The Rasmus 35 is frequently referred to as the first production sailboat from Hallberg-Rassy, a name that has grown to be one of the most revered and prestigious in the world of cruising yachts. This Bluewater Sailboat has a considerable following, thanks to a design by Sweden’s Olle Enderlein that was way ahead of its time in the late 1960s, and an extraordinary production run of 760 hulls spanning 12 years.
With its full keel and center-cockpit arrangement, the yacht was built from the ground up for long-distance traveling. Rig options included both ketch and sloop configurations, and of special importance is her well-protected cockpit, which included a fixed windscreen, a trendsetting innovation at the time.
The Bluewater sailboat Rasmus 35 has shown herself over the years with several frequent circumnavigations under her name, and she remains a sensible choice for extended voyaging, capable of swallowing big amounts of kit and accommodating a reasonable crew count without being cramped. A decently sized engine is another Hallberg-Rassy hallmark that makes cruising simpler.
The Rasmus, which is German for “God of Winds,” might be considered a Swedish and German creation. Designed by prominent Swedish yacht designer Olle Enderlein in 1966, the boat was built in 1967 by German expatriate Christophe Rassy, who established his boatbuilding business at Kungsviken on the old grounds of the Hallberg boatyard, which had moved on to larger facilities. The first two boats were made completely of mahogany and took a full year to complete before production switched to fibreglass moulds by hull #3.
The Bluewater sailboat was regarded as quite large and unusual at the time, with its fixed windscreen and powerful engine.
With the success of the Rasmus 35, Rassy extended his business by purchasing the Hallberg boatyard from Harry Hallberg, who was planning to retire at the time. Rassy selected the Hallberg brand in developing the new Halberg-Rassy name since it was already well-known in Sweden, with four designs in production.
The Rasmus 35 was manufactured until 1978, with a total of 760 hulls produced. The yacht was known as the NAB 35 in the United Kingdom, and despite the fact that the hull mouldings were made in Sweden, the boat was outfitted by British builder Reg Freeman Yachts. The wheelhouse shelter on these sailboats was larger.
Aside from the two original mahogany Rasmus 35s, the hulls were solid laminate fibreglass with moulded in longitudinal stringers and moulded fibreglass tankage. The deck and cabin housing are made of fibreglass cored with one-inch thick polyvinyl foam, which offers advantages in terms of lightness, and stiffness, as well as acoustic and thermal insulation. Many layers of overlapping fibreglass laminate on the inside corner of the hull and deck connect the two at the hull-deck junction. The two mouldings form a bulwark on the exterior of this region, which is filled with plastic filler and capped by a teak cap rail.
Ballast is made of iron, the 5,500-pound casting is encased in fibreglass, and the rudder stock and fittings are made of bronze. The hull, deck, rudder, and chainplates were all of good quality, meeting Lloyd’s criteria.
The yacht’s most distinguishing feature is perhaps its large stowage and accommodations, which span three different staterooms in a centre cockpit arrangement – not bad for a 35-footer. The mahogany inside will make you double-check that the sailboat is fibreglass from belowdecks.
Each cabin has two berths to accommodate a total crew of six in quite large comfort, which is uncommon in a 35 footer. There are twin v-berths in the forepeak, and a separate head with a storage room opposite. The main saloon has a seven-foot-long dinette that can be lowered to accommodate a double berth. A well-equipped Sailboats Galley is located opposite this space.
The separate aft cabin, which is always appreciated for its privacy during long passages, must be accessed outside of the central cockpit. It has two berths that can be configured as a queen bed or two singles.
The cockpit is not only well shielded due to its central location, but it also has a fixed windscreen and, for added protection, a fixed ceiling instead of the typical folding dodger.
Prior to German Frers’ designs from 1989 onwards, early Hallberg-Rassy Bluewater sailboats were known to be robust, and sea-friendly, but a little slow, and the Rasmus 35 is no exception. Because of her narrow beam, she rolls a little more than others, and her short 4′ 3″ keel causes considerable leeway drift when sailing windward, especially beyond 15 degrees of heel. Owners indicate that sailing quicker and flatter to the wind, throwing in tacks through 110 degrees, is more efficient than sailing too close to the breeze. Of course, Hallberg-legacy Rassy’s of fitting powerful engines is always useful for long windward journeys and reassuring in a storm. The Volvo-Penta MD21 diesel is rated at 75hp in this scenario, but in real-world conditions when the output must be sustained, the MD21 can only achieve 42hp.
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