Gamle Swede in light air © Swedesail

Gamle Swede in light air © Swedesail

Sailing Swede 55 for decades, I developed ideas how to refine the joy. In short it would be the same boat better: a new build with higher ballast ratio, launched with the planned or even less displacement. This would bring Swede 55 back to its origins – as outlined in www.swedesail.de/evolution

Knud Reimers had planned Swede 55 with a displacement of 17,085 lbs (7.75 t), 7,500 lbs (3.4 t) ballast, a ballast ratio of 44 %. When he saw the prototype floating at Fisksätra Varv in Västervik he noted it sitting some centimetres deeper in the water than anticipated. To make full use of Swede 55s properties and to delay headsail changes/the need to reef it should get a ballast ratio of 54 percent. Obviously adding lead to a boat and getting it lighter at the same time is a challenge.

Swede 55 in state of the art construction

Together with a well reputed composite boat builder a new build was evaluated in an advanced construction method. Depending on the clients budget four technology, construction and weightsaving levels are suggested – from medium tech (left column) to grand prix technology (right column).  The latter with reduced pre impregnated resin content, cured in an autoclave to make full use of the chemical process and adhesive properties.

 Four technology levels Glass/Kevlar
Isophtalic polyester
Glass/Kevlar
Epoxy/Vacuum
Carbon/Kevlar
Epoxy/Vacuum
Carbon/Kevlar
Epoxy Prepreg
Hull 1,168 kg 1,015 kg 812 kg 702 kg
Deck 414 kg 348 kg 278 kg 239 kg
Interiour 712 kg 712 kg 570 kg 456 kg
2,294 kg 2,075 kg 1,660 kg 1,402 kg
100 % 90 % 72 % 61 %
Keel 4,372 kg 4,115 kg 3,628 kg 3,324 kg
Deck fittings 129 kg 129 kg 129 kg 129 kg
Winches 51 kg 51 kg 51 kg 51 kg
Teak deck 137 kg 137 kg 137 kg 137 kg
Engine 229 kg 229 kg 229 kg 229 kg
Plumbing 172 kg 172 kg 172 kg 172 kg
Electricity 260 kg 260 kg 260 kg 260 kg
Mast & rigging 327 kg 327 kg 327 kg 327 kg
Steering 57 kg 57 kg 57 kg 57 kg
Equipment 70 kg 70 kg 70 kg 70 kg
Weight excl. keel 3,726 kg 3,507 kg 3,092 kg 2,834 kg
Weight incl. keel 8,098 kg 7,622 kg 6,720 kg 6,158 kg
Comparison level 1-4 100 % 94 % 83 % 76 %

Remarks: The calculation contains a conservative mast and rigging weight assumption, equivalent to the heavy and forgiving Seldèn aluminum spar. The new build would get a carbon spar with 50 percent tube weight of an aluminum spar. Composite rigging instead of stainless steel cables will reduce the rigging weight. Further the design spiral and weight savings in other areas (down to a lighter engine etcetera) are not jet contained in these preliminary numbers.

Conclusion: Built in the lowest tech level Swede 55 would become lighter than the Fisksätra manufacture, with a ballast ratio of 54 percent. The two higher grade Carbon/Kevlar new builds (right columns) require a redesign due to a weightsaving of 1,4 or even two tons. Such a state of the art Swede 55 displacing three quarters of the original will result in a new Sailarea/Displacement ratio: A sensation to sail.

A second measure to gain stability could be to make the boat slightly wider. The gained righting moment to be evaluated in collaboration with a naval architect.  Such a refinement is a delicate task. By all means the elegance of Swede 55 with its slim rear overhang should be preserved.

Concept for a 58 ft Swede

Further a 58 ft Swede was calculated on a conceptual basis in the same manner as outlined above: 17.60 m LOA, 14 m waterline, 3.23 m beam.

Four technology levels Glass/Kevlar
Isophtalic polyester
Glass/Kevlar
Epoxy/Vacuum
Carbon/Kevlar
Epoxy/Vacuum
Carbon/Kevlar
Epoxy Prepreg
Displacement 11,012 kg 10,367 kg 9,141 kg 8,377 kg
Keel 5,946 kg 5,598 kg 4,936 kg 4,523 kg
Comparison level 1-4 100 % 94 % 83 % 76 %

Built in the best technology level this 58 foot Swede would displace just as much as the Fisksätra built Swede 55 – again with a ballast ratio of 54 percent. A boat for the sailing connoisseur.

You are welcome to join me aboard Gamle Swede for a weekend to ventilate the idea.