The Hallberg-Rassy 43, designed by German Frers, is a comfortable offshore cruiser from a well-respected Swedish builder. Hull and deck construction meet the high standards we have come to expect from Hallberg-Rassy, as does the excellent mahogany joinery down below. The interior accommodation includes many features we like to find on long-distance cruising boats: a well-positioned wet locker, lots of solid handholds, lots of general stowage space (though it is somewhat limited in the galley), and generous fuel and water capacity. We liked the commodious staterooms fore and aft and were agog at the large heads. The forward head has room for an optional washer/dryer installation; this seems the most logical place for such equipment. We found the systems to be above average and were particularly impressed by the DC high-current panel and clean AC installation. There were some anomalies, such as untinned wire and less-than-optimal battery clamps and cables, that are commonly found on European boats.
We were unable to press the boat in the light conditions on Narragansett Bay, but we have no reason to believe this Hallberg-Rassy will not be up to more rigorous conditions. Buyers can safely expect to do some very serious sailing in a vessel of this ilk, and our judges agreed that, at the relatively modest asking price, the 43 is a lot of bluewater boat for the money.
Price: $350,000 (FOB Sweden), including sails, jib-furling gear, basic electronics, central heat, electric windlass, folding prop, teak decks.
U.S. agent: Check www.hallberg-rassy.se for a dealer in your area
Construction: Hand-laid glass hull with Divinycell core above the waterline. Deck and coachroof are also Divinycell sandwich construction and are laminated to the hull.
Ballast 10,500 lbs
Displacement 28,000 lbs
Total sail area (100% foretriangle) 941 sq ft
Power 55-hp Volvo
Fuel/water/waste 105/174/32 gal
Displ.-length ratio 218
Sail area-displ. ratio 16.3