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Hallberg-Rassy 50

2021 June 1

With all kinds of bells and whistles available, this cruiser can make ocean passages in comfort

always enjoy getting a new Hallberg-Rassy model to review. I like German Frers hull designs and the layouts and decks of the H-R boats are always very well thought out. This new model at 50 feet LOD employs the latest design features that have trickled down from the racing fleet. This is not your grandpa’s H-R. It is an interesting contrast to the Jeanneau 60 as both appear to be aimed at the same market.

To begin, look at the plan view of the H-R deck in comparison to the Jeanneau deck. Notice how much finer the H-R deck is forward. This is a totally different bow shape. Beam aft is taken to the max as expected. The D/L of the H-R is 180 using the “empty standard boat” displacement. This makes it a heavier boat relative to its DWL. The L/B is 3 so the H-R is relatively beamier.  Draft is 8 feet although the specs do mention there is a shoal draft version, but the draft isn’t listed. There are twin rudders. I have mixed feelings about plumb stems on cruising boats. If your dockmaster measures your LOA to the end of that little sprit why not have a conventional bow rake and use that additional overhang to gain more foredeck area. I think it’s a style thing, which I understand because it does look good.

The H-R has two layout options. One has double berth cabins in the bow and the stern, with an additional small cabin just forward of the saloon with a tight double berth. The other layout has a double berth aft along with a single berth to starboard. The double berth forward is replaced with conventional V-berths but they are very generous in size. 

You can have the galley adjoining the saloon or you can move the galley to the passage way aft. Both look just fine to me. You can have Streisand chairs in the saloon or you can have a regular settee/berth to port. Both work but I’ve never warmed up to chairs in boats. A settee is more versatile. Note the walk-in engine room. I expect you can mix and match to suit your needs. What you lose with the extra 10 feet that the Jeanneau has in LOA is that big tender garage aft and that gigantic cockpit/patio.

The carbon fiber rig of the H-R has three spreaders swept 20 degrees and a split backstay. The SA/D is 20.3. There is no provision that I can see for a self-tacking jib but I think self-tacking jibs are over rated. With a low LP, say 105%, working jib, tacking will not be a problem. There are short, inboard jib tracks that give a sheeting angle around 5 degrees. I suppose that’s a reasonable compromise between what you’d want for beating and what you’d want for reaching. It has push-button in-mast furling. That should make some people happy. I prefer in boom furling myself. Both work.

The deck plan of the H-R is more of a center-cockpit configuration. The cockpit is protected and, as standard with the H-R models, there is a nice, rigid windshield to increase cockpit protection. It looks good too. There are twin wheels and bench seats long enough for napping. The mainsheet traveler is aft of the cockpit coaming. That’s one real benefit of this style of deck. You get a wide traveler without it disturbing the cockpit. A boarding platform folds down out of the transom. There is not much lazarette stowage space on this design but the fo’c’sle is large.

One interesting feature that comes standard on the 50 is the bow thruster. It’s a jackknife style that retracts into the hull. There is even an option for an identical thruster in the stern. These thrusters could make you look like a real hero in a tight marina.

I like just about everything in this design. No nitpicking this time.

LOA 50’; LWL 48’7”; Beam 16’5”; Draft 7’8”; Displ. 46,300; Ballast 16,350; Sail Area 1,410 sq. ft.; Auxiliary 110-hp; Fuel 264 gal.; Water 248 gal.; D/L 180; L/B 3; SA/D 20.3

Our best estimate of the sailaway price: $1.5 million

Free State Yachts

Herrington Harbour Marina North

P.O. Box 220

Deale, Maryland 20751