Books by Lars Hässler

 

Occupation: Circumnavigator (2007 and 2009)

Arholma-Landsort with Gotland (2001/2004/2007)

Medelhavet tur och retur (2007)

Seglingar i Medelhavet, Svarta havet och Röda Havet (2008) 

Med båt på Europas kanaler (2010)

Mot Söderhavet (2010)

Mot Alaska (2012)

Över tre Oceaner (2014)

 Arholma-Landsort   Occupation Circumnavigation Adlar Coles  Medelhav  Seglingar  Kanalbok  Söderhavet  Yrke

 

   

Occupation Circumnavigator. Sailing Around The World, printed by Adlar Coles Nautical, London, 2009. Available in Adlar Coles site, bookstores or Amazon.com

 

"An entertaining and instructive book for anyone planning a long distance cruise."

Boat Mart (September 2009)


'...great photographs and plenty of sailing hints and tips.'

Practical Boat Owner (December 2009)

 

'With its gorgeous photograph sections and fascination accounts of the places visited, this is a hugely enjoyable read for anyone thinking (or dreaming!) of an extended cruise.'

Royal Naval Sailing Association (Winter 2009)

 

'Useful information on energy saving plus communications, choosing crew and how to start a new career as a charter skipper, as well as how to hitchhike round the world as crew.'

Yachting Monthly (January 2010)

 

Occupation: Circumnavigator.  Sailing Around The World

Sail Around the World - Make a Living by Sailing - A book which Creates Dreams

This book is about Sailing Around the World and making a living from it. It is written by someone who has been successfully doing it. Someone who has actually turned his hobby of sailing & travel, love of sea & adventure into a full paid job. It is about author’s 10 years sailing life and how he financed it by chartering & taking onboard paying crew.paying crew.

The book "Occupation: Circumnavigator" was published in English in 2009 and written by Lars Hässler after his 10-year circumnavigation. It is in "soft" hardcover with 317 pages and 70 colour photos. The first edition of 3,500 books sold out in four months and the book is now in its fourth printing, having sold 10,000. The book has gotten extensive mediacoverage in Sweden (and to a certain degree in the UK) both in lifestyle- business- and boatingmagazines as well as TV and radio.

 

The first part is a practical how-to description and gives lots of information to those who are considering a circumnavigation on his/her own boat, go hitchhiking on boats or work in the charterbusiness.

The second part is a personally written description of life onboard during the circumnavigation and its highlights such as the Bikini atoll, Micronesia, Bora-Bora, first cruising boat to Vietnam, the Chagos atoll in the Indian Ocean, Papau New Guinea, Cuba, the Amazon and outstanding dives in the South Seas. The political, historical and social background is also described - a reality which not always corresponds to the traditional picture of "paradise".

The third part is about the problems of returning home. Is there a life after a circumnavigation ? The book describes the authors thoughts about the global environmental threat and reflections on his ten years at sea.

 

The epiloge is about what happened to the author the nine years after coming home, up to 2007; driving taxi, writing books, organising cruising seminars, beeing rally leader in the Pacific, and sailing with his Jennifer on the European canals/rivers, around the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Red Sea with paying crew. In 2010 he is planing a long cruise from the Mediterranean to India, China and Japan and around the Pacific, also with paying crew. 

 

Below are six reviews of Occupation Circumnavigator by Jimmy Cornell/Noonsite (England), Seven Seas Cruising Association (USA), Ocean Navigator (USA), Sail South Africa (SA), Sydostran (Sweden) and Frisk Bris (Finland). 

 

1. Occupation:Circumnavigator; How to Finance a Lifestyle

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Occupation: Circumnavigator

How to Finance a Lifestyle

By Lars Hässler

Published by the author

Available on www.OccupationCircumnavigator.com

This is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary person. Lars Hässler is a Swedish lawyer who gave up his well-paid job as an international trader, turned his back on the stress and hassle of the corporate world, and set off on a ten year 100,000 mile voyage on his Beneteau Oceanis 50 Jennifer. The subtitle of his book is rather misleading as the author does indeed describe in much detail how he managed to finance such a long voyage mostly by taking on paying guests, but the real essence of the book is a vivid description of a never dull life, full of adventures and the occasional mishap, that took Lars and his faithful (if occasionally capricious) Jennifer on a roundabout route along which he did everything possible never to sail the shortest distance between two points. The result were some lengthy detours such as a side trip to the Marshall Islands and the site of the US atomic tests, to some rarely visited atolls in Micronesia, a foray up the Saigon river as the first ever sailing yacht to visit Vietnam after the war, a stop in the rarely visited Andaman Islands, and, for good measure, a long detour up the Amazon river. Where this book differs from other sailing memoirs is in the author's outspokenness on such subjects as local politicians' corruption, the lingering effects of French colonialism, the lasting legacy of the American nuclear tests at Bikini and elsewhere and some of the downsides of foreign aid.

Anyone planning to follow the author’s example will find a lot of useful tips on how to earn a living while cruising, and also some candid comments on some of the disadvantages of sailing with paying guests on board, something that looks like an attractive solution until you experience it yourself. The last part of the book describes in detail the practical aspects of the voyage and gives an insight into the many breakages suffered, and the costs involved. There are also valuable lessons to be learned from the author's misadventures, such as a fatal diving accident involving one of his guests, the loss of his rudder and how he managed to reach port, being electrocuted and miraculously surviving when his mast struck a high voltage cable in Kenya and being hit by a violent storm in the Mozambique Channel.

This is the kind of book which any sailor will greatly enjoy reading, but some will then put it down and perhaps think to themselves: what a great job this guy has done by going to all that trouble so that I can read about those adventures in the comfort of my home and not to have to put up with freak waves, demanding officials, 3000 Volt strikes, cantankerous charter guests and man-eating hammerhead sharks. Thank you Lars!

2.  Nautical Book Review by Seven Seas Cruising Association, July 2008.

by Barbara Theisen, Seven Seas Cruising Association, SSCA (USA).

Occupation: Circumnavigator; How to Finance a Lifestyle. By Lars Hässler.

SSCAmember Lars Hässler spent ten years on a circumnavigation that was financed by paying crew and charter guests. And although this book delivers on its title of how to finance a cruising lifestyle, pointing out the pros and cons of having paying crew and guests aboard (as well as how to find paying clients), this book offers a great deal more and will appeal to a much wider audience then those looking for a way to earn a living while cruising.

Those looking for the nuts and bolts on managing a business on the high seas
won’t be disappointed. Lars shares his very complete ten years of bookkeeping records on income and expenses (he had 700 paying crew/charter guests aboard his Beneteau Oceanis 50, Jennifer, during this time).

But Occupation: Circumnavigator; How to Finance a Lifestyle is not written solely for the cruiser who is looking to finance their cruising lifestyle. The real delight in Lars’ book lies in his wonderful stories and his candid opinions on the many places that he visited during his circumnavigation. Sailing aboard
Jennifer, Lars journeyed up the Amazon River, was the first sailing vessel to visit Vietnam since the end of the war, and enjoyed cruising “off the beaten path” in the South Pacific. Jennifer took him (and his guests) to seldom visited Andaman Islands, to Chagos atoll, and Bora Bora. He describes his adventures and misadventures in places such as Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Cuba, Bikini atoll and Niue (where Jennifer was even pictured on a $1 Niue stamp).

Readers will be inspired by his amazing adventures, educated by his historical references, and will often find themselves contemplating his thought provoking questions. Lars is a business man, a sailor, an adventurer, and a talented storyteller. Join him aboard Jennifer for an entertaining read.

Go to www.occupationcircumnavigator.com. The book is available at Amazon.

 

3.  Review from Ocean Navigator March/April 2008

Issue Date: March/April 2008, Posted On: 2/29/2008

Notable New Books: Occupation: Circumnavigator

Socially, long-distance sailors can be divided into two broad categories: soloists who prefer isolation and forego the camaraderie (and aggravation) of companions; and those who invite life partners, relatives, friends new and old and even paying customers to share in their experiences upon the waters of the world. Lars Hassler is a sailor of the second type, a small businessman who is always surrounded with company — most of whom paid for the experience of being on board his yacht and thus helped to finance Hassler’s dreams of circumnavigation.

This first English language publication of his book Occupation: Circumnavigator describes how he realized his dream at the age of 42 of sailing around the world and how, through chartering his custom built 50-foot Beneteau Oceanis 500 Jennifer, he fully financed 10 years of cruising life.

Having a good product and loving the lifestyle is the key to a successful charter business. He gives details of his first four years of experience, first learning the fine points of his boat, how to organize a business, manage finances, and work with customers sailing and chartering (and paying off debt) in the Caribbean. Then cruising the world, primarily in third world stops, with the exception of New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore, he includes a bit of background information on each region to help readers understand the area’s historical, social, and political realities, which are not always pleasant.

In the main however, the book is an upbeat and encouraging read for many types of sailors: as a handbook for aspiring long distance sailors, a guide for people who want to start a career in the charter boat business, or as a travel memoir for those who are considering signing on as paying crewmembers.

A former lawyer and commodities trader from Stockholm, Hassler counts his blessings throughout the book while realistically looking at the difficulties and sometime tragedies of his chosen lifestyle. Realizing that the book itself is part business guide and part personal chronicle, Hassler excuses any incongruities, “we have only one world — and this is how I have experienced it.” This personal view of things told in a straightforward manner makes Occupation: Circumnavigator an engaging and amusing read.

 

4. Book Review by Dave Beattie, Sailing for Southern Africa, March 2008

One wonders how a man who is an accomplished skier, mountaineer, athlete, dive master and aerobics instructor, and whose academic achievements include a Masters Degree in Law, ever found time to go sailing. But Swedish-born Lars Hassler did. Fulfilling a dream he had as a 12-year-old when he saw the film "Windjammer" Hassler ended up spending 10 years sailing the Seven Seas on his beloved 50-footer Jennifer - and is still sailing her!

In the early years he and his borhter sailed their parents' boats, before patching up an old 12-metre yacht to sail around Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Then came his studies, before he returned to the sea, first as deckhand, to learn about every facet of sailing and chartering. Included in his "lessons" was a spell of "bareboating" in every sense of the word - serving as crew on Sofia, the last "Hippie Ship", where all aboard walked around stark naked.

He was 42 years old when he decided to sell everything he had to realise his dream of circumnavigating. He ordered a 50-ft Beneteau. But having a boat was only the first part of the dream - to keep it alive he needed an income. And so Jennifer became a floating, mobile home for paying crew - 700 over the years - and Hassler, through chartering, managed to see the world.

In this book, you'll read about wonderful sailing experiences, meet some unusual characters, "see" some exotic places, and learn all you need to know if you wish to follow a similar lifestyle. The last part of the book poses the question: "Is there life after ten years of circumnavigation?" What follows are some of the author's thought-provoking thoughts.

Some spelling and grammatical niceties are lost in the translation from Swedish, but forget and forgive that - just relax and enjoy a very interesting and informative tale told in a refreshingly simple style.

 

 

 

5. To sail the tropics as a business venture, by Margareta Andersson, Sydöstran, a Swedish newspaper.

Lars Hässler is a skipper who has not only kept his loggbook well, he has also kept track of the
bookkeeping. This modern sailor has most likely stored records of adventures, charter bookings,
storm-ripped sails, and interest/loan payments on diskettes.

It is a relief to have a South Seas sailor and circumnavigator who does not try to paint a romantic bohemian adventure or a hero figure. Lars Hässler seems to be a materialistic figure who keeps his things, his boat and his female sailing partners in order.
He became a lawyer and when he had completed his clerkship for a judge, he took off and sailed for several years on a hippie sailing ship through warm seas. There he learned what round the world sailing is really about; the seasons, the storm periods, the paying guests and life in harbors. The system onboard was totally democratic. Everyone was naked and they moved freely around in the cabins and behind drapes. A photo in the book shows how naked men cook dinner in a bustling galley.
When he returned home, he found that he disliked the legal profession an become instead a trader of raw
materials in Switzerland. The entire time the thought of sailing nagged at him, but he hesitated; would it not be better to see it as a retirement project ? A disappointment in his career caused him to strike out at the age of 42. He sold his apartment and car, emptied his bank account and got enough toghether for a substantial 50' yacht, which he ordered from Beneteau in France. Then he borrowed som money in order to equip it so that the charter guests would be comfortable onboard.

He saw himself as a businessman. He calculated expenses, contacted charter brokers, and printed brochures. Then he started chartering. He took both paying crewmenbers and charter guests, he followed the seasons in the Mediterranean and the West Indies. He wanted to sail around the
world, but had promised himself not to go through the Panama Canal with unpaid debts. That would have been too adventurous. He made it around the world.

In the book Lars Hässler closely describes what it takes to sail the world's oceans as a business enterprise. It takes computers, satellite navigation, money, documents, beeing good at dealing with customs and immigration officers, food and, not the least, toilet paper which seems to cause more arguments than anything else. He tells of the women who stayed onboard with whom he had complicated relationships. They were lovers, cooks, diving instructors and regular crewmembers. Sails, rudders, engines, and once even a keel wing, failed. A paying crewmember was crazy. It was adventurous, of course, but Hässler describes it all matter-of-factly. The only time it was personally difficult was when a guest was killed diving.

For ten years he stayed out on the high seas. Then he came home and summed it all up. Economically he had turned over millions (of swedish crowns) and ended up breaking even. The boat was his initial capital and he still had it in good condition. He describes the ten years as a university at sea. He saw and learned about people, politics, ecology, and about himself. He writes about the conditions of underdeveloped countries and of the cultural slaughter of the South Sea nations in a more balanced way than many other sailors who are often litigious eccentrics and outlaws. In Hässler's book we are spared the popularized drivel which, for exampel, Allcard scatters about in his fairly new sailingbook.

Hässler has observed the South Seas the way Theroux did in his "Canoeing the Pacific", but not as deeply, cynically or elegantly. It is an entertaining book anyway.

 

6. A book which creates dreams, by Kari Wilen, Frisk Bris, a Finnish-Swedish sailing magazine.

For ten years Lars Hässler has sailed on his S/Y Jennifer, a 50-foot Beneteau; when Jennifer returned to Stockholm on Midsummer 1998 she had sailed 100,000 nautical miles. The number of paying crew members and charter guests come to 700 and the income from them during the ten years to around 4,5 million Swedish crowns.

At the age of 42 Hässler decided to invest everything he owned in the realization of a longtime dream: to sail around the world. He left his profession as lawyer and trader of raw materials, sold everything he owned and bought, for cash, a Beneteau Oceanis 500. Or almost for cash; he had to borrow up to 300,000 SEK for extra equipment. Hässler had earlier in his youth sailed across the Pacific Ocean in the hippie sailing ship Sofia, where most of the 16 crew members, men and women, walked around naked. In August of 1988 Jennifer was launched and Hässler began a new career as charter skipper in the West Indies.

In his book Lars Hässler describes the entire boat chartering business in an informative way, which presumptive professional skippers certainly will find useful. The sub-title of the book reads specifically: How to Finance a Lifestyle. The charterlife is no easy job for the lazy; one works from six in the morning (baking bread) untill midnight when the guests have had their last drinks served. Not only does Hässler tell of running aground, enduring hurricanes and diving adventures, but he also provides an accounting of the charter finances during the first four charter years. He details the in and out clearing functions, navigation and technical requirements of the boat.

The around the world sail itself began in October of 1992 from Majorca in the Mediterranean. The voyage continues via the Carribean islands to Panama and from there via the Galapagos Islands to the South Seas - the sailors' paradise. Hässler has paying crew members onboard, but at the mouth of the Panama Canal he has to ask the German, Wolfgang, to leave the boat. This happened once in the ten years.

Hässler explores the paradise thoroughly and his descriptions of the various atolls are colorful and lyrical. Diving is the great passion of the crewmembers onboard Jennifer, but on the Society Islands Hässler is involved in a diving accident with a deadly outcome. This unfortunate incident almost ruined him both financially and mentally. The beginning of 1994 is spent in New Zealand and Australia after which Jennifer returns to Tonga. From there Hässler sails, with a new girlfriend, north over the equator to Micronesia, which makes a deep impression on this Swedish aerobics instructor. he tells of the last master navigators, of failed democracies and of the destructive welfare syndrome that is spreading in this last paradise.

Jennifer then sets her sail towards Papau New Guinea and exciting adventures in crocodile rivers. Via Australia Hässler sails to Singapore and then succeeds, as the first sailing yacht after the Vietnam War, to make his way to Saigon. When making a port in Kenya the mast strikes a high voltage transmission line and the skipper is almost killed. After he recovers he skippers Jennifer round the Cape of Good Hope and on to St Helena. From there he continues towards Brazil and up the Amazon River. The sail continues via Cuba across the Atlantic and, in spite of serious rudder damage, makes port in Stockholm just in time for Midsummer 1998.

 

Lars Hässlers' book is very entertaining and, at the same time, educational. The author describes nature, life on the atolls and under the water in a splendid way, and also reflects on population destinies, the politics and living conditions of the various islands. The reader also gets some historical retrospectives of the places Jennifer visits. As peak experiences during the circumnavigation Hässler names the time in Micronesia, the sail down the Sepic river in Papau New Guinea, the trip to Saigon and the peaceful existence in the other paradise, the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

After having read the Finn Pertti Duncker's rather solemn books about Merivoukko's hardship-filled around the world sail, Lars Hässler gives the reader back the desire to some day make a circumnavigation oneself.

 

 

First printing 2007 (below) now out of print:

Occupation Circumnavigator. How To Finance A Lifestyle. 10 Years On The Seven Seas With S/Y Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arholma-Landsort and Gotland. Your Guide To The Harbours in the Stockholm Archipelago

 

 

Your sailing guide to the islands, guest- and natural harbours in the Stockholm archipelago is the complete guide to cruising and sailing in the Stockholm Archipelago with its 30 000 islands, " the most beautiful archipelago in the world". It is the first book that combines descriptions of natural and guest harbours with historical information, sights, shops, restaurants, museums, etc. 210 natural harbours surveyed in the field and from the air and presented on 166 individual maps ranging from 1:3,000 to 1: 10,000, all accompanied by information on where to moor and suitability in different weather conditions.

72 guest harbours have been photographed from the air and given additional information on services, etc. Numerous maps of guest harbours provide information about water depth and mooring. Information on nature reserves and protected areas, fishing and hunting, boat charter, weather and safety at sea is also included.

The pilotbook has gotten excellent reviews by the Swedish press and is the new bible for boatowners on the Swedish east coast.

 

 

4. Reviews of Arholma-Landsort:

1. From the magazine BÅTLIV "This book is ideal as it focuses on the particular needs of boat owners."

2. Urban Hallen, Dagens Industri "The combination of aerial photographs and maps of guest and natural harbours together with updated informatin and historical facts makes Arholma-Landsort the so far most complete harbour guide."

3. Lars Porne, SvD "This is the latest, and probably the best, book in its genre...It is extremely informative and includes everything between Arholma in the north and Landsort in the south."

4. Bernt Festin, Skärgårdsstiftelsen "Here at last - the much awaited sequel to Åke Janhem's "Arholma-Landsort" and Åke Améen's Seglarhamnar på Ostkusten...This is, in my view, an overwhelming achievement..."

 

 

 Medelhavet Tur och Retur (in Swedish only)

 

 

This book by Lars Hässler and Marie Blomqvist                                     is about Jennifer's sailingyears 2001, 2002 and 2005 in the Med; from Mallorca in the west to to Syria and Lebanon in the east, from Croatia and the French Riviera in the north to Tunisia in the south, and on the European canal and rivers, through Paris, Berlin, Cologne.

Published in 2007.

 

 

 

  Seglingar i Medelhavet, Svarta havet och Röda havet (in Swedish only)

This book is about Jennifer's sailing in the Black Sea summer 2006 and the Red Sea summer 2007 as well as in the Mediterranean.

We sailed 2006 from Croatia, through the Corinth Canal to Athens, and further in the Aegan Sea to the Dardanelles,  Istanbul and via the Bosporus into the Black Sea. We circumnavigated the Black Sea, came to Georgia and went to the Caucasus mountains and the capital Triblisi, sailed to Crimea with Yalta and Sevastopol and furhter to Odessa and the Danube Delta and via Rumania and Bulgaria back to Istanbul. From there along the Turkish west coast to Marmaris in Turkey. 

Summer 2007 we sailed to Cyprus, Israel where we went to Jerusalem and Masada, further to the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, sailed on to Jordan where we visited Petra, Egypt where we hiked up Mount Sinai and St Catherine monestary on the Sinai peninsula and of course went to the pyramids, sailed south to Sudan all the way to Suakin, south of Port Sudan. We had beautiful diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea. We then turned around and sailed back through the Suez Canal, sailed on to Alexandria with its new library, across the Med to Turkey and across the Aegean Sea to Athens where Jennifer got a rest for the winter 2007/08.

The book was published in 2008.

 

Med båt på Europas kanaler (2010). So far only in Swedish.

Europas kanaler

Eiropas kanaler baksida

This book " With Boat on the European Canals" is about S/Y Jennifer & Lars Hässler and his various paying crew exploring the European canals and rivers such as Danube, Rhen, Seine and Rhone. During 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2009 Jennifer traveled through major European capital cities such as Berlin Paris, Vienna, Bratislava, Belgrade, Amsterdam, and Budapest. The travels took them 2001 from the Baltic via Berlin to the Med, back 2002 from the Med to the Baltic, from the Baltic 2005 via the North Sea and Paris to the Med and 2009 from the Med down the Danube to the Black Sea, Istanbul to the Med.  The book is full of descripions of the trips with maps and about the European history as well as plenty of colour photos.

 

Mot Söderhavet (2010) In Swedish only.

This book is a basically a translation of Sailing to the Far Horizon. The Restless Journey and Tragic Sinking of a Tall Ship (2004).

It'a about the 3-masted schooner Sofia's adventure as a floating hippiecommun in the South Seas at the end of 1970's and beginning 1980's.

Mot Soderhavet

Mot Sodrhavet baksida