Tradewind - Classic Yacht Design - Scandinavian Style

Something exciting is stirring in the wind. A return to the traditional, where tall ships cruises majestically across the oceans. Cutting through the waves, with ease and grace...

Tradewind custom designs, builds and manages traditional sailing yachts and cruise ships for private and corporate owners. The tall ships are built to your exact specifications, using the Scandinavian philosophy, often seen as a designation for simple and solid elegance.

With a Tradewind yacht, the world is literally your oyster…

Tall Ships | Philosophy | Technology | Company | Contact

Tall Ships

The Lady Ellen

Design No. II (For Sale)

Widely considered to be one of the most graceful tall ship ever built, The Lady Ellen is a traditional Scandinavian sailing vessel with the luxurious interior of a modern yacht. Without doubt, she is the jewel in the Tradewind crown.

The Lady Ellen is known to be an excellent sailor, with her top speed at approximately 17-18 knots. She was originally used for exclusive charter in the Mediterranean and the West Indies, and crossed the Atlantic 14 times.

Certified by the Norwegian Veritias, The Lady Ellen is classified to carry passengers for world-wide cruising. The hull is made of steel, coated with bronze. The deck, deckhouse and skylight is made out of steel and covered with teak. Her interior is beautiful example of Swedish craftsmanship in teak and mahogany. The Lady Ellen has now been rebuilt for corporate events, catering for 27 passengers in nine triple cabins.

The Baboon

Design No. IV

S/Y Baboon is a large topgallant schooner. Her hull is almost 50 meters (165 ft) and overall 60 meters (198 ft). The main engine is a 2000 horsepower Caterpillar which brings her to a top speed of 15 knots. Her range under power: 6 200 nautical miles. Under sail: unlimited!

The first thing that strikes you when embarking the ship is all the fine art. Stepping into the deckhouse is like walking through a fine art gallery, with Picasso, Monet and Magritte hanging grandly on her walls. She has seven sumptuously outfitted cabins, with space enough for even the most discerning guest.

The Baboon is often seen in exotic destinations such as St. Tropez or Antibes, whilst her home port is Monaco.

The Hamlet

Design No. I

S/Y Hamlet is a two-masted schooner. This type of vessel is known for its seaworthiness and was prominent in and around the Baltic Seas from the latter part of the 19th century. Today there are only a few of these schooners at sea and Hamlet is the one of the most formidable of them all.

The Hamlet was built as a corporate incentive ship, but is now also used for charter. She is certified by the Norwegian Veritas to carry 62 passengers on a day trip. The lower salon seats 34 guests with a total of 62 on deck. Her traditional and comfortable interior offers five cabins, sleeping 14 guests.

The Hamlet is a sailing legend in Swedish waters and during the summer months, she can often be seen either cruising the Baltic Sea or the Norwegian fjords.

The Alexandra

Design no. X

Tradewind is currently in progress to build a three-masted Barquentine, the S/Y Alexandra. Designed as a private yacht but also practical enough for use as a commercial charter ship, her length on deck is 51.6 meters (169 feet) and her beam nine meters (29.5 feet). The Alexandra has six double cabins and a crew of ten. There is plenty of space for tender boats and a multitude of toys.

Contact us for facts and figures! Enquires are welcome!

Sail Training Vessels

Design No. I-XII

All Tradewind basic designs are excellent for sail training vessels, and are suitable for military (naval), semi-military (coast guard etc.) and civilian purposes. These ships are very robust and have the same traditional rig as the other designs, but without the luxury interior. The vessels are primarily used for education and seamanship training of cadets and youths.

Tradewind Sail Training Vessel designs are simple and straightforward. Our main priorities are achievement of the highest degree of safety under rough handling, long life-expectancy and extreme range for larger crews.

Enquires are welcome!

Royal Yachts

Design No. VII & VIII

Tradewind has made two design studies for royalties. Tradewind design No VIII, a three masted Barque at 78,50 meters (258 ft) and Tradewind design No VII, a classic motor yacht at 42 meters (140 ft). A royal yacht or official state ship are not only to be used for holidays, it’s excellent for official voyages or state visits abroad, offering a safe and practical platform for representation of the country. With this “mobile embassy” the heads of state are where the action takes place - not always in the capital. Preferable crewed by military cadets, the combination of official state ship and sail training vessel, makes this type of vessel more cost efficient to run.

Cruise ships

Design No XV

In the 1980s cruising became a major part of the tourism industry. Initially this growth was centered around the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexico, but now encompasses all areas of the globe. A cruise along the Scandinavian coastline for an example is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful voyages in the world.

