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More about the Bostrom 37

Some history and opinions.

Welcome to the Sailin' Fool.

This web site exists to introduce my cruising sailboat, describe it, and give people a place to go to see pictures and learn more about the Bostrom 37, a Swedish offshore beauty. I have reluctantly put the boat up for sale. I know I will regret it. But right now my plans have taken a detour (no, not the stock market!), meaning that I might not be able to take the cruise that I had prepared it for. I am agonizing over the decision right now. And as anyone who knows anything about boats will tell you, there is nothing worse for a boat than to be unused. So, rather than hold onto my boat in anticipation of the day when I will be able to sail off, I feel I may have to pass it on to someone who will use it for what it was designed for. On this page I will fully describe the vessel and then you can go to other pages for pictures and a list of all the upgrades and gear. During the course of creating this page I figured it would be fun to add some of my own personal feedback based on my own experiences. Who knows.....somebody may actually get an idea here. BE FOREWARNED HOWEVER. LIKE ANY SAILOR I WEAR MY OPINIONS ON MY SLEEVE.

The Bostrom 37, as you will see from the pictures, is a sleek, hybrid center-cockpit sloop. It was built by Porali Marin in Sweden in 1981, hull #227 out of 300, with Lloyds certification. Porali Marin, to this day, builds the hulls for Hallberg-Rassy. That's right! Rassy sub-contracts their hulls out to Porali. And if you look at the cockpit of the Bostrom (designed by Bruno Bostrom) you will see that it is almost exactly a Rassy cockpit. That is where the "hybrid" comes in.

The way that Rassy, Bostrom, and Najad designed their cockpits was a split between a traditional North American center-cockpit and an aft-cockpit. It is just far enough forward to make an aft cabin and to be safer from being pooped, but not so far forward as to make it a wet boat. It is, and I have felt this for many years, the ideal cockpit design. (and experience has shown that it is; you havent seen Rassy change their cockpit design since their beginning have you?) And guess what? Only the Swedes do this to my knowledge. Well, you could say that the Westerly and Contest are similar, but they really are farther forward. And don't even talk to me about Westerly being a quality boat. What a joke! OK, compared to a Irwin they are a quality boat. And I used to like the Westerly, because of the offshore cockpit, until I got to see what they looked like after 15 years. The Brits are great at style, but frequently they lose it on the quality control. Just ask any Jaquar owner. They look good, but don't hold up. Look at the gelcoat crazing, the rotting, falling down headliners, the chalked and crumbling Treadmaster non-skid. Hey, it's my homepage and I'll call it as I see it. It is simply what I've seen on several mid-eighties Westerlys.

To my knowledge the Bostrom was never exported to the US. The only ones to make it here were sailed over. So they are unknown in the US. But they are very well known in Scandinavia. They were built for the Baltic, the North Sea, the Atlantic...... all oceans. They are way over-built, but not heavy. (17,600 lbs out of the factory, about 21,000 lbs now) The pro who did my standing rigging told me the boat was designed to take a 360 rollover and come back up with its' rig intact!! I was very impressed with that.

In actuality only the cockpit is reminiscent of Rassy; the rest of the design is more Swan and Najad. This makes for a fast and roomy boat. (especially with a beam of 12'10") The Bostrom is typical of this design in that it has a large aft stateroom with an inside walk-thru.

A BRIEF DETOUR about Najad because I am so impressed with them. There is virtually not a boat made anywhere in North America or Asia that can hold up to the quality control and perfectionism of a number of Scandinavian manufacturers, and Najad is one of them. (Yes, yes I know some of you are about to exit my website right now because I have just insulted your Hinckleys, Morris', Pacific Seacrafts', Island Packets', Bristols', Little Harbors', Shannons', Valiants', etc.) But just remember that Olin Stephens himself said he wouldn't go to sea in a centerboarder (ie; Hinkley, Morris), and ask older Valiant owners about their blister problems....probably the worst the industry has ever seen. Pacific Seacraft makes a salty boat but for the length it is small inside. And while by all accounts the other above mentioned yachts are well-made, as a total package the Scandinavian boats are better still. Look at the stainless.....untouchable! Look at the little things like the plastics, vinyls, plumbing and wiring, fasteners, the CAULKING!!......, and then the big things like their immaculate glas and gelcoat work. They just don't cut corners, and they design boats for all oceans. Hell, they have to have a great boat just to make it to Spain!! OK, back to Najad.

