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Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:15 pm

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Hi all,

A lurker surfacing to possibly connect with northern European small craft enthusiasts this summer...

I will be in Finland and Åland most of July this summer, along with my mom, visiting family in several locations. If there is anyone on these forums in the areas I will be visiting I would enjoy getting together around the topic of small craft - and getting on the water if possible as well. Unfortunately all my small craft are still too big to take with me. :-(

I will first be in Helsinki, then Mariehamn and elsewhere on Åland (such a gorgeous archipelago!), then in Vaasa or within an hour of Vaasa - north in Esse for a day or two, Vaasa itself, and south of Vaasa, we have family in Petalax, Overmark, that area of Ostrobothnia.

regards,
John S.



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Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:13 am

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Rare to see someone mentioning Finland here. Åland and the Archipelago Sea are unique places for sure. I live and sail in southeastern Finland.

You got email.

Regards,
Timo

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Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:11 pm

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Hi Timo, good to see your post.

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Mon May 01, 2017 11:19 am

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Thanks for your e-mail Timo. Yes, Finland is not a "world power" in some ways, but there have been some champion Finnish sailors I think...? I am looking for sailing clubs also in the areas I will be visiting, to see if I can make some connections that way.



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Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:58 pm

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I took the ferry from Stockholm to Turku several years ago. I sat on the deck all night thinking what wonderful sailing it would be!

As we flew away from Finland I remember thinking that you can't tell when it stops being lakes on the land, and starts being islands in the sea.

Truly beautiful!



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Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:51 pm

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Yes...that describes it well...I'm in Vasa now. Went kayaking a few times in Åland. No sailing yet. One thing I have noticed is that there are almost no "small" sailboats, not in the marinas at least (maybe trailer sailors, but it's hard to say, they would not be as visible). By small I mean under about 8 meters (26 ft.) or so. Here in Vasa where there are more "local" boats, the average size is smaller than what I saw in Åland. There, anything under 30-32 ft. was rare, and lots of boats 35-40 ft. Here, there are more in the 24-30 ft. range. And, there are "traditional" boats (old wooden boats or new builds of traditional designs & materials) that are smaller, here and there, a few (and some bigger ones as well). But the whole range of "pocket cruisers" from say 22-25 ft. down to 16-18 ft. just doesn't seem to exist.
There are some gorgeous old woodies though that I have seen here and there.



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Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:51 am

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You aren't alone with your questions on why modern small sailing crafts are so rare in Finland. Cold waters can't be an answer because around British Isles the waters aren't that much warmer and still their sailing dinghy community is huge. Actually in summer the lakes of Finland can be surprisingly warm considering the northern latitudes, well above 20°C (68°F).

Perhaps the second-hand Nordic Folkboats and some other popular keelboats are so cheap that you get a "true" sailboat for the same price as you would pay for a sailing dinghy or a pocket yacht. Also, most of the sailing clubs here are primarily about 25-40 ft yachts. The second-hand market and the community depends on them.

Still, a stable small craft is a great way to explore the lakes and the coast here. My 16 ft wooden Wayfarer dinghy gathers both young and old admirers where ever we go.

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Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:41 am

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Our friends in Kuhmo have a beautiful old wooden row boat. When I saw it I remembered reading an article in SCA years ago about the tradition of Finnish row boats.



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Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:00 am

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Oh yes, there is a strong tradition of wooden row boats that are finished with tar. A friend of mine built such a boat. Countryman boats (saaristolaisveneet a.k.a. talonpoikaisveneet a.k.a. allmogebåtar) have long traditions too and are beautiful small sailing crafts. They can be found in the southwest.

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