History of the H-boat
The idea to build this boat with its modern synthetic hull was born at the Swedish yacht club "Segelsällskrab". The aim was to build a boat which would overcome the somewhat old-fashioned custom of building boats solely from wood — a craft which adhered to strict rules regarding the boat class. Club member Hans Groop was assigned to design and construct this boat. Inspired by the then very popular folk boat as an "example of elegance and beauty", he designed a boat model which measured 8m in length and had a similar appearance. It looked like a smaller islet cruiser, but was free of all limitations typical of wood construction.
The H-boat has kept his original look from back then, apart from minor corrections on the design of the keel, rudder and spinnaker. The "H" in its name is of course derived from the inventors' first name (Hans).
The first H-boat was made out of glass fibre and built by the Anderson brothers in Börgar, a small town near Helsingfors, Finland. The first commercial series of 15 boats was built in 1967.
It didn't take long until the H-boat was able to impress the experts: in its first regatta, Hans Groops "miracle boat" beat the entire competition by far. Only a year later, the H-boat was awarded class status by the Finish Sailing Federation, and licensed by the Finish wharf Artekno in Suorama. Hans Groop signed the construction rights over to the Finish Sailing Federation.
The first boat class associations were founded in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The first Nordic championships took place in 1972 in Marstrand. In 1973, the 500. H-boat was delivered from the wharf.
The H-boat - a popular keelboat
"Of classic form, fast, comfortable to sail and safe. A yacht with sleek lines and fast underwater hull, which achieves a fair sailing speed even under little wind. A cabin with four bunks, lots of space, lots of wood. All these qualities justify the massive success of this boat." (Quote: Frauscher)
Since the first H-boat was built in 1967, this yacht has enjoyed a streak of success like no other boat class of similar type. The H-boat can be found in all European sailing areas, and — regarding regatta participation and number of boats built — is the largest boat class in all of Europe.
Over 30 regattas take place in Switzerland alone every year. In order to ensure the continued existence and value of the H-boats, construction on the boats is subject to strict boat class regulations. Today, the German H-boat Class Association (under the German Sailing Federation) counts over 700 members — and is growing.
Since 1967 the boat is built as a one-design. It was constructed by Finnish Hans Gropp. The letter "H" in the boats' name is derived from his first name.
Building licenses are held by the German wharf Ott Yachts, the Austrian wharf Frauscher and the Finnish wharf Eagle Marine.
The boat accomodates a crew of 6 max., and there are 3-4 bunks in the cabin. The cockpit is self-bailing. During regattas, the boat is generally sailed by 3 persons and the maximum crew weight should not exceed 300kg.
Original H-boat factsheet:
LOA: 8.28m, WOA: 2.18m. Draft: 1.3m, Hull weight: 1450kg, weight capacity: 1,043t. Mainsail area: 24qm, sail emblem: H.