history of the shipyard Saare Yachts

The Saare shipyard is located on the Estonian island of Saaremaa, in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The boat building center of the country has always been here on the island, and there were many shipyards and supplier companies back in the days of the Soviet Union and long before that. Wooden boats and fishing vessels were built in the small fishing village of Nasva.

In 1991, with the founding of the Republic of Estonia, Saare Marine Industrie was founded in Nasva as an Estonian/Swedish joint venture. A new hall, which had recently been built for a fish processing company but never went into operation, was taken over and used for boat building. The EXCEL sailing yachts were initially built for a Swedish shipyard.

From 1993 the company was run as Saare Paat AS with Estonian owners. Worked as a subcontractor for various shipyards in Sweden and Finland.

In 1997 a very intensive and successful cooperation with the Finngulf shipyard began. The founder of the Finnish shipyard, Stig Nordblad, approached the Estonian shipyard and had a total of over 220 complete yachts from 28 to 46 feet built in Estonia over a period of 13 years. Designer of these yachts was the Finn Karl Johan Strahlmann.

In the same year, Peeter Sääsk, our current managing director, joined the company as an IT consultant. He was a project manager and through further positions he became CEO of Saare Paat AS.

Elve Maripuu, our accountant, has been with the company from the start. Priit Puppart, now Product Manager, has also been with the company since 1996.

When things got a little quieter about Finngulf yachts later, Stig Nordblad had sold his shipyard, Stig and Peeter planned a new brand for the shipyard in Estonia. They had lunch together at the Helsinki Boat Show in 2007 and it was there that they developed the idea of their own brand for the shipyard. Stig was still very connected to the company, brought Karl Johan Strahlmann along as a designer and together they developed the center cockpit yacht Saare 41cc.

The name Saare came a little later. The shipyard is on the island of Saaremaa, the fourth largest island in the Baltic Sea. Saaremaa means island country, Saare means island. And so the name Saare = island was born, a beautiful name for a sailing yacht, a name that couldn’t be more appropriate.

In 2006, Stig Nordblad, the owner of the Finngulf shipyard, asked me if I would like to represent his yachts in Germany and neighboring countries. Although I liked the Finngulf yachts, they enjoyed a very good reputation and the quality was convincing, I unfortunately had to decline. At the time, this brand did not fit into the yse portfolio.

In autumn 2007 he asked me again, this time they wanted to win me over to the new Saare brand. In mid-December 2007 I traveled to the shipyard for the first time, a second time a few months later and then decided to cooperate. Many things had convinced me in the shipyard, but I was particularly impressed by the reliable, humble and clear way of thinking of the people in the shipyard.

I ordered a Saare 41cc and exhibited this yacht at Hanseboot 2008. The interest was huge and this yacht has inspired sailors, customers and the trade press from the very beginning. However, the global economic crisis was in 2008, so it took almost two years before we sold the first Saare.

In the two years I have sailed a lot with my family with the Saare 41cc and was surprised and enthusiastic how well, course stable and fast this yacht sailed. The sailing characteristics were just perfect.

It was then our idea to develop an aft cockpit yacht based on the 41cc. Hull, keel and rudder, but also the entire rig was taken from the 41cc, we jointly developed the deck with the aft cockpit and we came up with the diverse interior concepts in Eckernförde and they were perfectly implemented in the shipyard.

In 2016 the opportunity arose to further intensify the very good cooperation with the Estonians and Yachtsport Eckernförde was able to buy the entire shipyard. 3,000 square meters of hall, around 10,000 square meters of land, all tools, designs and trademark rights have been in our possession since that time. We have taken over all employees and of course Peeter Sääsk.
The traditional shipyard now operates under the internationally more understandable name SAARE YACHTS OÜ. Peeter Sääsk and Thomas Nielsen are managing directors.

Many of our employees have been with the company for a long time. And although the Estonian vocational school in Kuressaare trains around 15-20 boat builders every year, it is not easy to find enough new, highly qualified colleagues. We are always trying to find and hire new, dedicated employees, also in cooperation with the Department of Boat and Shipbuilding at Tallinn University, which is located in Kuressaare.

We focus on long-term development and slow growth of the shipyard and see Saare Yachts OÜ as well positioned in an exciting market environment. Quality is our maxim, the greatest benefit for the owners and crews is paramount. We build long-lasting yachts, traditional values and proven things are more important than the latest fads and trends.