The initial spark that turned into the NYYC Swan 42 had as much to do with how, and by whom, the boat would be sailed as how it would look and perform. Led by current New York Yacht Club commodore David Elwell, the group that created the class envisioned a performance one-design keelboat. It needed to score well under IRC, be sturdy enough to race offshore, and be easily converted into a comfortable cruiser, which in turn could be handled by a couple. Perhaps most importantly, the founders wanted a boat that could be raced hard by amateurs, creating a class that fostered Corinthian competition. Many had experience with grand-prix classes such as the Mumm 36 and Farr 40, where being competitive requires hiring a handful of professional sailors. In the NYYC Swan 42 class, each boat is restricted to no more than two Category 3 (professional) sailors, one of which must be the boat's captain. And no one, no matter his or her International Sailing Federation classification, can be paid to race.