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Hallberg-Rassy 372

2008 September 29
Bluewater cruiser

Here is an entirely new design from German Frers for Hallberg-Rassy. What I find most interesting in this design is seeing the slow movement in the H-R line toward boats with better performance. It seems to be always pushing to keep its boats at the front of the pack when it comes to providing boats with true offshore passagemaking capabilities. Of course, almost any boat in the right hands is capable of sailing offshore, for a while anyway, but H-R designs specifically for this mission.

The hull form shows a wide transom and an L/B of 3.15; on the beamy side. The entry is relatively fine with a short bow overhang. Frers has always been great at drawing sheerlines and the sheer spring of this design is pronounced and handsome. The D/L is on the low side for a cruising boat at 193. I can remember when a prominent designer wrote that the Valiant 40 with a D/L of 260 was too light to be considered a serious offshore boat. Draft with the bulbed, moderate aspect ratio fin is 6 feet, 7 inches.

We could argue all day about the perfect size for a cruising couple. My preference would be for a boat like this model with an LOA of 37 feet, 3 inches. With a designed displacement of 16,500 pounds, this boat is small enough so that you can still push and pull it around while you are docking. Once you get over 20,000 pounds it might better to just stand back and let the boat crash rather than risk personal injury. At 37 feet, 3 inches, I can't imagine wanting any more out of an interior. This design has a comfortable V-berth double with the toe end far enough aft for some decent width to that end. I have "clown feet," so that's important to me. I like the way that the bookshelves and lockers are above the V-berth. If the berth is too high for you to sit on they have provided a seat to make putting on your shoes easier.

The saloon is perfect. Just leave that port side leaf on the table up all the time, it won't be in anyone's way. The galley is perfect, the nav station is perfect and the single head is very large. There is a shower seat forward in the head area so the shower head can hit you in the head while you are seated. I'm not a fan of those enclosed quarter cabins but they are very popular and do provide privacy even if the berth is hard to get in and out of. This design also has a large lazarette to starboard. This area can never be too big for a cruising boat. This may not be a sexy layout with all curves and angles but to my eye it is about as good as you can get in 37 feet.

Even H-R has fractional rigs now. This one has some prebend and three spreaders swept 18 degrees. The genoa leads are well inboard for close sheeting. You can order a self-tacking jib arrangement as an option. These sound good but seldom work well in a variety of conditions unless you have the ability to run the track from gunwale to gunwale. The headsails for this design are limited to minimal overlap so the genoa tracks can be short. The roller-furling drum for the genoa is below the foredeck. This cleans things up and allows the tack of the jib to be right down at the deck for better performance. The SA/D is 19.05, and that's a change from your grandpa's Hallberg-Rassy.

With 96 gallons of water and 72 gallons of fuel you could be self-sufficient for some time on this H-R. It looks like a great cruising design to me. There's not a ripple on the water outside the office today. That 55-horsepower Volvo with a sail drive would be my ticket for light air boat speed.

LOA 37'3"; LWL 33'8"; Beam 11'10"; Draft 6'7"; Displacement 16,500 lbs.; Ballast 6,400 lbs.; Sail area 788 sq. ft.; SA/D 19.05; D/L 193; L/B 3.15; Auxiliary Volvo Penta D2-55; Fuel 72 gals.; Water 96 gals.

Hallberg-Rassy, Hallberg-Rassyvägen 1, SE-474 31, Ellös, Sweden, 46-304-54-800, www.hallberg-rassy.com. In the U.S., contact Eastland Yachts, 33 Pratt St., Essex, CT 06426, (860) 767-8224,

OBE: $324,000
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