A while ago an American contacts me regarding the purchase of a secondhand Swede 55. As former 55 sailor he is familiar with the boat. Embossed by the 55, he has a particular boat at the eastern seaboard of the US in mind and seeks advice whether to inspect it at all or not. He books advice to find an answer to his question.
Like in real life, there rarely is a simple yes or no. It depends – on the personal setting and the specific boat available. Being familiar with Swede 55 since 1980 and knowing a bit of the tragedy of the Swede 55 in question, I am explaining the pros and cons. Where to be concerned and careful.
Besides the key criteria – being the general female attitude towards such a project – something I can’t judge, but as we all know, there commonly is a general bearing – it is as a matter of the asking price versus the risk that comes with a used boat with mishap in its recent logbook.
There is only one thing for shure. No matter the condition and usability of the boat you aquired: It costs money for just being yours: 52 x 10 feet berthing fee plus insurance to start with. Then comes the time and budget needed to convert it into the yacht you have in mind.
Advice for Swede 55 buyer: What a Surprise
The client is making his own sound decision based on the provided guidelines. He does not consider the favourable offer. Besides receiving a kind note concluding the case I haven’t heard anything for about twelve months – until yesterday, when I obtained the shown foto of his Swede 55. Having bought the formerly named Excalibur in Seattle he reports:
“She needed some extensive work and some reseating of chainplates etc. I will spare you the details now, but suffice to say she is now located in Mattapoisett MA, painted blue and renamed Surprise. According to information I have, she is hull number 12. This is odd because Tumlare, which I bought in ’99 and renamed Sigrid II, now in South Africa, is also supposed to be hull # 12.”
Well, it will be difficult to clarify the mess with the Swede 55 construction numbers. I partly created it myself in the 1990s, when I set up a register of all Swede 55s. It will possibly work itself out over the years as more information comes along. Compared to the pleasure of sailing a 55, the build/hull number is perhaps less important. At least the table provides a general overview.
Receiving his E-mail I was smashed by the familiar sight – this time a 55 in precious navyblue. The 55 seems to be a tempting boat. If you ever sailed one and sold it, you need one again. It just takes a little patience until the right boat emerges.
Based on the previous advice you know where to look at in detail. Then you transform it in a straightforward manner into your navyblue dream. Congratulations to the owner – and the craftsmen who did the work. I hope to learn more about the mission to recondition and transport the 55 across North America. I will share the details with 55 aficionados like you.