From humble beginnings…
Norway's fjord landscape has attracted tourists since 18th century liners sailed posh people to glacier rimmed fjord tops. Yachts alike rambled along. Pre war explorer Patrick Dalziel-Job of Hastings is the main character of this account:«A bonny day May 1937 the 37 feet schooner «Mary Fortune» left Fraserburgh, Scotland headed for Karmoey, Norway. On board the 24 year old Patrick and his mother. The yacht their own, sail and a Kelvin 13 hp propulsion. Norwegian landscape was impressive, in accordance with his fathers narrations. Mother and son criss-crossed northwards and visited most fjords and harbours. The winter was spent in Norheimsund, and norwegian language became part of their skills. Next spring the journey continued northwards while Patrick made his notes and sketches of the fairway. Tromsø was their next winterharbour».
(Ivar Enoksen: «Tusen glemte menn». Schibsted Forlagene, Oslo 2005. Side 38. Translation by nmar.no).
Norheimsund shore side deteriorated for several decades as terrestrian transport made steamers and fjord traffic a memory of the past.
By early 1970's enthusiasts of Norheimsund Båtlag (Norheimsund Boatclub) moored first visitor pontoon at the rocky shores of "downtown" Norheimsund and a base of increasing traffic was founded. Late 1990's evolution leaped forward as Kvam Herad (the municipality) launched a 25 MNOK shoreside development project introducing quay fronts, parking lots and later a face lift of commercial street, but still no descent small boat harbour.
Local volunteers to the rescue: Mid 1998 Geir Madsen of Hardanger Maritime Centre launched the idea of Hardanger Woodenboat Festival. The committee, with Magnar Bøe as leading star, explained the local bank the festival needs of pontoons and a loan of 463 thousand NOK was granted. At first show june 1999 a brand new floater, 63 meters long, fronted the new village sea front. Summer traffic increased and almost instantly the first international yacht again (see inset) tied up for wintering. A base for expansion was established.
Where we are today?
The enthusiastic guests from nearby and overseas are inspiring. Year 2004 the floating club house of today with shower and laundry facilities sailed up the Hardangerfjord and tied up in Norheimsund. Still on a voluntary basis we are able to offer "lazy summer days or sheltered winter layup" at reasonable prices at a central set-off position whether it be fjord exploration, Lofoten archipelago, Spitzbergen, Iceland or the Baltic.
chairman of the board