Broker

Due to his success at the Olympics in 1948, KB was contacted by Canadian sailors who wanted him to get hold of some 2nd hand Dragons and send them to Canada. This became the start for KB as a broker. It seems that some Danish Dragon sailors ignored him later accusing him of vacuum cleaning the Scandinavian 2nd hand Dragon market. He defended himself by saying that at least it brought a lot of foreign currency into Denmark after the war plus that it gave good reasons to build new Dragons. As a result the Scandinavian fleet became very young.

From the many pictures taken by KB it's obvious that quite a few Dragons were sent across the Atlantic in the mid '50s. Looking at the picture of the Swedish American Line 'Laholm' leaving Freeport Copenhagen (here bellow) shows at least 3 or 4 Dragons on his deck. Other type of boat were also exported, like the 5.5 meters (e.g. Halvan). He exported boats not only in Canada, but also in the States and other European countries.

First pictures show the loading and departure of Halvan, Fuga, Bonbon, Sus, Junge (mostly Dragon class)) in Copenhagen and papers cuttings about their arrival and delivery in Rochester (Canada):

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One of the most famous boat he exported was King Christian X last yacht Rita VI (the king died in 1947). His last danish owner had renamed her El Margaret and she was then exported to Canada by Baess. Mr Arthur Green, a Commodore of the Port Credit YC in Mississauga Ontario, Canada later owned this boat and after he sold it, she was sunk on the way to the Caribbean
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Some exports were less glamorous, like that small fishing vessel sent to Switzerland - on picture 3 one may wonder why the wheel house was chopped off - on picture 4 somebody wrote on the backside of the picture: 'etwas knapp'!

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The road to the Great Dane…

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1958 - The earliest use of the name Great Dane.

The name is first found on american advertisement by a KB agent in Florida - Mr Lobdell - for extended Nordic Folkboat. Extended mean they had one extra board-plank and thereby the cabin was more spacious. Baess found that it was a great name and knew he was going to use it more seriously later.

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1962 - First use of the name Great Dane 28.

Made of mahogany this is the first Danish entry to the Earls Court Boatshow in January 1963. Described as a 28 footer yawl with 4 berth and toilet.

There'll also be superimposed drawings of the Utzon Explorer (ancestor of the GD37) and it says that Baess will be present as well as a good friend of Danish sailing Commander Nicholls (also a yacht broker).

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1963 - The good salesman KB obviously also gets himself in the picture after the boat-show. Surprisingly he doesn't mention the Great Dane yawl (perhaps she created limited enthusiasm) - instead he describes the bad quality of an East European built Nordic Folkboat. The boat was very roughly built with the floorboards nailed(!) to the hull with 10 mm gaps between the planks where all sort of dirt and dust easily could disappear down in the bilge. Still the agent found it was the best finish of all his boats. Says he while removing a splinter from his thump.
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The Great Dane 28 Yawl - From Earl Court January 1963

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