“The boat always finds her owner”. A kind of cheesy and stretched saying, but a true one. I use to tell this my own clients, or let´s say, the leads and contacts I talk to in my professional life as a yacht salesman and Beneteau dealer: It is impossible to talk somebody into buying a boat. You cannot sell a yacht like some bread or a phone contract. People have to fall in love with a boat. Only then you can talk serious business. Boats aren´t sold: Boats always “talk” to people. If they fall I love with the brands I sell, it´s perfect: My job is to dress the bride. If they aren´t touched by our boats, well, that´s the way it is. I´m not spared from this. As an owner, I go through this same process. Maybe more intensive than an ordinary sailor, but for me, it´s the same. Even as a “pro”, I am no exception.
You may have followed my journey from buying my first boat, a 1975 built Finnish King´s Cruiser 33 GRP-classic all the way through a refit odyssey to buying a brand new boat, the Seascape-made Beneteau First 27 SE “GEKKO”, which for several reasons I sold last year (not light hearted indeed!). And because a life without boat is worthless, I was seeking a new project the day I sold GEKKO which I thought would be the marvelous First 36. But, as it is the way with falling in love (or not), something wasn´t quite right, or let´s say, something didn´t feel quite right and so I postponed my purchase. I took some time to think. An re-think. And think it over again. Not to force a decision but rather to seek inspiration. And finally, here we are. A decision has been made at last.
Falling in love
A few weeks ago I shook hands – and thus made a contract – with a small Northern German yard. Admitting my “love” and reaching a mutual understanding with the producer about a project we are now finally launching. It was worth taking my time and not hastily drag myself into the next boat adventure. Now I know that I am really in love and the focus of my emotions is a boat I truly and deeply want to own. Heiner, CEO of the Mueritz Bootsservice-yard, immediately felt my connection with the boat he has to offer. And here we are, it is done: The building of the Omega 42 hull number #002 can begin.
It was a long road I took to my decision. An idea that arose from a small seed planted in my head (just like in the famous Christopher Nolan classic “Inception”) many years ago. Back in 2018 I first visited Heiner after a dear friend of mine gave me the hint that something “very special” was in the making there. No less than the “most beautiful Swedish boat ever designed”. I immediately understood that this Omega 42 indeed was something very special. Since then, this slim, long, tall-rigged and legendary Omega 42 didn´t let me go.
A classic. A legend.
Peter Norlin was one of the most prolific and talented Swedish naval architects and boat designers of the “Golden Age” of the Seventies until the late 90ies. His boats determined the look of the legendary brand Sweden Yachts, his inventions like the Scampi 30 or even the scow bow paved the way for modern yachts designed even today. Many of the Albin Express boats are still sailing and the heritage of Norlin will forever be thought of with awe and respect. His masterpiece, many agree on that, is indeed the Omega 42.
When I visited the Lake Mueritz in early 2023 to get a final and last impression of the yard and Heiner´s team, an original Omega 42 was on winter storage at the yard. Originally built by Vindö of Sweden, some 160 units had been made between late 1979 and 1998. The lines of the hull are breathtaking: If there is something like a sloop-rigged small sailboat resembling the spirits of the fast Clipper ships, then it must be the Omega 42!
Heiner´s yard has made itself something of a name within the Omega 42-community. His revival of the boat, his engagement with the Omega 42 Club in Sweden and the introduction of his adapted version of Omega 42 has reached a broad audience: The Omega 42 you see in the picture above was transported throughout the whole of Germany from the very southern end out of Lake Constance to the North just to be refitted and maintained by Heiner´s crew. Shipping a boat by heavy duty truck transport over more than one thousand kilometers is not a cheap undertaking … and speaks for the trust the owners in Germany have into the quality work of this small shipyard.
May I introduce: My Omega 42
Finally, my intensive conversations with Heiner, my understanding of his work ethics, his beliefs and his principles convinced me that he would be the one capable and willing to build a boat that will be something very extraordinary. A boat that fits exactly my demands, my dreams and my expectations. For the start, hull number #002 already physically exists and this is a great asset to work with. Back in the day, when Heiner had launched the Omega 42-project, he had two hulls built in Sweden, number #001 is finished and already sailing, “my” hull ready to be fitted.
