Tall stories?

There are many incredible stories told where Hallberg-Rassy is involved in one way or the other. Many are so incredible that it is hard to believe they are true. We can only assure you that everything you can read below is absolutely true and has happened in real life.

First GRP boat in a museum a Hallberg-Rassy

After three and a half circumnavigation a Hallberg-Rassy boat has been retired into a museum. The Swedish sailor Kurt Björklund´s HR 31 Monsun "Golden Lady" has become an important attraction at a museum in Råå in southern Sweden.

"Golden Lady" is the first GRP boat in Sweden to come to a museum. We at Hallberg-Rassy are of course very proud of this. Kurt Björklund was the first owner and took delivery of this boat here in Ellös 1974. Kurt knew that he wanted to do some serious sailing, but could never have imagined how far he would travel. In 1983 Kurt retired from work and went on his first solo Circumnavigation. The second one included the rounding of Cape Horn.

There has never been made any special strengthening of the boat to coop with harsh weather conditions during the three and a half trips around the world. Kurt built a hard top to have an even better protected cockpit.

Kurt donated the boat to the Råå museum. - I could have sold the boat for some SEK 300 000 But I could not stand the idea of not knowing where the boat was and how she was doing. I prefer sacrificing the money and have peace in my mind, Kurt said.

Kurt lived between 1921 and 2006. At the age of 80 he gave up sailing. The reason was his health condition. He bought himself a small garden cottage, where he could watch the yachts sailing by. Do not even think for a moment that Kurt is interested in cultivating vegetables.

 

Just delivered Hallberg-Rassy 36 stolen

At 10 am on Sept. 27th 1996 a Hallberg-Rassy 36 "Heras" was stolen from its home port of Maasholm in Northern Germany.

At 7 pm the night before the beautiful sailboat was seen by a visitor to the harbour. He decided to return the next morning as it was getting dark and was then unable to find it. Shortly thereafter, the rightful owner arrived to prepare the boat for the weekend sail. Naturally, he became quite alarmed when he realized that the boat was gone. The coast guard and the insurance company were advised. The owner searched all neighbouring ports himself. 250 harourmasters in Germany and Denmark were notified via fax.

The perpetrators had a lead of 15 hours maximum. But the search was to no avail. In the next few days 2000 descriptions of a stolen boat was sent to various ports, locks and boat professionals. 1800 posters were distributed. Shipping agents and crane operating firms were contacted in case the boat had been loaded on a trailer or placed in a container and sent to a far-away destination. We can all only speculate on what happened to "Heras".

In early November of 1996 it was reported that a Hallberg-Rassy 36 with the name of "Hercules" had sailed from the Canary Islands with three German speaking men aboard. However, no such yacht is registered in Germany. Could it have been the stolen "Heras"? The trail quickly fizzled out. Two clues from the West Indies were also worthless.

According to the insurance company it is very rare that a stolen boat of this type is not recovered, particularly after a thorough search. The Helmut Meyer family feel deeply about the loss of their boat. The insurance money was paid, but the financial loss the Meyers was still substantial, due to the deductible and valuable personal items aboard that were not insured.

However, the enjoyment of the "Heras" has been returned to the Meyers in the form of a new HR 36, the "Sareh"(Heras spelt backwards). It is the third Hallberg-Rassy 36 for the Meyer family. The first one hand a traditional stern. When the Meyer family saw the newly developed HR 36, with a hull which was fuller from the cockpit and aft, with a developed stern with a swim platform, they became eager to replace their first Hallberg-Rassy 36. A buyer who was willing to pay well for the old boat was quickly found and the order for the new boat, which was later stolen, was placed.

 

Hallberg-Rassy 36 mysteriously lost and found again

Previously we reported about the Hallberg-Rassy 36 "Heras" which had been stolen.

Now the yacht has finally been found. It was when the police spotted a stolen motorboat that they became suspicious the driver perhaps had more on his elastic conscience. It later proved that the thief had stolen yet two more boats. These were found in a shed in Wischhafen at river Elbe, northern Germany. As a boat thief, at least he proved to have good taste, both yachts being Hallberg-Rassy yachts, one HR 36 and one HR 38.

