Swede 55 Forerunners
In 1908 the square metre boat, also known as Skärgårdskryssare was commissioned for racing in Stockholm. The original idea for this type of boat was straightforward and simple: Only the propulsion by means of the sail area was limited. Here you will find a closer look how sail area is measured at sqm boats. Apart from that, the development of the fastest possible boat was more or less free. This was soon exploited during the rapid development of ever longer, slimmer and lighter square metre boats in the 1920s. An ideal playground for ambitious sailors.
From Uffa Fox to H. G. Hasler
In the thirties the eager racing sailor, boatbuilder and publisher Uffa Fox of Cowes/Isle of Wight made the anglosaxon yachting world familiar with the seagoing virtues of the square metre boat. In the late fourties H. G. „Blondie“ Hasler proved the offshore qualities of the long and lightweight boat aboard Tre Sang with bold cruises around the exposed Cornwall coast and across the Irish Sea. Besides being easily driven and fun to sail he found the light displacement boat remarkably seaworthy. The reserve buoyancy of the long forebody helped the boat to climb across the swell instead smashing through it. With their 22 and 30 square metre boats Fox and Hasler inaugurated new thinking and a fresh concept to offshore sailing. It would soon put through in the racing scene.
Rolly Tasker and his modified 40 sqm boat Siska
Besides Uffa Fox’ publications – his books were read worldwide – the successes of Fidelis and Siska in australian waters helped to spread the light displacement gospel. Siska measured 50’6″ x 8’6″ (15.40 x 2.60 m).
A lightweight, long and easily driven boat needs less sailarea to go faster than the conventional wide bodied and heavy boat as was common. This concept was converted to an up-to-date GRP construction of the elegant 52 feet Swede 55, for instance with a balsa cored deck. Here you find out more about the development of Swede 55.