Do you want to be informed on new Posts on this Thread? (members only)

S&S Swan General - The Professor, 1939 - 2022
06 April 2022 - 13:48
#1
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 935

The Professor, 1939 - 2022

Dear Friends,

Lars, our beloved Professor, a long time Friend, passed away, peacefully, today.

I am desperate, I'll miss him so much.

matteo

06 April 2022 - 16:53
#2
Join Date: 09 November 2021
Posts: 33

Dear Lar's family and friends,

 

What a terrible and sad news. My love are with the his family and people he knew.

I was fortunate to have had a few tips from him still last month, I still have my original grohe tap that is working perfectly because of him.

For sure he is one of the reasons for my love for this beautiful swans and I will be eternal grateful.

Fortunate are the people who had the opportunity to live and work with him closely. 
May his soul rest in peace.
 
 
Duarte 
 
Star Swan - 40/047
 

 

06 April 2022 - 19:38
#3
Join Date: 05 August 2010
Posts: 143

Such sad news!

As probably many of us, I have only exchanged emails and forum messages with Lars, and received a wealth of information and advice. Most of it was hands-on practical, often enriched by a brief tale of Nautor history, sometimes simply astonishing - he certainly knew the boat by its middle name, and especially in the beginning knew it much better than I did. He helped me with numerous projects as well as with the consequences of a hard encounter with a Sardinian rock. My insurance company was very worried, Lars wasn't. He was right.

I remember that when I first came in contact with this Forum, I was dumbfounded by a user simply named "the Professor". I soon realized he had earned the username. I then found out he already had had the nickname before. It was almost always enlightening reading his contributions, even if they dealt with problems we had not encountered (yet). Even though I never met Lars in person, at some point I had the feeling I knew him, someone who was somewhere on the line between a wiser elder friend and a higher being. And I do not know who will miss him more, I with a lot of questions in the making, or Vellamo who was always on the receiving end of the answers. I do know that the benefit was for both of us.

Matteo, I can imagine how hard it is to lose a friend like Lars, someone who was not only a close friend but the one person most knowledgeable about the boats that make up this huge parts of our lives. I for one am very grateful that the Association and its Forum have preserved so many of the little gems that were the wealth of Lars' knowledge.

Sail on, Lars. And none of us be surprised if the clouds develop more classical lines.

06 April 2022 - 23:19
#4
Join Date: 12 January 2011
Posts: 11

Dear Matteo, 

Our condolences to family and friends. 

Our condolences for losing your friend and partner in building one of the greatest fan & knowledge sites we have ever seen. Lars, you and others encouraged us to by a 45-year-old S&S Swan as our home.

His knowledge was always a highlight of any forum post. His presentations and his enormous amount of generously shared knowledge is a true treasure. Having someone who was there when our beloved Swans where build and sharing his knowledge with passion and kindness, you can not get it any better.

We will miss his comments on your forum too. We were always eager to hear what Lars would say about this.

He helped us personally via the forum too, but many other post with answers from him where just as useful.

Fortunately, he somehow lives on your site in your forum and in many of our hearts, minds and ships and ship repairs. We have a piece of ‘Lars’ with us.

Although we did not know him personally, we will miss him dearly

All the best

 

Martin and Henny from Snow

07 April 2022 - 07:48
#5
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 104

Dear Matteo,

I read you post and email yesterday with great sadness and my thoughts are with Lars' family.

There is little to add to what has been written already - while I never had the pleasure of meeting Lars in person he helped us imensly through this great platform and also via email.

Always knowledgable, always happy to go the extra mile and help - truly one of a kind! 

Farewell on your last voyage, Lars -  you will be missed dearly but never be forgtotten.

Stefan

Kairos - 57/043

07 April 2022 - 14:46
#6
Join Date: 03 March 2007
Posts: 240

This is so sad!!!  He was a wonderful man and a library of information for all of us! I hope wherever he is it is sunny and he is on a broad reach in an S&S Swan.

 

He will be missed!!!

 

Dear Lars  I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas..  Thanks for all your help and patience!   

 

Mike from Storm Svale..

07 April 2022 - 14:58
#7
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 935

Dear Friends,

over the last 24 hours I have received an incredible number of affectionate condolescence messages, I read so many beautiful words on "Lasse",  and I have appreciated each of them, from S&S Swan Owners and not yet/anymore S&S Swan Owners, I would like to thank you all, I/we lost a great friend, a humble and wise friend, our "elder brother", the one who always knows what to tell you and when, who always had the solution for any problem.

