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Notes about the Tumlaren

The Tumlare was first designed by Knud Reimers in 1933 for Bengt Kinde, a member of the Årsta Bay Yacht Club. He wanted a keelboat for cruising and racing in the Swedish archipelagos. The boat needed be relatively simple and inexpensive to build and to have good seaworthy capabilities. Subsequently, Reimers said he considered the Tumlare to be his best design.

The Tumlare was derived from the faster Square Meter racing yachts that where very popular in Scandinavia at the time. The Tumlare has a sharp bow and rounded stern hence the British expression "Tumlaren stern".

The interior accommodation is spartan, with full length settee berths port and starboard and a v-berth forward of the mast. This allows her to sleep four - just! Aft, the port bunk is normally equipped with a small alcohol stove and storage lockers. Additional storage lockers are found to starboard. But be prepared; headroom is 4'6".

Tumlaren were also designed and built in a bigger version, the Stor Tumlaren (meaning "Large Tumlaren").

Bengt Kinde's Tumlare No. 1, Aibe, was built in the Donald Johansson yard in Norrtälje. Aibe's hull was built of pine core with frames of oak and steel. Interior and superstructure were completed in mahogany.

The pleasing design, great performance and relatively low build cost made the Tumlaren a favourite and some 600 were built and/or sold in 24 countries. Reimers himself lost count of the number built. Some thirty boats were built in Sweden. The number and proliferation of these yachts was impressive. An American millionaire had a milking machine making company in Chicago and ordered 20 boats which he sold to those who bought his milking machines. In all, Americans purchased a total of 36 boats. As late as 1967, there were 13 Tumlaren in Chicago.

While Tumlaren were built in several countries, the key centres were Scandinavia, United States, United Kingdom and Australia. A register is being compiled and already we have some 150 listed.

The British fleet was kick-started by Uffa Fox who cajoled a group of sailors to order six which were delivered to the Aldeburgh Boatyard in 1935.

  • 25 Zest, for Roger de Quincey,
  • 26 Jill, for R.H.Pershouse
  • 27 Zara, for G.C. Pritt
  • 28 Vanda, for Col .Franklin
  • 29 Edith, for Graham Goodson
  • 30 Alert, for Sir Ernest Roney.

After WW2 only two of these were left; 28 now called Alacrity owned by Miss M.H.Roney and Alert now owned by Rees Martin. We currently have 19 on our register however there may be more.

The Boat

The Tumlare Specifications

Designer: Knud H Reimers
Original Drawing: 1933
Draught: 1.25m
LOA 8.30 m
LWL 6.65 m
Beam: 1.93 m
Depth: 1.27 m (lead keel)
Sail area: 20 m 2

The Rig

In keeping with the then Scandinavian designs Reimers gave the Tumlare a tall Bermudan rig, He appears to have modified it; in 1934 he shows double lower shrouds and no backstay while drawings from 1935 show a backstay and single lower shrouds and cap shrouds. Notes on Reimers' drawing show shroud chainplates located just in front of the mast whilst rigging chainplates sits just behind the mast. Pictures of Tumlaren often show that the lower shrouds are attached to the chain plates behind the mast. Moreover, in 1935 Reimers moved the forestay. The J distance was initially 1700mm but subsequently increased to 2000 mm.