Kissen (see Whats in a name?) is a Hallberg-Rassy 36.
is the largest of a collection of Swedish yacht builders on the Swedish island of Orust, just north of Gothenburg. In an
idyllic island setting, they turn out 250 boats a year ranging from 31 feet
through to 62 (the largest size determined by the dimensions of their shed).
The boats are out-and-out cruisers, although a faint hint of sportiness has
crept in over the last few years courtesy of designer German Frers.
The HR36 was the largest seller of the marques, being the smallest centre-cockpit
model, with over 600 built over about 14 years. She has now been replaced by
the HR37, almost identical, but with a fairer hull, a feature that has caused
much tutting and shaking of heads by the dyed-in-the-wool fraternity, who value
the sea-kindliness of the earlier models.
truth, we’ve found the boat to be almost ideal for 2 handed cruising. It has reasonable
reserves (diesel, electric, water), a good seaworthy layout, loads of storage
(with proper lockers, not just shelves and bins), very strong build, and a
docile rig. The standard boat comes with only a working jib, and needs about
10-12 knots of wind to get started, but replace that with a reasonable
Genoa, and she is more flexible, ghosting along in the slightest of breezes. She is not though a
lightweight flyer, a feature much appreciated when it starts to blow.
Astonishingly, we’ve never (yet) been seasick on her.
Internally, the boat is awash with rich mahogany, and joinery of a very high quality. Some
people find this a bit dark, but the modern boats have a silk finish and much
more light - we find it tasteful and a good environment. The layout is
practical at sea, with a good chart table and sea berths on either tack. The
galley comes in for some criticism (it is considerably larger on the HR40) but
it suits us.
the most European boatyards, HR build the whole hull in a separate factory at
Kungshamn, and ship them down to Ellös with deck and hull already attached for
fitting out. This means that all the furniture has to go through the hatch,
just like you and me and cant be prefabricated. It does though mean that the
hull to deck join is made and glassed properly before anything gets in the way.
The quality of the glass work hidden by the furniture is as good as that