He transmitted an incredible amount of his knowledge, passion and wisdom via this forum, which as you know he loved so much, and via thousands of private messages between himself and S&S Swan Owners.

Of course nobody will  able to do what he did, because he dealt with the professionality of someone who was actually behind the building process of our S&S Swan, as a chief engeneer at Nautor, but  acted on a personal and complimentary basis, something he was allowed to do after his retirment.

I feel he is looking at us all and happy to have so many and sensible  good Friends.

I am desperate, but at the same time I feel honored I was his friend for more than 20 years, even if we met just a few times (he didn't fly (<a funny think on Lasse, an engineer himself, is he didn't have faith on airplanes!>, so I went to Finland to see him from time to time), we talked/excanged messages nearly on a daily basis, a real elder brother!

We will perpetrate his legacy forever.

Thank you Lasse!

matteo

07 April 2022 - 17:55
#8
Join Date: 05 February 2012
Posts: 21

I had the good luck to meet The Professor and spend a whole day with him at the Nautor factory in Pietarsaari in 1999, when I was fully restoring my Swan 37 "Tarot".

He showed me the entire factory and the awesome archives, explained me the essentials of building our beloved S&S Swans and I stayed in touch with him afterwords, mainly on this S&S Association blog.

He was not only passionate Swan connaisseur, but also a very gentle and wise man!

We will all miss his comments and helpull advise here. 

THANK YOU mr Ström!

Geert Bruloot

08 April 2022 - 17:14
#9
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 137

My email exchange with Lars was in German, in which he was fluent. My last contact with him was in February, when he gave some advice for our new stern tube. He told me as an aside that he was approaching the age of 83, and is not doing cross-country skiing anymore. I then realized that he was born shortly before the winter war, and must have had a difficult early childhood. He responded that he was sent to safety to Landskrona in Sweden during the war, and spent three years in Landskrona, coming back speaking the Skane dialect which was strange for his family. My next message to him would have been that the stern tube has been successfully replaced and the boat is soon ready for the 2022 season.

Whenever I use Butyl on the boat I think of Lars. Just one out of numerous pieces of good advice we got from Lars on this forum.

With gratitude,

Christian

 

08 April 2022 - 17:15
#10
Join Date: 10 April 2010
Posts: 32

We were shocked and saddened to read Matteo's post about Lars passing.  We could not agree more with all the comments on this thread about what a great person Lars was and how we all have benefitted so much from his deep knowledge and generosity.  He will be missed dearly.  Our condolences to his family members and dear friends. 

Perhaps one way his legacy will continue is through the amazing fleet of S&S Swans, which bears the mark of his generous insights, help and suggestions over the last decades.  

Thank you, Matteo, for sharing this sad news.

We're thinking of you, Lars.

Mark and Kim

Anthea  41/059

 

08 April 2022 - 23:04
#11
Join Date: 08 April 2022
Posts: 1

Dear Matteo,

this is such a bad news for his family, for you that are losing a real friend and for the S&S Association that is losing a special Professor.

I am problably the last in time who joined the association but I have been very lucky to meet you Matteo and, thanks to you, to have the chance to chat with the Professor.

I bought Matchless at the end of 2020 and immediately started a complete refitting.

The Professor was so kind with me and guided me to the correct choice of the new engine for the boat and to the choice of other "amenities" around the engine and propeller system.

I was completely confused by a number of different advices, but Lars and Matteo were my lighthouse in the foggy sea and they helped me so much.

I received preciuos advices from Lars and every single choice was perfectly calculated by him. Once he wrote me "the top speed is estimated to 8.8 knots and the max recommended cruising speed at 75% engine output to 8.3 knots at 2850 rpm".

The forecast was absolutely perfect, of course.

I will always be grateful to Lars and I will try to honor his memory by taking good care of Matchless.

Best,

Giacomo

 

13 April 2022 - 12:53
#12
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 447

 

Lars is an unvaluable loss and I feel very sad for his family and this forum family where we all used to wait for his prompt and helpful replies to all kind of requests.  We will miss him a lot.

