Of course size matters, everybody wants the right sized Hallberg-Rassy for their cruising ground, their family, their mooring, and not to forget their budget. So let's break some of these factors down to determine what the right size is for you and your family/crew.
Your cruising ground is less likely to influence the size of yacht you need but it may decide the average length of passage you embark on and the longer the waterline length the better the passage speeds you can achieve. Consider the time spent away from shoreside amenities where you can refuel, fill water tanks, charge batteries, and provision, a larger yacht can be self-sufficient for longer. If you cruise in tidal waters you may find you are regularly racing to meet a tidal gate, faster passage-making can improve your options, pointing to a bigger boat but, unfortunately, a bigger yacht may have a greater draft which could close the gate earlier.
If passage-making speed is important in your cruising ground bear in mind the overall performance of the yacht you are looking at. Waterline length dictates hull speed but hull design could dramatically improve your light airs performance and if you can maintain a suitable passage-making speed in less wind you will sail more, motor less, and conserve fuel. Most people avoid long passages to windward so downwind performance is important, a modern Freres hull design optimises the waterline with a more upright stem and stern, and the wider hull sections aft dramatically improve performance off wind and in lighter conditions. You buy a sailing yacht to sail and modern designs sail better.
How do you sail? If you have three generations sleeping onboard you need space, a colleague of mine once said “for every consecutive day the grandchildren are aboard the yacht shrinks a foot”. Analyse how the cruising year works for you, are the grandchildren on board for weeks on end or is it only a couple of weekends in the summer holidays? Design the layout of your yacht to suit the way you sail most of the time, maybe two cabins are fine for 90% of the time so don’t buy a bigger yacht for the remaining 10% but make sure there is a bit of versatility in the layout, many Hallberg-Rassy yachts offer temporary berth solutions that don’t compromise the accommodation when they are not in use.
Mooring restrictions can have a direct influence on the size of your yacht. If you are lucky enough to own a berth, the dimensions of the yacht it will accommodate may be clearly defined. The same issues may arise if you want to be based in a particular location. It is often important to have a home port but you probably chose a Hallberg-Rassy because you wanted to go sailing so consider how much time you will spend on the berth and how much you are spending on casual berthing and mooring when you are away from home. Finding the right berth is not so easy these days and if you own your berth you may find there are plenty of would-be tenants for a short lease giving you the freedom to find a bigger berth elsewhere.
If you are buying a new Hallberg-Rassy 69 or a 1989 Hallberg-Rassy 312 you probably have budgetary boundaries you are not prepared to step outside. The cost of owning a yacht includes funding the purchase plus the annual running costs of berthing insuring and servicing there are also once a decade extraordinary costs to cover updating and renewals. The hidden cost at the point of purchasing a yacht is the difference in the purchase price to the sale price when you finally decide to swallow the anchor but owning a Hallberg-Rassy can mitigate one of the biggest lifetime expenses of yacht ownership, depreciation.
At Transworld Yachts we can deliver a cruising yacht to suit all sizes and all budgets from putting a new Hallberg-Rassy 69 in build to delivering a 2012 HR310. But bringing the conversation back to size, many factors will determine the right yacht for you, and with every foot in length the costs will become exponentially greater so a good guide to happy yacht ownership is “Don’t buy a yacht bigger than you need”.