, the four-person jury spent the morning evaluating the yachts that had entered the Concours D'Elegance. Gold winners were Juno, Windbreker, Ticonderoga, Seefalke, Freya of Midgard, New Moon and Montana. The Arne Frissel award for Most Seaworthy Ship went to Vela, the 112-foot sailing school schooner built in 2020.

SY Montana, Swan 48 gewinnt Concours D‘Elegance bei der Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

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3rd place in the Heineken regatta (with interview)

We met in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua on the Montana on February 28th. A day later we sailed to St. Maarten in the most beautiful wind and weather and experienced a spectacular sunset across from St. Eustacia. After spending the rest of the night at anchor in Simpson Bay, we went to Marina Port de Plaisance the following day.
This was our base for the Heineken Regatta races.

Interview by Markus about the Heineken regatta: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TArZkO-MXzA

SY Montana, Swan 48 at the Heinekenregatta 2022

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RORC600 (5)

The persistence paid off.

After the unpleasant loss of time near Guadeloupe, we continued to sail the regatta. Our finish was at 20:54:50. We missed the award ceremony by almost 2 hours, but not the party that followed, which was actually our big goal ;).

At the jetty we were welcomed by the Commodore of the RORC as well as by the skipper of the fastest yacht. I call that respect.

We are happy and also a little proud to have sailed this demanding regatta so successfully. After the calculated time, we still took 12th place in our group CSA2 of 18 ships that started.

SY Montana, Swan 48 after finishing the RORC600

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RORC600 (3)

A day of beautiful regatta sailing with wind from abeam and later behind towards Guadeloupe is behind us. We quickly passed Guadeloupe's lee and avoided the lulls better than most other ships. So we were able to make up a few places up to the Isle de Saintes. Then it was on the cross to the northeast, past Guadeloupe to get past La Desirade.

This is where luck left us. The wind died down 2 hours too early. With a wind of 5 kt from NE with a still relatively high wave and above all 2.5 kt current from NE we parked at the southern tip of La Desirade, or we could no longer run against the wind to get around the island for the last few miles then to be able to sail towards Barbuda with half wind. This took us more than 5 hours in total. At some point the wind picked up again and finally we made it.

However, our big goal of finishing before the award ceremony is now a long way off. Nevertheless, we will continue and finish the RORC600.

SY Montana, Swan 48 at the RORC600


RORC600 (2)

After a good 300 SM, i.e. halfway through the race, the Montana is still doing well. It is currently heading towards Guadeloupe. Here you can make up time in the lee of the island or leave it there, depending on how lucky you are and how good you are at avoiding the variable weak winds there.

It remains exciting and more news will follow.

SY Montana, Swan 48 at start of RORC600

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 Markus sails the RORC600 with a crew of 7 people. The Montana is of course a real exotic in the regatta field, in which many well-known racers are represented. For example, the 2021 Fastnetrace winner "Skorpios", a Clubswan 125, which is about to break the monohull course record. Almost all other ships are also designed as pure racing ships.

The Montana is the ship with the second-slowest rating, so finishing before the awards ceremony would be a huge achievement. After all, that would mean an average VMG of 6.25kt.

At the moment, a quarter of the way through, the goal is still possible. The average VMG up to now is 6.8kn. Unfortunately, a slightly weaker wind is forecast for the next two days. We will see...

After the calculated time, the Montana is in 10th place out of 17 participants in the CSA2 group shortly after passing Saba. However, the upwind to St. Barth is now in front of them and the distance to the ships in front, which then have wind brom behind on the way to St. Maarten, will increase again a little.

It remains exciting and more news will follow.

SY Montana, Swan 48 before start of RORC600

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S&S Swan Association

I warmly recommend the following website to all friends of the classic Swan yachts designed by Sparkman & Stevens. This is probably the most comprehensive collection of data on these wonderful ships.

Incidentally, a picture of the Montana was chosen for the Swan 48 section.



  scr 2022 02 21 112351

Cruise report from the SY Montana (holiday trip)

Dolphins and sea turtles

A cruise report from the Christmas cruise 2021/22 on the SY Montana:

Christmas trip on SY Montana

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Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year 2022! Hopefully it will be more carefree than the last one.

I haven't been able to look at all of the ARC pictures yet. Here's a little foretaste

SY Montana with spinnaker at the ARC 2021.

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ARC 2021 - 3rd place in group E

Markus and his crew took an excellent 3rd place out of 18 teams in cruising group E at this year's ARC.

In the overall ranking of all cruisers, as the best-placed German ship, they are in 9th place out of a total of 96 registered ships.

SY Montana at the finish line in St. Lucia at night


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ARC 2021 - Montana mentioned in article of YACHT-magazin

Markus and his Montana were mentioned in an article about ARC 2021 on the homepage of German YACHT-magazin.

We are looking forward to the print version in the next issue of the YACHT-magazine.


SY Montana im Artikel des Yacht Magazins über die ARC 2021


ARC 2021 - Montana over the finish line

Tonight at 06.52 UTC the Montna crossed the finish line in St. Lucia.

Now the Caribbean can be enjoyed for a few more days.

Pictures and more will follow.





ARC 2021 - 6 (direct from SV Montana)

We took the Spi back down at 17:00 UTC, it was a hot ride. But left mainsail up and boomed the genoa to Buttfly. We are still fast but cannot hold direct course.

Markus Bocks, Skipper

The Montana is currently still in second place in the Cruising E group.


