Hallberg Rassy have long been known as quality manufacturers of excellently designed cruising boats - to be relied on not to let you down in the middle of an ocean. So it's fitting that the newest of the new - the Hallberg Rassy 55 - should be nominated for the European Yacht of the Year in the Luxury Cruiser category, to be announced in January 2014.
Like the 64 model it has lots of natural light through large tempered glass portlights in the saloon, as well as four hull portlights and seven flush mounted skylight hatches, of which three are in the saloon alone. White painted wooden panels in the saloon alcoves further contribute to a spacious yet cosy feel.
Of course it's the little things you notice first, which are not closely connected to its cruising ability - the fridge in the centre console of the cockpit is one of them - you can reach for a beer without having to go below.
Rig for Blue Water Cruising: The rig has triple spreaders, which are only swept back three degrees resulting in extra stability and are not in the way when sailing downwind. Furthermore, there is an option for jumpstay that gives additional stability when using a permanent hydraulic cutter stay. This is particularly excellent for ocean crossings.
Cockpit: Only a foot longer than the popular 54, it is nevertheless much more spacious in the cockpit. There's also plenty of space for a 14' plotter on the steering pedestal, easing the overlap between comfort and essential navigation. Developed push button sailing
To make life really easy there are both bow and stern thrusters, so it will be easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces.
Engine: The engine room is easy access, with walk-in characteristics. It's not noisy either, with very good insulation All easy to maintain, all well sound insulated. The engine room lighting is 24 v, but there is also an optional 230 v fluorescent light, with power supply from either the shore connection or the inverter. There's a Mastervolt inverter which quickly and automatically changes between shore power and inverter, depending on what is available. The engine itself is a D4-180, which hums quietly and it is evident that there is a very good torque even at 1100 RPMs.
The (Optional) three-bladed folding propeller no doubt contributes to the yacht's ability to achieve 8 knots at 1400 RPM.
Below: At night, below, there's lovely mood lighting. While she is large, she does not appear crammed with bunks. She seems designed for the owners and some occasional guests. The very large en suite owner's cabin is aft, a pullman double to starboard with heads to port forward of the saloon, and a twin cabin in the bow. The saloon table is to starboard and there's a comfortable lounging area to port conveniently placed for TV viewing.
One nice feature, lacking on many larger boats is that the interior is on one level throughout the boat
She's a lovely boat and should do well in the 'European Yacht of the Year', with the judging taking place in November. ...............
Here is the full list of boats nominated in 'The European Yacht of the Year':
In the category of Family Cruiser:
Allures 39.9 (In boat show) Bavaria Cruiser 37 (In boat show) Beneteau Oceanis 38 (In boat show) Dufour 410 Grand'Large (In boat show) 9.00 Winner (In boat show)
In the category of Luxury Cruiser:
Contest 42 CS (In boat show) Gunfleet 58 (In boat show) Hallberg-Rassy 55 (In boat show) ICE 62 Mylius 18E35
In the category of Performance Cruiser:
Dehler 38 (In boat show) Elan 400 (In boat show) Pogo 30 (In boat show) Premier 45 (In boat show) XP-33 (In boat show)
In the category of Special Yachts:
Django 6.70 Essence 33 Malango 8.88 Sailart 22 (In boat show) 27 sapphires (In boat show)