Henning Forslund
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Henning Forslund.jpg Henning Forslund was born in Svartå just outside Karlskoga the 7th of may 1876. In his early years he became fascinated in all kind of mecanical devices, but specially in the internal combustion engine that was invented in 1886 by Daimler and Benz. His big interest in this new technology led to his move, away from the his hometown to the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. Open and friendly as he was, it did'nt take long before he became friends with a lot of big celebrities in the technical and industrial world. One of them was Gustaf Erikson, (son to L.M. Erikson, the founder of Erikson the phone company) who he bought a three wheeler car from. That Leon-Bollée was one of the first cars in Stockholm. In 1900 H. Forslund was speeding around in central Stockholm when he was caught by a police officer running beside his vehicle, demanding him to stop! But that was'nt the first time Forslund
figured in this connection, in 1897 at the Word exhebition in Stockholm he did a advertising campaign for racing boats. In a launch boat build in Söderköingping with an one-cylinder-two-stroke engine giving almost astounding 3hp, he ran around in the harbour of Stockholm

The next time H. Forslund figures in the newspaper is in 1904, Forslund imported a racing boat "TOGO" from Denmark. The boat was designed by the famous automobile racing gentleman H.C Christiansen, built in Kopenhagen by Danish Cycle & Automobile Co. The measuare was 9,0 X 1,7 meter build in laminated mahogany with a Scoll Fendia 4-cylinder overhead valve engine. Forslund reached astounding 14 knots with "TOGO" witch made him the fastest boat on swedish waters, he won a improviced race with Waxholmsbolagets fastest steamship Express I. By this time H. Forslund had become totally devoted to motor boats. In 1905 he took a job as an accountant at one of the biggest boatyards in Stockholm, SJÖXPRESS. Forslund felt most comfortable in the boat business and working for Sjöexpress, but the company was running bad and become bankrupt in 1907. Forslund now saw his chance and bought the company. Said and done, Henning Forslund bought the hole boatyard and later that same year he opened the NYA SJÖEXPRESS" ("The new Sjöexpress"). As most people think Forslund was'nt the founder of the legendary boatyard, he bought it and put it back on its feet! In the following years he took the company to the top of boatbuilders. Togo.jpg
"TOGO" - 1904

Tärnan.gif In the beginning of 1920 Forslund hired C.A. Fagerman as a boat designer at the boatyard. Construction had earlier been done on contract, but now Forslund could offer customers boats totally made by the well known "Sjöexpress". Forslund did the first design, Fagerman did the constuction drawings and then the skilled workers took the finest massive wood of mahogany, pine and oak and turned in to the boat, everybody was happy. This winning team of H. Forslund and C.A. Fagerman continued for eighteen years. A typical design from these to gentlemen is 12.25 meter mahogany saloon yacht "TÄRNAN", build in 1930 at "Sjöxpress". She still runs in a very good condition.
"M/Y Tärnan" by H. Forslund and
C.A. Fagerman 1930.

At the end of 1910, KMK ( the Royal motor boat club in Stockholm) started their well organisized races for motor boats. Races where held every year in july. In the beginning it was the ordinary mans race for fame and glory, no prize money could be won. But in1922 it begun to turn in to what we see today, boat designers and motor manufacturing companies marketing their products. Among the competitors there was boats from "LIDINGÖVARVET", "ALBIN", "N.V". (Carl Plym's Neglinge Varvet) and of course "SJÖEXPRESS. H. Forslund who hardly missed a race since the days of "Togo" back in 1904 enjoyed the progress. To match the competition Forslund 1922 built the "SJÖEXPRESS XIV". With this close to eight meter long racing boat, good for 25 knots and designed by the legendary C.G. Pettersson, Forslund won two of the most desirable victories in the 1923 season. When the next racing season begun in 1924, Forslund was back, ready to compete with his two new boats, "SJÖEXPRESS XV and"SJÖEXPRESS XVIthis time designed by C.A. Fagerman. Both of them had hulls influenced by John I. Thornycroft racer and patrol boats. The "HUNTER III, designed by Thornycroft had been very successful in the races 1922. Each boat was equiped with a MERCEDES-BENZ 6-cylinder / 150hp engine. These powerful motors gave Forslund a topspeed of 35 knots. 1924-26 became the two most successfull seasons in his racing career. To 1926 season Forslund gave C.A. Fagerman order to design what came to be the last in the series of Henning Forslund self-owned "SJÖEXPRESS RACIG BOATS, "SJÖEXPRESS XVII".

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"Sjöexpress XV" outside H. Forslunds house 1924. "Sjöexpress XVI" and Sjöexpress XV" ready to race.

At the end of 1920 decade the interest for outboard racing increased, Forslund understood what was going on and started a agency for ELTO (Evinrude Light Twin Outboard).

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H. Forslund gettig dessed for a race in "Sjöexpress XVII 1926. Henning Forslund in his A-Ford powered "ESSUNGEN".

At the age of fiftyeight, Forslund particepated in his last official race 1933. Ironicly he ended in second place, just like he had done in his first race with "TOGO" back in 1904. In this last race he drove his "ESSUNGEN" powered by an A-Ford motor.

A big thanks to ANDERS VÆRNÉUS for lending me this material.


© 1999 Anders Jelving - Classic Wooden Boats - SWEDEN
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