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 This time it was the substitution of the old Halberg Rassy 43, already in its 3rd remake and clearly outdated, by a new 44.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.
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.|
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.|
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.