This weekend Charlotte and I visited Helsinki and the Helsinki Boats Afloat Show. There was a Hanse 388 (fireworks! cheers!) but also a couple of other boats that gave us the good vibrations. 

Good Vibration #1: Marino Mustang in Pink

In Charlotte’s world most things pink get an extra factor of cute.  No surprise, then, to hear her delighted “awwww!” when one of the first boats we saw was not a cool sailing yacht, but rather this small pink boat called Marino Mustang (12 800 € without engine).

I like pink as well (but obviously in a more inhibited and noble way!) and I think we and our small (future potential) sailor boys and girls would love cruising around in one of these. It’s registered only for four persons, though, and we are six.

But anyway, we both liked it, and heard several other boat show visitors say the same!

And yes, the manufacturer delivers it with an electrical engine should the ecologically inclined and/or noise sensitive customer wish so, and we certainly would. (If we could fit. And hadn’t already used all our money on that other boat.)

Marino Mustangs in a variety of colors.

Marino Mustangs in a variety of colors. We selected the pink one as the cutest of them all. Look, even the engine cover is in pink!

Pink Marino Mustang

Good Vibration #2: More 40

The award for Most Bad *ss Sailng Boat of the Show (I misspelled sailing to increase the bad*ssedness of the title) goes (without a doubt) to Ari Huusela‘s IMOCA60.

If, however, you want to both race and put your wife/husband and children aboard something, fit into harbours, sleep and eat together (and not head for a quick separation and divorce or lose the kids after mistakenly having pressed the light speed button)— that’s not the boat you are going to buy.

The More 40 by More Boats, on the other hand, looks like the perfect boat for the racing-cruising family. And it’s actually a very beautiful yacht! We were impressed.

More 40 yacht in the water, sailing.

The More 40 in the water. Marketing picture from the More Boats web site (www.more-boats.hr).

More 40 yacht interior picture

All those light colours that we love. The More 40 was equally beautiful inside! Picture: marketing picture borrowed from More Boat’s web (www.more-boats.hr).

Now, to be honest, coming to the boat show to see a Hanse 388 (that we bought just a few days ago, paid a handsome down payment and now are waiting for), we kind of hoped that all the other yachts would just pale in comparison.

Not so, the More 40. What a beauty, with lots of wow factors.

Thinking a bit more rationally about it, though, there are a few reasons why a More 40 wouldn’t (or couldn’t) have been our choice.

Firstly, it feels like a yacht much more aimed at the racing-cruising (or cruising-racing) family, and that family we clearly are not. (We’re not even a cruising family yet, more like a wannabe-cruising-but-never-sailed family and a hopes-it-will-all-go-well-but-well-it-might-not family).

The Hanse sailing philosophy of “fast cruising and easy sailing”, on the other hand, seems like just what we are asking for.

The self-tacking jib, all sheets and halyards led to the main winches, no genoa tracks (no genoa for that matter), the main sheet removed from the cockpit, smaller sail area etc— these are features that we imagine will make our lives (mostly) easier.

I suppose a More 40 could be ordered with a similar setup, but it would feel like turning it into a boat that it really isn’t. It is a boat that should have that additional edge (that extra push over the cliff, Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap would say) and simply be a bit more. If Ari Huusela’s IMOCA60 goes to eleven, then the More 40 should be a solid nine, and we for our part are happy at a comfortable seven.

(Some Spinal Tap references there. If I lost you completely, then open your iTunes and rent it! It’s legendary.)

Secondly, and as far as I know, it’s more expensive by a bit. The base price seems to be about the same as our final price, so I assume it would simply be too expensive for us.

They probably do have some innovative owner-chartering schemes, though, and anyone interested should have a word with Jonas at Nordic Boathouse. He seemed like a nice guy.

A cool yacht, in a lot of ways! But not for us, right now.

So, We Meet Again …

The Finnish Hanse dealer, HanSail, had a Hanse 388 at the show, and it was really nice to see one again.

Hanse Yachts, Hanse 388

Funny looking me showing the victory sign in front of a Hanse 388 with white steering wheels. Why the ‘V’, I’m wondering now that I’m writing this. Maybe there is something subconscious to that.

No big surprises, really, but we did get to see and feel the different materials in the Hanse sample folders. The Canadian Chestnut furniture wood seemed a bit darker than I had imagined, but everything else was quite the same as we had thought looking at the web page images.

Also, quite importantly, we found a full-length mirror in the master cabin. This is one of the post-factory additions that Charlotte has been keen on getting, and the owner of this boat had solved it nicely.

The More 40 was a close call, but we escaped intact: our dream boat is still the one we actually ordered, and not the one we wouldn’t quite want to sail and couldn’t afford anyway 🙂

Charlotte with Helly Hansen Skagen Racing jacket

Charlotte got her first sailing gear! A beautiful white sailing jacket by Helly Hansen (Skagen Racing). She also bought a pair of superbly comfortable (she said) shoes by a Spanish manufacturer called Paez (not the shoes in the picture).  We chatted a bit with the salesperson and told him about our sailing plans. “Sailing is by far the best way a human being can travel on water”, he said. True that.

The Travel Microblog

While in Helsinki we stayed at Clarion Hotel Helsinki.

The good stuff: we had very nice room on the 14th floor with a beautiful view. (We actually saw the start of the Helsinki-Tallinna race from our window!)

View from Clarion Hotel Helsinki room 14th floor

A room with a view. A visit to the sky bar at and after sunset is also strongly recommended!

The not so good stuff: breakfast was a disappointment. It felt more like an office dining hall with slightly unoriginal offerings. Also, the staff working there seemed kind of unamused.

The funny incident: A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie stayed at the same hotel (he was performing at the Weekend Festival) and we got stuck together with him and his crew for a looong time waiting for the elevators. “What’s with these elevators, man?”, said one of them, sounding a bit frustrated, “In Dubai they had a much taller hotel, with fewer elevators, and this is just crazy!”.

Viking Line passing at Kustaanmiekka, Suomelinna

At Suomenlinna (cool UNESCO World Heritage Site) there is this very narrow passage where you can get a good view of the large cruise ships leaving for Sweden and Estonia. Just a short moment after I took this picture I shouted “watch out for the waves!” to Charlotte, and then watched how one swept up underneath her and made her as well as her new Paez shoes soaking wet. But I did warn her, didn’t I? 🙂