Frans Maas, Hallberg Rassy, Bristol - SailNet Community

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Old 07-28-2002
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darius is on a distinguished road
Frans Maas, Hallberg Rassy, Bristol

Can anybody compare those boats?
I saw Frans Maas 35 and older 40 footer for sale, Hallberg Rassy 35, Bristol 35 and more expensive 35.5. I''m looking at the boats in late 70-ies early 80-ies.
Solid construction, sailing performance,offshore cruising abilities,single handling and possible living aboard - those are the features I''m interested most.
Thanks Darius
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Old 07-29-2002
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Frans Maas, Hallberg Rassy, Bristol

Darius:

I can help with a piece of this since we lived aboard a Rasmus (H-R 35) for 4 years, and took it cruising to the Caribbean for one of them. It is of the Bristol 35 generation and older than the 35.5. It is a very deceiving boat in the sense that it looks like a motorsailer (and even came with a huge 75 hp diesel, an MD 21) while in fact it has a lighter displacement, easily driven hull built like a bank vault but not weighing accordingly. We recently completed a Caribbean circle, accompanied at times by a H-R 35 sloop (ours was a ketch) and others simply couldn''t believe how ''that little 35'' was able to keep up with the rest of the crowd, especially when it was sailing and others were motorsailing.

The deck & cabin are substantially insulated (foam coring), the hull lay-up is well beyond what you''ll find in more contemporary designs (despite it''s lighter weight), and the boat is very, very good at sea: excellent motion, forgiving and quite protective of crew comfort given the deep, protected cockpit. The hard dodger we had on ours was one of its most appreciated features, despite not having as much air flow in the tropics as we would have preferred. Hard dodger models are harder to find but worth the effort IMO.

Since I''m generally so high on the boat, I''ll give you what I think are some of its liabilities. Some of these are obvious by virtue of its design and construction era:
1. Age - do not underestimate what it will take to get it ready to take offshore, given almost everything original is now ''too old''. You might want to visit http://www.worldoceans.com/m_voy.htm as it''s a nicely done site by H-R 35 owners who started with not much more than an old boat and are now in the South Pacific. Also visit the Classic H-R site at http://www.classic-hrs.com/ where there are multiple H-R 35 owner links & comments.
2. Layout - when we lived aboard & cruised, our teenage son was with us, which ''justified'' the aft cabin. But the ''step over'' aft cabin is not a very functional element of the design (altho'' it offers great sea berths). The chart table seat & clearance from the table has been criticized as ''too small'' by most men. The starboard-side galley is an ''acquired taste'' and, of course, one must go quite a bit forward to reach the head - not a preference when offshore in crummy conditions.
3. Systems: The electrical system I inherited was 1940''s vintage; I notice many of these boats have now been upgraded and I highly recommend doing so. But the electrics were so simple that a make-over isn''t difficult to sort out, just a sweaty task to actually do. (One of my least favorite jobs is running wire inside a boat).
4. Turning: It''s hull form is wonderful on all accounts except when trying to turn sharply. It''s simply a full keel (cutaway forefoot) with an attached rudder and its turning diameter is large. OTOH we had a tough 180 degree turn to our slip within a narrow fairway when living aboard, and a bit of technique and some prop walk always made it easy. This is - obviously - not a big issue.

I would recommend the ketch for multiple reasons: its bowsprit, which holds and deploys the anchor, allows it to sail less on the hook, it has more heavy weather options, it has more sail area (as I recall), and the mizzen allows you to hang important stuff like a wind generator or radar reflector on it<g>.

Let me know if you get closer to the purchase and would like to discuss it a bit further.

Jack
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