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Lancer Not Equal

Swedish boat builder and Jeanne Socrates a winning team

by Lee Mylchreest on 4 Mar 2014
Jeanne Socrates on Nereida, her Najad 38 .. .
It couldn't be that one of the most incredible feats of 2013 is responsible, surely it isn't as simple as that, but Swedish boat builder received a great deal of unpaid promotion when Jeanne Socrates proved that she and her Najad 38 made a formidable duo as the 70-year-old solo sailor circumnavigated the world non-stop.

Now, after a fair showing at this year's BOOT - Dusseldorf's famed annual boat show - the previously troubled Swedish boat builder Najadvarvet is hiring more boat builders to keep up with the demand.



While Jeanne's feat hardly reached the mainstream news at all, cruising sailors are an inquisitive lot, and tend to make very thorough investigations before investing hundreds of thousands of dollars, roubles or pesos into a boat that will reliably carry them across oceans. Hence there would be many sailors who would decide to investigate the fairly low profile name of Najad more thoroughly.

The boatbuilder is now hiring employees at Henån on the island of Orust, where production will continue to be located following the boatbuilder's acquisition in October last year. Najad plans to take on at least five boat builders for the production of sold boats in the first quarter.

Najad's new owner, Lidköpings Båtsnickeri AB, announced the plans along with news that it is establishing a network for sales in Germany, Denmark, Benelux and Spain.

'It's very positive that we now have to invest not only in hiring boat builders, but in technical production capacity,' Håkan Bengtsson, manager Najad/SwedeStar told media outlets.

Boats are already in production and according to the yard's new owners, the move and restart of the firm has gone better than expected. After two bankruptcies, Najad now has a good chance of rebuilding the brand that has become as a sign of Swedish boat building tradition internationally.

'Already when we bought the company we said it came with both big possibilities and a big responsibility. The goal is not to build the most yachts, but the best. It's very positive to be able to make our investments in the Najad harbour and create more jobs thanks to international demand', Bengtsson says.

In the meantime, Jeanne Socrates herself is now bombarded with requests to speak at yacht functions and boat shows, and is flying from continent to continent to receive awards from both sides of the Atlantic.

No doubt, as she tells her story, the wonderful performance of her Najad 38 will continue to convince potential boat buyers that the Najad is a top cruising performer.

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