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So much more than a boat

Princess Svanevit (Princess Swan White) was built to put Sweden on the map as a yacht-racing, boatbuilding nation capable of the finest craftmanship. She was built with the idea “only the best is good enough,” hence the involvement of names like Estlander, Plym, Dahlskog och Knöppel. While built to be an exceptional boat, her future mission will make her into so much more



Princess Svanevit merits the description “so much more than a boat” for her interior decor alone. It is highly unusual for a racing yacht to be decorated inside like an art salon – as the exhibition at Liljevalchs art gallery in spring 2022 showed.


Uniquely Accessible

Princess Svanevit is owned by Princess Svanevit AB which in turn is owned by the Princess Svanevit Foundation, trustee for the donations which have made the project possible. Non-profit ownership provides a unique opportunity to champion and promote the many fantastic boats designed and built in Sweden. She will be shown at ports, harbours and sailing regattas around the Swedish coast and beyond. There should be opportunities to come aboard to witness the atmosphere and her fine interior. There will also be occasions when it will be possible to sail in her.


Boat for all of Sweden

Princess Svanevit will be so widely seen that she will become known as the “Boat of Sweden”. She will of course sail under the Swedish flag, but not the flag of any individual club. Instead she will fly a bunting of yacht club burgees representing all the clubs collaborating with her. When Princess Svanevit comes to visit it won’t be just to show her off – it will also be a chance for local harbours/clubs to showcase their own maritime heritage, and not only to those who are already interested in boats. While Princess Svanevit’s cultural significance extends beyond the sailing community, she won’t be stealing all the limelight. She will often be accompanied on her visits by other boats, and together they will be raising the profile of Sweden’s classic boat heritage.


Swedish craftsmanship

Princess Svanevit was constructed at Plym’s shipyard. Although almost half a century has passed since it closed, it’s still recognised as one of the world’s foremost. The peerless quality of her construction has been clear to see during the extensive restoration process. Both the hull and wood-inlay interior are being renovated in Sweden to the same original high quality. It is extremely important that these traditional boatbuilding and woodcraft skills not only survive but can thrive.


All can take part and contribute 

Princess Svanevit offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the survival of our classic and innovative boat heritage. All money raised by Princess Svanevit’s non-profit owner, the Association for Swedish Wooden Boats, will go towards renovating and outfitting the yacht. And when Princess Svanevit is sold, all proceeds will go towards the “Princess Svanevit Restoration Prize”. While details of the prize are yet to be finalised, every penny will go towards supporting and developing Sweden’s wooden boat heritage. It will support those who work to preserve classic boats – this being the core aim of the prize. There are various ways to contribute to this good cause – see under ”Your contribution is much welcome – this explains how!”



Princess Svanevit is also notable for being one of very few boats that have returned to the country after being sold overseas. Swedish classic boats are much sought after abroad, and many treasures have been lost over the years, for example to Germany, Holland, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Italy. Princess Svanevit will help to bolster the growing interest in these wonderful boats so that they can be preserved and kept in Sweden. The Swedish National Heritage Board’s recommendation of protected status for our land’s unfixed cultural heritage (such as boats) has yet to be considered by the Ministry of Culture. Båthistoriska Riksförbundet (National Boat Heritage Association), which together with Transporthistoriskt Nätverk (Transport Heritage Network) is working to secure such protection, has permission to use Princess Svanevit in any way appropriate in order to highlight the issue. A decade or so ago there were calls from Britain and Germany for Sweden’s classic boat designers and boatyards to be put on Unesco’s World Heritage List in recognition of their uniqueness. The aim is that the same calls should come from Sweden. It is not only new laws or regulations that are needed, but to engage those who are interested in these boats and wish to protect them – then they will remain in Sweden. Princess Svanevit, with her fascinating history and exceptional decor, is uniquely placed to draw people to the beauty and potential of classic boats. 




When Princess Svanevit is sold it’s hoped she will have contributed to the following:


Tax deductions for renovation work on classic boats (proposal from Båthistoriska Riksförbundet (National Boat Heritage Association)


Protection for unfixed cultural heritage (on the recommendation of the Swedish National Heritage Board to the Ministry of Culture)


Classic Swedish boatbuilders and boatyards included on Unesco’s World Heritage List


Tighter guidelines and rules for classic boatbuilders regarding the environment, workplace environment and certification (as pushed for by the profession itself)


A national fund in place to provide grants for renovating classic boats, as Norway has


A national group of expert advisors for assessing such renovations, again, as Norway has


Classic Boat Centres in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo – living museums where boats will be on display, renovated and stored during winter. These centres will have opportunities for apprentices, visiting craftsmen, and exchange programmes with other countries. As well as public viewing areas for watching the work in progress, the centres will have a reference library and café – all infused with the scent of linseed oil and tar. 


It’s no longer only dedicated enthusiasts who are interested in classic boats. Many people are now aware of their exceptional quality, even if in the past these boats have been valued more highly abroad than here in Sweden. Some of the treasures which have been sold overseas are now on their way home. Princess Svanevit’s future tours along the Swedish coast and the partnerships these will forge (with other boats, local clubs and associations) will make threats to this key part of Sweden’s heritage a national issue. We protect our common cultural heritage together. Exhibitions at Liljevalchs art gallery in Stockholm, Röhsska Museum of Craft and Design in Gothenburg, and at similar venues around Sweden, will underline the unique cultural value these classic boats possess.


Continued support for Sweden’s classic boat heritage in the form of the Princess Svanevit Restoration Prize.

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