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Miss(ed in) Munich - a true barn find

17 September 2022

Sometimes luck is required, sometimes just perseverance - and mostly both! When Gents Barn had been struggling for years to find a rare Schneider boat, Torben, the founder of Gents Barn, could only hope to eventually find a small lead. The long-awaited Schneider boat, one could also say "the Blue Mauritius among the GDR mahogany boats", had not been seen for decades. And how did that come about?

Well, it's the year 1956, the two German states, moreover the Berlin districts were not yet separated by a wall and the eighth German Crafts Fair took place in Munich. The GDR also exhibited the achievements of the socialist handicraft businesses in a separate community hall. And here as a highlight a mahogany boat that caused a lot of excitement among the audience due to its unique and sleek lines - a boat from the Schneider shipyard, hull number 533. What the shipyard should not have guessed at the time - after the fair the boat did not go back east as originally promised, but remained directly in the Munich area - illegally sold by the Foreign Trade Ministry of the GDR in order to get West German foreign currency.

After only 2 years, however, it was stored at the Rambeck boatyard on Lake Starnberg, since the Wartburg engine kept causing problems - and left the West-German owner frustrated. In 1960, a family from Würzburg bought the boat that was stored outside and it stayed with them for several decades. At the turn of the millennium, a classic car collector from Scandinavia accidentally became aware of the boat and bought the boat a few years later. So it disappeared to the north and also from memory.

When Torben heard about the history of the boat he was of course intrigued and tried to find out everything about this boat - the one missed in Munich! But it remained a dead end for many years - until the day when Torben was looking for an old Packard coupé in Finland. Through his good contacts there, during a phone call his attention was drawn to a German mahogany boat, which was also in the far north - like the rare Packard - somewhere in Finland. Torben pricked his ears... after many emails and phone calls it became clear that it had to be a boat designed in the former GDR and even one of the already rare and beautiful Schneider boats.

But which boat was it exactly? With the help of his good Finnish friend, he managed to get in touch with the owner - the boat was brought to light after years of storage in a basement garage on an abandoned property just 20km from the Russian border. Based on the construction number, it then became clear - it was the missing Blue Mauritius, one of the first Schneider models of the type S4, the second oldest surviving Schneider boat today and exactly the boat that was at the Munich fair in 1956.

After a few months of negotiation, the Finnish owner was also convinced that the boat should be back in good hands. He finally parted with this treasure, so that Gents Barn can now bring home this super-rare find, our "Miss(ed in) Munich".

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The appreciation for quality, stylish design and authentic manufacturing are an attitude towards life. Just like the joy that comes from owning classic cars, acknowledging traditional craftsmanship, or collecting memorabilia from the past.