About me

Born in Germany and grown up in Greece directly by the sea, I learned sailing quite early in my life. The first boat was a converted wooden rowing boat which was not a “sailing” dinghy at all. I had sewed the sails myself and they were flat as blankets. Although it wasn’t possible to sail close hauled and tacking angle must have been something like 150°, I had a lot of fun. Some years later my brother and I got a “Wildflower” which was made for sailing on a lake at F4 max. Reefing was not possible. We sailed that dinghy at F6+ which was definitely too much for the construction, until the mast broke through the hull. We repaired it and went on. Finally we got a real sailing racer, a Parker 505. I didn’t enjoy that one much because I moved to Germany a bit later for studying. Once there I started taking courses and “collecting” licenses: A, BR, SKS, SBF See, SBF Binnen, SRC and UBI… crazy. So many licenses but sailing can only be leaned by doing. I started chartering yachts and going sailing with friends. I have sailed in Greece, the Caribbean, the Canaries, the Baltic, the North Sea and English Channel and now I am writing this, I am rounding Europe on my own boat. What a great feeling!

About me - fofi
1970 – this is the boat that was converted into a sailing boat

About me - 505
1981 – 505 sailing with my brother

About me - 1st time Skipper
1987 – 1st time charter skipper in the Aegean Sea on a van de Stadt 34

About me - On the way to Cabo de Sao Vincente
2015 – Rounding Europe – Portuguese Atlantic coast

About me - Gibraltar
2015 – Rounding Europe – Arriving in Gibraltar

27 Replies to “About me”

  1. Hey Ewald,

    I am happy to see that you could make your dream come true.

    I wish you all the best.

    Maybe there will be a chance for me to join sometime.

    Best regards (…und immer eine Handbreit Wasser unterm Kiel…),


  2. Great blog! I used to own a 352, loved it so much that when we upsized two years ago we bought the same boat but bigger (Hr 42e).

    Let me know if you ever come to Stockholm :)

    Found your blog when googling info for disensaamble the rudder. Next Winters projekt for me. Very impressed with your work.


    1. Hi Jacob,
      Welcome on my blog and thanks for your comment! I like the 42e too, great boat, amazing flush deck. The ketch with the hardtop would be my choice. For the time being Matilda is located in Greece as you know but I am planning to do a Baltic circle in a few years, so who knows, Stockholm will be on the way :)
      The rudder reinstallation by the way, is not as straight forward as described by HR … Aligning the lower hinge part that sits on the skeg to be in line with the rudder shaft axis was not possible (I made myself an adaptor on the lathe
      in order to accomplish this task but more later in the blog). I did the best I could and I thought it was ok but when I mounted the rudder, I found that it was jamming when turned more than 20 deg to portside. I experimented a lot and finally found a solution that worked with all screws tightly fixed. I am back in Germany now and will follow up the work in about 4 weeks. Still have to update the blog thought…
      Always fair winds! Evan

  3. i’m really glad I found your blog – I need to tackle the cutlass bearing on my 352 soon. Your post has been very useful and I will refer back to it before I start. I’m envious of the condition of Matilda – the bilge, rudder and shaft area look clean and in great condition. I hope to have Wanda looking as good soon.
    Thanks & good luck with further repairs.

    1. Hi Richard, any question you have, just ask me. I am happy to share my experience. It’s always helpfull to know another boatowner with the same boat :-) Compared to your work on Wanda, what I am doing is just maintenance. I am watching your YouTube videos regularly. Do you have access to any professionals there that you could ask for advice? Would they seal the housing thread of the cutlass bearing when reinstalling and what sealant would they use? Good luck with the restoration of Wanda, I am sure she is going to look gorgeous when finished.

      1. Hi again,

        I have learnt so much from your rudder repair blog – thank you for posting that. I have had to rebuild some of the keg and I am questioning whether some previous repairs had not aligned the rudder bracket correctly.

        When I drop the rudder shaft down I can see it does not match the same angle as the pin on the ridder pintle. Also the rudder is very stiff to turn. Also it could be the spacer I made is providing too much friction. But I am also interested in the fact that you had to machine a new pin? Im not sure If I would have to also? What did you notice about the pin that made you decide to make a new one? Was the rudder gudgeon/pintle loose or have much play in it?
        thank you!

        1. Hello Richard,

          regarding the pin, I decided to make a new one because it was worn out at the middle. You can see that from the pictures I have posted. Total play in the lower hinge was about 5mm. The pin was the most worn out part of the complete assembly. Maybe that was also the way is was designed to be since the materials used were not all the same and the pin can easily be machined. Since I had dismantled the complete assembly, I thought it makes sense to renew it. I have described the complete procedure that I have followed in the postings. Make sure to select the right material for the pin if you want to keep it operational for a longer time (dezincification!) ..and also make sure you have some play left (about 0.5mm, read my posting).

