Why the Folkboat is the most popular cabin yacht of all time: a design analysis
Well, the Folkboat has Classic Boat’s Theo Rye convinced:
‘The freeboard looks perilously low, especially on the Nordic version, but the boat is remarkably dry even when pushed hard. The flare in the sections means the waterline beam when upright is modest enough for decent light-airs speed, but as the hull heels it rapidly gains stability; aided by a very healthy ballast ratio (well over 50 per cent in most versions), her stiffness is perfectly judged.
‘She is also tolerant of added weight; a good attribute in a pocket cruiser, especially one capable of crossing the Atlantic or even more, so even quite reasonably equipped boats look and sail perfectly well. The firm tuck of the bilges leading into nice, slim keel sections help generate good lift (in relative terms) from the long keel, which is a key to good sailing performance. The shape owes precious little to rating rules, only hydrodynamics; you pay for that bold forward overhang in accommodation or waterline length, maybe, but driving into any sort of sea you’ll be glad of that bargain. The slope of the transom stern tucks the rudder deep under the hull and the angle of the stern post, while typically Scandinavian, looks old-fashioned, even exaggerated; but time at the helm tells you exactly why they stuck with it.
‘The fractional sail plan is equally well judged; with her relatively modest displacement and wetted surface area (for the type), she can slip along just fine, but will carry her canvas well as the wind comes up.’
I’d certainly have one – though perhaps not where I sail!
My thanks to the excellent small boat designer, builder, sailor and sailmaker Mik Storer for spotting and sharing this one.
For more Intheboatshed.net posts about Folkboats, click here.