I cannot say that he was a good friend of mine and, understanding his grumpy temper very well and partly sharing it myself, I hardly believe that anyone in the world was a good friend of Lars, but he was a very good, honest and open person.  I feel that we had a lot of things in common; I am already missing him very much and I already know that I will miss him even more in the future.  We wrote a chapter of the famous book on S&S Swans together and we had many interesting discussions on boats, on technical matters and also on environmental problems, Italy, Finland, international policy and many more.  His cactus-like character made very difficult any conversation about private matters but, notwithstanding this, we had some pleasant ones.  Although we were not “standard” good friends, we had many very friendly and open-hearted conversations like the ones usually run between two grumpy men of a certain age: open minded but not too much.  As already mentioned here, he could understand and speak quite well many languages; I know for sure that he understood pretty well Italian, and he was always very curious to learn different local way of saying or habits that characterize certain cultures.  I remember trying to convince him to write to me in Swedish (as he belonged to the Swedish minority in Finland, it was his family language) because I was trying to learn it; he never did, and I never asked him why he refused to do it, but he must have had a good reason for sure.

At the beginning I was puzzled by his being called a professor; I am officially entitled to be called so but I do not like to be addressed accordingly.  Lars case, apparently, was exactly the opposite but…was it so?  It was not his idea and, as far as I know, he never asked for it although I think he appreciated such acknowledgement.  His technical culture was very wide and unique, he was well aware of it, and he liked to disseminate it to everybody who wanted to learn; exactly what we, legally acknowledged professors, are supposed to do.  Could he be blamed for being called so?  Certainly not.  If it were for me I would have appointed him Professor "ad honorem" without any doubt.

In the forum but also in other places, we often found ourselves with different ideas, sometimes even opposed.  He always liked to have the last word and, although not always willingly, I let him have it because, eventually, I knew that he was right.  The few times I really believed I was right, as it happened when we wrote together the famous chapter on the Swans, I somehow cheated not letting him have the last draft before going to print; he made good face on a bad situation and never complained but, believe me, this happened only very few times.  Only in a couple of subjects I knew more than him: general physics and electronics; in everything else I had to learn from him, and I just loved it.

I am very sorry, but here I must confess that I left a pending thing between Lars and me: a few years ago, I decided to write a note on engine elastic mounts for boats because I understood that there was a widespread misconception on this subject, and I planned to disseminate it in forums of boaters like this. As I knew that Lars studied and made computations on the subject, I asked him to participate to the article and he gladly joined the project.

My proposal was to write a paper in two sections: an informative one with practical indications (in few words: very useful!) and a theoretical one with a rigorous mathematical treatment and equations (in few words: totally useless but rewarding for my ego and scientific preparation!).  Lars was very happy with the first section and contributed a lot; regarding the second he just said to me to do whatever I liked and, every time I let him read a draft, he would return it to me literally untouched.  To make things shorts, around February 2019, we had almost a final version of the whole paper, but this is when I decided that it was a good idea to let the whole thing cool off a while to think about it.  The cooling period lasted longer than anticipated because as I read the second section, I was more and more unsecure of its utility and, eventually, I totally forgot about the project; nowadays the paper is still here, in my computer.  Lars never asked me about it, but I wonder what he thought…; my guess is that he thought that I was just crazy like a nut but he was too reserved and polite to tell me.

Ciao Lars, we all will miss you.

 

16 April 2022 - 07:04
#13
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 935

Dear S&S Swan Association Members and Friends,

Lars Ström.

Known as the Professor, he was a constant source of technical information for all of us for many many years, and there is no one who will be able to take his place. To his family, he was just Dad, and they would love to learn more about the other side of his life. Any stories or experiences with Lars would be greatly appreciated by them.

You are all invited to send yours (or post them on the forum), here is mine:

In 1999 I bought my dream boat: S&S Swan, 38/067 Only You.
How and why I decided I just “
wanted” to buy this boat is a long story and not the subject of this note; anyway one of the first maintenance tasks I immediately addressed on becoming the Owner of 38/067 was to contact Nautor as I wanted to replace the steering chain and cables; I sent a message to the yard in Pietarsaari and I was put in touch with Lars Ström, who at that time was still working in Nautor. He was very surprised and asked me why I wanted a brand new steering chain. I replied quite honestly that I wanted it because the boat was 23 years old (at the time I could not imagine the peculiarity of Sparkman&Stephens designed Swan is they are built to last forever) and this was my first step in the maintenance schedule I had in mind. Lars replied immediately that there was no need to change it, because it had been built to last forever! Very politely, he rejected my request.
I could not imagine that this was my first contact with a person destined to become a very close friend and a central figure in my sailing boat “second” life!
When I founded the S&S Swan Association, in 2000 with my late friend Stefano Cioni, we had nothing but a tremendous love and passion for these Swans designed by Sparkman&Stephens, but of course both of us, coming from a completely different background, were very inexperienced.
Over the past 22 years Lars was not only a personal friend with whom I had endless and almost daily contact, he was also of invaluable help in furthering my knowledge of S&S Swan. He guided me through all the secrets, hidden or otherwise, of these sailing boats. He has been working at Nautor since 1973, which means he actually built most of the S&S Swan afloat. He knew them all from the very deepest point of the keel to the top of the mast.
When Nautor changed ownership Lars left his job, this is when his second life began!
From the day he retired he became the source of information and adviser for all S&S Swan owners (and not just S&S), and Nautor customer care, as no employee of the younger generation at the yard had any knowledge or experience of the old boats.

