HISTORY

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"The New Era of Sailing Starts with
A Pedigree"

Heritage Legacy

One of the holy grails in a yacht designer’s life is to find the quality of line. Lines that speak to the heart as well as to the mind. This is what turns design into art and a yacht into a legend.

Sometimes these perfect lines have already been drawn. They are called "classic"

The classic Scandinavian Skerry cruiser designs had that quality of line, hence why they became so popular around the world as day-sailors.

How it all started 1907

Everything started in 1907, when the Swedish Sailing Federation established a committee to design a national racing yacht class. This created sleek designs called Skerry Cruisers. Renowned as beautiful and fast, they were easily handled and offered a superb performance and an exhilarating thrill of sailing

Just like the timeless classic lines of for example the J-class has its roots back in racing, so does the Scandinavian classic lines. And today, Classic Swedish Yachts, with its long lineage of Scandinavian designers, is the only custodian of Scandinavian classic design heritage producing new yachts.  

Classic Swedish Yachts begins with great wins

In 1973 Olof gathered a team of highly renowned Swedish sailors and discussed what qualities should be built into a modern classic family cruiser. These discussions resulted in what became the Swede 55/75/52.

They successfully raced in some of the world’s most difficult ocean races and won. They not only won, but set new records in both the Transpac race and the Bermuda race, both under very harsh conditions.

Legendary Designers

Swede 41’s lines were originally drawn by Knud H Reimers, Scandinavia’s most influential yacht designer. The 1970´s so-called S30 following the Skerry cruiser rule of measurement. Olof was the one who took the lines of the S30 and together with Reimers turned it into the elegant and exhilarating day-sailor Swede 41.

Another great name was involved in refining the underwater body and designing the keel- Sven-Olof Ridder. Ridder, perhaps the most understated yacht designer in the world is the innovator of the canting keel and the much copied B&R rig identified by its swept-back spreaders and lack of a backstay. Ridder was also the man behind the “Thursday Child” who became the mother of all IMOCA 60’s. And what very few know is that Ridder was the brain behind the space-frame system on Ron Hollands perhaps most famous designs: “IMP”. The “IMP” was also one of the first to use the B&R rig.

And Håkan Södergren, one of Scandinavia’s leading yacht designers for some of the most well-known boat builders in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and USA, designed the soon to be legendary Swede 68 that was turned into 3D art by his talented son Oscar Södergren.

The only custodian of Classic Scandinavian design heritage

Just under 60 Swede yachts have been sold until today. Between 2014-2019 the company was owned by Michael Wolff from Germany. During that time the Swede 68 was developed. In 2019 the Swede 41 got nominated yacht of the year in the class "Spirit of tradition".

In February 2020 the company was taken over by Olof's friend and seasoned business developer Jonas Freeman who made one of Sweden's most successful professional sailors, Thomas Blixt, the product manager.

In 2021 the production was moved to Estonia. The decision enables Classic Swedish Yachts to continue producing exquisit woodwork, an artisan trade still strong in Estonia. It also enables production of high-quality sophisticated yachts at  competitive prices.

Image references:
Guido Hildebrand
Yacht and Regatta Photography: Soren Hese
Håkan och Oscar Södergren: www.oscarsodergren.com, www.sodergrenyachts.se
Images of skerry cruiser GERD

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