News that Vitters Shipyard is fitting out the J Class Svea, takes the tally of formidable Js to nine. It also gives hope of seeing the biggest collection of J Class ever at the Bermuda America’s Cup event in 2017 – and perhaps six or more racing together for the first time!


Vitters Shipyard has announced that it is fitting out its first J Class yacht. The brand new 43.60m aluminum hull of the J Class Svea is the longest of the current fleet.

Svea is based on an original Tore Holm design from 1937, and is one of the most stunning Js yet to be built. It has since been reconfigured and styled by Hoek Design’s J supremo Andre Hoek.

The news comes at a time of resurgence in interest in the J Class in the build up to the showcase regatta that will form part of the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017.

And it follows soon after the launch of J8 Topaz from Holland Jachtbouw in June. Indeed it is hoped that Vitters will be able to complete the work in time for Svea to make the Bermuda regatta.

Can you imagine seeing six or more Js racing together? It could steal a hefty dose of thunder from the flying catamarans – but is equally a shrewd ‘foil’ to ensure all sailing enthusiasts tune into the event.

J Class Svea at Vitters

Ever since visiting the hull in its early months of initial construction at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw in early 2014, I have been silently hoping this project finds a willing owner. Even then the bare aluminium plating alone looked awesome.

Svea’s hull construction is based on longitudinals on web frames, with high tensile frames and Alustar hull plating. Today’s news confirms that Svea has found a new owner and that Vitters Shipyard will start with the fit out and systems shortly.

The Zwartsluis based yard is unfazed by big projects. It built the largest ketch in the world – the 85m Tripp design that launched last year – one of the largest sloops (66m Aglaia), and it refitted the 67m ketch Hetairos this year.

That Vitters uses a very efficient sub contractor model, fuels hope that the J Class Svea can be fitted out and launched in time for the Bermuda event. Few yards in the world are capable of completing a project of this size on this timescale.

Research by the Hoek Design office suggests that the design of J-S1 will be very capable, especially upwind. Swedish designer, sailor and boatbuilder Tore Holm was an expert in Metre racing yachts between 1920s and 1950s. He built 700 boats, won four Olympic medals himself, while five medals were won by boats he designed.

Svea’s interior will be designed by Pieter Beeldsnijder Designers & Naval Architects, and will have traditional styling in line with the overall character of the yacht. The client’s brief called for a change in the original deck arrangement, to accommodate the equipment used in modern J-Class racing.

When she launches, the J Class Svea will join the impressive current fleet of J Class yachts sailing: Shamrock V, Endeavour, Velsheda (all originals), plus Ranger, Hanuman, Lionheart (pictured below), Rainbow and Topaz.

Js racing 2

The J Class Svea project has been developed in close cooperation with Claasen Shipyards and Hoek Design and will be finished at Vitters Shipyard.
 We will be following it here keenly!