He worked cheek by jowl with Rod (and Olin) Stephens; when you are sailing on a Sparkman&Stephens designed Swan you can sense that the boat is perfect, all you think you would like to have on board is there and exactly where you would like it to be, and built to the highest possible standard. At that time nothing was enginereed to save money, so you ask yourself why no other yard/architect was (or is) able to produce such a perfect sailing machine.
The answer is obvious: S&S Swans were built by Rod Stephens and Lars Str
öm. A perfect team who brooked no compromise.

We have lost a friend, but he will be never forgotten. He has left us a great treasure: his terrific knowledge through his infinite help for the S&S Swan Association, his private messages to Members, his posts in the forum (if you uploaded a question you could bet his answer, with the perfect solution, would be posted in a matter of hours), the book “S&S Swan. A Legend”, his friendship…!

We all of us, shall join together to keep his legacy alive!

matteo

There is now a memory fund in the name of Lars Ström. The fund is for supporting the sailing hobby for children and young people. It is a Sea Scout group in Turku that Lars has worked with since the 1980s. The Sea Scouts celebrated its 100th anniversary 5 years ago.

The contact and bank information is:
Turun Partio-Sissit ry
PL 85
20101 Turku 
Finland
IBAN: FI26 1652 3000 0148 14
BIC: NDEAFIHH (Nordea)

16 April 2022 - 16:02
#14
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 935

Remembering Lars Strom
by Juan E. Corradi, former Owner of S&S Swan 38/019 Pirate 

As a sailor on a classic Swan I had the privilege of knowing Lars (Lasse) Strom from the period that spanned between 2007 to his passing in 2022.  During that period I sailed my Swan 38 Pirate in Nordic waters (Scotland, the Shetlands, Norway through the Arctic Circle, Finland, and Denmark) until I sold the boat in 2010.  

In addition to the adventure of cruising in the North Sea and the Baltic, my intention was to restore the yacht to pristine condition in the very place where she was built in 1974.  Through our common friend and classic Swan enthusiast Matteo Salamon, and also upon the advice of Jennifer Stewart of Newport, Rhode Island  -for many years a broker of Scandinavian and especially Swan boats—I got in touch with the famous “professor” whose opinions on technical issues appeared with regularity in the Newsletter of the Classic Swan Association, founded and organized by Matteo Salamon.  I too was seeking technical advice.  I got it first while I re-engined the boat at a yard (Oban Yachts) in the island of Kerrera, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, and later when the boat was refitted at the Yxpila Boatyard in Kokkola, Finland.  My late friend Ola Hallman then ran that yard, and its staff included craftsmen who had worked for many years at the Nautor factory, and retired.  The Nautor yard was only a few kilometers (17 miles as the crow flies) Northeast of Pietarsaari, home of the Swans in the Gulf of Bothnia. It was on that second occasion that Lars graciously agreed to supervise the work on my Swan. 

Lars brought his extraordinary knowledge and experience to help with the list of jobs to be performed.  He inspected the state of the vessel, and made all the appropriate recommendations.  He inspected her again when the job was done, a few months later in June of 2009.  He gave his approval with the imprimatur of Nautor A.B. My recollection of that wonderful technical saga appears on pp. 176-180 of the book The Voyages of Pirate, which I published in 2019.

            I met Lars in person at the train station in Kokkola on a clear morning in the fall of 2008.  We spent several hours together at Ola Hallman’s shipyard, and then we traveled together to the Nautor yard in Pietarsaari.  The yard had expanded much since Lars retired and was now building very large boats with exotic materials and state of the art technology.  I remember well Lars’ comments as we inspected a 100-foot sloop under construction.  The original building –where classic Swans were once built—was, however, intact with its sheds and equipment. I noticed that Lars was received by the current Nautor staff with immense respect.  He was not only “the professor,” but also the legendary “grandfather” of Swans.

