The Boat

Itchy Foot is Hallberg Rassy 39 Mk II. Built in 1997 at the yard on Elllös, Sweden where 209 were built between 1991 until 2003. She is hull 111.

She is around 40ft (12m) long, weights about 10,000kg (10 tons) and draws about 1.85m (6ft) in the water. She carries about 450 litres of water and 380 litres of fuel for the 50HP diesel engine. And if you want more statistics you can read them here.

Below is a quote from Cruising World magazine, USA, November 1995 issue about the Hallberg-Rassy 39 :

“…this yacht has the proper makings of an offshore cruising yacht. Below, the mahogany interior is flawlessly joined and meticulously finished, a hallmark of Hallberg-Rassy yachts… Not readily visible are the telltale signs of Hallberg-Rassy’s above-average engineering and building methods, lurking unseen behind the fine joinery below. The builder’s reputation for excellence translates into good resale value…. My experience with Hallberg-Rassy has convinced me that sailboats can make beautiful, safe homes. If comfortable passages, solid construction, elegance and attention to detail make sense, then so does the Hallberg-Rassy 39.”

She has had several owners over her 19 years, spending most of her life on the water around the coasts of the UK and the Belgium. Her last owners conducted a fairly extensive refit in 2011 preparing her for their plans to sail around the Mediterranean and all her major systems are in good condition. Having said that she is a 19 year old boat and therefore will require fairly minor ongoing repairs, improvements and upgrades to keep her, and us, safe on our journey.

But just as important as the facts and figures above is how she feels to us. She feels like a nice little home for our family. She is comfortable, cozy, robust and surprisingly spacious for the three of us. The aft cabin, with a bed that measures 1.80m (6ft) by 2.5m (8ft) is the perfect space for the three of us to sleep together. As Teo gets older he has a separate cabin in the front if he wishes to call his own space, but right now it’s a guest-room/dumping ground.

The main saloon is perfectly proportioned, it feels open and airy enough but has things to hold onto everywhere. SaloonA large L shaped sofa around the dinning room table fits the three of us for dinner or Lego as we want. There is an excellently sized chart table which is a great space for computers, navigation and not surprisingly charts. The galley is small and perfect for one person ‘jam’ themselves into, with stacks of storage space. We’re even lucky enough to have fridge (too deep for Mia) and separate freezer. GalleyThere is an oven and two gas burners for cooking. Finally there is one toilet room which doubles as a shower – which is small but we’ve already proven that all three of us fit in their brushing teeth at the same time.

Above decks, she has a cockpit in the ‘centre’ of the boat which helps keep Teo away from the sea and gives us a little more shelter and comfort when we need it. A hard, glass and fabric combination spray-hood helps keep us sheltered and being a relatively small boat everything can be handled from the cockpit by one or two people.

Oh and she’s pretty. At least we think so!

P.S.  My thanks to John Neal from Mahina Expeditions for helping us find a suitable yacht for our adventure. John has been helping people find the right boat longer than I’ve been alive and his unparalleled experience shows. What’s more he is a nice guy. I’d recommend anyone planning on buying a yacht for long-distance cruising employ his services.