Why I Chose a Hallberg-Rassy 46
It is our goal to have the best possible program for preparing
people for passagemaking on their own boats. Having the best possible
boat for instruction is essential to our goal.
Size was an important consideration. I wanted a boat with a
longer waterline than Mahina Tiare II, a Hallberg-Rassy 42 on
which I taught for seven years, but still in the size range that
our expedition members would be sailing themselves. I briefly
considered an Ocean 71' ketch, which was half the price and could
carry double (12) the number of expedition members. Amanda mentioned
the possibility of an ex-Whitbread Round-the-World Race maxi,
80' of power and speed, considerably less expensive for initial
Although sailing on a 70' - 80' yacht is definitely exciting,
the cost and time involved in upkeep and maintenance of a 15-20
year old well-worn boat is not. After our fist 12,000 mile season
with MT III, I am sure we made the correct decision.
Why another Hallberg-Rassy?
- Track record. I had owned my two previous Hallberg-Rassys
(a Monsun 31 and HR 42) 18 years sailing them over 125,000 miles
including some extreme conditions. During that time I never encountered
structural failure or serious problems. Even though I purchased
both of the boats used, the factory was extremely helpful with
advice and hard-to-find parts. I literally searched the world
from Europe to New Zealand for a boat to replace MTII, and couldn't
for any price find a boat that I thought would do a better job
or was better built. After hearing many tales of problems with
custom or limited-production boats, as well as stories of cost
and time over runs, I knew that slightly modifying a well-proven
production boat was my best option. MTIII is hull #92, so the
yard has had time to make modifications and fine-tune the building
process. From the time I ordered the boat until construction
there were several important upgrades made to the boat.
- Re-Sale Value. Many times during the seven years I owned
MTII I received form letters which yacht brokers had sent to
all owners of HR 42's telling me how many people they had waiting
in line for HR 42's and to contact them if I was ever even considering
selling my boat. These boats not only hold their value well,
as some models have actually appreciated. The fact that the factory
has sold out production (approximately 200 boats) one year ahead
also speaks for the demand and strength of the design.
- Design. From research I knew that German Frers was a world-class
designer. The H-R 46 has provided exceptional sailing performance,
surpassing our expectations. The longer waterline and powerful
stern means that this boat refuses to pitch, instead driving
through heavy chop like a freight train on rails. Close-reaching
at 8.5 knots boatspeed in 35-40 knots and 16'-18' seas between
the Tuamotus and Tahiti in July 1997 was an excellent test. This
boat is a dream in heavy weather - fast, powerful, safe, predictable,
and her hard-dodger is always appreciated! Her light-air performance
is startling for a non-race boat of medium displacement. Many
times we see 7 knots verified boatspeed in 10-11 knots of true
windspeed, without exotic sails!
- Systems Design and Installation. I heard from several very
experienced owners of recent Hallberg-Rassys that the factory
has done an excellent job of installing and integrating the systems
on the newer boats. Everything (refrigeration, freezer, instrumentation,
autopilot, forced-air furnaces) I had installed at the factory
has worked perfectly during the first 12,000 miles. This is not
always the case according to the owners of other new production
and custom yachts whom I've spoken with.
- Beauty. These are handsome boats. They are not trendy or
sexy, and the designs will look just as good 20 years from now.
The interiors are functional, not frilly or gimmicky. They make
wonderful sea-going homes.