What to know about Swede 55
Since the early 20th century the square metre boat is admired for its joy to sail, beauty and speed. Inspired by the elegance of the precursor, it was time for a good looking and well sailing one-design suiting better to the requirements of a family in the early seventies. So Swede 55 was conceived in 1975 by naval architect Knud Hjelmberg Reimers in Stockholm/Sweden as a modern version of the classy square metre boat.
Centre cockpit speed machine
Thus Swede 55 became slightly wider, got a little more freeboard and offers full headroom below the stretched cabin roof. The time aboard is spent mostly in the comfortable and safe cockpit: albeit sailing, relaxing, chatting or dining. Recessed between the main and aft cabin, the centre cockpit is comfy and safe as aboard a motorsailor. And in high seas it is nice to have a couple a of metres behind.
Thanks to the length Swede 55 is fast. The slim line offers a swift ride and soft motion in a seaway. The big distance between keel and rudder provides good directional stability. Further the boat alters course instantly as soon as the free standing and sightly balanced rudder is turned. This finesse provides endless fun.
Swede 55 built by Fisksätra Varv
Fisksätra Varv AB in Västervik at the east coast of Sweden built Swede 55. As swedish pioneer of glassfibre manufacture, Fisksaetra built small powerboats like the Mustang or Folkparca and motorsailors like Havsfidra, Storfidra and Parant in substantial numbers. Further, more than 300 S30 cruising square metre boats, the smaller sister of Swede 55, were built by Fisksaetra since 1972.
Being introduced with a nice brochure and advertized for instance in the SAS flight magazine, Swede 55 was displayed at the Hamburg Boat Show and one boat was brought in a cargo plane to make it to the Toronto Boat Show in time.
How many Swede 55 were built
This led to 27 Swede 55 Fisksätra manufactures from 1976 to autumn 1979. Most of the Swede 55 went to Sweden, Finland, three to Germany, one to Switzerland/Lake Constance, one to Italy, some to the Mediterranean and USA. Fisksaetra belonged to the swedish investor Gylling, which withdrew from Fisksätra in 1979.
As far as I know six Swede 55 were built from 1982 – 84 by a successor named Aqva Båt in Nyköping using the original mould, among them Counterpoint. This boat has been sailing since 1992 in Capetown/South Africa as Spilhaus III. So from 1976 to 84 a total of 33 Swede 55 were built. Here you find details of the entire fleet.
Construction of Swede 55
Hull: Hand laid glass fibre reinforced polyester resin with woven roving. Thickness varies from 4/5″ (20 mm) near the keel to 3/10″ (8 mm) in some parts of the stern where stress is minimal. Several longitudonal stringers.
Deck and superstructure: Including the cockpit made in one unit of GRP which was reinforced with a 4/10″ (10 mm) balsa core on horizontal surfaces. The deck and superstructure were further reinforced with 3/10″ (8 mm) aluminum plates in places of tracks, cleats, winches.
|Length over all||52 ft 6 in – 16 m|
|Length actual waterline||42′ 06″ – 12.96 m|
|Beam||9′ 9″ – 2.97 m|
|Beam waterline||8′ 9″ – 2.65 m|
|Freeboard bow||43″ – 110 cm|
|Freeboard midship section (station 15)||32″ – 82 cm|
|Freeboard cockpit (station 10)||30″ – 78 cm|
|Freeboard stern||31″ – 79 cm|
|Initial design draft (1974)||6′ 6″ – 2 m|
|Corrected design draft (1975/6)||6′ 9″ – 2.05 m|
|Actual draft (measured at Gamle Swede)||≈ 7′ 2″ – 2.17 m|
|Design displacement||17,085 lbs – 7.75 t|
|Real displacement||≈ 18,078 lbs – 8.2 t|
|Displacement (half load)||≈ 18,739 lbs – 8.5 t|
|Probable displacement in cruising mode||≈ 19,500 lbs – 9 t|
|Ballast (lead)||7,500 lbs – 3.4 t|
|Bridge clearance/air draft with Windex||59′ 5″ – 18.1 m|
|Nominal sail area, main ∆ + 85 % of fore ∆ (hence the 55)||592 sq ft – 55 sqm|
|Main and jib (real sail area)||797 sq ft – 74 sqm|
|Main||474 sq ft – 44 sqm|
|Jib||323 sq ft – 30 sqm|
|Yankee||215 sq ft – 20 sqm|
|Genoa II||431 sq ft – 40 sqm|
|Genoa I||517 sq ft – 48 sqm|
|Spinnaker||1,400 sq ft – 130 sqm|
|Hull speed||9 kn|
|Sailed top speed||22 kn|
|Length/Beam ratio||5.3 : 1|
|SA/D ratio (relating to 18,739 lbs)||18.07|
The Sail Area/Displacement Ratio is the sail area in sq. ft. divided by displacement in cubic feet to the 2/3 power and commonly used in the US. Reference: 16 – 18 heavy offshore cruisers; 18 – 22 medium cruisers; 22 – 26 racing boats; 26 + extreme racing boats.
|P (luff mainsail)||15.20 m|
|E (foot mainsail)||4.85 m|
|I (height fore ∆)||13 m|
|J (base fore ∆)||4.40 m|
|T (headstay length)||13.70 m|
|SL (Spinnaker leach length)||13.95 m|
|SMW (Spinnaker width)||10.00 m|
|Spinnaker foot||8.00 m|
Swede 55 Rating
|Yardstick German Sailing Association, Deutscher Seglerverband (DSV) with/without Spinnaker||89/91|
|SRS Handicap Svenska Seglerförbundet, Version SRS 2014.5.0 with/without Spinnaker||1.316/1.269|
|Scandicap with/without Spinnaker||10.20/10.95|
|Lidingö Yardstick (LYS) Sweden||1.27|
|Time Correction Factor TCF Channel Handicap 1988||1.29|
|Performance Handicap Racing Fleet PHRF (Seconds per mile)||81.0|
|Klassiker Rennwert (KLR) of German Classics Association, Freundeskreis Klassische Yachten||146|
|Companionway, Galley, Navstation||1.89 m||6.2 ft|
|Main cabin||1.79 – 1.82 m||70 – 72 in|
|Bathroom||1.68 – 1.72 m||66 – 70 in|
|Forward cabin||1.55 m||61 in|
|Aft cabin||1.22 m||4 ft|
- U.S. Coast Guard Tonnage Measurement for Recreational Vessels: Gross Tonnage 14, Net Tonnage 12,5
- Original engine: Volvo Penta MD11C two-cylinder with 27 HP (23 kW) or MD17C three-cylinder with 35 HP (27 kW)
- Transmission Volvo Penta Saildrive 110 S
- Fuel 19.5 US gal. / 74 l
- Freshwater galley 18.5 US gal. / 70 l
- Freshwater bathroom and deck shower 43.6 US gal. / 165 l