Åbo Båtvarf is known for its high-quality sailing boats, but the production of motorboats was also an important part of the boatyard operations. Its power craft were typically large saloon boats and motor cruisers, drawn by the yard’s in-house designers, the brothers Bruno and Zaké Westin. In the early 1920s, the boatyard delivered the 22-m Paragon for Bengt Oldenburg and the 12-m long Bonito. These stylish motor yachts attracted a great deal of attention in boating magazines.
Another saloon boat was ordered from the yard in Turku by the Swedish shipowner, businessman and Romanian Consul General Fredric Möller. Upon launching in 1923, the cruiser was given the name Airawata after the white elephant of the Hindu goddess Indra.
The hull and cabin of Airawata were built in mahogany. Typically, Åbo båtvarf provided its boats fully equipped and furnished. The yard itself manufactured the dinghies, the fittings and other equipment. The Airawata features an open wheelhouse, connected to a functional pantry and a spacious saloon towards the stern. Behind the saloon is the owner’s cabin. In the bow, ahead of the wheelhouse, below deck is another separate sleeping cabin. The aft deck fits a table set. The auxiliary dinghy is carried on the saloon roof.
After Möller, the ownership of Airawata passed to Karl Siegfried Matz of Stockholm. The yearbooks of Kungliga Svenska Segelsällskapet (KSSS) indicate that the yacht was modified at the Spillersboda boatyard in 1933. After Matz, the boat remained in Sweden until in 1979 it was purchased by Anders Wretling. He performed a major renovation in the 1990s, putting in more than 10,000 hours of work. In 2002, Wretling sold his boat to Hasso Wien, who brought it to Germany. In 2017, Joakim Håkans noted that Airawata was for sale in Germany. He promptly inspected it and decided to bring the boat back to Turku, its place of birth.
Today, Airawata is berthed at the Ruissalo boatyard, where it serves the yard’s customers by offering its passengers a unique and elegant way of exploring the nearby archipelago of Turku.
Length: 14.8 m
Beam: 3.2 m
Draft: 1.2 m
Displacement: 14 t
Year of construction: 1923
Designer: Zaké Westin
Original owner: Fredric Bernhard Theodor Möller
Original engine: 80 hp, petrol
Current engine: Volvo TMD 70, 222 hp