Friday, July 3, 2015

Header Photo: 30 Sq. Meter/ Skerry Cruiser

A first for Earwigoagin; I put a keelboat up on the header photo. This is a 30 square meter, a type also commonly referred to as a Skerry Cruiser, and to my eye, the various square meter sizes are the prettiest of yachts with long, long, overhangs, low freeboard, and efficient rigs. (I have always found large overlapping jibs to be photogenic.)

Alden Smith put a comment up about this photo and. in reply I realized I didn't know the history of the square meter rule. So a quick tour around the Internet turned up a couple of factoids.
  • The rule originated in Sweden in 1907 as a reaction to the perceived rigidity of the International Meter rule. The current rule, administered by the Swedish Classification Board, traces back to 1925 with some tweaks along the way.
  • It is based on a sail area rule, the square meter is the sail measurement of the class though this is somewhat deceiving as only 85% of the jib foretriangle is measured, hence the extreme overlapping jibs to get free sail area.
  • There were a bunch of classes from 15 sq. m. up to 150 sq. m. but the two that survive in some numbers today are the 22 sq. m. and the 30 sq. m..
  • If you want to dig in deeper, as usual, the best place to start is the Wikipedia page.
There was a good number of 22 sq. m.'s that were either imported or were built in the United States and several years ago I came across one being restored in Annapolis. Unfortunately I've forgotten who the owner was.

Sea State Marine, out of Missouri, of all places, (their blog is part of my blog list) is in the process of restoring a 1929 sq. m. Kippis, a Skerry Cruiser that was sitting in a barn in Missouri. Some, but not all, of Sea State Marine's blog posts on the 22 sq. m. rebuild can be found here.


JP said...

The square metre rule yachts are lovely - I crewed one during the 100th anniversary regatta in Sweden:

Tweezerman said...

Cap JP,

Thanks for the link. Very nice video included of some very pretty Classics.

Click here to see Cap JP's post about the Square Meter Centenary Regatta.

Tom said...

Rod, my BB10 meter boat is a modern version of a 30 square meter boat. The Skerry Cruiser class is alive and well and the boats are very pretty in an elongated way. They are light displacement and do well off the wind. They are not the lead mines that the INternational Rule (6,8,12m) boats are. A median rule created the 5.5 boats - very lovely sailing keelboats with reasonably light displacement.
I remember one that lived at a slip alongside of the Weems Creek bridge in the 1970s. She sank over the winter and you could see her under the ice on her side all winter. She never came up.
One lived at PSA on the Magothy on a mooring and was a successful Racing Division boat. Her half hull is mounted in the Club house. She was called Vigilant - but I don't think she was the same 22 sq m boat that Uffa Fox "cruised" over to Sweden to race.

Tweezerman said...


I wondered when you would chime in, you being probably the greatest devotee of skinny keelboats in my circle of friends. I didn't know your BB10 used the Skerry Cruiser for inspiration. There is also a small 20' production daysailor called Scandinavian Cruiser, also based loosely on the Skerry Cruiser concept, which I've seen at the Annapolis Sailboat show.