          The fact that the rudder shaft was not aligning with the bearing hole on the skeg which actually means that the rudder shaft stuffing box and the bearing at the skeg are not in line also gave me a lot of head scratching. The only way I could get them in line would have been to realign the stuffing box tube in the hull! I decided not to go into that trouble because the rudder had been working quite well for 35 years and it should continue doing so after careful reassembly, and so it was. After 3 years now everything is still in best order and the rudder is also moving easily (the tension of the wire to the rudder quadrant has a significant impact on how easy the rudder works)

          I wish you good luck with your repairs.

          Fair winds,

  4. Hi, congrats for Website, is really beautiful and useful. So, I am ownership of Bavaria 36, based in Porto Conte Alghero. Last year during my Sardinia round trip I met 3 italian guys on HR 352. From that moment I changed my idea, my vision of the sailing boat. She is so beautiful and so marine. My vision was that this boat is all around with the sea. So, now I am going to sell my boat….to get a 352. I kindly ask you some support/suggestion about it. I thank you in advance. With warm regards. Roberto Furlan

    1. Hi Roberto,
      Thanks and welcome to my blog. Yes, the HR 352 is a nice boat with classical lines, seaworthy and comfortable at sea. HR has changed the 352 a few times over the production period of 10 years. First models had the shorter mast with one spreader, wire halyards and a lower freeboard. From about build year 1985 (hull number ~350) they changed all locker doors into louvre doors which provides ventilation and looks nicer. They also raised the freeboard slightly (about 2 cm) and changed the companionway. They also moved the switching board from behind the nav seat to the locker door side. Shortly after that they changed the engine from the old very reliable Volvo Penta MD21B (which was based on the Peugeot Indenor engine) into a 3 cylinder turbo charged Volvo Penta 2003T. For that engine you won’t find too many good things on the internet and it is supposed to be smoky. That said, I know a few that are still in service after 35 years. Some years later they have increased freeboard again and the interior was also upgraded slightly.
      If I was to buy one again, the ideal one (but also the most expensive one) for me would be one of the latest build numbers but with a new engine (replacement of the 4003T), the longer mast with full batten main (no main roller furling) and a renewed teak deck. For a lower budget I wound go for one with the old MD21B engine but the raised freeboard with louvre doors and the relocated switching board.
      What should you look for when inspecting one?… Teak decks are often an issue after 35 years and expensive to replace (about 20k EUR). The deck core material is not a problem area because HR had used closed cells foam and not balsa as many other yards did. You will find that many have the lower rudder bearing worn and there will be a play of a few mm (see my blog). This is not a safety issue and can be left as is in most cases for a few more decades. Leaking windows can be an issue especially if the boat was located in the Med (UV dries out the silicone sealing). Often the sea cogs are neglected and you would have to replace all of them (make sure you get bronze or DZR ones). Check the diesel tank for diesel bugs. The hull windows could be ordered fixed or opening. Mine are fixed, except of the ones in the aft cabin. This is recommended because if you leave the other ones open, you could sink your boat (especially the 2nd and 3rd are often below water when sailing close to).
      I wish you good luck with your search. I was lucky to find Matilda where the teak was professionally removed and mast, hatches, and engine were renewed.
      Just contact me if you have more questions.

  5. Dear Evan.
    Herewith I send you my changed E-mail address.
    I hope to hear your experiences with Mathilde again soon.
    Corry and I are doing well, I am installing a new engine in Juno, this is almost completed.
    Kind regards,
    Guus en Corry van de Wouw.

    1. Hello Guus and Corry, nice to hear from you. I thought Juno was a newer build and I was a bit surprised that it needs a new engine but nevertheless, there will be a reason. I hope everything goes well. As you have probably read (although the blog is not always up to date) Matilda is still on the hard. I finished many things and the last to be installed is the rudder. I did apply a few layers of Hempels Lite Primer at the skeg and I am doing the same with the rudder. When I am back in Greece I will do the final layer, apply antifouling and put it back in place. I am confident that I will get it right (was almost there… ). I have a question by the way concerning the hull windows. On some the silicone became brittle and there is the danger that they could fall out. I have to re-bed them. I noticed that the one at the bow starboard side was renewed. No idea if you had done it. If yes, is it right that it is glass? …and what sealant was used? There is so much different information about windows and sealing on the web… quite confusing. This window seems properly done and I would like to do the others the same. Allways fair winds, Evan

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience and boatprojects.
    I have bought a HR38 and doing a refit and it is great to see what you have done so far it does help a lot. I might come back to you with some questions as I am doing a osmosis treatment and working on the rudder.