ARC 2021 - 5 (direct from SV Montana)

This night was weaker wind. Now Spi up, 8Kn over deck, 8Kn boat speed, slightly south of the rumpling . 965SM to St. Lucia. Today we reach the 2000 miles sailed

Markus Bocks, Skipper

The Montana is currently still in second place in the Cruising E group.


ARC 2021 - 4 (direct from SV Montana)

Had equal miles today, sailed 1459SM and still ahead. There was a Bergfest beer, of course not for me.

Markus Bocks, skipper

The Montana is currently still in second place in the Cruising E group.


ARC 2021 - 3 (direct from SV Montana)

"On the road again. It feels good to be on the way to the Caribbean with the ARC again. As the first ship to cross the line, you can't complain about the start. However, the Genoa came out a little too late, so immediately afterwards we were overtaken by the first ships.

The first few miles were very unusual. A start against the wind is rare at the ARC and the wind blast at the airport also failed this time. After that, the first few days were characterized by the “search for the wind”. Slow sailing phases alternated with engine phases over and over again, which was not really fun. Cheating when specifying the engine hours is open again here. We tried to sail as much as possible, so it was not surprising that we were soon way behind in the ranking. After difficult 6 days with light winds, we were able to find the trade wind. As a welcome greeting we caught the first mahi mahi. Now it went in the other direction of the wind scale, wind force of almost 8Bf exactly from behind had to be mastered. Here the Montana is in its element again and we collect our competitors from behind. "

Markus Bocks, skipper

The Montana is currently the fastest ship in cruising group E and has worked its way up to 2nd place.


ARC 2021 - 2 (Montana first across the starting line)

ARC 2021 started four days ago. Markus sailed a good start with his crew and since then, like the entire fleet, he has been struggling with the wind conditions. From very light wind from all possible directions to no wind at all, everything is included. But a strong north-east trade wind is predicted from Friday, which will finally allow the Montana to sail quickly towards St. Lucia.

SY Montana, Swan 48 als erstes Schiff über die Startlinie bei der ARC 2021

The full World Cruising Club article on the start of this year's ARC can be found here.


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ARC 2021 - 1

Today Markus starts with his crew as part of the ARC in Las Palmas towards St. Lucia. Unusual wind conditions will determine the first part of the crossing. No wind at the beginning and exceptionally southerly moving low pressure areas.

SY Montana, Swan 48 before Start of ARC 2021

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Sailing in the Canary Islands

From Las Palmas, Markus and his guests sailed a relaxed week trip to Tenerife and back again.

SY Montana, Swan 48 sailing in front of Tenerife

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First crossing the Atlantic, then a vacation trip

The Atlantic crossing has now turned into a relaxed vacation trip with island hopping.

The Montana is currently located in the Marina Santa Cruz on Tenerife.

Crew of the SY Montana, Swan 48 on a shore excursion in Tenerife

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Montana arrived in Lanzarote

After a varied crossing, the Montana has arrived from Vigo after 880 nautical miles in the Marina Rubicon, on the south coast of Lanzarote.

From wind force 8 at the beginning of the trip to calm at the end of the trip, everything was there.

SY Montana, Swan 48 in the Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote

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Vigo, Galicia

In the Marina Davila Sport in Vigo, the Montana took a longer break. Here we found an excellent shipyard that did all of our work on the ship to our complete satisfaction. In between there was a little sailing, but the main focus was on extending the certification by the SeeBG for Montana. The ship was brought up to date accordingly and the certification has now been extended for a further two years. 

Evening mood in the port of Vigo

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Azores -> Galicia

Markus has arrived in Vigo, Galicia with his crew. From Ponta Delgada in the Azores we went straight to the Atlantic towards the Spanish coast. It was a pleasant crossing with moderate wind and a friendly crew.

SY Montana off the coast of galicia

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2464 Miles in 16D 13H 16MIN

Another eventful Atlantic crossing will come to an end on May 25, 2021. After 16 days and 13 hours at sea, the Montana has returned to the Azores with skipper Markus Bocks.

The trip was very varied. In the first few days, the north-east trade wind was sailed high upwind. The temperatures were pleasantly Caribbean and the nights were mild. After 5 days the westerly wind range was reached and the weather and the wind changed accordingly. Three low pressure areas overtook us on the way to the Azores. We let them pass north as best we could. However, they sometimes brought us 25kt winds and occasional gusts of up to 40kt. The Montana easily put it all away with appropriate sails and the mood on board could not be spoiled by it.

A little exhausted, happy and also a little proud, the crew reached Horta in the Azores.

Crew of SV Montana, Swan 48 in Horta

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Atlantic crossing Guadeloupe -> Horta

The Montana is on its way to Europe. Markus and his crew, an experienced sailing family, have left Guadeloupe and are on the Atlantic towards Horta.

The wind forecast for the next few days is favorable, after which it will be exciting. The question is how the Azores high will develop and thus to what extent the northeast trade wind is sliding to the north.


Position of SV Montana: https://swan-montana.de/de/position

Last minute offers and new leaflet


We have a new leaflet including all trips for the next 12 months. (German language)

Here as PDF-Dokument for downloading.

Take note:

We offer the trip Azores: Horta > Terceira from 06.06. to 12.06. at a last minute special price of 790 €.

We offer the trip Azoren -> Vigo from 14.06. to 26.06. at a last minute special price of 990€.  

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