After the war the previous type of sailing boats, used for cruising and racing, were – at least in Scandinavia – sleek designs like the Skerry Cruisers, R-yachts, Dragons and Haj-boats. These boats could however not offer the increasing demand for comfort. The racing rules, such as RORC and IOR, often created successful rule cheaters. Unfortunately these were often converted for family cruising – sometimes with good result but often these boats were relatively slow and unpractical with their large overlapping jibs and small main sails. Simultaneously the new method of building boats in GRP made mass production possible to lower prices.
Modern boats are typically – to overstate a little – either spacious family cruisers or outright racers for “the boys”. Today´s trend is straight bows, deep keels and beamy, high hulls, offering a maximum of volume for the money – the perfect summerhouse.
But where is the beauty and the feeling?
The classic Swedish Skerry Cruisers, also known as the Square Metre yachts, are well known in yachting circles. Renowned as beautiful and fast, they were easily handled and offered a superb performance when either racing or cruising. These classic yachts are as much in demand today and occasionally can be found for sale on the brokerage market.
The Skerry Cruiser stood alongside other classics of their time – the R Yachts, Dragons, Haj Boats and other square metres.
However, due to the increasing popularity of sailing after the war, yachts were often built to a racing rule – RORC and IOR yachts were being built to win races. They did not normally, however, offer a great deal of comfort below, or ease of sailing for the short or single handed sailor.
The advent of GRP revolutionised yacht building, and the opportunity for sailing with the family was opened to many more people. These yachts are often comfortable, with ample space below, but are not particularly beautiful and not always that seaworthy. Somewhere between these yachts and the flat out racing yachts, lay an answer that could suit both cruisers and racers. With this in mind Olof Hildebrand went back to the basic design of the Skerry Cruiser as the basis for his new range of yachts.
The goal was not to create a racing yacht but the Swede 55 Temptress won the Transpac Race from San Francisco to Hawaii, over 2,000 nautical miles, and the Swede 55 Counterpoint won the Bermuda Race, in both cases in stormy weather and very tough sea conditions. Hence the seagoing qualities of these modern sleek yachts are well documented and proven.
Again, our ambition is to create sailing yachts, easy to sail and with the best comfort possible without scarifying anything of safety and sailing capabilities, sensation of speed and the joy to sail a true thoroughbred.
Olof Hildebrandt, founder of Classic Swedish Yachts, AB, has for many years had a vision of combining state of the art technology with the beautiful sleek lines of the classic Skerry Cruisers. The story of Classic Swedish Yachts started in 1973 when Olof gathered a team of highly competent Swedish sailors and discussed what qualities should be built into a modern family cruiser.
The team arrived at the following conclusions that would provide the foundation of the new designs –
Beauty – Excellent sailing capabilities – Easy of Handling – Safety
That study resulted in the design of the Swede 55. Well known Scandinavian yacht designer Knud Reimers gave the yacht it’s lovely sleek lines in co-operation with Professor Sven Olof Ridder, well-known aero- and hydro dynamic expert. Professor Karl Axel Olsson, an expert in light construction techniques, has been an important advisor during the further development of our yachts.
The goal was not to create a racing yacht, but the SWEDE 55 “TEMPTRESS” won the Transpac Race from San Francisco to Hawaii over 2,000 nautical miles and the SWEDE 55 “COUNTERPOINT” won the Bermuda Race. In both cases they were racing in stormy weather and very tough sea conditions. The seagoing qualities of these modern classics are well documentated. It was felt that the stability of the yachts would be a vital part of the design, and that they must prove to be difficult to broach when sailing downwind – sometimes the bete noir of many short handed sailors.
Some 40 yachts of the Swede 55 were built, with no advertising needed at all.
The 55 was developed eventually into the Swede 52, of which Olof owned the first. He often sailed single-handed and sometimes with his large family. He extensively cruised the Swedish coast, the Baltic, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. She proved herself to be a versatile and safe cruising yacht that was easy to sail singlehanded.
Following on from the Swede 52, Olof, now nearing retirement, decided to downsize. With this in mind, he developed the <ahref=”/product/swede-41″>Swede 41. He owned his own Swede 41 for some 6 years, cruising to Finland, Russia, Norway, and Denmark, 90% of the time, single-handed. This proves that the Swede 41 is as happy as a day sailer as she is a weekender or even a cruiser.
We are now following the Swede 41 with a larger sister, the spectacular Swede 68 – ready for an owner to press the button.
On the drawing board under development, is the exiting new Swede 57 which will be available in either shoal or cruising draft. This, like all the other Classic Swedish Yachts, will be available with a choice of interior layouts.