Apparently, the logical choice would be to compare the Hallberg Rassy 40C with the Najad 395CC, the other recent 40ft central cockpit on the market (2018), but I really dislike the Najad to the point of finding the previous model, the Najad 410 (2009), more elegant and with a nicer interior.
The "2" stands for an MKII version that arrived a few years ago and provided the Saare with a much better-looking interior, with an option for light European oak, which is really an improvement over the dark mahogany of the first boats.
The interior finish and layout were always good but the lighter wood, and some improvements in design, really make it not only look better, besides being almost perfect in regards to functionality. One great addition was the freezer that occupies the center of the saloon table. It looks not only nice and integrated as it is a great idea to store at hand the cold beer and white wine, a perfect location to keep on drinking, while seated at the table with friends.
The keels are of a similar design, bulbed lead keels, with the Saare having just a bit more draft (2.00 to 1.92m). The Saare has a 41.1%B/D the HR a 33.2% B/D. The bigger displacement will give the HR bigger overall stability but the Saare has a better AVS, over 130º, one that starts to be unusual, and a better dynamic and safety stability.
Above HR40C, below Saare 41CC2
|On top Saare 41CC, above HR40C|
So, it is up to you to know what the conditions are in which you sail most, and if sailing with some more degrees of heel is or isn't a problem, to know what type of hull and type of boat will suit you better. But one thing is for sure, you will have to use the engine more often on the HR, due to his worst performance in light winds.
Compared to a 135% genoa it is not as practical, demanding frequent changes of sail, versus furling the genoa. Out of sportive sailors, I see almost no cruising boats of this size sailed by aged couples using gennaker or Code 0. Something you should take into consideration when choosing the sail setup you are going to use on the boat. A big genoa gives a bit more work tacking, but nothing compared with the extra work for using two sails. On smaller and lighter boats the much smaller sail size makes the 2nd option more practical.
The Saare offers optionally a less nice, but more practical, traditional nordic designed bowsprit/bow platform, that with the use of an integrated small stair allows easy access to the boat from the bow.
Both come standard with one-line reefing through the boom, the HR with 3 winches, the Saare with 6. The beamier HR has a twin rudder system the Saare has a deeper single one, and both offer standard about the same equipment, more than what it is normal on less expensive sailboats.
Both boats offer the same engine as standard, a 60hp Volvo Penta, with the possibility of having optionally a 75hp engine. The HR40C offers as tankage 400L diesel and 520L water while the Saare offers 320+100L diesel and 300+100L water, being the extra 100L an option.
The galleys are of a different design but both are big and with a lot of storage, both chart tables are also big, good and of similar size. Due to the bigger beam, the saloon is wider on the HR, allowing for an optional solution with two very nice armchairs, while the Saare has a traditional saloon solution similar to the one in the standard HR.
On top HR40C, above Saare 41CC2
While considering the outside storage space, I would not have a problem doing extended cruising on the Saare, I would not be happy doing the same with what the HR offers, and I am not the type that sails or lives with a lot of stuff, but as all that live for long periods on a sailboat and stay considerable periods at anchor know, a lot of material is needed, from ropes to fenders, to maintenance and cleaning products, bucket and bowls, tools, spares, sometimes bicycles or scooters, a big shade for the cockpit, a geenaker and so on.
Saare 41CC2 sail locker
HR40C - European oak
I don't find the Saare interior badly designed but the one of the Hallberg Rassy is of exceptional design quality and as saloon space, the optional layout with the two armchairs is really perfect for a boat of this size. The one of the Saare has at least a similar quality of finish, it is cozy and nice but has not the same appeal. One would find it very nice before seeing and falling in love with the one of the HR.
Saare 41CC2 - mahogany version
The Hallberg Rassy uses polyester resins with vinylester only on the outside coat, the Saare is built entirely using vynilester based epoxy resins. While HR uses a hand lay-up method, Saare uses vacuum infusion technology, and that allows for a perfect fiber saturation using less resin, with a final product that is lighter, and at least as good as the one using the hand-laid method. The better quality vinylester resin also allows savings in weight, for the same composite strength.
Saare 41CC2 - oak version
The boat structure is not very different, in both cases a solid GRP structure, that is strongly laminated to the hull. Both use marine-grade plywood for bulkheads, that are bonded and laminated to the hull. The deck is also bonded and laminated to the hull.
Probably because it is made in Estonia, one of the Baltic small countries, the Saare 41CC2, even if slightly bigger, is a bit less expensive than the Hallberg Rassy 40C, which is made in Sweden, where manpower is more expensive.
Saare 41CC2 structure: remarkably well laminated
But it is not a huge difference, because both boats are very similar in quality, and quality does not come cheap. The Halberg Rassy costs about 420 000 € and the Saare about 400 000 €, both prices standard, on the shipyard and without VAT.
I find that for many sailing programs a Saare 41CC2 would make more sense than the Hallberg Rassy 41C, but the fact that HR is a very prestigious brand and the Saare has a slightly outdated look, will make the HR 40C much more popular as a choice.
HR 40C hull structure
Why a 42ft boat? Because with a bigger cockpit, a slightly bigger technical space, a dedicated locker for the liferaft on the transom and a swimming platform, this boat would be even better. The problem with small boat builders is that due to much smaller production, the costs of having a new model are proportionally much bigger than on a big or medium production builder, which can distribute those costs for many more sailboats. But one can dream ;-)