Quotes from the Hallberg-Rassy 44 test report in the June 2017 issue of Yachting World:
The more I looked at this hull shape the more I liked it.
The Hallberg-Rassy 44 in some ways shocked me. I expected the comfort and luxury, but aspects of the sailing performance genuinely blew me away.
The first surprise of the day was delivered as we unfurled the in-mast mainsail to reveal a membrane sail with a headboard and a roach, shaped and supported by full length vertical battens - this was no saggy Dacron triangle. Elvström’s FatFurl system creates a genuinely well-shaped main.
In 12 knots of breeze, with full sails we set off from the yard on a tight reach, easily trimming the main with an electric winch on the aft deck. Within seconds we were trimmed and up to 7.5 knots of boat speed. Trimming using reversible jib sheet winches actually made me giggle it was so easy.
The following day I was really able to put the Hallberg-Rassy 44’s windward performance to the test. At most we had 240 m (0.15 miles) between the rocky shores and in the 24-knot breeze both the main and genoa were reefed. I have never seen windward performance like this in a boat with in-mast furling. It was mind-blowingly good, with the full vertical battens maintaining leech profile despite the reef. Heading into the mainland shore we were able to benefit from the small lifts and accelerations caused by neighbouring cliffs, the helm remained light and responsive throughout. The twin rudders made the boat feel nimble rather than labouring against the weight of a barn-door style single rudder.
The natural light floods the saloon during the day from multiple coachroof windows as well as those in the topsides. I was able to appreciate how well placed these topside windows were while eating lunch at anchor - as the boat swung around in the breeze I was treated to a beautiful vista exactly at eye-level from my seat at the saloon table. A full-length, half-height stringer has been built into the structure to compensate for any loss in strength caused by the addition of these windows.
In my opinion, what marks the Hallberg-Rassy 44 out from models in the past is that this boat is not just an adventure enabler but part of the adventure itself.
The blog interestingsailboats.blogspot.com wrote:
The Hallberg-Rassy 44 is one of the best HR ever made, one that unites the good building and seaworthiness of previous boats to the better speed a modern hull design has allowed