HR Rasmus at the beginning of a 5 year rebuild. My face says it all.

S/V Mary Annie on the Arkansas River after a five year rebuild


This is all about the restoration of a 1974 Hallberg Rassy Rasmus 35 sailboat. I am putting it on the www for a chronicle for myself and anyone else that's interested. I am getting much of my guidance from these experts in the field; Don Casey, Beth Leonard, Nigel Calder, and a few others. They all have excellent books on the subject of boat maintenance and restoration. I have followed their words closely during my journey through the restoration of this Hallberg Rassy.

Decisions Before Boat Purchase

I looked for over two years before making a purchase and I still feel this purchase may have been a hasty one. But I acquired my project...and it's a big one. Below is a list of some internet sites that have been helpful to me:

1. Mahina Expeditions

2. Sail calculator

3. PHRF Ratings


5.Sailnet Blog

I made a list of my criteria in descending order of importance: How was I intending on using the boat? I wanted a boat I could trust crossing an ocean.

1. Cost (less than $50,000)

2. size and ease of handling solo (24-38 feet)

3. seaworthiness, motion comfort, toughness, and reputation

4. headroom (at least 6 foot)

5. keel depth (shallower than 5 feet)

6. speed (PHRF less than 200)

7. looks (beauty is in the eye of the beholder)

10/2007 Boat purchase

I bought the boat through Ebay for $16,000. The guy selling the boat said the hull and rig were sound and that was my determining factor in buying the boat. There were some places on the hull that had me worried. It looked like the boat had some damage that had been "covered up". But I was ready to begin this dream of sailing and get started rebuilding a boat.

What now? A Decision to Make Before the Boat Arrives

The first decision after purchasing the boat was to decide whether or not to keep the boat at my house or a marina that was 10 miles from my house. The marina was going to charge $3,650 a year to dry dock it in the open. They obviously didn't want me working on my boat at their marina. I had the room but not a shed to work under. I decided to build a boat shed and I had two weeks from start to finish before the boat would arrive. The boat at my house would start saving money in 1.5 years. Knowing the restoration would take between 3 and 5 years, I would save a considerable amount of money. It was the best decision I could have made. There is no way I could have finished a project of this magnitude if I had to load up tools, drive to the boat, unload the tools, work on the boat, load tools back on the my truck, drive home, and unload tools once again. I had a cabinet shop and I placed the boat shed up against the shop. It worked beautifully. If you plan on doing most of the work yourself, I can't stress enough how important it is to get a project boat at your house, if at all possible.

The Big Day

The boat arrived on November 9, 2007. Time to light a cigar. The boat rode on a trailer and truck that was much too small for the load. It was fortunate to arrive in one piece. Be sure you get a reputable hauler. I am sure I was one flat tire away from a major lawsuit after seeing this hauler drive up.