    I am from Germany and my boat is in Netherlands.
    I would appreciate and comments and recommendations on my instagram account as I don’t have my own homepage at the moment.
    Thank you

    1. Hello Ibrahim and welcome to my blog. Congratulations on your HR38. Nice boat, a bit like a HR352 on steroids :-) I have not heart of any HRs from that era that had problems with osmosis. I had a look at your instagram account; you are doing a great job! The rudder was not straight forward and if I could do it again from the beginning I would do it a bit differently saving me a lot of headache and time. Nevertheless, as I could see you have come a long way with the rudder and I suppose you don’t need any advice any more :-) I also live in Germany and Matilda was located in Holland too (Oosterschelde). I wish you good luck with your project! Cheers, capnevan

  7. What a great source of info on the HR. I am currently in negotiations for the same boat in the NL. It is one of the newer models on the market. Interestingly though it only has the single spreader mast although it is newer. First boat for the family, so I hope I am making the right choice here :-) But your blog is reassuring.

    It woul be great to get an estimate of the cost to reseal the deck like you did?

    I think it looks great!


    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thanks, I am happy sharing any information concerning the HR352. The web was a great help for me too when I was looking for a boat some years ago. The HR352 is a nice and safe family boat. Manouvering in the harbour is a bit of a pain but once you get her known it is less of a problem. You can turn her on the spot if you make use of the propeller effect and if things get a bit too “hairy” just put the gear in reverse and she will turn her stern gently into the wind and you have time to rething the situation.

      I dont think that the shorter mast is going to be a problem. The mast on my boat is somewhere in between the two used by HR because it was replaced. The main sail I am running is a bit too short (I suppose it is was not replaced when the previous owner changed the mast for a longer one) but is good quality with full battens. A few m2 more only make a difference in light winds anyway.

      Since the boat is located in Greece now, removing the teak deck, has a significant advantage by being cooler and also keeping the temperature below deck a bit lower. It was done by the previous owner Guus and he told me how.
      Here is what he wrote:

      After removal of the teak and a drying period, screw holes were sealed.
      Thereafter, 2 layers of glass mat over the entire deck.
      Shipyard Vlieger has primed and then painted the deck. The deck is painted with anti-slip paint of De IJssel.
      Web site: http://www.jachtwerfvlieger.nl/
      The technical man is Jan Huizer, a first-class professional.

      It sounds like a lot of work and it won’t be cheap but it will be a lot cheaper than replacing the whole teak deck.
      If I am not wrong, the job was a few thousand EUR. Paint is De IJssel Double Coat, colour is white/cream for the non antislip and a very pale graygreenish on the antislip areas.

      Good luck and lods of fun with your first family boat!

  8. Hello Evan,
    I am very glad to have found your blog, finding it while googling HR rudder servicing. Thank you for the fantastic description. Time will tell what awaits me on my next haul out. In following seas I can hear a clunking noise come from the rudder.
    I am sailing ” Dovekie ” a 1989 HR 353 near Seattle. The old 2003 Volvo bit the dust and she is now powered by a 38hp Beta Marine engine ( Kubota based ).
    Happy sailing und immer eine handbreit Wasser unter dem Kiel.

    1. Hi Sebastian and welcome to my blog.
      I did not sail extensively this season but I had some heavier weather and following seas at about 32kn wind max. Matilda’s rudder seems to be working fine again and the clunking noise is also gone. This said, I have still to write my final conclusions on the rudder repair. Here are some tips for you in advance: If I would do it again with the experience I have now, I would first leave the hinge part that is attached to the skeg untouched. That means, I would remove the hinge from the rudder only first. When I checked the pin and the openings in the hinges, I found that just making a new pin would most likely have the same effect. Realigning the hinge part on the skeg gave me a quite hard time. If you decide to remove it check first how it aligns with the rudder shaft tube and stuffing box. You can just turn the rudder shaft upside down and drive it down until it sits on the hinge part that was left on the skeg. For me it was impossible to get the hinge on the skeg where it needed to be, so it was always not aligned properly but the rudder worked and works fine! It would have been a lot less head scratching though if I had done this in the first place. Also, if you remove the hinge part from the skeg make sure you note where any alignment plates are fitted. This will help you later when reassembling. And last but very important: don’t use any dezincification sensitive material for the pin, because you would have to do the same job again soon. Contact me if you need any more information. I am happy to help with the little experience I gained.
      Mast und Schotbruch,

  9. Hi captain Evan,
    Congratulations for your site and your videos !Your boat looks great. I am very close buying a 352 in Greece. I would be great full if I could have your opinion in a couple of things.

