An Antique Tumlaren Yacht With a Unique Past
the transition from the pre-war school of yacht design took
place, a few marine architects managed to make a name for themselves
in both old and new eras. After fiberglass hulls, synthetic
materials and new racing rules came into existence after World
War II it was Olin Stephens and Knud Reimers who left their
marks as premier yacht designers. Each had a tremendous effect
on the world of boats. Olin Stephens has been the subject of
many articles and is a well known name in yachting circles being
the founder of the yacht design firm of Sparkman and Stephens.
Less well known, but perhaps just as important a designer,
Knud Reimers began working in 1932 for the Swedish marine
architect and boat racer Gustaf Estlander in Stockholm. When
Estlander died, the 24-year-old Reimers took over the practice
and promptly sold six 22-meter skerry cruisers to the Detroit
Yacht Club. He later drew plans for the great 75-meter skerry
cruiser Bacchant that furthered his burgeoning reputation
as a designer of fast cruiser/racers.
Reimers drew boats with a high degree of engineering detail.
An example of his engineering genius was a three bladed propeller
that rotated and fed the generator under sail which he included
on a mahogany eighty-footer sold to Giovanni Agnelli of the
Italian Fiat Company. But the high point of his life probably
came when he won the Fasnet Race in his own Anitra design.
Reimers went on to design the Tumlaren class in 1933 to marry
the Koster boat, longish and narrow, with the speed potential
of a Scandinavian skerry cruiser. Fleets of this 27ft. boat
and her larger sisters, the stor Tumlaren, eventually numbered
over 600 and were found in 24 countries around the world.
The Tumlaren's characteristics are her very easy fore and
aft lines along with the water-lines and buttocks being very
easy throughout. They were, like all Reimers boats, designed
on diagonals, all of which cut the sections squarely a great
value for the builder for laying down and fairing up, according
Uffa Fox, the great British yacht designer, called the Tumlaren
"the most advanced type of cruiser in the world." The balance
and beauty of the characteristic bow and gracefully rounded
stern coined the British usage of "Tumlaren stern" and similar
nautical expressions. "Her concept was unusual and might take
a while to catch on, for it takes years to break the habits
and ideas that have grown and become accepted by sailors the
world over", Fox noted. But it was only four years after her
design that fleets were being established as far away as the
Royal St. Kilda Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay in Australia
- with class rules adjusted locally to allow spotted gum tree
Another Englishman, Adlard Coles, after owning the Tumlaren
Zara, had a stor-Tumlaren (big Tumlaren) built. She
was the 32 -foot COHOE which he captained to win the
1950 Transatlantic Race. Like those of her smaller sisters,
COHOE's design points were a long waterline and a soft
tuck to the garboard and aft section that seemed to wipe out
the deadening quarter wave of many a meatier double-ender.
COHOE is a sister ship to Penofin's Tumlaren, Egret.
The stor-Tumlaren Egret (ex-Dolphin), is 31ft.
9 in., with a beam of 7ft. 5 in. and a keel depth of 5'6".
Her lines were lofted on the floor at Jensen's boatyard in
Denmark in 1939 and built of Nordic pine that was copper fastened
to oak frames with a mahogany deck sheer and house. With a
small, single cylinder diesel, her gross displacement is 9500
pounds. Egret's 48ft. bright Sitka Spruce mast has
a decided aft-rake to it as well as being beautifully curved
aloft. The mast is adjusted by two running backstays and an
adjustable main backstay. By tightening the adjustable backstays,
one can flatten the mainsail when needed. This old-style fractional
rig with two spreaders and a jump spreader and has proven
effective and weatherly, seldom needing a reef in heavier
She has an unusual aft cockpit with just enough room to hold
the helmsman. The main sheet is attached to a traveler on
a wooden strongback that separates the aft cockpit from the
main cockpit. The interior accommodations are Spartan with
full length settee berths port and starboard and a v-berth
forward the mast, allowing her to sleep four. Aft the port
settee is a small alcohol stove with storage lockers. Additional
storage lockers are to starboard. Beautiful mahogany wood
is fully restored using Penofin
Marine Oil Finish that was wet-sanded to achieve a hand-rubbed
look. Her lovely exterior paint scheme is Chesapeake Green
on the topsides, white bootstripe on the waterline, and black
Hoisting the main and genoa is a task accomplished without
mast winches, as the rig is simple and functional. Two jib-sheet
winches and the old Swedish compass complete this very original
craft. The Egret loves to have a rail under water and
uses the power from a 120% genoa and the extremely tall mainsail
to drive to windward easily with little weather helm.
Egret's 1994 survey found "this well built classic
boat has been lovingly cared for and is in exceptionally nice
condition." Her hailing port is Newport Beach, California
at the Balboa Bay Club where she serves as the Penofin
Marine Oil Finish vintage wooden sailboat.