Sisu

Designed by Aage Utzon, the Sisu was one of the GD28 ancestors. Bigger than the Nordic Folkboat, K. Baess thought that it might have the interest of the US market. Stability by adding a heavy keel was another feature of it - safe sailing in heavy weather became a hallmark for it. Unfortunately the American market didn't appreciate the double-ended hull ('spidsgatter') which led to the construction of the extended Nordic Folkboat - known as the 'Great Dane' in Florida.

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April 1958 'Test sailing in snowstorm'. Article in Danish. Apparently the test took place one week before the article was written around middle of April - and it was a cold month - 'A sailboat had been seen on the Horsens Fjord and among those rushing down to the harbour to see the dare devils were a number of prominent people from Horsens ('Hyacinth/Keeping Up Appearances' would surely have been impressed).

It appeared to be Baess testing the first Sisu made for export at the (local?) Andersen Shipyard. Designed by Aage Utzon, she had come #2 in the Skaw Race in 1957 (a kind of Danish equivalent to the Sydney Hobart race). KB had suggested changes to meet the american market and these were now tested on Horsens Fjord.' The listed equipment includes an icebox in the cockpit so that according to tradition - even in the warmest parts of the US - may have a cold Coca Cola at hand. Everything went fine said KB with (the wellknown) sailor Max Jepsen handling it. The only problem encountered was when inside the harbour, the tiller fell out of the 'rudderhead'. People were screaming as everybody expected the Sisu to crash into the pier. But the always cool skipper put the tiller nicely back and regained control of the boat (could be why the GD tiller is bolted ?).

Next three documents (in Danish) are beautiful examples of how KB fed the press. The 3 articles from 3 different newspapers were all published on the same day in 1959 and are basically the same - but at least the editors shuffled the text a bit. Basically it tells that the export of the Sisu to the US was successful and that the 4th was ready to be shipped (note that from the dates of the pictures that it's more than a year after the first Sisu was made and tested. Compared to that 8 years later, more than 50 GD28s were sold in just one year due to the introduction of mass production in the boat-building industry).

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