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Picture of yacht snow bear from a drone

Snow Bear is a Classic Hallberg Rassy 40, fully equipped for extended offshore cruising, built in Ellös, Sweden in 2005 her first owner took her around the globe and made several passages to the Caribbean logging over 35,000 nautical miles under the name “Riff Raff”, she had been loved and meticulously maintained throughout her life and was being prepared for another circumnavigation before family circumstances put a halt to the plan. 

I had sold my Sweden Yachts 370 in the autumn of 2021 and had been searching for a true Bluewater cruising boat that was going to be comfortable to live aboard long term, super safe & strong, fast and forgiving, and easy to sail single or short handed so when Riff Raff came to the market I was quick to offer, survey and seal the deal.

The 2019-2020 refit had included replacement of all standing rigging with Compact Wire giving an estimated 30% increase in strength, several Raymarine electronics upgrades including a new Evolution autopilot and controllers, two Axiom plotters, and Quantum Doppler Radar, service and replacement of the Hydrovane Wind Steering drive unit, six new 225AH 6V Trojan Motive batteries for the service bank, a new Viking ISO 11 Liferaft and replacement of the Blackwater tank.

I then spent the winter of 21-22 in Gosport upgrading and refitting to get her up to top cruising condition, along with a thorough service of all onboard systems the refit included a complete communications and electronics upgrade, installing a new inverter and upgrading the onboard 240V systems and with some help from Desty Marinthe work continued with the installation of  a Sleipner Sidepower Bow Thruster, upgrading from manual to Lewmar Electric Primary Winches, replacing the Gori Prop and a full underwater service, XW Rigging carried out a thorough rig inspection and replaced the Selden Furlex, and Sanders Sails supplied new Main & Genoa sails in Vectron, and a new stackpack.  

Several improvements to safety onboard were also completed including replacing and supplementing fire extinguishers, installation of gas and high water bilge alarms, MOB recovery devices, offshore pyrotechnic flares, Jordan Series Drogue, SOLAS >24hrs Grab Bag, immersion suits,  a second EBIRB with integrated AIS, and Iridium Go, the list goes on……. 

In May 2022 she was reborn and relaunched as Snow Bear.

The winter of 22-23 has seen some further refitting and upgrades in preparation for sailing to the arctic and my longer term cruising plans, as well as the usual annual maintenance, servicing underwater and getting the rig checked there have been a few significant upgrades including replacing my primary ground tackle with a an Ultra Anchor, together with an Ultra Ring for emergency recovery, upgrading the onboard heating with a new 5.5KW Webasto and installing a new Watt & sea 600w hydro generator.  

Picture of the galley on the boat

I have also added to the inventory around 250 Meters of shore lines, 100 Meters of Kedge line, and stainless wire strops to facilitate secure remote anchoring, immersion suits for all crew members, and carried out various improvements throughout the boat to make life aboard more comfortable even adding some reindeer skins to use in the cockpit for added warmth.


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