IRC-HPR hybrid 40 footer

Photo: Guy Nowell
We look at the Judel-Vrolijk designed Hakes Marine-built HH42
Since we lasted looked at the handicap 40 footers market (Farr 400, Ker 40 and McConaghy 38), several new offering have come available including the high performance Carkeek 40 built by Premier Composites in Dubai (now in its Mk2 form) and McConaghy-built Botin 40. But the first of this latest generation of boats of this size to arrive in the UK, in the form Richard Matthew’s Oystercatcher XXX, is the Judel-Vrolijk designed 42ft built by Hakes Marine, the HH42. When we last wrote about Hakes in any major way they were based in Wellington, NZ, when they were building TP52s and subsequently Mike Golding and Dee Caffari’s IMOCA 60 sisterships. Since then they were forced to shut up shop in New Zealand before re-emerging as part of Hudson Yacht and Marine, a giant conglomerate based in Xiamen, China. Most significant about the new HH42 is that it has no pretentions of being a one design, to the extent that it has been created to be competitive under any of the current trio of rating rules now being sailed under – IRC, obviously, but also the increasingly popular ORCi and HPR. Each of these prefers a particular type of boat – for example HPR is, like IRM was in the day, aimed at high performance yachts. Sadly in IRC’s case the type of boat that finds a favourable rating has been found to vary according length: lighter, higher performance boats seem to work better when they are longer, while the rule seems to prefer heavier, more conventional, production cruiser-racers at at smaller sizes. 40 footer are erring into the latter territory. As Antoine Cardin, naval architect with Judel-Vrolijk, observes: “The main issue with 40 footers under IRC is that we have to end up with a more conservative design compared to a TP52 for