Just for my visit the crew of the yard had taken away the winter storage tarp to allow a full inspection of the hull, a ladder was prepared to give me the chance to climb inside. The hull is made with a foam core and modern production techniques, making it already a bit lighter than the original hand laminated boats which are all above 8 tons displacement. Heiner´s Omega 42 will be floating around 7.5 tons.
She is a sheer beauty, although weather and surroundings wasn´t that nice, the grace of Peter Norlin´s lines are visible even in this raw piece of roughly shaped GRP. Together with the hull the boat also has a deck – no hatches fitted as of now – and the principal bulkheads as well. In this, the first step of our project will be finding a principal strategy and fitting plan for the boat: And my aim is to make her as “no frills” as it can be.
Climbing up the ladder and peering into the cockpit I realize how big this yacht really is: 42 feet or 12.80 meters are quite a chunk! Even though the boat is much, much narrower than modern yachts and even though the cockpit itself is a very cramped place, the boat is huge. I loved the high coamings, the even higher entrance into the cockpit (which in fact a bit reminded me of GEKKO) and, as I said at the start of this article, something about the boat touches me very deep inside.
A big boat – a long road to go
But it´s still a long, very long road to go indeed! Before Heiner can start the fitting process, we will have to plan her interiors: Which wood to choose? Which colors to go for? Corian? Galley fittings, electric and electronics (I want an easy and a less-electronics-as-possible-approach) and so on. In this, we agreed on a kickoff-meeting in the coming weeks when spring work with Heiner´s winter storage clients is done and the yard is ready for summer projects.
I am looking forward to a classy, very classy layout, possibly a nice big quarter berth, a thorough head and a nice ship-like interior design. I also look forward to helping organize the essential parts for the boat like Diesel-engine (Volvo Penta), the rigging (which will most certainly be from Seldén) and the B&G-equipment. Sails will be made by Quantum of course and so the list grows with every time I think about it. Regarding the schedule, I am pretty relaxed: I don´t “need” a boat as fast as possible. Through my job I have the privilege to sail the boats of our clients regularly, be it handovers or delivery cruises. I have also been offered a “proper sea trial” in Omega 42 #001 WINDFÄNGER by her owner at the beginning of May just to get a feeling for this boat, an offer I will be glad to take.
What is next?
So what is next? I guess the real work will start in late spring and I suppose we will have a christening party some time spring again around next year. I will of course accompany the building process of the boat thoroughly and invite you to follow this journey as my dear reader – just bookmark this website or this hashtag #omega42. But there´s more than that. Together with Heiner I agreed to help him spreading the word of the revived Omega 42-project. As his company not only has bought two hulls of the boat but also the rights to use the brand name and the most essential part, the hull mould, there are more Omega 42 boats possible for more people who like me fell in love with Norlin´s masterpiece.
So, if you happen to fall in love with this classic, slim, fast and addictive ship just like I did, don´t hesitate to contact me or Heiner directly to ask for more information. I will be happy to help, explain, arrange meetings and show what it is all about. I am happy to share all building steps, insights and details with you and connect your purchase intention with the shipyard for a professional offer or quote.
But for now I admire the great half model of Norlin´s beauty, open the computer-folder on my desktop with all the pictures of my new boat almost every day staring at the raw hull, thinking of the things to come and dreaming myself away aboard her. Not so soon to arrive, but as another saying goes: “Pleasant anticipation is the best joy there is.” I am looking so much forward to bring another legendary Omega 42 to life and realize a this dream-yacht of mine.
You may follow my journey to finishing this Omega 42 sailboat by bookmarking this hashtag #omega42
Rebirth of a Peter Norlin-legend: Omega 42
The napping Princess: Omega 42 in winter storage
What is it about this Scandinavian approach to making a sailboat?