This boat......whew! It is damn near perfect! The design, the construction, the detail, the liveability, the strength. If you ever get the chance to see one you will be amazed. However, there is one design aspect of the Najad that I question; on the 39 that I saw recently (probably a mid-eighties) I noticed that the mast was literally on the foredeck, in front of the coaming!! The mast was so far forward that I had to figure out why they designed it like this. Apparently they needed to do this in order to balance the boat. But I have to assume that this means the mainsail is huge ( I couldn't tell because the boom wasn't on at the time), a mistake in my book. It is the complete opposite of the Bostrom, and this is just another area where I get to toot my horn. The Bostrom has a tall, narrow main which makes short-handed sailing a lot easier. Here's why.

There is nothing worse than wrestling a huge main in a blow, and on a boat that is largely powered by the main it means that in order to keep up speed THE MAIN MUST BE REEFED/UNREEFED REGULARLY. Why design a cruising sailplan this way? It's stupid. Bruno Bostrom to me was a genius. He took all the good things from Rassy, Swan, and Najad and rolled them into one design. Or, since he must have designed the Bostrom 37 in the mid-70's, it is quite possible that they stole ideas from him. I'd like to know the answer to that one.

He put most of the power of the Bostrom into the foresail. The main is tall and narrow, easily reefed, often not even used. With the Profurl I frequently just use the jib, and when I do use the main I am not in danger of being suddenly overpowered because I can roll-up the jib quickly to reduce sail. Most sailboats develop weatherhelm under jib alone and I fully expected this when first flying the jib alone, but I wanted to experiment anyway. Don't ask me why because I don't know, but the boat sails perfectly balanced under 135% furling jib alone, reaching 6-7 knots in 15-20knots of wind. I set the Fleming and full jib and forget about it, upwind or down. Its a godsend. The other benefit of the tall rig is that a large spinnaker can be flown if so desired. I don't like messing with a spinnaker so it doesn't help me.

As I am writing this I am having second thoughts about selling "Blue Traveler" simply because I have come to realize over the 2-1/2 years that I have owned it that it is not only a near-perfect combination of design ideas, but irreplaceable. You cannot, I cannot, go out and find a boat like this, in this condition, outfitted as completely as it is, for this price. The boat is currently listed with Blue Water Cruising at $99,500 (click on link below), the same as a Tayana 37 in bristol condition. To compare these boats in any other way is like comparing a Chevrolet to a Lexus.

My original plans called for a transit of the Canal and a slow trip to Australia, and then an eventual circumnavigation of the Pacific. Therefore I transformed this boat into a long-range, comfortable live-aboard cruising boat, right down to a gnats eyebrow; everything is either repaired, replaced, rebuilt, renewed, or new in the last 2 years and none of it has been used more than 100 hours. Right now all that is needed to shove off are provisions and a knowledgeable sailor. It is set up to singlehand, and only gets easier with more help. All of the upgrades and gear will be mentioned on another page, but the one project that I am most proud of I will talk about here, and that is the aft-deck extension.

All along, while I was doing other things, I had in mind a fishing/stowage deck incorporated into my radar and windgen arch, squeezing it inside the Fleming. I love to fish and Ill be damned if I was going to sail across all that bluewater and not do a lot of fish-catching and eating. And I had seen several of these already done on other boats; most done poorly but a few done very well. My problem was that I couldn't figure out how to build it quickly, cheaply, and of a quality that would last and enhance the vessel. Finally I came upon the design that would accomplish all those things and set about building it. I say without reservation it is the best example of this sort of thing you will see anywhere. It is only a 14" extension, but coupled with the 12" that was already there (with a Rassy-style cockpit you get alittle walkaround to begin with) it makes a huge difference and transforms the stern area of the vessel. It was built with glas over saturated plywood, gelcoated, and non-skided, and then the sternrail was moved aft to enclose the entire area. Add a fish-cleaning table, several rodholders, and a foot-operated washdown pump and there you have it, a beautiful and extremely useful addition to the boat. People love it. This also means that the Fleming is right there for adjusting and inspecting.

Take a look at the gear/upgrades list and the pictures, shop around, look at a lot of other boats first, and then come look at Blue Traveler. If I weren't headed down a different path right now I would have a perfect yacht for long-voyaging. I have yet to find another boat under 40 that I would rather have than this one. With its sailplan, beam, and spaciousness the boat is repeatedly mistaken for a mid-90s vessel in pristine condition. I constantly am amazed at how far ahead of his time Bruno Bostrom was.

Click here for Blue Water Cruising's website.

Below; this is a picture of a Najad 39 that I recently saw. Note the protected cockpit. (Najad, Hallberg-Rassy, and Bostrom all prefer this design, and teak decks I might add.)


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