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Useful Organisations and Sources


HROA LogoThe members of the Hallberg-Rassy Owners Association tend to cruise far and wide, and many make the delivery trip from Ellös in Sweden. The HROA organizes UK and occasional foreign rallies every year as well as social events and an annual 'get your boat back from Sweden' day. Its website has an active forum, and the organisation also publishes a 100 page colour magazine once a year with articles about delivery trips and cruises as well as technical stuff. It is excellent - and we should know, because we edit it....

Cruising Association The CA has a Baltic Section specifically for people with interest in the region. The section publishes Country and Harbour Guides for all the Baltic countries and also lay-up directory of yards which will look after the boat in the winter. It is compiled by CA members and updated every year. Every winter the CA holds occasional lectures and ’Baltic Nights’ for those interested with local information and tips. Each country also has at least one HLR (Honorary Local Representative) who is there to help if you get into trouble or need some local assistance.

One major asset, housed in the CA’s Limehouse headquarters, is a library of cruising logs and reports submitted by previous travelers, as well as charts and pilot books for all sorts of areas. These are available to members and are invaluable in planning a cruise. We made use of all this material.

To be honest, the RYA doesn't seem to have much to offer. There's some good background material on cruising on their website, and the staff are helpful, but the only real publication of relevance is 'Planning a Foreign Cruise'. Volume 1 deals with Europe and the Baltic and is essentially a list of countries with their entry requirements, customs information and a bunch of useful addresses. Most of this info is also elsewhere. In mitigation, the RYA does publish the all important 'Flag Ettiquette and Visual Signals".....

SXK The Svenska Kryssarklubben (Swedish Cruising Club) is reputed to be the largest Sailing club in the world, with over 55,000 members. Certainly, almost every Swede afloat seems to belong to it. They publish a number of useful things, the most common of which is the annual Gästhamns Guiden (Marina Guide) which is sent free to members every year. They also publish nature harbour chartlets for both the East and West coast of Sweden. Apart from the Lars Granath books, these are almost the only guides available. Members also receive a quarterly magazine (På Kryss), albeit in Swedish. The staff are very helpful, and you don't have to be a Swede to join. Membership is about £33

YBWIPC, which publishes a number of the UK yachting magazines also runs an active forum where topics of all sorts are discussed. You can pose a question here and receive 16 conflicting replies within 30 minutes, the majority from people who havent been out of the solent. Occasionally, though, the information might be accurate, and useful...


Friends


Marie Nordström's blog is an excellent view on life in Sweden. An Aussie, married to a Swede, she tells it like it is, and although targetted at those down-under, its still a valuable view on Scandanavian life, even for us Poms. She always has some great photos, and being based there all year round, you get the rough with the smooth. Her husband Lars-Göran's blog, in Swedish, is here

 

Our friends Alfred & Hilkke in their HR Rasmus Sir Francis, have a website. Partly in Swedish, partly in English, it has some stunning photos taken in both winter and summer. There are also some technical articles.

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