HistoryFJORD - THE POWER OF EXPERIENCE
A boat fair in Hannover? Yes, there was one back in the late Fifties - And one of its visitors was Alf Richard Bjercke. This amazing story starts with a simple fair visit, however it would become the defining force for Bjercke and Fjord.
The world needs boats like Fjord. This was the reality for the future Fjord-manager after his visit to the fair. Adopting the Ford mantra of a “car for everybody”, he determined that this is exactly the way his boats should work. In a very Norwegian way: resolute and reliable like a Viking and honest, seaworthy and solid.
Bjercke started building precisely this type of boat in a rented shop in Arendal in the early Sixties. The small shop however, could not take more than 24 feet in length. But Bjerke had the recipe for selling these to new owners: the dinghy “Gressvig“, the 15 foot long “Bolt“, the 17 foot “Fjordling“ and a 21 foot long cabin cruiser to owners. He was successful.
In order to grow into the 30 foot range, he moved Fjord to a new larger shipyard in Arendal. It soon carried a reputation for being the most modern and productive shipyard of its time.
The recipe continued to work and in 1964 he had to move Fjord to another location in Fevik. During the following two years, Bjercks shipyard expanded to 120 employees. Competition is copying the Fjord ideas all over the world. The concepts are right.
Ten years after the founding of the company, over 700 employees provide satisfaction for all Fjord-owners. Bjercke offered 72 models from four shipyards. During these years Fjord left all European shipyards for motorboats behind and Bjercke began conceiving a 75 footer, unthinkable at the time.
The oil crisis in 1973 destroyed all dreams of expansion. Fjord shrinks. But in the late Seventies the brand is back; with new models and a motor sailor. In the late Eighties Eivind Amble transformed a traditional wooden ketch into the 28 foot long GRP-type Fjord “Terne“. Ten years later Inger S. Bravig concentrates production on this boat. By the end of the Nineties, the shipyard had developed a model range.
Fjord created the Terne very individually with great attention to detail. She is not a boat for everyone and she has distanced herself from the Ford-idea. In 2007, the Fjord-manager Jens Ahrens and Michael Schmidt, head of HanseYachts , agree that Fjord needs a new vision. The seed of the decades-old brand shall produce new blossoms. HanseYachts enters Fjord. The new team wants to bring Fjord back to it’s historical lead position: the top of the motor yacht shipyards in Europe. Many owners should again be able to profit from the Fjord experience and the seamanship of the Fjord-teams in the future.