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Sold: 37ft. 22 SQUARE METRE CLASS RACER – restored to full racing specification – Lying: Wales


37ft. 22 SQUARE METRE RACER, number 297, designed by Avrid Laurin and built in 1949.


“Successful former class champion, restored to full racing specification in 2014. Currently laid-up in storage at World of Boats, Cardiff Bay. Seriously for sale and requiring some re-commissioning, offers invited”


Boat Details

Overall Length: 37ft 3ins
Waterline: 27ft
Beam: 6ft 6ins
Draught: 4ft 6ins
Displacement: Not known
Engine: None
Berths: Racing Accommodation
Sail: 22 square metre rig
Designer: Arvid Laurin
Builder: Swedish
Year Built: 1949
Location: Wales


In 1907, the Swedish Sailing Federation established a committee to design a national racing yacht class. Previous handicap rules had tended to be very simple and boats had evolved to be very fast and extreme racing machines, which were perceived as unsafe and impractical. Recently developed other options were the Universal rule (also called ‘American rule’) and the International Metre rule, neither of which were seen as fully satisfactory by the Swedish Sailing Federation. The committee completed its proposal the following year. It was accepted as the first Square Metre Rule: yachts were to be classed by their sail area which was fixed. In addition, there were minimum requirements for weight and cabin measurements. Four new classes were originally accepted: 22m², 30m², 45m² and 55m² classes. Soon, new classes were to follow: 38m² class in 1912; 15m², 75m², 95m², 120m² and 150m² classes in 1913; finally in 1915, 38m² and 45m² classes were combined to new 40m² class. The new rule became very popular within the Baltic region; between 1907 and 1920, Finnish yards alone built some 600 Square metre rule yachts. During peak years, Skerry cruisers made up 95 percent of the yards’ output. They were also exported to other European countries and the USA.

150m² Skerry cruiser Singoalla , designed by Gustaf Estlander, on Kanholmsfjärden in 1922.

The Square Metre rule was much less restrictive than competing International Rules. The relatively loose set of rules allowed previously built boats into the new classes if their rigging was modified to comply with the rules. They also gave designers relatively free hand, and top designers like the Finns Gustaf Estlander and Zake Westin soon came up with very extreme designs which pushed contemporary sailboat technology to its limits. Development was dramatic: for example, whilst early 40m² boats tended to be around 9 to 10 metres long, in 1923 Westin designed a 40m² boat which was 15.2 metres long and had a beam of only 1.74m a length to beam ratio of nearly 9 to 1. An often-cited example as some sort of pinnacle of the rule was the 150m²  Singoalla , designed by Estlander in 1919 and claimed to have been the fastest boat in the Baltic: Uffa Fox had the dubious pleasure of surfing this boat at 14 knots and claimed afterward that it followed the waves “”like a sea serpent””
This development quickly led to diminishing popularity of the Square Metre rule as these extreme hulls were perceived simply as too weak and uncomfortable to ride. 30m² and 40m² classes were accepted to the 1920 Summer Olympics, but only a handful of boats participated. Meanwhile, International Rule had been revised in 1919 and in their new form became very popular, soon supplanting the Square Metre rule boats in the international arena and Olympic regattas.

As weaknesses of the original rule became apparent, the Swedish Sailing Federation enacted a number of modifications from 1916 onwards. Construction standards became much more strict and classes had minimum freeboard and maximum lengths defined. The Rule also specified new minimum measurements for internal space, to ensure that boats would have adequate room for accommodations. This is in contrast to International Rule designs where cabins are not required. The final revision of the rule was issued in 1925. It is still in effect with only minor later changes.


As with many other sailing handicap and construction rules, the Square Metre rule fell in popularity as its weaknesses were discovered. However, in its revised form it has proved to be enduring and new boats following the rule are still built today. The internationally most active classes are the 22m² and 30m². Larger classes are mostly boats built prior to the 1925 rule and generally only found in the Baltic, where they are dutifully cared for by enthusiasts. Although it was never quite as widespread as the International Rule, the Square Metre rule has a devoted following in many countries. Strongholds of the rule have traditionally been Sweden, Finland and Germany, which also had national Square Metre rule boats, known as  Seefahrtkreuzer . Many German square metre boats were confiscated by the British during and after World War II and transferred to Britain, where they became known as ‘Windfall’ yachts.

In addition, the Square Metre rule produced a number of related one-design and construction classes, which usually were an attempt to design a cheaper alternative to high-end yachts. These include Swedish Mälar boats (M15, M22, M25 and M30), Finnish Nordic 22, ‘B’ class Skerry cruisers and others. Some other early one-design classes, such as the Haishow obvious Skerry cruiser influence. Swede 55 and Swede 41 yachts were also based on Square Metre boats.

CHADRAK was designed by the famous naval architect Arvid Laurin (1901-1998) she raced successfully in Sweden during the 1950s and 60s before coming over to the UK.

Restored over a number of years and re-commissioned in 2014.
Mahogany hull on pine timbers, copper fastened, laid decks and mahogany brightwork. Lead ballast fin keel. New Collar Sitka Spruce mast and spars, new rod rigging.
Coachroof affords racing accommodation, sail stowage and over-night berths during regattas.
Set of Dacron sails includes:
No 1 Main Sail
No 2 Main Sail
No 1 Genoa
No 2 Genoa
No 3 Genoa
Storm Jib
Spinnaker Pole
Anchor, chain & warp

One of a number of 6 Metre, 22 Metre and 30 Metre yachts currently listed on brokerage.

Contact us for more information or to arrange an appointment to view.


LYING: Wales