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New Monohulls: Hallberg-Rassy 400 & Hanse 460

For all the consolidation in the boatbuilding world in recent years, there remains plenty of variety out there, as can be seen in these two new monohulls. The products of two very different boatbuilders offer two very different takes on performance-cruising, even as they also both offer much of the very latest in yacht design.

Hallberg-Rassy 400

In the minds of many sailors, nothing says “tradition” like Sweden’s Hallberg-Rassy. If anyone thinks, though, that this means the veteran builder of sturdy, bluewater cruisers is in any way standing still, they couldn’t be more wrong. As evidence, look no further than the company’s new Germán Frers-designed Hallerberg-Rassy 400.

Aft, the boat features a large cockpit opening onto a drop-down swim platform, twin helms and twin rudders. Forward, a nicely sculpted combination anchor roller and sprit blends seamlessly into the boat’s nearly plumb bow. The rig has also been expressly configured for shorthanded sailing, with a slightly overlapping headsail standard (for easier tacking) and a self-tacker as an option—again in keeping with the latest trends.

One thing that hasn’t changed (in addition to the boat’s trademark Hallberg-Rassy windshield) is the boat’s build quality and good looks. The hull layup includes a Divinycell PVC-foam, but is solid in the area of the keel in the interest of strength. A vinylester barrier coat helps prevent blistering. The joinerywork belowdecks is also top-notch, another Hallberg-Rassy trademark. Multiple layout options are available. In addition to the standard moderate-aspect fin, a shoal-draft keel can also be ordered for thin-water sailing.

Hanse 460

Going up a few feet in LOA, the Berret-Racoupeau-designed Hanse 460, like the Hallberg-Rassy, incorporates many of the latest trends in yacht design—no great surprise given the fact it’s a product of industry leader HanseYachts AG. That said, the Hanse 460 not only offers a very different aesthetic in terms of performance-cruising, it also pays particular attention to the performance side of the equation.

First and foremost is the boat’s bow, which is not just plumb but slightly tumblehome, like the latest offshore Euro racer. (What I wouldn’t give to see the folks at France’s Berret-Racoupeau pitching that particular design feature to their Hanse clients in Greifswald, Germany!) The boat’s high-aspect double-headsail rig is also as much a Hanse trademark as that Hallberg-Rassy windshield, and for good reason: the self-tacking inner jib makes short-tacking to windward simplicity itself at the same time the larger outer jib provides the sail area necessary for boatspeed off the wind. A spinnaker can be flown from the boat’s fixed combination sprit/anchor roller.

Chines fore and aft maximize volume belowdecks at the same time they provide additional form stability. Belowdecks, the Hanse 460 offers is own version of the latest “Euro” look, with sleek lines throughout and a plethora of layout and materials options. Suffice it to say, you’ll have no problem 1) speccing exactly the kind of boat you want and 2) being plenty comfortable after you do so. A great-looking new boat that looks to be equally satisfying on the hook and under sail. 

October/November 2021

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