5m Barbro was launched at Åbo Båtvarf in the summer of 1936. She was one of the first yachts built in Finland to the new international 5m rule. The Five-metres were planned as a competitive class, to be considerably less expensive than the Six-metres. The first Fives were built in France. The class made its real breakthrough in Sweden and Finland. The Finnish enthusiasm was greatest in Turku and Helsinki. For the 75th anniversary regatta of Nyländska Jaktklubben (NJK) in 1936, four Fives were completed – including Barbro, built at Åbo Båtvarf in Turku.
Barbro was created on the drawing board of Gunnar L. Stenbäck. Stenbäck was a trusted naval architect working with Åbo Båtvarf, having previously designed several Six-metre and Eight-metre yachts to the International rule. Barbro was commissioned by Birger Andersson, an engineer from Helsinki, who represented NJK, the host club of the festive event. The regatta showed that the Fives were quite evenly matched. All participants received some first or second places in the races. A few weeks later, Barbro represented Finland also at Sandhamn in Sweden.
Barbro was traditionally shaped, with a classically beautiful hull. She was built from mahogany on oak frames. In the early stages of the class, the Fives were drawn in traditional style, resembling small Six-metres. Unusually, Barbro´s mast was stepped on deck. Two tubular-framed camping beds were placed below deck. The cockpit was extended by a hatch cover. Thanks to the success of Barbro, Stenbäck was immediately given the task to design the NJK lottery boat for the next season. This five-metre was also built at Åbo Båtvarf and named Ghita. Throughout the years, Turku built a total of eight five-metres for Finland and additionally a 14-boat series for the Argentinian Navy.
In the early 1990s, when Barbro was owned by Lasse Sihvoin and Leena Romppainen, she was one of the boats most actively involved in the renaissance of the Five-metre class in Finland. The boat was thoroughly renovated in the 1990s and 2000s. The keelson and the deck have been replaced and lately the transom was renewed. The old mast of Barbro was destroyed in a shed fire at Helsingfors Segelsällskap (HSS) in 2013. A new mast was ordered from Collars in England.
Barbro is a valuable addition to Turku’s growing fleet of classical yachts. From 2018 onwards, the boat has represented Ruissalo Shipyard and its home club Airisto Segelsällskap (ASS) at the classical regattas of Turku and Helsinki.
Water line: 5.89 m
Beam: 1.90 m
Sail area: 20.77 m2
Year of construction: 1936
Designer: G. L. Stenbäck
Original owner: Birger Andersson
Sail number: L-2
Yacht club: ASS