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 (although a Yard's history article in the 2013 HR Newsletter mentions that only 82 hulls were built!). Ours is hull number 19, completed and launched in May 1995. Some time ago, Hallberg-Rassy updated the Previous Model HR53 web-page on its company site, which can be accessed via this link. Full technical details of this model 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 tanks (a quote from Carl Adams of Adams Boat Care, a Yard that specialises in refitting Swedish yachts and Hallberg-Rassies in particular), and this boat had spent much of her life in the Baltic Sea, her age was no real concern to us, so we felt. Under previous owners, Ngahue IV has been called 'Christina' and 'Tabaluga' (the latter name is a green dragon in a children's television series on German TV). 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 which I owned from new from 1990, is very much alive and well and still sails around the Poole area these days. We actually crossed tracks with her in the summer of 2018, and her general condition says something about how well Hallberg-Rassies keep when they are well-looked after. Ngahue II, an HR37 which I acquired from new in 2004, is successfully raced and sailed by Ron Houston in the U.K. and beyond; and the former Ngahue III, an HR43 also from 2004, and which I acquired in 2013 has embarked on a new and exciting future, starting in 2017 - under a new name with another Dutch owner from Friesland, where there are many serious Dutch sailors; we have been informed that he plans to do some long-distance sailing in her!
Germán Frers, the successful Argentinian naval architect who has designed all Hallberg-Rassy yachts since 1989 (when he started with the HR45) 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). He 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 sail 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 around 1997. She's certainly the first big-boat model to showcase the success of this concept. Reviews of the HR53 in the 1990s (there seems to be only one that remains available today via the Internet - 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 as well as the brand new - in 2018 - HR 57, 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). New and lighter woodwork inside the new boats, especially the brand new HR57 model, adds to a sumptuous feeling of roominess too. 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)