Knud Reimers

Naval architect Knud H. Reimers
Naval architect Knud H. Reimers © Reijo Rüster/Swedesail archive
Reimers letterhead with a logo resembling A&R © Sjöhistoriska museet
Reimers’ letterhead with a logo resembling A&R © Swedesail archive

Born in Denmark, Knud Reimers (1906-87) worked as apprentice from 1926 in the Krupp-Germania Yard. He then studied naval architecture in Bremen and worked as draughtsman at the Abeking & Rasmussen yard in Bremen-Lemwerder under the supervision of Henry Rasmussen. It was there that Reimers became familiar with the design of sleek fast yachts.

Knud Reimers’ formation in Germany

Reimers design Tumlare © Sjöhistoriska museet
Reimers design Tumlare © Swedesail archive

After the sudden death of Gustaf Estlander December 1st, 1930 Reimers took over Estlanders office in Stockholm, Sweden. Not surprizingly his new logo with the initials “KR” is similar to that of his previous employer “A&R”. 1934 he designed the popular double-ender Tumlare, the predecessor to Adlard Coles’ seagoing legend Cohoe.

75er squaremetre boat Bacchant © Classicsailboats.org
75er square metre boat Bacchant © Classicsailboats.org

1936 Knud Reimers designed the 75 square metre boat Bacchant for the famous swedish racing sailor Eric Lundberg. Eventually the 62 footer took part in many Chicago-Mackinac long-distance races on Lake Michigan in the Eighties and Nineties. Bacchant recently returned to the waters she once came from and where she probably belongs: the beautiful achipelago, a paradise named Skärgård around Stockholm/Sweden.

Agneta, a 150 sqm Skärgårdskryssare derivate

82 ft mahogany yawl Agneta © Sandeman
82 ft mahogany yawl Agneta © Sandeman

Expanding on the square meter boat motif, Reimers designed in 1948 the elegant 82 foot mahogany yawl Agneta. 1958 to the mid eighties the yacht was owned by the passionate yachtsman and Italian industrialist Giovanni Agnelli. She still is one of the jewels of the Voiles de Saint Tropez, formerly known as La Nioulargue regatta.

30 sqm boat renaissance at Lake Constance

In the sixties, Reimers’ initiated the rebirth of the classic 30 square metre class in southern Germany and Switzerland. Til today this class is actively competing its championship for the Reimers Cup annually on Lake Constance.

Fidelis Sydney - Hobart Race 1966 © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
Fidelis Sydney – Hobart Race 1966 © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

1964 Reimers developed Fidelis, a 61 feet Bacchant derivate with modern transom and appendages. This Swede 55 predecessor was built Auckland/New Zealand. sailed many long distance races in the southern hemisphere, among them a victory in the Sydney-Hobart Race with a remarkable lead. This classic with a beam of just 10 feet and a displacement 26,500 lbs is still sailing in Sydney waters today.

Predecessors of Swede 55

Fidelis winning the Sydney-Hobart Race 1966 © Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Fidelis winning the Sydney-Hobart Race in 1966 © Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Upon request of some members of the Royal swedish yacht club in Stockholm (KSSS), Reimers designed Swede 55, a square metre boat suiting to family life and cruising in 1974. Swede 55 came with a slightly elevated freeboard, a comfortable center-cockpit and a nominal sail area of 55 square metres (thus the number tagged to the 52 ft boat). Further it offers full headroom in essential parts of the cabin and added volume below deck. She was inspired by Rolly Taskers Siska, a Knud Reimers 40 square metre boat of 1939 modified by the famous Australian ocean racing sailor and sailmaker.

69-year-old Knud H. Reimers in his office in the Östermalm district of Stockholm
69-year-old Knud H. Reimers in his office in the Östermalm district of Stockholm © Reijo Rüster/Swedesail achive

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