The Swedish yard is turbo-charging its range of offshore cruisers, but have they left good old-fashioned seaworthiness behind? Theo Stocker spent 48 hours sailing the Hallberg-Rassy 40C to find out
Steep waves rolled in unchecked from a brutally cold Skagerrak, and the cold winter sun glistened in the spray scattering to leeward as the sharp bow sliced to windward. A Force 5 in late December on the exposed west coast of Sweden might not seem like the ideal setting for a boat test, but these are exactly the kind of conditions the Hallberg-Rassy 40C was built for.
The Swedish yard has long been a byword for high-quality, long-distance cruisers; a reputation built on generations of beautifully executed and eminently seaworthy yachts that have taken sailors all over the world. Their understated styling and conservative design were a big draw for many, but the world of yacht design is changing rapidly and Magnus Rassy, the yard’s owner, was determined that Hallberg-Rassy should not become outdated.
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