“The boat with fantastic sea handling”
If you can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere else, you need to make it yourself. In 1989, Janne Johansson decided to do just that, and like they say, the rest is history.
THE STORY BEHIND THE BOAT WITH UNIQUE SEA HANDLING
At school, Jan Johansson did well enough, but good grades were conspicuous by their absence: except for gym class and woodshop. So in senior high school, wood technology was the obvious choice. A choice Jan never regretted.
“I had a pretty good time during my first few years of senior high school. In the final year, you had to choose between theory or practical. If I’d chosen theory, I could have been a woodshop teacher. And that’s not really my thing. So I chose practical, and soon got my first job at Vindö Shipyard. It was there that my career as a boat builder began. I learned a great deal, and really felt I’d found my calling. That was in 1978, when I was 20 years old,” says Jan.
This was followed by a stint at Nimbus, after which he worked at Oskarshamn Shipyard. At Oskarshamn, Jan built luxurious boats with his colleagues, up to 100 meters (330 feet) long. Several of the customers were rich Americans, and only the best was good enough for them.
“I’ll never forget when we had to deliver a luxurious fishing boat with a turret and everything. The customer arrived with ten bodyguards in tow, all dressed in black suits and wearing sunglasses. Just like in a movie,” Jan continues, laughing.
DO IT YOURSELF
In 1985, it was time for Jan to start his own company with his former partner, Kent Göran Mattson. They began by subcontracting the construction of Contrast sailboats, mostly for the international market. These boats were 33, 36, and 40 feet long. Things were going pretty well, but in the fall of 1989, there was a serious recession, and the bottom fell out of the market.
BRANDSKÄR IS BORN
All of a sudden, Jan and Kent Göran were out of a job. What would they do next? Their first thought was to buy semi-complete Targas and finish them off. They tried this, but weren’t satisfied with the boat’s sea handling. They wanted to deliver real quality. So instead, they decided to start building something that was completely their own. The company’s working name was Brandskär, after the place where the two friends used to fish for lobsters. A place where the sea’s often really rough.
The priorities for their self-designed boat were:
Stable at sea. Much safer and stabler sea handling. Ready to handle even extremely rough conditions.
No more plodding along at 5 knots.
Able to take a Volvo Penta diesel 6-cylinder.
With their combined skills and experience, they began building what’s called a “plug”: a 1:1 scale model of the hull’s shape. The materials they used to make it were a mix of wood and plastic. After many minor adjustments and a lot of tinkering, they were satisfied and ready to start building their first boat. The boat’s sea handling capabilities were just as stable as Jan and Kent Göran had hoped for. One curious aspect of the development was that neither of the boat builders used any design drawings to build the plug – they just went with their gut instinct.
THE BOAT WITH FANTASTIC SEA HANDLING
The result was fantastic. Rumors spread about the boat with fantastic sea handling. It quickly became popular among everyone from divers to hunters to entrepreneurs, and not least among people who wanted a superb boat for bathing in the sea that could easily take 15–20 passengers. The old working name, Brandskär, now became permanent.
To match the hull, all the other materials were of a very high quality, with generous proportions. Nothing was left to chance. People started calling Brandskär the SUV or Jeep of the sea, and rightly so. Robust, stable, safe, fast, and surprisingly fuel efficient.
BEST GETS EVEN BETTER
2017 was an exciting year for Brandskär. After a period searching for a new partner, Janne, a native of Orust, found Henric Carlsson: a serial entrepreneur with a penchant for boats, and a heart that beats for Orust.
Together, they decided to take Brandskär to the next level by developing what many would consider to be the perfect boat, the Brandskär 290, and make it even better. They were now able to combine Janne’s experience of building over 200 Brandskär boats with Henric’s sharp instinct for business and product development.
The result speaks for itself, with the launch of the new 290 NG in spring 2018. One thing is for sure, and that is that just as a Brandskär is stable at sea, the future is stable and secure for the shipyard, which continues to make world-class boats, proving that anything is possible if you want it to be.