Dolphin Dance I

S/Y Dolphin Dance is a Hallberg-Rassy 29 nr. 483 built in 1990. She was designed by Swedish yacht designer Olle Enderlein together with Christoph Rassy, founder of Hallberg-Rassy. The model was in production 1982-1994 and total of 571 hulls were built, which is an excellent result. The Hallberg-Rassy yard is situated in Ellös, west coast of Sweden, and like all HRs, the 29 is designed for the North Sea weather conditions. Yachting Monthly wrote on Second look -article(11/1996) about HR29:
"With her deep body, long lead-ballasted fin keel and a rudder hung an almost full-depht skeg, the hull looks capable of handling just about anything the sea might throw at it."
Stockholm Archipelago

Anchored in Ytre Kalvekilen

Malmön Fiskehamn

Hallberg-Rassy 29 has many great innovations and qualities that would be nowadays too expensive to built on a boat of this size. Also design trends have changed: flat-bottoms, bulb-keels and spade rudders are a norm in modern sailboat design, whereas HR29 represents traditional sailing boat design with her longish keel and deep body. Hull is solid lamimate with an encapsulated iron keel (i.e. ballast inside the laminate). This construction allows a very deep bilge which is good thing to have at sea, but not so practical for cleaning. Here is more information on hull and keel construction. GRP deck has a sandwich structure with polyvinyl cellular plastics (Divinycell) as a core material. Most of the HR29s have a teak deck on top the GRP deck. Here is more about pros and cons of the teak decks.

Foredeck is flat and you get good grip of toerail when working on deck. The chain locker is arranged for self stowing

HR 29 anchored in Åland

Although being a rather small boat, Hallberg-Rassy 29 grows bigger at sea. With a displacement of about 5 tons and deep hull, the boat takes waves very gently and the movement, in general, is comfortable. The hull is cleverly designed so that the spray from waves rarely reaches cockpit. Also the sprayhood gives good protection and often the cockpit remains completely dry when sailing. We have not ever had the cockpit flooded with seawater. High cockpit coamings are efficient in keeping the seawater away from the cockpit. Skeg hung rudder is large and has a very good holding. I have never broached with this boat and this is one of the things that I most like in Hallberg-Rassy 29: you feel that the boat is under control even in stronger gusts and high seas.

The relatively heavy displacement and deep hull have their benefits when it comes to a comfortable ride at sea but have a downside effect on light winds performance. With a furling genoa the sail area is about 46 m2. In light winds the use of gennaker or spinnaker is recommended.

Yachting world wrote in the 1989 'Long test' article about the sailing characteristics of HR29:

"Just because a boat is destined for a cruising lifestyle doesn't mean that it shouldn't be interesting to sail. HR29 certainly keeps the helmsman interested and offers a perceptible response to correct sail trim. "
"Generous sail area offers good light weather performance" 

The layout is traditional - two cabins separated by a toilet and a hanging locker. There are folding doors so the toilet compartment can be closed from both cabins. Our boat has four berths: double in forepeak and two single berths in the saloon. Some versions have also a quarter berth on a starboard side, in which case the navigation table is removable. Our boat has a large, fixed navigation station with chart locker and there is also an additional cockpit locker. I prefer this layout since this gives more locker space and good working place for navigator.

Layout in general is very seagoing and there are good handrails in the saloon. Woodwork is typical Hallberg-Rassy: beautiful solid mahogany and first class workmanship. 

The 'owner's cabin' is in the forepeak. The light blue mattresses were replaced 
Navigation station with spacious chart locker

Settees in the saloon are wide and very comfortable when the backrest is raised. They make also excellent seaberths right in the center of the boat. The double V-bed in the forepeak is also comfortable and full lenght (2m). However the bed is placed quite high due to the water tank just under the bed. Thus one must do some stretching to get into to the bed and also the headroom is quite low. The headroom in the main saloon is typical 1,80m and just enough for us. The L-shaped galley is equipped with stove/oven and 50 litres fridge. There is additional galley space behind the step (on top of the engine). However problem is that the space in the galley is flat so it may be difficult to find solid place to rest plates, mugs etc. while cooking at sea. There is good locker space in galley as there is throughout the boat.

Three burner gas stove/oven 

Dolphin Dance is powered by 18hp Volvo MD2020C diesel engine. The original Volvo 2002 engine was replaced in 2003 by one of her previous owner. This 18hp engine gives about 5,5 kn cruising speed. Propellor is Radice two-blade folding. 

One of the excellent features of the HR29 is the really large engine room, which allows a good access to the most important maintenance parts of the engine: the front can be accessed from the saloon and the back of the engine and the S-drive from the cockpit.

Engine room under the cockpit floor

Here is the list of the equipment that we have on board s/y Dolphin Dance:

Sailing gear

Genoa 135 % Cruising by Elvström
Main sail by Vogel & Meier
Genoa furling gear by Furlex
Furling Gennaker by Norfurl
Lazy jacks and Stack pack by Elvström
Winches by Lewmar: two self-tailing winches for genoa sheets and three standard winches for halyards and reefing lines.
Bronze rigging screws by Selden


GPS Chart Plotter and sonar by Garmin: 525s
AIS receiver/plotter by NASA: AIS Radar
Navtex by NASA: Target pro
VHF by Sailor: RT2048
Compass by Silva


Bow anchor: 20 kg CQR with 40 meters chain
Stern anchor: 10 kg Bruce-type
Manual anchor windlass by Lofrans: Royal
30+30 meters line anchor rope


Windvane by Windpilot: Pacific
Tiller pilots (2x) by Raymarine: St2000+
Emergency steering (spare tiller)


Diesel heater by Webasto: ST 2000 Air Top
Digital television by Samsung