In days when we were searching for our first boat (30 years ago) many hours were spent poring through the monthly editions of Trade-a Boat. In fact we used to joke that no toilet library was complete without a copy. Today searching is made a whole lot easier through sites like yachtworld.com with various filtering and sorting – including the all important price bracket.
The following is a check list we gave a couple of brokers:
- up to around 20 years old
- centre cockpit with aft cabin
- ocean going pedigree (i.e. likely not a production boat per Jeanneau, Beneteau, Bavaria, Hanse etc.)
- good water and fuel carrying capacity
- twin furling headsails
- recently replaced standing rigging
- bow thruster
- davits for dingy
- solid cruising inventory (water maker, generator etc.)
- decks in good condition
Over a period of at least 10 years we went through a whole progression of potential boats from Bavaria, Jeanneau: Sun Odyssey, Grand Soleil and Ovni before finally deciding around purchase time to focus on Hallberg-Rassy’s. We had sailed on most of the others at one time or other but when we went for an afternoon cruise on a friends HR46 in Lisbon we were sold on how solid she felt and how sailing in 15-20 knots felt like only 10 knots. The aft cabin with ensuite was a bonus, but most important was the reputation for exceptional build quality and ocean going pedigree. We wanted a boat that could pretty much go anywhere – irrespective of our own abilities / aspirations.
We really wanted a boat less than 20 years old, easily sailed short handed and so focused our search on the 42F – an aesthetically pleasing centre cockpit sloop with classic Frers lines. The HR42 comes in two models: the 42E which is an Enderlain design with encapsulated keel and its successor the German Frers designed 42F with bolt on keel. Like all HRs these were built in Sweden (production ending in 2000) and I knew that even if we chose an older boat there would be many times I would be grateful for the thought that went into the design and fit out even if I couldn’t appreciate every detail during the pressurised time of pre-buy inspection. Things like internal access to the underside of deck fittings, wiring etc. – all have been well thought thru simplifying maintenance. Access to the engine and generator is a dream!
During the second half of 2018 the search intensified and there were 3 HR42Fs for sale in Europe. Although purchasing further afield we know we wanted to start our cruising there if possible.
We were getting a pretty good feeling that 2019 could well be our first “season” ie northern summer – April to October. There was an attractively priced 42F near Venice, so in November we slotted in an inspection as a detour from a short trip we had already planned to the Berlin Christmas markets. (well actually we flew all the way to Berlin and then straight back to Venice – got to love discount European flights!) Anyway that boat was disappointing and set a low bar. The decks were poor and she even looked as though she had been wet inside and had, perhaps, had an underwater collision of some sort.
It was really disappointing – so much so that I immediately wanted to head to Barcelona to check out the second option. The third, in Turkey would have to wait until we had more time. A quick few hours planning and some marginally coherent phone chats with the broker/owner and we were on our way with our second detour south from Berlin (Christmas Markets? Pfffttt, who cares!) This time boat was a lot closer to what we were after. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been used very much in her 18-year life and this can almost be as much of a problem as overuse. Nonetheless she definitely ticked most of the boxes and would be a potential fall back option if the boat in Turkey wasn’t up to scratch.
So fast forward to April 2019 and our target was the third HR42F which was located in Marmaris, Turkey. This time instead of having just a few days to inspect boats we had the whole season ahead of us as I had finished work. As we arrived in Marmaris, located amongst some of the Meds finest cruising grounds, we couldn’t help thinking how simple everything would be if this boat was The One. I don’t think either of us looked forward to the prospect of lugging all our stuff around Europe checking in and out of budget hotels as we continued our due diligence.
As things unfolded for us it really couldn’t have gone better. We initially inspected the boat externally without the owner or broker (both English) being present and we really liked what we saw. She had been on the market for more than a year and amazingly the owner was due to fly in from the UK within days to prepare her for a family cruise. So we got to meet him and realised that he really did love the boat and was quite fastidious in it’s upkeep. Not only that, he was prepared to part with a large inventory of supplies and equipment he had accumulated over the years and left with the boat from year to year.
The boat ticked all the boxes above with the exception of twin furling headsails which could be fitted later. And the decks were getting a bit tired but were still serviceable. Three electric winches (in addition to anchor windlass plus in mast furling were luxuries that would potentially extend our cruising timeframe well into our 70s. We made an offer subject to survey and sea trials, it was accepted and we were on our way!
- Model: Hallberg Rassy 42F
- Year: 2000
- Construction: Fibreglass
- Length Overall: 13.22m
- Beam: 3.95 m
- Draft: 2m
- Main – Jeckells – 2015 (in mast furling)
- Genoa – Elvstrom – 2017 (furling)
- Storm Jib – Elvstrom 2017
- Cruising Shute – Jeckells – 2007
- Make/ Model: Volvo TMD 22
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- Total Power: 75HP
- Propeller Type: Folding Gori
- Make / Model: Lombardini LDN 502M
- Power: 7kW
- Make: Sea Fresh
- Capacity: 120 l / hr.
Navigation (all getting a bit long in the teeth!)
- Raytheon Suite: Log / Depth / Wind Speed / Wind Direction / Autohelm
- VHF Radio
- Chart Plotter
- Cabins: 2
- Single Berths: 2
- Double Berths: 2
- Bathrooms: 2
- Water: 2 x 340 l (probably around 3 weeks conservative use worth)
- Fuel: 1x 420 l (range around 600 nautical miles)
- Holding: 2 x 40 l
Key improvements since purchase:
- Upgraded bimini with zip on side and rear sun shades
- Replaced all halogen lights with LEDs
- Installed house battery ammeter
- Replaced engine alternator
- Installed engine hours meter (the `Volvo ones aren’t very reliable!)
- Installed 220W of PV
- Installed permanent swing out Pasarelle (for access onto piers in lieu of “The Plank”)
- Purchased winter cover for offseason storage when out of the water.