Comfortable with the success of their Hallberg-Rassy 46 and conservative by nature, the design team of Germán Frers and Hallberg-Rassy approached the creation of its successor, the Hallberg-Rassy 48, cautiously.
From the voluminous tankage and the small, protected center cockpit to the galley designed to do real work in a real sea, they have holistically adhered to their core concept of building an unimpeachably capable bluewater cruiser. By extending the waterline beam by 7 inches to create more form stability and achieving a commendable 47-percent ballast ratio, the designers could increase the sail area by 100 square feet. This, coupled with an increase in the waterline length by 5 feet 6 inches, results in livelier performance while retaining the seakindliness and emblematic looks of all Hallberg-Rassys.
Despite its 20-ton displacement, I found the boat quick and responsive even in light air. This longer canoe body should also translate into enormous load-carrying capacity without significant performance loss. The 110-horsepower Volvo, coupled with a folding Gori propeller, provides ample motoring grunt yet low resistance under sail.
Ergonomic working stations, surrounding bulwarks, and 28-inch rails and lifelines add further to the sense of safety and functionality above, although the hard dodger did restrict forward visibility and companionway access a bit. The cockpit, while feeling snug for sea, appeared small for entertaining in port. Deep sea berths, good handholds, and fiddled surfaces gave a feeling of security below. The fit and finish of the plush interior is of the highest standard available today. The Hallberg-Rassy 48, pound for pound, delivers value in terms of substance and style.
LOA: 49′ 2″
LWL: 43′ 5″
Beam: 14′ 9″
Draft: 7′ 8″
Sail Area: 1,203 sq. ft.
Displacement: 36,700 lb.
Water: 241 gal.
Fuel: 212 gal.
Engine: 110-hp. Volvo
Designer: Germán Frers and Hallberg-Rassy
Free State Yachts, (410) 867-9022, www.freestateyachts.com