Tradewind is currently in progress of designing a five-masted Barque, the Alizé, one of the most elegant cruise ships ever to be built. Her length on deck is 137 meters (457 ft) and her beam 17,50 meters (58 ft). The Alizé has 102 double cabins and a crew of 96. Contact us for facts and figures!

Tradewind Cruises - When traveling with style is more important than a free lunch.


Nordic light

Tradewind classic tall ships have the benefit of large displacement volumes combined with outstanding grace of a clipper ship. The result is a yacht that will dominate the skyline with its fine lines, need no more crew than a similar sized motor yacht – or indeed a modern sailing yacht - and is environmentally friendly, extremely safe and cost effective to run.

When you see a Tradewind yacht, you have seen the light. The Nordic light.


The world has currently about 800 super-yachts, generally defined as those more than 100 ft long. More than 200 others are due to be finished in the next three years. Super-yachts have grown from an average 120 ft to more than 150 ft in the past decade. According to Yachts International, at least 35 yachts are being built in the 200 ft scale, including five mega-yachts of 300 ft or more. Even though most owners don’t use their yacht for more than 4-8 weeks every year, it’s often money well spent. Owning a mega-yacht and using it to entertain family, friends and business contacts, brings incalculable social cachet - and possibly lucrative deals. In some cases it’s possible to finance the yacht with business-related charter. Contact us for facts and figures about the Tradewind charter concept with 20 commercial weeks in the West Indies, the Mediterranean or the Norwegian fjords.

The Owner

The idea of choosing to build a tall ship is an exciting and challenging proposition, and offers you the unique opportunity to own something incomparably graceful and timeless.

Whilst it is a little more complex than ordering a modern large cruising ketch, your yacht will mature over the passing of time rather than look dated. Our customers are men of passion and taste, with desire for purity and elegance, rather than simply wanting speed or luxury that comes with an ordinary super yacht. A Tradewind design is more than just another “wedding cake” in the quay.

The crew

A happy crew means a happy ship. We believe that operating a tall ship instills pride and adds job satisfaction for the captain, engineers and the crew members. The interest and the excitement of being part of the team associated with sailing a square rigged clipper, especially on a passage that take advantage of the trade winds, ensures that a Tradewind ship is a contented one.


For us, the mystique of cruising the Trade Winds on a square rigged clipper ship is a part of the Scandinavian life and heritage. Tradewind’s experience of building, owning, managing and sailing these types of vessels puts us in a unique position to offer management packages alongside the design and build programmes. This ensures that captains, engineers and crews can all be ready and in place for the first cruising season. Our crews are all Scandinavian, and we also offer all female crew if desired.


Magic touch

Tradewind design and build tall ships ranging from 30 to 100+ meters (100 to 330 feet) with rigs varying from Ketch, Schooner, Barques and Full Riggers. All drawn from traditional styles of sails, but build to exacting modern standard.

Tradewind is currently in progress of designing a five-masted Barque, the Alizé, one of the most elegant cruise ships ever to be built. Her length on deck is impressively 137 meters (457 ft).

Tradewind design yachts and cruise ships in the spirit of tradition.

Speed and engines

On an Atlantic crossing, a Tradewind ship was able to sail over 600 nautical miles in 48 hours. A continues speed of over 12.5 knots, with top speed close to 17 knots. The same vessel withstood several hurricane force winds in the Caribbean. Tradewind design can also be configured to match motor vessels in terms of booth power and speed. Engines between 300 – 3000 horsepower can be chosen and fitted into a Tradewind full displacement hull, offering similar speeds and power ranges to motor yachts.

Interior and style

The degree of modernization of materials and finish is personal, and all steel and deck fittings can be chosen or fabricated from galvanized steel for a completely traditional look, or polished stainless steel more akin to a luxury yacht. Below deck, large spaces provide spacious accommodation, extensive areas for owners and guests, plus plenty of scope for the crew who deserve ample accommodation space. All are custom designed, in various types of wood, fabrics and tiles down to the smallest detail.


Sometimes it pays to be thick skinned! In using materials of a much higher requirement than the classification sometimes demands, no only is the construction immensely strong, but also less sensitive to buckling during the welding process. The outcome is a cleaner hull, which requires less fairing, which in turn relates to greater stability.

Stronger and better suited materials, such as steel bulkheads, are used to create a stronger and safer hull. The build quality and materials are such that it qualifies for a commercial certificate rather than a yacht certificate. Tradewind originates from the shipping industry and has great experience of building commercial crafts that cohere to safety regulations and quality.


