Not too much has changed in twenty years, since I still love to check out sail boats in the harbours and boat shows or read about them on magazines, books and blogs. However, the criteria for the 'perfect boat' has perhaps evolved a bit during these years. For example, I still consider the Swan 40 a great yacht, but I wouldn't consider her an optimal choice for shorthanded sailing. Especially, if taking into account the price and yearly maintenance costs.
What I still share today is the passion for Nordic (or Scandinavian) boat building tradition. It is great, that there are still so many top sailing yachts built in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
This blog post lists six of my 'dream boats' in the size category of 34 to 37 foot, which I consider roughly the ideal size. None of these models are manufactured anymore, so the only way to find them is from second-hand markets. A problem with the new and hand-made Scandic boats is, that their price has elevated compared to their rivals from central Europe. However, if looking for about twenty years old boat, the price is not astronomical. Often the choice might be made between new (or almost new) central European boats, or 20+ years old Scandics. It is good to note, that this listing does not attempt to be a realistic list of options for us — especially as we are not searching for a new boat at the moment. Merely, the boats listed here are ones that have caught my eye somewhere, and I have wanted to find more information on them.
|Press image by: Baltic Yachts|
In production 1984—2001. One example on sale (in USA) at 88 000 €.
|Press image by: HR|
In HR34, I like especially the simple fractional rig, which is supported exceptionally well. The 28 hp engine is powerful, and tankage (water & fuel) is sufficient. I believe that she is an example of a rather small cruising boat, which is capable of taking her crew anywhere with comfort, style and relatively good speed. Furthermore, a tiller steering is a definite plus in a boat of this size.
+10 boats on sale in Europe, early models start from 90 000 €.
|Press image by: HR|
In production 1989—2003. +10 boats on sale in Europe, early models start from 100 000 €.
|Press image by: Malö Yachts|
Malö 36 is a very beautiful looking boat, dedicated purely for comfortable cruising lifestyle. The targa arch is a trademark feature for Malös and together with the windshield, makes the cockpit very well protected. Furthermore, because the mainsheet traveler is located on the arch, the cockpit is also mostly line-free.
Malö 36 was in production 1996 - 2006. Three boats on sale, prices from 195 000 €.
Nautor's Swan 36 (Frers)
This 'Baby Swan' is actually almost 37 ft long, but was named after the classic Swan 36 (S&S). Her large cabin wraparound skylights make the new Swan 36 distinguishable in the Swan family. This model has caused some controversy among sailing folks, but I have always liked the rather modern looks of this boat.
Tankage is sufficient for most cruising sailors, but still less than half compared to the HR 36. The cockpit is large compared to some earlier Swans, and there is no bridge deck in front of the companionway. The hull is solid hand-laid fiberglass, which is a definite plus in my opinion.
Swan 36 was in production 1988—1996. Two boats on sale, asking prices 114 000 & 145 000 €.
Sweden Yachts 340
|Image by: Yachtworld.com|
Five boats on sale, asking prices between 56 000 € — 116 000 €.
This listing does not attempt to be conclusive in anyway. What is common for all of the boats listed here, is that they are sturdy boats, designed especially for offshore. Also, another common feature is a beautifully made teak or mahogany wooden interior, which is typical for almost all Nordic boats – when down below, one has basically no idea of being inside a plastic boat. However, otherwise the boat's design philosophies differ quite a lot; for example the Baltic 35 is a Cruiser/Racer of the 80s, whereas HR 36 and Malö 36 are purely designed for cruising lifestyle.
What is your dream boat or have you already got one? What boat(s) should be included in the list? It would be also interesting to hear suggestions of non-Scandinavian boats, which are less known here.