The Later Years 1970-1983
As the Dragon class began to contemplate glass fibre as a construction material, Pedersen & Thuesen realised they had to look to the future too. Whilst the Borresen yard constructed the first Dragon mould, Børge and Poul started to comb the boat market for suitable alternative yacht designs. They alighted on two: the Opus 34 sailing yacht, designed by Odd Rembert Andersen and the Mascot 28 motor sailor. The Opus is a well thought out, sea kindly yacht suitable for both cruising and racing. The Mascot is of a design that has since become popular, a raised deck motor sailor with an undercover helm and good all round visibility. The moulds for these yachts were made in the new yard and then transported to LM Glasfiber of Lunderskov, some 5 miles to the west of Kolding, where the glassed hull and other parts were formed before being returned to Bramdrupdam for completion. At the yard the woodworkers were still able to demonstrate their skill by fitting out below decks in best style and laying teak decks.
In all 43 Opus yachts and 20 Mascot motor sailors were made in the twelve years between 1970 and 1982 at Pedersen & Thuesen. Of the 43 Opus yachts, around half were sold in Denmark, with the remainder going to Germany, Australia and New Zealand and one to California. In 1970 the Opus sold for Kr135,000 and four were sold during the construction of the very first. Once the yard ceased operations nine Mk II Opus yachts were made from 1983 to 1987 by Opus Værft (or Dan Yachting in Kolding), which may have been an especially formed company to finish off pre-ordered boats and in the hope of making many more. They had a slightly different fit out below, much of the wood being painted white and some had wheel steering.
As far as can be discovered, the Mascot 28 was closely derived from the LM 28, which was designed by Palle Mortensen of LM Glasfiber. It may have been that Pedersen & Thuesen built the Mascot under license from their friends at LM. Once Pedersen & Thuesen had closed their doors for business the Mascot appears to have been re-introduced to the market by Mascot Boats AS from Gesten. They were established in 1987 by the Søgård-Nielsen family, developed a family of Mascot motor sailors and went out of business in 1996.
The Opus 34, even now a good looking, seaworthy yacht
Another Opus 34 being enjoyed in a good breeze
1980 marked an economic down turn throughout Europe. Sailing suffered a retrenchment and new builds reduced to a trickle for most yards. At Pedersen & Thuesen matters were no different and by 1982 Børge and Poul had tough decisions to make. At first they hoped that they might sell the yard as a going concern, but with few potential buyers in such a depressed market they realised they were fighting a losing battle. In 1983 they reluctantly told their loyal workforce, by then nine men, that they were going to have to close the business. The yard’s buildings were sold, with the ‘new’ building becoming a specialist fireplace outlet, whilst the other older buildings, including the original loft above the stables, were demolished in 1990 to make way for a small hotel. Børge Pedersen and Poul Thuesen went into retirement, neither of them wealthy men despite the success they had enjoyed. In fact, though their boats were never cheap, the two friends made very little profit from their work, though they were clearly content to see their boats, built to the very finest standards, do so well in their chosen fields.
The Mascot 28