    Enjoy happy sailing!

    1. Hi Mike and welcome on my blog. You can contact me with any questions about the HR325 and I will be happy to share knowledge and experience. Try contacting me on Skype: evangelos-germany. Fair winds, Evan

  10. Hi
    Great to see how you did the rudder repair. I am doing the same and the misalignment on my shaft is a bit more than acceptable in my opinion. I need to remove the upper bearing and align it. I cant believe that Hallberg Rassy has this mistake on so many boats. There seems to be several boats with this problem.
    Now to my question. Do you know of anyone who has pictures or tips of the removal and/or re installation of the upper bearing?
    Kind regards
    Per Johansson

    1. Hello Per, welcome to my blog.
      Yes, the misaligned rudder shaft also gave me a lot of head scratching… On th eother hand, it worked for 35 years without a problem. As you know, I did not realign the upper bearing. The rudder did not show any problems last season and everything seems in good order again. Coming to your question, I don’t knon anyone that has any pictures about realigning/rebeding the upper bearing. Since I removed the stuffing box of the rudder and sealed the outside of the shaft tube, I have an idea of how it is build. If you have a specific question about the construction I could probably give you some advise.
      Good luck with your project,
      Cheers, Evan

  11. Hi Evan and happy new year too you!

    I have read your blog/website concerning upgrades on “Matilda”, interesting and impressing!
    I saw that you replaced your manual bilge pump to a electricla one. I am planning to do the same. What was your solution? Since the bilge is so deep I guess it is not ideal to just let the pump down and hope it “lands well”. My plan is to get a stainless steel plate that has some weight in it and mount the pump on, and then let it down in the bilge. What was your solution?
    Best regards Chris Ringhagen / HR 352 “Saga” # 533

    1. Hi Chris and welcome to my blog.
      Actually, I have three bilge pumps :-) one small electrical (500GPH) for whenever I want to get some water out of the bilge, one electrical emergency 3700GPH (also Rule) and finally the last chance before the bucket, a good manual one. The 3700GPH is quite big and at the moment it just hangs down into the bilge hold by the hose. I don’t see any problem here. My plan though was to do something similar to what you described, so having some king of an INOX construction to fix it in place. I was planning to extend that to the top where I could fix it with stews just underneath the floor. The problem I an seeing is that it is very difficult to get the pump out of the bilge again because you have to push the 1 1/2″ hose back about 1m through the engine room. I was thinking of cutting the hose at floor level and reconnecting with a short piece of metal but then you reduce the efficiency. Also I am planing for some time now to add am automatic switch which will also sound an alarm when the level has risen to above 1/2 meter for instance. All this just for the case I have a serious problem. I keep the bilge always dry and clean :-) One mistake I did when I installed the pump was to forget the ventilation of the hose. I just took it to the highest point and down to the through hull. When I tested it in Lisbon Marina it worked very well and when I switched it off it worked the same as well in the opposite direction. I had never been that fast with emptying the starboard locker in the cockpit. I had to get access to the through hull and close the seacock. How stupid can someone be some times… The problem was fixed with a pipe ventilator that I got from Vetus.
      Fair winds,

  12. Hello

    I have H-R 352 Väderskär. Hull number 154. Year 1981.
    Todday I start rudder repair. I revomed the rudder.
    Thank you from yours good pictures.
    What was your reason to start the rudder repair?

    Kind recards
    Juho Vironen
    juho.vironen@elhav. fi

    1. Hello Juho and welcome on my blog, you started a bigger job :)
      There was a play at the lower hinge of about 4mm to 5mm and there was a clocking noise in following seas.
      Although it would have been good for many more thousand miles I decided to repair it.
      Make sure you use the right material for the cylindrical piece of the hinge. Don’t go for brass because it will wear out quickly because of dezincification!
      By the way, rudder is still working nicely, so repair has probably been ok. One thing that I would do differently although I don’t see any problems by now is not to use epoxy at some locations (I used polyester putty for covering the screw but some epoxy putty on the surface for smoothing). I would do everything in polyester although some experts told me that I should use only epoxy under the waterline. I mean Hallberg Rassy also used polyester, not?? So if you want to have a final protective layer (or layers) epoxy primer is ok and good for protection but everything else I would do in polyester.
      Good luck

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