Ngahue IV is a Hallberg-Rassy 53, which between 1992 and 1997 was the flagship of the Hallberg-Rassy range of yachts. Hallberg-Rassy Varvs AB is a leading boatyard in Sweden; the fascinating company history can be read on its website (see link). Hallberg-Rassy built 88 units of its HR53 model between 1992 and 2006. Ours is hull number 19, completed in spring 1995. Hallberg-Rassy has updated the Previous Model HR53 web-page, which can be accessed via this link. Full technical details of the boat can be found here, together with plans, photos and a commentary from its designer, Germán Frers.
Ngahue IV was acquired by us - Marco & Laura (for more on us, see the Skippers' page) - during the winter of 2015/16. She was at that stage already a venerable lady of some 20 years of age. But as the bigger Hallberg-Rassies are generally built like rocks, and this boat had spent much of her life in the Baltic, her age was no real concern to us. Under previous owners, Ngahue IV has been called Christina and Tabaluga (the latter name is a green dragon in a children's television series in Germany). We bought our boat from Herr Dr. Bierhoff, owner of Tabaluga, in Kiel, Germany and renamed her Ngahue IV, the fourth Hallberg-Rassy yacht with this Maori (New Zealand) navigator's name. The first Ngahue, a Hallberg-Rassy 29 from 1990, is very much alive and well and still sails around the Poole area these days; Ngahue II, an HR37 from 2004, is successfully raced and sailed by Ron Houston in the U.K.; and the former Ngahue III, an HR43 also from 2004, embarked on a new and exciting future, starting in 2017 - under a new name with another Dutch owner!
Germán Frers, the successful Argentinian naval architect who has designed all Hallberg-Rassy yachts since the early 1990s, and whom we had the honour and pleasure of shaking hands with at the 2017 Düsseldorf BOOT show, developed this successful 53-foot design (which is actually some 54 feet long - or 16m44 in metric terms) and came up with an ocean-going boat that is both pretty fast (at least she was considered such in her days) and quite comfortable. He described his design as "graceful elegance, which will be maintained regardless of time". We fully agree with this assessment, and always recognise "our" boat out of dozens in marinas. Like all Hallberg-Rassy yachts, the HR53 is also easily sailed by just a couple. In fact, both of us are able to handle her single-handed when the need arises, even in quite crowded marinas and in challenging cross-wind circumstances. The HR53 is amongst the first models where Hallberg-Rassy fully developed its "push-button sailing" concept. She's certainly the first big-boat model to showcase the success of this concept. Reviews of the HR53 in the 1990s (the few that remain available today - remember, then was not a very digital age yet!) were most positive, earning "likes" both for the boat and her hull design - so in all, Germán Frers did a super job.
This is further proved by the fact that the subsequent successor models, the HR 54 & 55 have followed much of the original patterns and lay-out of the ol' 53. The newest models have a straighter stem and much, much wider and higher aft sections, leading therefore to signifcantly longer waterlines! This makes them faster. And with much more room available in the aft section of the hull, the owner's aft cabin is a lot bigger. There's space for a lot of storage (including your whole RIB in the "garage" on the new HR64). But for just us and our watermaker, the HR 53 is quite big enough!
Summarising then, Ngahue IV is:
> Built by the top boatyard Hallberg-Rassy Varv in Ellös, Sweden
> Designed by that well-known (super) yacht designer Germán Frers
> Extensively equipped for comfortable long-distance and blue water cruising with a crew of 2 (or more)