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Saving a Jewel

Swedish Wooden Boats Association

Föreningen Svenska Träbåtar

Since the late 1800s Sweden has had a proud tradition of designing and constructing racing yachts and leisure boats made of wood. The highest quality materials, attention to detail and innovation are all hallmarks of Swedish boatbuilding. However, today many of the great masterworks are gone – lost or, even worse, sent to the scrapyard.


Renovation can be costly for an old boat in a poor state of repair, hence many historic yachts have been broken up or gone up in flames. Nevertheless a number of crown-jewels survive, and there’s an increased interest in restoring these cultural treasures. As a result, the opportunities and knowhow needed for such renovation projects are growing. Very often this is thanks to knowledgeable enthusiasts who freely give their time and advice.


More difficult is reaching those boats which were sold and disappeared overseas. The market for Swedish classic boats has grown internationally, and many legendary Swedish treasures have disappeared. Luckily there are people searching for these vanished vessels, large and small, both at home and abroad. Hopefully in the coming years we can repatriate more of these boats, and track more of them down in Sweden too. Often they stand hidden and forgotten, in storage sheds under tarpaulins.


Princess Svanevit stood on land in poor condition at Hamble Marina in southern England – but now she is reborn. She’s come home again!


The ambition is to have Sweden’s wooden boatbuilding heritage included on Unesco’s World Heritage List.


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