Wasa 55 - a sailor's day dream               

 

 

Söderskär lighthouse, summer ' 05. N60o06.6' E025o24.4'

 

Many years with Senorita Helmsman develops one a particular taste for the way a boat should sail. Looking for a bigger boat, my eyes caught a Wasa 55 in Sweden. That was love at first sight (there is something to say about men in their 50's..).

 

Wasa 55 is a descendant of the traditional Scandinavian square-meter rule skerry cruisers: long, slim, with 55m2 of sail area, and 50% of weight in the keel. The lines of the hull came from Harry Becker's pen in early 70's, the basic idea as well as the deck and interior are from Leif Ängermark of what then became Wasa Yachts. She was designed to be a fast boat - and she still is.

 

The typical interior layout of Wasa 55 is best visible in the attached illustration. The possibilities for variations in a slim longish boat are limited. Mainly one decided between pullman beds or an L-sofa in the main cabin. Some d-i-y constructions have more variations.

There is standing room inside the main cabin, elsewhere a tall man has to bow down a bit. The guest room, behind the cockpit, has sitting height.

  

On the sailing side, s/y 'MyWay' offers following:

- 7/8 fractional rig, keel stepped Selden mast w. height of 17 m.

- 33 m2 main sail with full length battens; the boom is placed rather low.

- In summer '10, a Hoyt jib boom and a furling gennaker replaced the full size genoa headsails.

- the running backstays are lurking the helmsman's head behind the cockpit but are really needed first when the wind picks up

- tiller steering gives a good feel and fits this type of a boat

 

A good many of the Wasa 55s have been built in 'kits': the boat yard rented the forms and helped with the glass fiber work, made available pre-cut interior kits, etc. This kept the price at a competitive level. The details and the quality of finish were then up to the builder.

The builder and first owner of 'My Way', Viking Larsson, was a pilot at SAS, a meticulous man who quite obviously liked carpentering, and that shows in the interior and other details. He built the boat with his wife and daughter in ''77..''79, and the boat spent her first 22 years in SW of Sweden. She has the sail nr. 44.

 

After a dozen summers with her, following observations:

- a long slender boat sails well, as we know; the long waterline provides easy speed

- plenty of room for two, good space for four, and not crowded with six

- 44 ft, 6 tons and 55 m2 are at the upper limit of practical single-handed sailing: mooring and other operations have to be planned in advance with some thought, and even then you'll occasionally run short of hands

you'll get used to the 20o lean and have to accept an occasional 40o lean. On the other hand, a complete absence of broaches or running wild out of control...

- at anchor in wind, the long hull and fin keel result in an unpleasant sweeping around at the end of the anchor rode in an arc of 90o ; free room and a good anchor are needed.

- older boats always have something in the need of fixing. The list of modifications, fixes and improvements is long - and getting longer.

 

The word is that 67 of Wasa 55's have been completed; the latest from year 1984 carries the sail number S-69. W55's tend to stay quite long with their owners: this type of a boat has her supporters and, on the other hand, it is hard to get more sailing boat than this for a reasonable amount of money.

  

 

 

 

 

Example of an early interior layout

Link to interior pictures.

 Tests are telling..

 

Interest and skills of the builder resulted in a display shelf with engraved glassware.

Skipper's favorite position

Mods and fixes - exterior

Mods and fixes - interior

Other Wasa 55 sites:

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