Quality Swedish Craftsmanship – A Brief History of Najad Yachts
October 9th, 2023
The Najad Shipyard, in Henån on the island of Orust, is an iconic Swedish shipbuilding company located just a hop and a skip away from Berthon Scandinavia’s offices. Since its inception, Najad have been dedicated to constructing a diverse range of high quality cruising yachts from 30 to 60 feet. All are meticulously designed to provide not only an enjoyable sailing experience but also a source of delight for their owners, offering a balanced mix of performance, comfort and safety at sea.
The History of the Najad Shipyard
The Island of Orust and its surroundings has long been synonymous with the build of high quality sailing yachts and the island is also home to Hallberg-Rassy, Malö Yachts, Regina af Vindö and Sweden Yachts among others. With its shipbuilding legacy dating back to as early as the 12th century**, Orust provided an ideal setting for the establishment of Najadvarvet AB by two dedicated yachtsmen, Berndt Arvidsson and Thorwald Karlsson, in 1967.
Najadvarvet’s journey began with the construction of the first Najad in 1971, a 34-foot yacht designed by Olle Enderlein. This yacht marked the beginning of their legacy in constructing high quality yachts, seamlessly blending reliable sailing performance with enduring, timeless design.
Bernt Arvidsson retired in 2005, and sold the yard to Alfred Van Wincoop from the Netherlands, with a minority shareholding held by an investor group headed by Berthon USA’s Alan Baines. During this time, several new models were introduced in rapid succession, with a new modern interior styling by Rhoades Young. These included the evergreen 440CC and AC, the 405, 355, 505 and of course the flagship of the range, the Najad 570. The US based investor group sold its holdings in early 2008 to new owners from the UK and Norway.
The financial crisis was brutal for the entire boatbuilding industry and the yard also suffered, hence Najadvarvet AB was acquired by Nord West Yachts. Renamed Najad AB in 2014, the yard has continued its commitment to building high quality bluewater cruising yachts, designed with a focus on ease of handling by a crew of two, and the capability for comfortable offshore sailing and planet circuits. The company has recently gone full circle and has bought back its original boatyard in Henån, where it currently has several new Najad 451’s in build as well as a thriving storage and service yard and marina with well over 200 yachts in storage. Unsurprisingly the majority of these are Najads.
Najad’s Current Yacht Range
(Centre Cockpit / Aft Cockpit)
The Najad 395 is a collaboration between Najad, Farr Yacht Design and Ken Freivokh Design. The interior has been thoughtfully designed with a choice of either a two or three cabin layout and with either one or two heads compartments. There is plenty of opportunity for customisation with a large optional inventory.
The 395CC is a modern bluewater cruising yacht with a spacious well-protected centre cockpit, that is perfect for safe and comfortable ocean crossings.
Equally suited to long distance cruising or coastal cruising, the 395AC has a spacious Caribbean-style aft cockpit with twin helm positions.
Najad 505CC Next Generation
The Najad 505CC designed by Judel/Vrolijk is full of updates and improvements on previous Najads. With classic lines, this centre cockpit yacht excels on the water and added to the obvious Najad DNA comes a light and bright interior with easy handling and rewarding sailing performance.
(Centre Cockpit / Aft Cockpit)
Designed by Najad and Judel/Vrolijk & Co, the Najad 451 is a distinctive yacht. Despite being only 45 feet, she is remarkably efficient on the water and her helmsman will find her very responsive. The 451 delivers comfort below decks and a modern, elegant interior with clean lines, abundant natural light and masses of volume for her size.
The 451CC is designed with the focus on cruising in comfort from the safe, well-protected centre cockpit.
The 451AC, is an aft cockpit yacht with twin helms and is perfect for social cruising and island hopping. She also has a sunbed on the aft deck.
Thee 570CC is conceived and built to cross oceans, with straightforward technology for easy maintenance. She has a light and airy interior with sweeping deck saloon windows, open deck areas and twin helms in a fully enclosed cockpit.
Historical Models from 1971 – 2009
The enduring popularity Najads of all ages is evident, and are all popular on the brokerage market where their high quality Orust build and good design are as relevant now as when they first launched. Berthon always has a number of Najads available for sale and we specialise in the brand.
Najad 380 Aphrodite
Najad 460 Aphrodite
Najad 511 Aphrodite
Berthon & the Najad Brand
As a Brokerage House that specialises in high quality bluewater cruising yachts, Berthon have always been hugely enthusiastic about Najad yachts and our sailing brokers across all our international offices have extensive knowledge and experience of the Najad yacht brokerage market.
Berthon Scandinavia’s Managing Director, Magnus Kullberg, worked for Najad for 11 years before setting up his own yacht brokerage in 2011. During his 11-year tenure, he was involved in the production and development of both new and existing models and was also responsible for client interactions throughout the sales and build process. Needless to say, his knowledge of all things Najad is second to none.
Alan Baines’ love for Najad began during a tour of the Najad shipyard whilst selling a brokerage yacht at nearby Bröderna Martinsson Boatyard in 2002. This led to the establishment in 2002 of Scandinavian Yachts, a US based company in Newport, Rhode Island that was formed to represent and promote Najad Yachts in New England. In 2005, Alan took his involvement with Najad a step further, leading the investor group that purchased and held a 40% share of Najadvarvet until 2008. In 2010, Scandinavian Yachts merged with Berthon and became Berthon USA. Alan is the go to person to talk to about Najad in the USA today.
Contact your local international broker about the Najad yachts that are on the market. We know the brand well and always have a selection. Here is a list of Najad yachts for sale with Berthon today: