Sunday, March 20, 2016


Halberg Rassy continues with the renovation of its fleet porpoising much better sailing boats, maintaining the minimum of conservatism to make his clients happy. This time it was the substitution of the old Halberg Rassy 43, already in its 3rd remake and clearly outdated, by a new 44.

The new model is nicely designed by the habitual NA cabinet, German Frers, but it is very different from the old 43. The inefficient skeg rudder was substituted by a modern twin rudder set up, the big bow overhang disappeared allowing for a much bigger LWL, it has much finer entries, the hull form stability was increased by considerably more beam and by bringing the beam aft, the boat has a much more efficient keel with more draft a superior B/D ratio.

All this translates in a boat with considerably more overall stability, faster and safer with a better reserve stability and better AVS. HR should be congratulated and this model will be a great sucessor for one of the benchmarks of HR, the 43.

The 44 has also some practical new features like a folding transom that turns in a bath platform and an integral bowsprit with anchor stand. It is slightly heavier than the 43 (13.3t to 12.7t) but that diference in weight is less than the diference in ballast (5.3t to 4.5t) and that makes proportionally the 44 a lighter sailboat, specially if we consider the bigger LWL and superior beam.

The much superior sail performance comes not only from a better and more hydrodynamic hull but also from the superior sail area that the bigger stability will allow (109.6m2 to 95.1m2).

They talk about 8.8K speed at 100º with 12K true wind and even more impressively the VPP predicts  with 6K true wind a boat speed over wind speed from 70º to 120º with a max speed of 6.7K at 100º. 

The old 43. Compare the two hulls.
Off course those performances consider perfect sea conditions and flat seas but they are very good for a boat of this type. The time of the slow and boring HR seems to be things from the past.

The performance upwind is also remarkably good, just to understand how good it is I compared it with the performance of my own boat, a performance cruiser of 41ft, a Comet 41s that has the typical very good performance of a modern fast cruiser racer of that size. 

The Comet is only marginally better regarding VMG  (about 0.1K) and the Comet points better just about 1.5º. The Comet is always a bit faster with winds till 20K (true wind) after that the HR 44, due to its much bigger LWL, that allows it a better wave passage, is even slightly faster.

The old 43. Compare side views.
They talk about the bigger cockpit space, compared with the 43, but the truth is that the cockpit space continues to be small, specially if compared with one from an aft cockpit boat of that size. It's the price to pay for a king sized aft cabin.
Regarding that cabin there is an option for a bow thruster there, probably due to the smaller maneuverability in port maneuvers that comes with the twin rudder set up, that is a much superior solution except in what regards that.

That option will imply a huge loss of exterior storage space and  I would say that would be a big trade  off  regarding a better maneuverability and should only be taken if the boat will be sailed a lot from marina to marina and that would be a waste since this boat would be a very good bluewater boat and for that use all that lost storage space will become necessary.


  1. Hey Paulo! I appreciate your blog, I do like checking it even though it's clear we have somewhat different taste. But this thing is indeed interesting. Times change, I guess. And I do admit I'd love to try one of these out, even though I think it's really ugly on the outside. The interior will probably be stunning though. But this kind of makes me wonder things from my perspective. To me, the main competition for the french alu cruisers like allures is stuff like HR's. HR has the looks and awesome interior, alu boats have the functionality but look horrible and have ghastly modern interiors. Now if rassy starts chipping away from the looks department, why wouldn't I just go with lifting keel aluminium ugliness? Provided I hit the lottery, of course :)

    1. I don't think competition to voyage boats are luxury boats like Halberg Rassy. Halberg Rassy are not different in their sailing program than main market mass production boats, they are just better finished and with a better overall quality.

      Competition to aluminium voyage boats will come from other voyage boats made in other materials like the Amel (GRP), RM (plywood/kevlar) or the Comet Explorer (Kevlar), boats that, like those aluminium boats, are designed to do long range voyaging.

      Regarding interiors I guess you had never been inside of one of those aluminium voyage boats, otherwise you would have known that they have comfortable high quality interiors.

      Regarding the interiors being modern, well they are modern boats so a modern interior is the logical choice and it is what the ones that buy those boats prefere and desire. Their design quality is normally a very good one since most brands abandoned a long time ago amateurish attempts on interior design and have them designed by high quality design cabinets specialized in boat interior design.

      Normally in what regards production boats old style interiors are used only on classic or traditional sailboats, matching the style of those boats.

      Regarding my taste in boats, it is a very eclectic one and I do like old style interiors...on classic or traditional sailboats.

  2. Love it! I love your blog!
    Whats your view on Hr 44 VS Najad 44?
    Roger in Boston

    1. The Najad 450 cc is an older design (now made by Swedestar). It is a good boat but by design the HR is better, meaning more power (more B/D ratio, lighter, beam carried after) more stability, all that allowing more sail area and a faster and better sailing boat. Regarding the building I have no reliable information regarding the Swedestar standard. Their own boats are well built but I don't know about the Najads built by them even if they are a reputable company. I would not be surprised if it is slightly better than HR. A smaller production can have advantages in what regards standard quality.

      The Halberg Rassy are well built but the increase in production bring not only less expensive boats but also less control over the quality of production.

      Personally on that the size of boats I prefer a AC cockpit that allows for more storage (one of the back cabins) and the Najad has the advantage of having the same model in AC configuration. If the AC configuration interests you check out also the Grand Soleil 46 LC (there are information about it on the blog).

  3. Actually I was trying to compare the new HR with the new Najad 44 by Judel- Vroliik which has both AC and CC.
    I also prefer AC for aethetic reasons but thats balanced with trying to find my wife a really nice stateroom do shell come sailing. one of the challenges is really understanding the comparative performance. as these boats are new and cruising oriented its hard to track down any ratings like IRC. Its made more dificult by that as far as I can tell, the only way to find a boats IRC rating is search some regatta results.
    eady for the Grand Soleils

  4. No, it will not be easy to find a IRC rating for the Grand Soleil 47LC (LC stands for Long range cruising). that one is the first from a new line of cruisers, not performance cruisers like all the others. They are not designed as cruiser racers and I doubt that they will be used for racing, at least in Europe. However all the test sailors from several magazines pointed out that the boat is fast and very agreeable to sail.

    You can find the polar speeds of bot Najad 450 and HR 44 on their sites:

    Note that the one from the HR regards a half load boat (14900kg) while the one of the Najad (because it says nothing about it) regards probably to a lightship.