Import Boat of the Year: Hallberg-Rassy 400
As cruising sailors, we’ve long been enamored with Swedish builder Hallberg-Rassy, and that respect has been reflected in past editions of our Boat of the Year contest, where the company has enjoyed numerous successes. The latest offering continues a trend introduced since noted Argentine naval architect German Frers has become the line’s principal designer. It’s oftentimes not easy for a company with proven results to change what’s already a successful formula. But this latest 40-footer is a yacht that has certainly evolved, and in doing so, it’s the 2023 Import Boat of the Year.
The cockpit windshield is a feature that warms the heart of every Hallberg-Rassy owner, and it’s continued here. But the aft-cockpit configuration is certainly a departure from the brand’s earlier iterations (including the yacht the 400 succeeds in the line, the center-cockpit 40C), and so too are the twin wheels and corresponding twin rudders. Those matching helms provided the judges with one of the best sails of the contest, a jaunt that began in light airs, and just got better and better as the wind filled. It was a winning performance.
2023 Import Boat of the Year: Hallberg-Rassy 400 Jon Whittle
The versatile layout, with a variety of options, is also unusual in a 40 footer, and it sealed the deal. As judge Herb McCormick said during deliberations: “This ain’t your old man’s Hallberg-Rassy. It’s a lot better. It just is.”