The Dream of Lasse Ristikankare

Every sailor knows and admires the Vindoe cruising boats from the Swedish west coast. Vindoes are seventies compromises worth looking at, made of an indestructible and easy-care fibreglass hull with teak deck and handsome mahogany superstructure. A tempting mix of practicality with the traditional look and feel aboard.

The Finnish Swede 55 Susaija – Photo Lasse Ristikankare

Swede 55 like a Vindoe

In the 1980s, Finnish wooden boatbuilder Lasse Ristikankare transformed a Swede 55 hull and deck shell near Turku into such a gem. The varnished mahogany footrail, the traditional laid teak deck with king plank, the mahogany superstructure and the teak-covered cabin roof are a feast for the eyes. Even the transom came in glossy varnished mahogany. And the window frames in shiny stainless steel suit well to Susaija. A boat like a piece of furniture.

The cockpit was customized as well – Photo Lasse Ristikankare

And Ristikankare did not leave it at that. He rethought and rebuilt his 55 in other ways as well. The cockpit came with a different helmsmans station with an oldfashioned wheel made of turned spokes and a 55 intarsia in the table. Below deck, too, Ristikankare made changes to his dreamboat. With a cabin layout according to his own ideas and in a traditional finish. It sailed as Susaija for a long time in Finland. For a while now, the gem has been sailing as Quintus in the Stockholm archipelago.

Susaija in the Finnish Archipelago – Photo Lasse Ristikankare

This is possible if the wood is exposed during the few months of the Nordic summer and otherwise kept indoors, cherished and cared for. Varnished mahogany requires a certain amount of attention with regular sanding, some skill and patience with the brush. So a 55 can be built and adored like a Vindoe. It just sails slightly different.

Swede 55 Susaija
With varnished mahogany transom in the eighties – Photo Lasse Ristikankare

Photo on top by Ristikankare: Quintus ex. Susaija from 1985 in the Finnish archipelago.