Interesting links to other sites
This is the obvious site for all people interested in discovering that very special universe of this world-class boatyard and its quality long-distance sailing yachts! Magnus Rassy, CEO of the Yard, is really enthusiastic about the boats being built in the Yard and he can spend hours talking about them. There's a picture of Magnus on the Himself/Herself page, where he's showing Laura around an HR64 being built in Ellös in September 2016.
Shop Hallberg-Rassy, formerly known as Hallberg-Rassy Parts & Accessories
An Aladdin's cave for all those bits and pieces on your boat that wear out, break or need replacing. In the past, HR Parts was run by Vickie Vance in a building situated in Ellös village. After she left to go long-term sailing, it is now managed by Mellie Rassy and Martin Alfredsson from special premises at the Hallberg-Rassy Yard. Mellie says she keeps a special folder for us as we're always ordering something from her; a tradition I think that was started under Vickie! We are great fans of HR Parts, which at the end of 2018 was renamed "Shop Hallberg-Rassy" (with a change to the web address - above is the latest link)!!!
The Dutch/Belgian/German Hallberg-Rassy Connectie
This new owners' association was very rapidly and efficiently set up in the latter months of 2017. It is essentially the association for Hallberg-Rassy owners in the Benelux (and many Germans who keep their boats in The Netherlands). But membership has expanded to also include boats travelling the world's oceans, and owners living as far away as Singapore! The Hallberg-Rassy Connectie, HRC in short, is strongly supported by the Dutch HR importer, Nova Yachting, based in Bruinisse; and it has established a firm and close relationship with the Hallberg-Rassy Yard. It's first annual meeting and activity was held in Rotterdam in January 2018, and was perfectly timed for us as we happened to be in Belgium at the time. The Association's logo has been agreed with Hallberg-Rassy and Magnus Rassy, who has turned out to be a very strong supporter of the association and attended its first Captain's Dinner in the autumn of 2018. The association is a little like the UK HROA, where I was a founding member from 1989/90, but left in deep and extreme disappointment when hearing their choice of Commodore at one point with whom I had a most sorry (and for me extremely costly) bad experience. I am very happy that the Dutch association is flourishing, even if, for most the first couple of years we will be away, cruising the worlds oceans. Fromp our side, we'll certainly contribute in every sense possible; its President, a man of great integrity and enthusiasm deserves all the support he can get (he certainly will get it!
World Cruising Club
The World Cruising Club web site contains lots of practical and topical information on the many rallies and events like the ARC, the ARC+ or the World ARC that are run by this organisation. It's a treasure cove of information for people wanting to set out on blue water cruising. Ngahue IV can be seen amongst the confirmed entrants for the 2017 ARC, the return ARC Europe... We have enrolled for the 2019 ARC Plus and World ARC setting off from St Lucia in January 2020. Yeah! See our separate pages on Preparing for the 2017 ARC and lessons learned. The WCC is run by Jeremy Wyatt and his team from offices in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. When visiting, WCC, be prepared to find their offices hidden away in Cowes' High Street.
Weather sites (particularly useful for Belgian/Channel sailing)
Flemish Hydrographic Service
Excellent site in Dutch (now with translation in FR - EN and DE - there's a drop-down menu in the right-hand corner) of the Flemish Hydrographic service, offering 72 to 96 hour (and beyond) forecasts for the Belgian coast. These forecasts tend to be pretty accurate.
Squid Weather forecasting
For people interested in having access to a multitude of weather models, Squid is the "place to be". For a small consideration (monthly or annual fee), Squid offers access to all useful weather models around the globe and lets you download the Grib files that you really need. Satellite imagery is also included, and the "apps", as well as the new programme Squid X will give you beautiful and informative animations of what the wind and weather are going to do. For Atlantic sailing you can buy into their HiRes Europe subscription service; for the Pacific, there was a slightly more expensive "world" option. The Squid programmes also includes routing and best departure times and builds on an extensive library of "polars" (performance to wind of individual boats) that you van use. Squid also provides the official weather data for the Volvo Ocean Race. And they're based in Belgium. We like them a lot!!!
The official site of the French meteorological office: lots of information, including marine forecasts, which since 2007 have been extremely accurate, much more so than the UK forecasts, especially for the Dover Straits and Channel sea areas (the French side). You will need to click a bit and choose the right page though...
Met Office/BBC R4
Select the Marine/Shipping forecast; at last you can read the BBC shipping forecast at your leisure: no need to write it all down whilst listening to a crackling Radio 4 on long wave... Sadly, judging from my comments in Ngahue II's 2007 logbook and since, these forecasts have gone downhill, being (far!!!) too often pretty inaccurate - there is even a mention somewhere in a logbook of children with bent rune sticks being able to do a better job than the Met Office forecasters... The Shipping forecast also seems to be very cautious when it comes to wind strength, and will often (again, my experience) indicate an extra Beaufort or 2 compared to other sources (see above). Well, that's my point of view for the moment, having held the Shipping Forecast in high esteem for years. It's worrying that my sour point of view seems to be shared by quite a few other serious and old-fogey sailors I talk to...
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