Swede 55 Design

Gamle Swede in Burgtiefe/Fehmarn © Bruno Werner/Swedesail
Gamle Swede © Foto Bruno Werner/Swedesail

Beside its elegance and length Swede 55 has an introvert scandinavian shape. The spoon bow reminds on the Twenties, when the square metre class found its final mould for racing in the Skerries, as the archipelago of the Stockholm skärgård is known. The fine entry separates the water effortless. A closer look underneath the bow reveals how Reimers reduced the length with a rounded stem towards the deck.

Swede 55 with a little tumblehome

Swede Swede 55 with a little tumblehome and rounded stem © Swedesail
Swede 55 with rounded stem and a bit of tumblehome © Swedesail

The midship section indicates a bit of tumblehome. The wine glass shape once had various purposes. In times of shipping cargo with sailing vessels it reduced tax for ships and later the rating of raceboats. It advanced the weight distribution on battle ships and the righting moment of yachts. And the constricted section towards the deck adorns the hull with sculptural elegance.

A quarter of the entire length extend in the forward and aft overhang. The domed fore- and sidedecks add structural strength and volume. The forward raked transom gives Swede 55 the modern tone of the seventies, while its rounded shape adds finesse to the design.

Raked and bent transom of Swede 55 © Swedesail
Raked and bent transom of Swede 55 © Swedesail

Slightly curved sheerline

Another interesting detail and refinement is found at the sheerline. Linking bow and rear, it can’t be straight as this would lead to ennui. Thus the boat obtained a barely noticable bent sheerline with some inherent tension. When Reimers designed Swede 55 he looked back on five decades varying this detail with a fleet of square metre boats since he began as draughtsman at Henry Rasmussens office of Abeking & Rasmussen yard in the 1920s.

Reimers’ deckhouses

You find two deckhouse patterns aboard Reimers’ boats. First the spray cap of his daysailers and raceboats. Second the strechted and stepped version aboard his cruisers.

Reimers 8mR Glana © Sjöhistoriska museet/Stockholm
Reimers 8 m-R Glana – CC BY-SA 4.0 Sjöhistoriska museet

The dollhouse sized deckhouse of the classy Reimers raceboat matches to the low freeboard. With his 8-Metre class design Glana, built 1946 for Lake Geneva, or the 30 sqm boat Vanja VI Reimers went a little further.

8-mR Class Glana on Lake Geneva © James R. Taylor/sealens.com
8-mR Class Glana on Lake Geneva – Foto James R. Taylor/sealens.com

To reduce windage and to break water washing across the deck Reimers gave the cabin a pointed front. This deckhouse is demanding to build and add a pleasing look. You can’t really see through the tiny portholes. They are mostly there to complement the look.

Reimers 30 sqm boat design © Sjöhistoriska museet/Stockholm
Reimers 30 sqm boat design – CC BY-SA 4.0 Sjöhistoriska museet
Recent 30 sqm launched with pointed deckhouse © Rolf Winterhalter/Beck & Söhne
Recent 30 sqm launched with pointed deckhouse – Foto Rolf Winterhalter/Bootswerft Beck & Söhne

It is nice to see this trademark being built occasionally today at recent 30 square metre boats by Bootswerft Beck & Söhne on Reichenau Island/Lake Constance. Here sophisticated craftsmanship merges with rare and classy shape.

Reimers’ stepped deckhouse

75 sqm Bacchant of 1936 with stepped deckhouse © Classicsailboats.org
75 sqm Bacchant of 1936 with stepped deckhouse © Classicsailboats.org
S30 with stepped deckhouse © Sjöhistoriska Museet/Stockholm
S30 with stepped deckhouse © CC BY-SA 4.0 Sjöhistoriska museet

The desire for a sheltered cockpit and full headroom below deck of longer square metre boats like Bacchant or Fidelis lead to another, Reimers’ stretched and stepped deckhouse pattern. This shape incorporates headroom near the companionway and galley of the popular S30, a 41 ft square metre boat variant developed in 1972 for families and the cruising sailor. The window shapes give the deckhouse a traditional and homely touch.

The boxy and edged shape of the stretched Swede 55 deckhouse resembles a wooden construction. The tiny step reminds on Reimers’ tradition of his 75 square metre boats. The small windows match the introvert elegance of one on his last designs. The porthole sized windows in the fore and aft cabin are there to complement the look.

Stretched and low profile deck house of Swede 55
Stretched and low profile deck house of Swede 55 – Foto Swedesail/Wolfgang John

Swede 55 Essentials, Knud Reimers, Swede 55 Accomodation, Swede 55 Forerunners, Swede 55 Development, Swede 55 Registry, Swede 55 Successors