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037 Gluckhauf

Gluckauf (Good Luck) is an International 30 square metre class sloop designed by Rasmussen and built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1929. This type of yacht is known as a ‘Skerry Cruiser’ which is a mistranslation of the Swedish word Skargardskryssare which means a boat that is fast tacking in the skerry (archipelago).

The square metre rule was adopted in 1908 and only fixed the sail area allowing the hull to be totally free for the designer to produce the fastest hull for a given power (sail area). During the early 1920’s, the hulls became excessively long and narrow (one of these yachts was 44’-0” LOA x 5’-9” beam) and the rule was changed in 1925 to place some restrictions on principal dimensions and displacement. As a second rule” boat, Gluckauf is one of the smallest built at 38’-0” LOA x 6’-5” beam and hence by 30 square metre standards is not extreme - even so she has earned the nickname ‘The Flying Toothpick’ in local regattas!

If it had not been for Uffa Fox, we may never have seen these wonderful yachts in the UK as the IYRU rule boats such as the 6 and 8 metres were already well established by the early to mid 1930’s. Uffa, with his love for light displacement easily driven hull forms was typically outspoken in his admiration for the ‘skerry cruiser’ classes. (He was once heard to say ‘Weight is only of use to the designers and builders of steamrollers’!)

In his second book published in 1935 Uffa lamented the fact that no 30-squares were to be found in British waters despite them being ‘exactly what is wanted for the rough waters generally found around the British coast.’ He made a very interesting but perhaps somewhat biased comparison between a typical 30’s and a typical 6 metre. Uffa observed that building costs would therefore be two-thirds of that of a 6-metre and running costs about one half. This, together with the advantages of having a cabin and still ‘being faster vessels than the 6- metres’ made Uffa remark that ‘the 30’s are a far finer instrument with which a yachtsman can show and express his sailing ability than the long-keeled 6-metres.’ He went on to analyse a number of race results over a series of 60 races held in Scandinavia and Germany to illustrate his point.

The 1938 season saw no less that eighteen 30-square metres registered to the newly formed British 30-Square Metre Association, with fleets developing on the Clyde and in the Solent. Of these, ‘Sea Swallow’ and ‘Sunmaid’ were designed and built by Uffa, and ‘Fara’ designed and built by Arthur Milne at the Bute Slip and Dock yard on the Clyde. Other boats were imported - ‘Teal’ and ‘Austral’ being of Nilsson design, ‘Avocet’, ‘Cin-que’ and ‘Hexan’ of Reimers design and ‘Tre-Sang’ a Becker design. They all behaved differently – the Reimers boats being good all rounders, and ‘Tre-Sang’ being the heavy weather boat.

The great post war surprise, was the success of ‘Tre-Sang’ in the 1946 Royal Ocean Racing Club small class division. ‘Tre-Sang’ was skippered by the charismatic Lieut. Col. ‘Blondie’ Hasler DSO, OBE, RM. What completely confounded the critics was that ‘Tre-Sang’, ‘one of those toothpick boats with their long low hulls and tiny rags of sails’ won all her races in hard weather and was able to keep on sailing when her larger rivals had to heave-to and in some cases abandon the races finding the weather too much for them. Between November 1945 and August 1946 ‘Tre-Sang’,(K-314) sailed over 2,600 miles of open ocean winning three of the six RORC races she entered. In doing so she won the Class III Championship and the Ortec Cup.

The “30’s” are still a flourishing class with new boats very occasionally being built in Scandinavia and in Bodenzee (Lake Constance). Two Knud Reimers designs of the 1940’s are produced in GRP, and for the well-heeled lovers of true beauty, several cold moulded hulls have been built over the past two decades.

The history of Gluckauf (her original name) has not been easy to trace. At least 4 yachts of this name were built which suggests that her original owner was a “30’s” fanatic. She was based in Flensberg in the 1970’s as ‘Diana’ before being renamed ‘Kuky’ and sheathed in yellow GRP sometime prior to 1993 when her previous German owners acquired her. At that time she had been re-decked but photographs show her being transported by tractor on an ancient trailer with much of her centre structure missing and with her lead keel strapped down beside her! Unlike so many yachts of her type, Gluckauf has no iron frames or floors (and no associated galvanic action!). The original owner was a mine owner – Gluckauf although there is no exact translation was a term of greeting exchanged by opposite shifts at the pit head – ‘Good Luck on your shift – hope you come up again. (quite appropriate really!)’

The previous owners began restoration in March 1994. From a detailed photographic record of the restoration the GRP sheath was removed, the hull splined, the centre structure rebuilt, keel refitted and a replacement rudder made. She was re-launched in Bodenzee in August 1996 and now races with a modern rig.

Gluckauf was bought by the present owners in the Spring of 2002 and was trailed back from Germany behind a Land Rover Discovery. At about 2.5 tonnes displacement she can be towed legally using an over-run braked trailer which is a great practical advantage although negotiating country lanes with a 38’ load has it’s moments!

Gluckauf possibly got her first taste of the open sea in 2002 and she obviously enjoys it. She is a delight to sail, being very responsive and with deeper bow sections and narrower counter is less prone to slamming than a Dragon. She is, however, still a sailing submarine and snorkel and goggles are advised, particularly if you are nominated foredeck hand!

Each alternative year 30 squares congregate together for the “European Championships” – the Europa Cup. We took Gluckauf back to Bodensee in 2006 and enjoyed the event tremendously – 2008 is the centenary year of the square metre rule and the Europa Cup is hosted by the Royal Swedish Sailing Club in Stockholm in August……….. Guess who will be there!



Yacht Description


Andy & Eri King




International 30 Sq M

Year Designed:


Year Built:



Abeking & Rasmussen


11.78 m

xx ft


11.78 m

xx ft


1.96 m

xx ft


1.65 m

xx ft


7.65 m

xx ft

LOD/LWL Ratio:



2.5 tonnes

Thames Measurement:


Hull Material:


Hull Construction:


Hull Frames:

Grown and Laminated


Keel Hung

Sail Material:


Deck & Superstructure:

Laid Deck

Superstructure Profile:

Coach Roof


Stripped Racing Boat




Aft Sloping Counter Stern



Engine Make:


Engine HP:


Engine Mounted:




Propeller Blades:


Mast Material:


Mast Configuration:

2 spreaders

Keel Configuration:


Keel Material: