December 28, 2017

We bought a boat!

Nope, this isn't a re-post from three years ago when we bought our first sailboat, Houd Vast. We actually bought a new (to us) boat, a 2005 Hallberg-Rassy 37 named Borealis.

The word Borealis is Latin for "of the north" and since we hail from the northern state of Wisconsin we plan to sail her under that same name.

Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat in the water at the dock

On the very same day we bought Borealis, we also signed the paperwork to sell our beloved Houd Vast. It all happened pretty quickly, and at times Nick and I felt completely overwhelmed, but the whole thing couldn't have worked out any fact, our boat broker said, and I quote: "What just happened is a rare thing. You must be on the correct path."

Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat in water at dock

What our boat broker was referring to was that the day after our offer on Borealis was accepted, we accepted an offer on Houd Vast, and from there the timing of the two boats' surveys (like a home inspection), sea trial (like a test drive) and the final closings happened simultaneously.

So let me introduce you to Borealis. She's a 2005 Swedish-built Hallberg-Rassy. She's 37-feet long, has a center cockpit and two cabins, a galley and a head and is in very good condition. She's incredibly well equipped for her size and comes with all the safety and navigation equipment you can imagine, as well as a solar panels, a wind generator and a water maker. She's been sailed along the entire East Coast from Maine to South America and back.

Hallberg-Rassy 37 interior layout

Some might wonder why we bought a boat that's the same size and more than a decade older than the boat we already owned. The answer is simply that Borealis is a much better boat, she's fully equipped and what I'd call a real sailboat. To explain, our first boat Houd Vast was a Jeanneau, a brand known as a production boat, and while they are well built, they are designed for easy, light wind coastal cruising, which was perfect as we grew our sea legs and sailing skills and became more familiar with marine systems and equipment.

Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat exterior teak deck and cockpit and bottom

Our new boat Borealis and the Hallberg-Rassy brand, are known as blue water boats, which are designed for rougher seas, bigger winds and longer trips (the water and gas tanks on the new boat are double the size of our old boat, and the boat has an incredible amount of storage with lockers and shelves around the entire perimeter). Nick and I'd like to do more extensive sailing someday, and while our old boat was rated to cross an ocean (not that we are planning to), outfitting it to cruise beyond the Chesapeake Bay would cost half it's purchase price and just isn't worth the investment.

Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat interior mahogany teak head galley

We are so excited about owning a Hallberg-Rassy, which is an iconic sailboat brand that Nick has admired for awhile. The local dealer is located in our marina, so we would occasionally see their boats pop up in the boat yard, and that's how we got our first glimpse of Borealis. In late summer, we stopped in one weekend and toured the boat (and another larger one) and then we went on with our lives and the weeks went by. But you know how things go, and we couldn't get Borealis out of our minds, and while we really loved our old boat and previously didn't have any intention of selling it, we decided to reach out to a boat broker and just see what happens...

So here we are, looking forward to adventures ahead and our next sailing season with a new boat. Until then, the boat is on the hard and we have a winter full of projects to get ourselves and it ready for sailing.

Hallberg-Rassy 37 sailboat on land drydocked on jackstands

P.S. Houd Vast was sold to a buyer in Florida and a few days after we signed the bill of sale, her mast was unstepped, and she was loaded onto a special truck and shipped down to southern Florida. In a twist of fate, a few hours after the boat was hauled away from our marina, I received a blog comment from a fellow sailor who saw and admired her on the road and found my blog by chance!

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