Boat Review: Hallberg-Rassy 412

Author:
Publish date:
A bluewater cruiser that’s at home—anywhere

A bluewater cruiser that’s at home—anywhere

It’s funny how certain brands elicit certain expectations or even prejudices. For example, when you say Hallberg-Rassy, you think of durable stick-built boats battling formidable winds in higher latitudes with spray flying and green water over the bow. But with 96 percent of HRs exported out of their home country of Sweden, surely some have to end up in sunny climes where the breezes are light. How do they do there? Just fine, it turns out. Not only that, but they get compliments no matter where they go.

Design & Construction

The HR 412 is Hallberg-Rassy’s largest aft cockpit model, built on a newly designed hull. Since 1988, Hallberg-Rassy has used German Frers as its exclusive design firm and all the models (31-64ft) have a traditional appearance with no hard chines or plumb bows. Beyond that, one of the best ways to recognize an HR is by the signature rubbing strake and windshield that have continued on the newer models.

Construction includes a Divinycell foam core sandwich to the waterline with solid glass below. An integral grid reinforces the hull, and the deck is added before the boat is finished out with furniture and equipment. Because it all comes in via the companionway, it can also can go out that same way when it’s time to repower or add a genset—a huge benefit. There is only one choice of keel: a bolt-on lead fin that draws 6ft 7in.

On Deck

The deck-stepped, triple-spreader spar is by Seldén (as is the rigid Rodkicker vang) and with an air draft of 64ft 6in, the HR 412 will struggle with bridge clearances on the ICW. Standard sail area is 970ft², with the headsail on a belowdeck Furlex furler. The sheeting angles are tight, and the side decks are notably wide and really easy to navigate.

The aft cockpit is quite large and deep, with an enormous centerline wheel that says the 412 aspires to great things on the racecourse. The console is comprehensive with a 12in Furuno (or Raymarine) multifunction display, Fusion stereo head, remote anchor windlass control and wind instruments and joysticks for the optional Side-Power bow and/or stern thrusters. The engine throttle is to the right of the MFD, nice and high, so there’s no need to bend down to shift, at the same time taking your eyes off the bow when docking. A stainless steel handrail is integrated into the forward end of the console.

All lines are led aft under the deck to four Lewmar winches via sheet stoppers. The large spaces on either side of the companionway have no winches and instruments are built into a shelf just above the slider so everyone can see them from anywhere in the cockpit.

The split backstay has a tackle tensioner for easy adjustment, and the transom helm seat hinges up to the side to reveal convenient access to the water.

HR412saloon3448-2r-1

Accommodations

The mahogany finish belowdecks is the only one offered and is impeccable. Layout choices include two or three cabins with one or two heads. The master forward also offers a few nice options, including a head with or without a shower stall and a standard V-berth or center island bed. Couples needing only one head may enjoy the island berth and larger stateroom with more stowage space for long term cruising.

The C-shaped galley is to port with twin sinks, a top-loading Isotherm refrigerator and small separate freezer. The two-burner Eno stove/oven combination sits next to the fridge.

The saloon is brightened by dual opening hatches overhead and opening ports in the cabintop, which are the same size as those on the HR 54. An L-shaped settee is tucked behind a drop-leaf table that connects with the other side at mealtimes. There is a choice of either two built-in chairs or a straight settee to starboard. The latter will make a nice sea berth underway. House batteries are below the settees, and are wet cells for a deeper discharge and longer life. A separate thruster battery is forward below the master berth and is AGM.

A proper, forward-facing navigation desk is to starboard just ahead of the aft head. It’s nice to still see one of these on a serious cruiser, and it will surely be used extensively on long passages. Four drawers are integrated into the base of the desk with more stowage hidden under the seat.

Access to the engine below the companionway steps is quite good, although the genset space behind the auxiliary is tight. A five-bottle wine rack is tucked below the cabin sole—it seems the Swedes are determined not to let the French have all the fun.

Under Sail

We got lucky on test day by being the first off the dock, and counterintuitively, we had the best wind at 0930, as things got lighter and lighter as the day wore on. The flat waters of Chesapeake Bay and 12 knots of wind over the deck made for perfect daysailing weather, although this hardy cruiser is most certainly built for more serious conditions.

At a 40 degree apparent wind angle in 11.8 knots of wind, our Elvstrom sails (including the 111 percent genoa) produced 6.8 knots. As we eased off, we still carried 4 knots at 120 degrees and 6.4 knots of apparent wind. The giant wheel makes tacking easy, and the large single rudder bites well, making the hull very responsive. Because the current owner of our test boat plans to club race, the optional fixed cockpit table was missing, and in its place was a flip-up version, suspended from the console. Although that left the cockpit open, it meant there was nowhere to brace your feet when heeling.

Perhaps the best combination for shorthanded sailing would be a self-tacking jib with the large Code 0 for downwind work. With a traditional mainsail configuration (an in-mast furler is an option) our morning run proved to be the best sail of the day. The HR 412 may be built for heavy weather, but she’s a boatload of fun in light conditions as well.

Under Power

At wide-open throttle and with three of us aboard, we motored at 8.5 knots and 3,000 rpm. However, a better and more economical cruising speed is 7.5 knots at 2,100 rpm. Auxiliary power is supplied by a Volvo Penta D2 75hp diesel and saildrive, which manages the 24,400lb displacement with ease, so there’s no need for any kind of upgrade to be offered.

Conclusion

Coming in and out of the marina, we garnered three compliments from other boats. There’s no doubt that Hallberg-Rassy gets noticed and admired. Hull #28 of the 412 was the first to arrive in the United States, and because Hallberg-Rassy builds to order, it was already spoken for and headed to the Great Lakes where it will spend the winter in a heated shed before being re-commissioned and launched in the spring. Although undoubtedly spirited, the Great Lakes don’t immediately bring to mind the need for a serious offshore cruiser. On the other hand, why not? With its easy sailplan and plenty of get-up-and-go, the 412 justly proves it’s truly a design that can be at home anywhere. 

HallbergRassy412SailPlan

Specifications

LOA 41ft 5in LWL 37ft 9in Beam 13ft 6in Draft 6ft 7in

Displacement 24,400lb

Ballast 8,300lb Sail Area 970ft

Air Draft 64ft 6in

Fuel/Water (GAL) 142/91

Engine Volvo-Penta D2 75hp

Ballast Ratio 34 SA/D Ratio 18 D/L Ratio 202

What do these ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

Designer German Frers

Builder Hallberg-Rassy, Ellös, Sweden,

hallberg-rassy.com

Price $510,000 (base) at time of publication

January 2018

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more