The Tradewind philosophy in style and rigging is based on our belief that hundreds of years of experimentation and development should not be discarded for the sake of modernization. Tradewind believes that attempts to update rig design and hull shape damage the refined elegance found in traditional crafts. We defend the importance of keeping the massive construction techniques and the full elegance of a correctly proportioned rig.

Tender and toys

Modern yacht styling very often reduces the available deck space and interior volume of sailing yachts. With the Tradewind approach, the enjoyment of a sailing yacht can be combined with vast areas of deck space for tenders, toys and entertainment, normally only possible on a larger displacement motor yacht. We offer classic power boats and modern RIB’s from our partners J-Craft and RIB-Unlimited. We also recommend Yamaha Motor, due to their quality and world-wide service, for example: outboard engines, wave runners, jet skis, mopeds and even golf- or shopping mobiles. One of the advantages of a Tradewind full displacement hull is great space, equaling great fun.


Early shipping history

In the past, the county of Bohuslän (located north of Göteborg, Sweden), used to be a part of Norway. Fishing and shipping has always been the salvation due to the poor farming along the coastline. Despite continues war and poverty, the proud seafaring traditions date back thousands of years, and this can be seen in many rock carvings, which in turn are on UNESCO's world heritage list.

Shipping was not only the lifeline, it was occasionally extremely profitable, so the government, first the Norwegian in the 13th century and later the Swedish in the 17th century, tried to regulate this business in favour of cities like Göteborg. During 1810, when Napoleon dominated most of Europe, harbours where blocked, and many locals saw their chance of starting a profitable business dissolve.

Tall ship traditions

During the 19th century, large volumes of oats were exported and large fleets of square riggers were built in the region. The industrial revolution in Britain demanded “fuel” for their horses. When steam entered the scene, this business came to an end, and the fleet of Brigantines, Barques and full rigged ships were sold. When the English trawlers moved to engine power, the old sailing drifters where sold. More than 300 of them where sold to Bohuslän. In the 1920’s the shipping industry started to grow dramatically, and once again the tall ships entered the scene. This time it was mainly schooners imported from Denmark or France. Most ship owning families focused on the fishing industry, but in Skärhamn shipping became the core business. This was a clever choice, and today the fleet is one of the greatest in Scandinavia.

The Johansson family

Back in the 20th, Mandus Johansson owned a small oil company. He supplied the local fishermen and cargo vessels using a small tanker. Even though the majority of them had engines, they still sailed most of the time. Later on his two sons took over and developed the business. Within a couple of decades the group consisted of large fleets of Ro-Ro and tanker vessels, two ship yards and an export harbour for Volvo and Saab. During the years, the group came to order many new vessels and the experience of building and managing ships for professional purpose, is now used in designing super yachts in traditional style. Lars-Erik Johansson, chief designer of Tradewind and grandchild of Mandus, is proud of keeping the tradition in the family, even though he prefers to power his ships with sails.

Tradewind - the name

The trade winds are a pattern of wind found in bands around the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds are the prevailing winds in the tropics, blowing from the high-pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the low-pressure area around the equator. The trade winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere.

Their name derives from the Middle English trade, meaning path or track, and thus the phrase "the wind blows trade," that is to say, on track.

Among the most well known trade winds is the Alizé, a steady, mild northeasterly wind which blows across central Africa and the Caribbean. It brings cool temperatures between November and February.


Tradewind design office and group headquarter is located in Skärhamn, the very heart of Scandinavia. From the mid 19th century Skärhamn and the surrounding coastal villages in the archipelago of the Swedish west coast, was the home of many traditional two, three and four masted schooners. Even today, some 25 of them are sailing. An excellent school for future Tradewind recruits.

Tradewind Cruises AB
Box 49
SE-471 21 Skärhamn

Phone: +46 304 67 16 16
Fax: +46 304 67 42 60


Today most of the worlds top celebrities are sailing - many of them with Tradewind Cruises. We are always interested in presenting our concept and philosophy about traditional yacht design for the right people. You will find Tradewind guests and former crew members on most continents. A personal recommendation is often the key to a first successful contact and possible a life long yachting relationship with us. Tradewind sincerely appreciate our ambassadors all over the world, and gladly provide them with necessary materiel and support.


Marketing management partner: Hummer
Stefan Docksjö

Art director and web design: Silvertrace
Sanna Hedberg