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 fulfil 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.