First of all – dear Reader – I would like to thank you for a fantastic NO FRILLS season 2019! It was a true pleasure to present you with a variety of articles on the sailing world, on sailing yachts, yards and brands, boat shows and cruising experiences as well as interviews and insights from the boating industry. Your ongoing and rising interest in my writing is a pusher for my motivation and so I am glad and full of joy saying: Thank you so much for a wonderful 2019!

This year I was able to publish as many as 92 articles on NO FRILLS – that´s 15 articles less than 2017 but anyway with an average of 20.000 to 25.000 hits per month this sailing magazine is enjoying a growing audience and that´s thanks to you. So again, I am very grateful and would like to encourage you to keep on reading, keep on commenting and keep on sending me your thoughts and hints, your opinions and your suggestions for articles.

Big news coming up in 2019

That brings me to the outlook – yeah, me too, but it´s a year´s end-classic – to the upcoming year 2019 and what you may be expecting to see NO FRILLS moving to. Honestly, I am a bit behind my “schedule”, if there was one, of constantly developing this magazine. Originally back in the days I wanted to come up with a full magazine-app and issue-based sailing magazine in March 2018 which was postponed two times (due to loads of stress in my job as a Beneteau-dealer). Now I am on a different path and this one is going to happen – if things go along as planned – between March and May next year.

NO FRILLS is going Video. Yepp, that´s true – this magazine will be switching to moving images soon. The plan is to have an app that will be downloaded and installed by you guys and being constantly filled by a push service with new videos. The videos won´t be available on YouTube or other hosting services but NO FRILLS will remain free of charge! As you may know, one of my first professions was working as a TV-editor so this is not unfamiliar territory for me. Currently we are working on the app-concept and I am gathering the hardware (lots of GoPro-cams, gimbals and stuff) and setting up the post-production software (and software-skills) to be able to begin switching this blog to video mid-year 2019. I am very excited to announce this!

Best of 2018

Of course, this blog will stay and remain up and running. I will go on posting regular articles here – these will be kind of teasing and previewing current videos in production and videos ready to be downloaded. That brings me to a quick retrospect to what was happening on this blog the past 12 months. What an exciting year!

It is always a big thing for me to get the chance to speak to the who-is-who of the boating industry. And 2018 was a great year for maritime interviews! If I would choose the Top 4 of those articles, I definitely would say that the telephone conversation with sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was a definitive up, as well as the long call with Javier Soto Acebal which was followed by the yard visit at Solaris in Italy. Very sad I am about the loss of naval architect Stefan Qviberg, the mastermind behind the much admired Arcona yachts of Sweden, who passed away some weeks ago. Last, not least, I also was very impressed from the conversation I´ve had with Istvan Kopar who is one of the eight (!) remaining contenders in the Golden Globe Race 2018/19 and currently underway for the Cape Horn. Godspeed, Istvan!

2018 was also a year of some nice sailing action – far less than 2017, which is kind of sad, but again, the job at Beneteau was very demanding this year – nevertheless, there are four very nice occasions that I will forever be connecting with a great sailing season: First of all there was a very, very, very perfect 600 miles sailing trip to Sweden and Denmark in the aluminium made AMAROK, which simply was pure bliss! I also love to think back to one week of competitive sailing in Croatian waters on my Oceanis 48 CHEEKY LADY with some TV-staff, which was great team spirit and fun. Of the trips I´ve made the visit to French aluminium boatbuilder Alubat was most impressive. But of all those “Cruise Reports”, this one changed everything for better – it´s my own King´s Cruiser 33 being transported to her new berth (on dry land) from the North Sea to the Baltic, enabling me to reach her within 20 minutes by car and thus working on her refit more often.

Which brings me to the King´s Cruiser 33 refit action of 2018. What a year! Although I worked “only” 117 net working hours (compared to 212 hours in 2017) I was able to complete a lot of stuff and close many open items, crossing jobs off my list. That´s mainly the near-finish of the fore cabin where I refurbished the whole ceiling and roofing including a pretty complex chain locker panel-construction, the chain locker itself which is now brand new. In am also very happy of finally having fitted the new plexi-glass hull-windows which enabled me to finally fit the Teak panels of the salon and completing the raw wooden refurbishment stuff completely.

What will happen in 2019?

Well, apart from the big video-news you have been reading about at the beginning of this article, I am really planning to go ahead with the Kings Cruiser´s refit in 2019 to a point where the interior is finished completely: That´s basically painting the white panels, glossy-paint all the Teak-structures, finish head and quarter berth as well as fit the galley. Later a yacht electrician will re-wire the boat and check for the electronic equipment, such as VHF and stuff. Last not least a new floor is needed, but that´s a small step.

I do not know if I could have the boat in the water end of 2019 because the hull´s outside needs a proper treatment as well as her winches, the sheet tracks and the mast, including standing and running rigging. Still, plenty of work ahead. My plan is to have the boat finished in mid-2020 and being able to finally sail her after 4 years (!) of refit-action. We will see. Apart from the King´s Cruiser, I think that there will be some smaller sailing trips in the Baltic Sea as well as in the Med.

So, what do you think? Isn´t that good news?

Wishing you, your families and beloved ones a great New Year´s Eve and an even greater new year 2019 – stay safe, remain healthy and happy. All the best to you, dear Readers – yours, truly, Lars Reisberg!