The theft was well planned. The man had faked the contract of sale so that it stated he had bought the boat the day after the theft. Before the theft took place, he told his friends and his fellow Yacht Club members that he was going to buy a Hallberg-Rassy 36. When the boat arrived at the harbour, he held a party with all club members in the boats honor.

Both building number and engine number had been removed and the name had been changed to Sundowner. He also managed to get the boat insured with a false building number. The stated seller, in the falsified contract, later proved not to exist. With this contract in hand the thief went to the bank and got a loan of approximately 100 000 Euro, which was half the price according to the false contract. On the loan the man lived for the four years he had the boat.

The yacht was placed outside the 60 year old theft's house in northern Germany and he has used the boat quite frequently and has done over 5 000 nautical miles over four years.

The yacht was in very good shape when it was found. The rightful owner found more or less all his personal belongings onboard. He had long since got the insurance money from his insurer Pantaenius and obtained a replacement HR 36 with the name "Sareh" (Heras backwards). "Heras" is now sold to a new honest owner who knows the story of his boat.

The story got a sad ending. After everything was revealed and all facts were presented to the thief, he committed suicide.

 

Big difference between Ellös and Ellos

Hallberg-Rassy is located in a small village, Ellös on the island Orust, on the Swedish West Coast. Ellös is 75 km north of Gothenburg. Ellös is not to be confused with Ellos. Ellos is a mail order firm. Unfortunately confusion has happened. Customers from countries where the Swedish letters, Å, Ä and Ö do not exist, have ordered a taxi drive to Ellos, only to find that they are in the right place to buy cheap clothes, but not to fullfil their expectations to take delivery of a beautiful yacht, nor to find any coastline. Ellos mail order is located in Borås, 80 km east of Gothenburg, away from the coastline. That means 130 unnecessary kilometers in a taxi.
Avoid that!

Shoeless Queen and King aboard a Hallberg-Rassy

His Royal Majesty the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, visited the stand of Hallberg-Rassy at the biggest boat show in the world, boot Düsseldorf in Germany in January 1999. The King of Sweden looked in detail at the biggest Hallberg-Rassy on show, the Hallberg-Rassy 53.

Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden, Silvia, accompanied the King. Also attending were Swedish trade minister, Mr Pagrotsky, and the German minister president of Northrhine-Westphalia, Mr Clement. The boatshow in Düsseldorf each year has a theme. In 1999 the country is Sweden.

His Royal Majesty the King of Sweden opened the boatshow and also took the opportunity to see what Sweden could offer on the international market.

 

The criminal police and Hallberg-Rassy

One day the criminal police phoned Hallberg-Rassy. In a place for harbouring stolen property a sail had been found. The sail was confiscated. The police did not have any idea about the type of boat the sail belonged to. All they knew was that it was a genoa for a rather big boat. They described the sail with measurements, material, the name of the sailmaker and a building number. All these facts were familiar to the person in the yard who took the call. The year before this person had sold his Hallberg-Rassy 34 with a sail that had the same characteristics.

He asked the police why they phoned Hallberg-Rassy as there are hundreds of yards producing boats with sails that would match the specification of this specific sail. The police officer answered that he thought the sail must belong to a big beautiful boat. The only big and beautiful boat he could think of was a Hallberg-Rassy. By coincidence he had contacted the previous owner. The new owner was contacted and he confirmed that a genoa had disappeared from his boat.

Sometimes you realise that this planet is not so very big.

 

CIA used a Hallberg-Rassy for secret missions

According to reliable sources, it has come to our knowledge that the CIA has used a Hallberg-Rassy 49 as an espionage boat in Alaska. The vessel sailed in an area of great natural beauty, disguised as a long-distance sailing boat. Below deck, parts of the boat were modified to allow special bugging devices to be fitted. Alaska is only 50 nautical miles away from the former Soviet Union. The Hallberg-Rassy 49 was moored in the Bering Sea and could listen to Russian submarines. There was also diving equipment on board, as well as a large air compressor. Evidently they had divers as well. This all took place in the middle and at the end of the 1980s. The boat has been sold to a "real" long distance sailor now and he has refitted the boat to the original design. They now have a washing machine fitted where the surveillance equipment used to be.

