The BlueBird 25 was drawn by the famous Sparkman & Stephens and built in Turku, Finland, in 1972. She’s an IOR quarter tonner sometimes described as “the world’s smallest offshore sailboat”. The same model was produced in Canada under the name North Star 500 – see technical specs at Sailboatdata.com.
She’s a sturdy little boat with a moderate sail area, and heavy and beamy in a way that makes her a very well behaved elderly lady in all kinds of weather.
She bears some family resemblance to her more famous contemporaries, the early Swans, but this tiny classic offers somewhat less luxury in space and comfort. However, there is ample headroom while sitting down in the salon, and the unusual but clever galley & head combination at the bow keeps us agile while cooking underway.
We’ve often heard that a suitable length for a boat would be the wife’s age in feet. In our case that would result in an ocean cruiser of considerable size, but as it was the wife herself who chose the boat, surely she can lie about her age just a little, don’t you think?
We sailed our beautiful little boat for two summers in the Baltic Sea, visiting Estonia and the Finnish Archipelago Sea, and circumnavigating the Åland Islands. During these adventures she impressed us with her strength and seaworthiness – she felt like a much bigger boat when under sail, and could easily take the big waves and fresh winds in her stride.
When it was time to move on to bigger adventures and a bigger boat, we knew we could not settle for anything less. Starting, and ending, our search with the words Sparkman & Stephens we believe we found what we were looking for. The little lady will always have a special place in our hearts, and we wish her and her proud new owner happy adventures!