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photo of Sven Oftedal - Yacht Designer

Sven Oftedal - Designer

   Sven was born in Åkrehamn, Norway, a small fishing village on the southwestern coast where he was raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was a captain and owner of a freight carrying ketch in his younger years, and in later times,  spent two months out of each year as captain of a fishing vessel traveling to Iceland. In his early youth, Sven spent a lot of time with his grandfather, who taught him about ships and small craft. His great-grandfather, who was a carpenter and a boat builder, taught him how boats were designed and built. Greatly influenced by both these men, Sven loved to draw boats, and built ship models and his own sea-going kayaks. At age 14, he signed up as a cabin boy on a fishing boat and spent two months fishing for herring off the coast of Iceland, and later did a years’ stint in the Norwegian Merchant Marine.

   During his boyhood, he took frequent trips to the United States to be with his mother, who was living in New England. While staying in New Bedford, Massachusetts, area he spent much of his time down by the docks talking to the fisherman and watching the boats going in and out of the harbor. At 16, he moved to the US permanently and entered the building trade, becoming a skilled craftsman. Never losing his love of boats, Sven owned two motor cruisers that he enjoyed on Long Island Sound over the years. He also continued to build models in his spare time. Other interests included fast motorcycles, race cars and camping. In the early ‘80's, he sustained an injury to his right arm that prevented him from working full time as a finish carpenter. He then turned to architectural drafting and some limited finish carpentry. He spent the next 15 years designing and drawing commercial and residential buildings, and continued to do custom woodworking. Model building and boat design were part of his leisure time activities, as well as motorcycling, and building stock cars for racing.

   Eventually, Sven decided to take up sailing. After owning a couple of catamarans, he bought a 20' double-ended North Sea style cruising sailboat, which he enjoys every summer. In the fall of 2000, Sven injured his left shoulder, and was given the opportunity to change careers by a very perceptive vocational counselor who had seen Sven’s boat drawings. Together, they investigated the courses and schools available, and chose the Yacht Design School. Sven and his wife moved to Eastport for him to study under Tom MacNaughton, and worked on several design projects at his yacht design firm.

   Sven brings many years of boating experience and design abilities to the Moose Island Design team. He has a real aptitude for vessel styling as well as the ability to judge a boat's handling and displacement by simply looking at it for a few minutes.

If you have any questions or comments about yacht design, boat building, naval architecture, or anything else having to do with our favorite obsession, feel free to call or email us. We want to hear from you.
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