Denmark, spidsgatter heaven

Every harbor, every boatyard, every sail club has them! Spidsgatters, the pointy-ended, double-ender designs that captured my heart like they have so many others all over the world. They were developed as a racing class in the 1930s, evolved from North Atlantic fishing boats but with cabins and very tall masts. Today, the term covers many varieties of double ended designs and they were everywhere I visited in Denmark this month. Designs included gaff-rigged open boats still in use in club sailing programs (at least 3 hauled out and ready for winter maintenance at Frem and KAS this month); racing class boats (Bel Ami and Skarven in the yard near KAS); unclassed beauties (countless boats from Gilleleje to Dragor and including Svendborg, Walsted Boatyard and the Danish Yacht Museum in all range of condition) as well as fiberglass models used for both fishing (no mast) and cruising (with mast and with or without motor). Ancient in concept these beautiful double enders contine a tradition of sea-going people all over the world (think dug out canoes, Viking ships, Inuit kayaks). The Danish word for harbor is Havn and every time I followed those signs, I was thinking "heaven".