“I saw a big Hallberg Rassy at the end of the dock. And suddenly I met with Magnus Rassy and asked him about the yachts in the yard. He also asked if the big boat at the end of the dock was the new Hallberg Rassy 64 and Magnus said,” no, it’s a Hallberg Rassy 62, my fathers boat (Christophe Rassy) and it’s now for sale.”
Bamsen, Hallberg Rassy 62′
Interview with the Captain — Christer Thane and Kajsa Källsen
About Long-Range Cruising
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you both got into sailing?
We are Christer and Kajsa, a Swedish couple, who love sailing. I have been sailing since I was a child. My parents had a boat, a Magnifik Midget, in which we spent our summer vacations. I also sailed my Optimist. Kajsas parents also had a boat, a Scampi 30, in which she grew up and also sailed Optimist as a young girl. The interest in sailing led to several boats over the years. Now we are proud owners of a Hallberg Rassy 62 named Bamsen, which is the ultimate blue water cruiser for us.
Where have you sailed so far, and where are you heading next?
We have sailed in the Swedish archipelago on the east coast over many years. In 2016, after a big refit, we decided to take Bamsen to the Canary Islands and join the ARC. We sailed among the Canary Islands, but due to work, we couldn’t join the ARC 2017, so we stayed at Lanzarote, marina Rubicon and decided to spend as much time we could sailing around the Canary Islands. We decided to sail to the Caribbean in January 2020. But then Covid-19 came and we then had no choice but to sail back home to Sweden during lockdown. That was really challenging! We came home to Västerås, the homeport, the 1st of may.
For the next three years to come, we will explore the baltic region and Norway. After that we will see. We dream and plan to sail around the world. But for now, we are excited about sailing here in Scandinavia.
Do you have a memorable story to share from your sailing adventures so far?
Our sailing back to Sweden, during spring 2020 and lockdown, have many memorable stories. We were two adults and one child, age 13, who sailed Bamsen home. Due to the lockdown we were not allowed in any ports in any country. That made the trip difficult and sometimes hard. The happiest moment for all three of us during the trip was when we first saw the Swedish coast. We all shed some tears of joy and also relief that we had made it! Finally docking in our homeport will also stay forever in our harts. Friends and family had gathered and celebrated our homecoming as a surprise for us.
Most under-rated piece of equipment for long-range cruising?
We have discussed that several times and have come to the conclusion that it is very important to have big tanks for diesel/fuel. In that way we can run our 12 kW diesel generator and always be sure to have enough power for everything on board. Besides big tanks, we love the hardtop/dodger on Bamsen, which protects us from wind, sun and sea!
Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)
We are very happy to have radar on Bamsen. We have two systems, Raymarine and Furuno. Both systems were really helpful when we sailed in the English Channel with both current and tide.
For planning we use Predict Wind, an app which we find very good. It has several different weather data sources so you easily can compare the different weather forecasts. We also use Windy, which can give you a good over view of the winds and so much more. We recommend both.
About your Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Hallberg Rassy?
Every year in August there is a open yard show in Ellös, the Hallberg Rassy yard. I went there in august 2012. At that time I was the owner of a Hanse 470 e and had not thought about buying a Hallberg Rassy, I was just curious of the boats and thought they were magnificent.
I was very impressed with the Hallberg Rassy yachts. After having a look at the boats I saw a big Hallberg Rassy at the end of the dock. And suddenly I met with Magnus Rassy and asked him about the yachts in the yard. He also asked if the big boat at the end of the dock was the new Hallberg Rassy 64 and Magnus said,” no, it’s a Hallberg Rassy 62, my fathers boat (Christophe Rassy) and it’s now for sale. I can get the keys if you want to have a look?” Magnus gave me the keys and when I stood and looked at Bamsen, I was impressed by the size and the beautiful lines of the boat. I was even more impressed when I then entered Bamsen. Now it started to get really difficult. My heart said YES this is the boat of my dreams. But my brain said a big NO. The heart won over the brain. Bamsen became mine.
Bamsen was Christophe Rassy´s last sailboat. He sailed around the world with Bamsen during two years with the Blue Water Rally. He then sailed along the west coast of Sweden and Norway. When Christer bought Bamsen the log showed 64,000 nautical miles. Since then we have sailed about 9000 nautical miles together with Bamsen and we’re looking forward to many more.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
I didn´t consider any other boats, it was Bamsen or no one. It was love at first sight for me. What I love so much about Bamsen is the quality of all the wooden work, everything is so thought through and well done on the boat. I like that the quality of Hallberg Rassy is so good. Bamsen is perfection to me.
Who first introduced you to sailing?
My father introduced me to sailing both with our family’s sailboat and the small Optimist. For Kajsa it was her parents who introduced her to sailing to. She also sailed Optimist when she was young.
What boats have you previously owned?
We have previously owned a Hanse 470 e, Bavaria 39, Maxi 999 and a Maxi 95.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
There is a lot to love and like! We really appreciate the center cockpit because it’s so protected and safe. The hardtop-dodger is also one of our favorite features on Bamsen. With it’s 40 ton it moves so gently through the sea in any condition. Since we most of the time sail just the two of us, we appreciate the hydraulic systems which makes it easy to handle for two persons.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
We did a big refit 2015-2016, it was a long list with for example new teak deck, toe rail, all new windows and hatches, davits, hydraulic gangway, new pedestal in the cockpit and rebuilt the aft cabin and so much more. Right now we don’t have any big things on our to do list, but we have a wish list. We are planning to install solar panels and a new cutter/staysail would be nice!
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating organizations (and what’s your homeport)?
We are members of the Royal Swedish sailing society, KSSS, and also our local club, WSS, Västerås sailing society.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The biggest challenge for us is to keep Bamsen in this beautiful condition. It takes a lot of time but it’s something we love to do.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Hallberg Rassy like yours?
Our advice to anyone is to look for a very well maintained and well equipped boat or be prepared to do a lot of work and investments on a not so well equipped and maintained boat. If anyone wants to ask us about buying a Hallberg Rassy, they are welcome to contact us at our instagram sailing_bamsen4 and we will be so glad to be able to help.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
If I’m not wrong, Christophe Rassy told me how he came up with the name Bamsen. Christophe was in a marina in Denmark when a young Danish boy said to his father, what a ”bamsing”! It’s a danish word for something really big. Christophe heard the boy and that made him come up with the name Bamsen, which in Swedish means something really big. Christophe has named all his boats Bamsen and this is Bamsen 4.
Check it Out
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Bamsen!