 


The world's oldest boat was build at the same ground as Hallberg-Rassy

Hallberg-Rassy yachts are built in the small village of Ellös on the island Orust on the Swedish West Coast. The fact that boats have been built in the area around Ellös since the Vikings is common knowledge, but scientists claim that it is very likely that the oldest known remains of a boat in the world come from Ellös. When the excavators started digging for the new road from Ellös heading east, pieces of resin were found. According to the scientists the resin was used to caulk boat hulls which were probably made of aspen-wood. The resin clods come from birch trees and are these specific trees mending material. By studying marks in the resin clods it was found that these had been sitting on boat hulls.
The C-14 test has shown that the boats were made 9 500 to 9 800 years ago!


The area where the artefacts were preserved in mud had been hidden until being unrecovered by excavation for the new road. The remainings can be studied at the museum "Stenåldersmuséet" in Ellös.
Who among the people from the Stone Age would even suspect that Sweden's leading sailboat builders would be situated in the same area 10 000 years later?

 

Hallberg-Rassys well kept by thieves

Some time between the 2nd and 4th of October 2000 a HR 31 was stolen on the Swedish West Coast. Until summer 2002 there was no trace of the boat anywhere, but a Hallberg-Rassy is always unique in one way or the other. You can’t hide a boat like this for ever. There are many committed and well-informed Hallberg-Rassy ambassadors around the world and sooner or later stolen HR yachts will reappear. 

In the summer of 2002 it was just one of these committed HR owner’s observations that led to the vital breakthrough. Let us call this man ”Mr A”

Mr A was himself a former Hallberg-Rassy 31 owner and had heard that one had been stolen, he also knew that this particular boat was equipped with wheel steering that was fitted after wards. On the HR 31s where the wheel is fitted at build, the backstay is designed differently, it has a crowfoot (Y shaped) to make more room for the helms-man. He could see this was not the case on the backstay. There were a few other things that made the yard and the insurance company a little more interested in Mr A´s tips.
There was a build number on the boat in question. The owner of this suspected boat, let us call him ”person B”, said in conversation that the boat was bought from a man in the South of Sweden.

The thing was that the build number he gave was not for a boat sold in Sweden but for a boat sold in Germany. The German owner had already sold his boat and had ordered a new HR. He could provide the name of the new owner who kept his boat in the Mediterranean. The boat had no wheel steering and the owner had just been out sailing with the boat and was sure it was not stolen. So the suspicion of B not playing with all his cards on the table was getting strong-er. Also the serial number of the boat had been changed in a remarkably clumsy way. Person B was not aware he had been arrested in his absence for boat theft. When B, at the end of August, arrived in Lofthammar and the boat, for a couple of relaxing days at sea he found the boat on land, clamped and cordoned with police blue and white striped tape. He contacted the police wondering what was going on. Person B, a 60 year old man from eastern Sweden was then taken into custody.

B was suspected of several boat thefts. Besides the Hallberg-Rassy 31 worth 120 000 Euros, a smaller motorboat worth 11 000 Euros had been stolen in 1998. Another motorboat worth 35 000 Euros had been stolen in 1999. Both these boats could be tied to Person B and were found at two different lakes in Sweden and had been frequently used by B himself during the summers. In October 2002 B was sent to prison for 2.5 years. The city court couldn’t however, establish that B himself had stolen the Hallberg-Rassy 31, so on that point they chose to find him guilty of receiving stolen goods which is looked upon as a serious crime. It was proven he had stolen the other two boats. He was found guilty of theft and severe theft. He was also convicted of unlawful threat and fraud. The fraud was regarding insurances. The case had only two days to go before it was due to be statute-barred! In 1997 Person B had claimed 8 000 Euros from an insurance company after arranging a burglary from his own garage. The period of limitation for a crime like this is 5 years. Person B had also stolen a valuable terrain mower and a boat trailer to enable him to transport the stolen motorboats. 

A Hallberg-Rassy owner can feel safe in the knowledge that stolen HR boats sooner or later are found and therefore are less desirable to boat thieves. It is also very difficult to sell a stolen HR boat since you tend to be revealed wherever you are. To anyone fond of Hallberg-Rassy boats it is probably nice to know that the Hallberg-Rassy 31 mentioned above, like other Hallberg-Rassy boats that have been stolen, was in an immaculate condition. A Hallberg-Rassy boat is well-kept even by a thief!