Swede 55 Sailor Erdmann Braschos © Swedesail

I am Erdmann Braschos, grown up with racing dinghies, sailing open keel boats and speedy cruises to Norway, Sweden and Finland aboard 5,700 lbs spread over 39 feet. The 30 sqm cruising boat type Lotus was a modified Harry Becker design, adapted to cruising by few inches of added freeboard. Crossing the Skagerrak and sailing around the exposed southwestern coast of Norway via Stavanger to Lysefjord was the right adventure for a seagoing teenager.

30 sqm cruising square metre boat Lotus © Erdmann Braschos

30 sqm cruising square metre boat Lotus © Erdmann Braschos

Lotus was just 7 feet wide, fast and wet. 12 x 2.15 x 1.50 m draft, 2.5 t. My job was to replace headsails on the slim foredeck without pulpit or lifelines. Ports were approached with an al gusto operating outboard. The last cruise with Lotus took us 1979 in just three days nonstop from Germany to the Åaland Islands in a steady breeze from the east. Then it was time for cabins with full headroom, a lavatory and a galley. Swede 55 contained all this, with a nicely crafted interiour spread over 39 feet (12 m).

Embossed by a book bought as teenager with carefully saved pocket money ambiance, aesthetics and class mean a lot to me: The 1973 german edition of Carlo Sciarrellis Lo yacht. Origine ed evoluzione del veliero da diporto. In Die Yacht: Ihre Herkunft und ihre Entwicklung“. I read about the J-Class, the last edition of big class cutters and schooners, vessels I would later see as Endeavour modernized, new built as Ranger in Skagen, or to steer as Velsheda during trails in Southampton waters.

Gamle Swede Crew 2017 © Bruno Werner/Swedesail

Gamle Swede Crew 2017 © Bruno Werner/Swedesail

In the nineties I began to publish about squaremetres and metre class boats. The influence of a journalist should not be overestimated. But I heard that famous Tre Sang for example came to Germany thanks to my repeat publications on squaremetre boats.

Inspired by the elegance and performance of Swede 55 I founded the yacht servicing company Swedesail in 1991. I worked for a swedish boatbuilder relaunching Swede 55 and her smaller sister, the S30, then named Swede 41. Presenting Swede 75 in Kiel I was impressed to see her performance similar to empty grand prix raceboats during MAIOR Admiral’s Cup preparations.

Yachting derives from hunting

Gamle Swede finishing a race at a rainy day © Swedesail

Gamle Swede finishing a race at a rainy day in Fehmarnsund © Swedesail

I sold newbuilds to Germany and the Mediterranean, secondhand Swede 55s and a Super Swede 53 to german customers and set up a branch in 405 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, downtown New York which was named Swedesail North America. It was a good adress in the 71st floor of the Chrysler building where a real estate man conducted a slightly more profitable business.

Contributions to the W.W. Norton & Company Publication EYD © Swedesail

Contributions to EYD published 2003 © W.W. Norton & Company 

To push the enterprize I offered a pimped version of the Reimers designed S40 named Swede 47. But one lesson learned among others was that this type of boat is to extravagant to succeed as newbuild. So I stopped this venture in 1997, focused on my profession as copywriter and journalist and passion for Gamle Swede.

Finishing and servicing the boats delivered on behalf of my clients was a good hands-on experience to maintain and upgrade Gamle Swede. Since 2003 I am sailing her with a permanent crew. My sailing friends share the fun of classy and versed yachting. They support me at the maintenance routine and refurbishments. We are cruising from Fehmarn island to the nearby waters of Denmark and occasionally join races.

I am sailing Gamle Swede with unbridled enthusiasm. There are few boats being equally fast. If we meet one there are options to get them or keep behind. Yachting derives from hunting. You are welcome to share the fun.