The second time I spent with Lars was on my visit to the city of Tampere, where he had retired and which he graciously showed me as an impromptu guide.  He showed me the jewels of the town, from a factory complex with housing and amenities for workers, established in the 19th century, to the modern Library, to the magnificent cathedral, designed in the National Romantic style by Lars Sonck, and built between 1902 and 1907. The cathedral is famous for its frescoes, painted by the symbolist Hugo Simberg between 1905 and 1906.  It became a symbol of resistance to Russification and a harbinger of Finnish independence, won in 1917. We spoke of Tampere’s checkered history in the early part of the 20th century, when Vladimir Illich Lenin spent part of his exile years (in 1905 Lenin met Stalin in person for the first time in Tampere).   Later from Russia Lenin promoted a Bolshevik insurrection in Finland that was sternly suppressed by Marshall Mannerheim, the future national hero of the war against Russian aggression in the winter of 1939, and future president of the Republic after WWII. All this I learned from Lars in Tampere, and got a lesson on Finnish forbearance (sisu), born out of many wars in many centuries, always with the same enemy to the East.  Lars was a man of few words, uttered with precision, as befits an engineer, and with kindness, as befits an exceptional soul.

The third time I spent together with Lars was in the company of Matteo Salamon in downtown Helsinki, where we attended a symposium on classic boats.  Again, conversations ranged, as they had before, from the technical to seamanship, to history.  Always the same Lars:  kind, precise, knowledgeable, generous, and an example of sisu: forbearance, stamina, human decency.

I grieve the passing of Lars.  A part of us who knew him –the better sailorly part—has gone with him.  But a part of him, his legacy, stays with us, and will stay forever, in gratitude.

18 April 2022 - 19:51
#15
Join Date: 05 April 2010
Posts: 9

Dear family, dear friends of Lars,
my deepest regards!

The professor never took more than one night to come up with precised answers and scetches for EVERY question I could remember off.
Always straight, friendly and selfless. It is hard to realize that he passed away.
 
What a sailor, engineer and gentleman! He will stay in my- and I am sure ALL our minds for ever.
 
We'll miss you!
 
Ulli & Holger
THEMIS

 

 

20 April 2022 - 11:01
#16
Join Date: 27 January 2011
Posts: 137

If somebody wants to hear the professor, here is an interesting podcast from 59 North: https://www.59-north.com/onthewindpodcast/273-lars-strom-swan-professor

 

Regards,

Christian

22 April 2022 - 15:59
#17
Join Date: 04 December 2021
Posts: 4

Dear Friends,

Lars, our beloved Professor, a long time Friend, passed away, peacefully, today.

I am desperate, I'll miss him so much.

matteo

Dear Matteo and Michael and Brita

 
Of course I was so sad to hear about Lars. I feel that I have lost what I was beginning to think of as a sort of talking bible and I'm sad that I'll never meet the man if only to be able to say 'thank you so much'.
 
I had been meaning to write to you all (and, of course, to Lars) to update you on the progress re our rudder (Serafina 38/039) following much patient advice so freely given:
 
Following Lars's recommendation, I ground off the glass around the fairing strips and the skeg boot (awful job - like taking a sledge-hammer to a beautiful sculpture).  I got the bolts out of the boot eventually (one was buried under the fairing strips - hence the need to remove them first!) but the boot absolutely wouldn't shift so, as advised, I applied 'judicious heating and hitting'.  After a couple of days with no result the boatyard suggested I 'went away for a day' and in my absence they achieved what was necessary.  They weren't exactly forthcoming with their methodology but I spotted an oxy-acetylene cylinder nearby!
 
Anyway, with huge luck, it was only the top bearing that required replacement (therefore no digging of hole under the rudder required) and happily we're now all re-bearinged, glassed up, primed, antifouled and relaunched. And the steering is finger-light.
 
(Only one - minor - mishap thereafter:  There's a railway viaduct next to the boatyard with charted clearance of 21m.  WRONG!  I now need to replace the VHF aerial!)
 
One further question.  Is there an approved way of taking off the headlinings in the saloon?  (Actually this may not be necessary as I'm just trying to trace the route of wiring from the instrument panel above the main hatch but it would be good to know, just in case.)
 
I have a number of photos showing the various stages of the 'rudder job'.  They might be helpful for anyone contemplating the same project.  Should I post them anywhere? 
 
With my very best regards,
 
Fair winds......
 
John
 
Serafina 38/039

  • Threads : 1642
  • Posts : 9897
  • Members: 792
  • Online Members: 1