|A sophisticated Cruising Yacht|
The HR 412 was designed by German Frers. Best known for his superyachts and Swan yachts, you might think Frers is an odd choice for a company that in the past has built its brand with fairly frumpy small center cockpit cruisers. I think it's an excellent choice because of all the designers they could have chosen, Frers is one who could imbue this type of boat with that ineffable sense of grace that has been his trademark throughout his career. That is evident in this newest HR and in the recently launched HR 64.
Let's start by taking a look at how this boat might perform. We can deduce a lot from looking at the outboard profile and deck plan, which will give a good idea of the shape of the hull. Combine this with the boat's hull and rig dimensions and we can create a good estimate of what to expect from the HR 412 in terms of sailing performance.
|Notice the long waterline, wide stern and the step-thru transom. With its tall rig, deep keel and powerful rudder, this boat should be a fast passagemaker.|
Here are some numbers:
LOA ................ 41.42'
Sail area............ 970 sq ft
|Heavy construction, deep bilge sump, powerful spade rudder.|
Interpreting the numbers tells us that with a displacement/length ratio of 202, it is a bit heavier than most racer/cruisers But the tall, 3-spreader rig and sail area/displacement ratio of 18.45 provides plenty of horsepower even for relatively light air. We can surmise from the distribution of volume below the waterline that the prismatic ratio is in the .54 range, which is fairly conservative. I would guess that there is plenty of flare in the aft sections of the hull so the boat will be well balanced when heeled in a breeze. With the stem angle at about 14 degrees from vertical, I'm confident that the bow near the waterline is finer than many cruising boats. Couple these features with the deep bulb keel and you have a package that will sail well to weather, with the weight and horsepower to punch into a head sea. The big mainsail and small jibs will enable the boat to reach at high speeds and if you noticed the masthead spinnaker, you know this boat will be quick downwind as well.
Going on deck, we find Hallberg Rassy's trademark windshield wrapped around the forward end of the cockpit. Way up north where they build HR-412, that windshield is a requirement for cruising, but given how much thought they have put into the design of this boat, I would like to see a bit more finesse in the windshield in the form of some radii where the sharp corners are. I like the simple but efficient geometry of the cockpit, with its long seats and broad coamings. I also like the step-thru transom. This is an important convenience for getting aboard from a dinghy as well as fishing...all essential activities for cruisers. The 412 sports non-overlapping jibs but fortunately eschewed a transverse jib track on the cabin top. This makes for a more versatile sailplan and reduces clutter on the foredeck. Aboard the Honcho, I had to modify the stemhead to accommodate a Manson anchor. This type of anchor is a vast improvement over the plows and danforths of yesteryear, so builders should make accommodations for that type of anchor.
|Notice the Saildrive. They are becoming commonplace even on cruising yachts. This one is fitted with a three blade folding prop.|
Hallberg Rassy offers a wide range of interior options so I scrolled through the various plans and chose the one I think works best for a cruising couple. Forward is a large stateroom with plenty of storage space and a private head. The head includes room for a washer/dryer, very convenient. The main salon includes a basic settee and dropleaf table arrangement. The settees are are big enough to serve as sea berths if fitted with lee cloths. There are deadlights in the hull adjacent to the settees, which add light and visibility. The galley, to port, is adequate but not enormous. A nice touch is the optional separate freezer. Opposite the galley is a smallish nav station. When you're on a cruise, the nav station serves many purposes aside from navigating. It is a desk, work table and sometimes an extra galley counter, so I like mine to be big, with a comfortable seat and plenty of room for all those small things that always find their way into the chart table and adjoining lockers.
Aft of the nav station is another head with space for a shower stall. This will be a great place to hang wet foulies
I like this boat. It meets all my criteria for a good, solid, fast cruising yacht. I give it high marks for striking a finely tuned balance of performance and comfort. Aesthetically, the overall proportions of the boat should be pleasing to the eye, and that's important. Some might criticize the 'springiness' of the sheer on the 412. I think a little more tautness there might improve the boat's looks, but I'll reserve judgement on that until we see the boat. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't work out as well in reality.
The Hallberg Rassy 412 is scheduled to be launched later this year. I would put this on my short list of must-see boats.