With the hotly anticipated Hallbery-Rassy HR50 now on the water, Toby Hodges took one of the first boats for a test sail in France to see what makes her special

The eagerly awaited first new Hallberg-Rassy HR50, the fifth of Rassy’s new-generation twin-rudder designs, provides greater volume for accommodation and stowage, and the longer waterline and increased beam aft equates to faster speeds and greater form stability. Toby Hodges took the HR50 for a test sail in La Rochelle to find if she lived up to the hype.

Once again we see a Rassy designed to be a doddle to manage short-handed, thanks to push-button controls and furling sails, which include a blade or self-tacking jib. I can’t think of another centre cockpit cruiser that offers this much pleasure and performance on the helm, albeit with the premium rig package. Considering the vast amount of comfort and roominess the HR50 provides for its length, it is a stunning sailing yacht.

The only slight blemishes of this masterpiece of evolution are that some may wish for more deck locker space (although others will appreciate the extra aft cabin space). And at this very top end price level, why not make the standard layout the most popular one?

Two years ago Magnus told me the Hallberg-Rassy HR40C was the best his yard has built – but what about this? “It’s always the latest that’s the best,” he smiles knowingly. “Every new model has to be an improvement.”

In short, for those in the market for a thoroughbred centre-cockpit cruiser from a traditional North European yard, this is as good as it gets. The HR50 is the ultimate in polished refinement.

Hallberg-Rassy’s world-renowned style and joiner work will feature below


Price ex VAT: SEK11,971,500 (€1.158m)
Hull length: 15.23m / 50ft 0in
LWL: 14.80m / 48ft 7in
Beam: 5.00m / 16ft 5in
Draught: (standard keel) 2.35m 7ft 9in Displacement 21,000kg 46,300lb
Builder: www.hallberg-rassy.com

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