The bluewater sailboat Hanse 400 is a club racer for individuals who enjoy a summer voyage and a cruising boat for those who love to sail. It qualifies as a cost-effective choice in the 40-footer market because to the construction quality and pricing point. The Hanse 400 is a true performance standout when compared to other popular production cruising boats, not only in terms of its prowess under sail but also in terms of ease of operation.
The Hanse 400 exudes the aura of a well-trained athlete; it is powerful, competent, and rightfully deserving of the title of “crossover” sailboat. The 400 has been meticulously built to give a balance of performance qualities and cruising comfort in keeping with Hanse’s performance-oriented design philosophy. As a result, a responsive racer-cruiser with lots of cabin space and amenities is easy to handle and has a beamy hull.
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The J & J-designed Hanse 400, which was named European Boat of 2006, nonetheless possesses all the qualities of a contemporary performance cruiser.
After enlarging its Greifswald facility in 2005, Hanse—which was founded in 1993—became Germany’s second-largest production sailing boat maker. It now produces 750 yachts yearly under the Moody, Dehler, and Privilege brands.
Judel and Vrolijk, a renowned team of performance yacht designers with a history in the America’s Cup, have been responsible for all Hanse designs since 1999.
Hanse yachts aren’t just cutting-edge flyers; they also come equipped with all the luxuries required for protracted cruising.
Innovative company Judel/Vrolijk & Co. was founded in 1978 by designers. With Alinghi, a winner of the America’s Cup, victory in the Admirals Cup, designs for the Volvo Ocean Race, and a pet project for the King of Spain among its accomplishments, Judel/star Vrolijk’s has soared. The company’s adoption of contemporary computer-design technologies, including the use of 2-D and 3-D CAD applications, has been attributed to some of its success. By taking the effort to 3-D model a new design, unwelcome shop floor surprises are reduced to a minimum. Table heights, locker doors, and engine room spaces all end up with the clearance they require to operate as intended.
The Hanse 400 can withstand the heeling moment brought on by its substantial sail plan thanks to its broad beam, which provides plenty of early stability. The iron keel and lead bulb used as the ballast are recorded as weighing 6,426 pounds. As a result of the lead’s low location, the boat’s secondary righting moment is increased and its centre of gravity is likewise lowered. If you purchase the deep-draft (6 feet, 5 inches) configuration and the epoxy-resin laminated hull, you can reduce your weight by 1,000 pounds. A positive-stability limit of over 120 degrees is provided by this combination. The buyer can feel confident in the boat’s structure and design because it is certified to ISO Category A “Offshore” level and built to Germanischer Lloyd GL Yacht Plus standards.
Keeping the stern from sinking, which increases drag, is a key consideration in the design of wide-transom boats. Many sailboats are able to do this while at anchor, but once they start sailing against the wind, the iconic transom gurgle signals that the hull has sunk into the water and that drag has reduced performance. The Hanse 400 makes a quick wake, and even as the breeze picks up, the transom stays clear of the water thanks to its little elevation. A further surefire indication of an effective hull form is its long waterline and flat run aft, which produce very little wave creating.
With plumb ends, a small freeboard, and a long waterline, the Hanse 400 has a sleek appearance. They were built to be swift and manageable, with shallow underwater portions and a broad beam, and sturdy enough to endure choppy conditions offshore. A solid floor framework and laminated foam stringers are used to support the hull, and a balsa core is added above the waterline to reduce weight.
For a little bit more money, the Hanse 400 was also available in epoxy (400e), which increased its impact strength and flexibility, virtually eliminated any risk of osmosis, and reduced its displacement over the polyester/vinylester model by being a thinner layup and having foam sandwich below the waterline.
The sculpted deck plates that hide the halyards, self-tacking jib sheet, topping lift, and other lines led forward are one of the most striking deck elements of the Hanse 400. The bus roof is kept free and unobstructed thanks to this design. The single sheet, self-tacking, 90% blade jib is simple to manage and eliminates the need to switch sheets mid-tack. For shorthanded sailors, the ability to set 952 square feet of working sail area without having to contend with an overlapping genoa is a major advantage. Although the 562-square-foot mainsail may appear intimidating, it can be handled with ease by using lazy jacks, a Dutchman sail-flaking system, and well run reefing lines.
Together, the deck, cockpit, and cabin house form a comfortable sailing platform. The impression that the deck arrangement is the result of an overemphasis on accommodations crowded belowdecks is gone. Although a nonskid gelcoat finish is also an option, the Hanse.
Excellent visibility was available from the helm. The cockpit’s general design is certainly very well thought out. The deck is kept tidy and uncluttered since all control lines are led aft and covered with fibreglass. While ingenious cockpit mainsheet arrangements for racing are optional, midboom sheeting, with the traveller front of the companionway, is the standard. This is an effective technique to silence opponents of midboom sheeting like myself. Winches and hardware from Harken are common. To starboard is a sizable locker, however it depends on the interior option. Easy access to the swim step, which has a hot and cold water deck shower, is provided by the opening transom.
It is simple to move forward thanks to the roomy side decks and strategically placed stainless steel handrails. Although the 400 has a sizable external chain locker, you’ll need to upgrade the anchoring system if you plan to use her for real cruising. The gear on the basic deck is of the highest calibre.
The twin spreader, deck-stepped spar on the 9/10 rig has a 64-foot air draught. Technically, the 400 will fit under the Intracoastal Waterway’s 65-foot fixed bridges, but you’ll need steely nerves and some flexible antennas. Both a rod kicker and an effective single-line mainsail reefing mechanism are standard. The working jib is fully self-tacking and led to a forward traveller. You can drive the 400 well inside of 40 degrees apparent without stalling because the headsail lead tracks are positioned considerably inboard. Both a gennaker and a 140-percent North Sails genoa are viable possibilities. The split backstay has a six-part adjuster led to port, and there is plenty of adjustment capacity in the rig. The gear for Harken roller furling is typical.
Hanse offers a variety of cabin arrangements since they don’t think that a single interior style works for everyone. There are mix-and-match options for each of the 400’s three cabin sections—the fore cabin, salon, and aft cabin. For instance, you can shift the centerline double bunk further to port and exchange extra locker space for a second head in the forward owners cabin. A dinette to the starboard and a settee/sea berth to the port can be placed in the main saloon, or an owner can choose to remove the sea berth and place two built-in armchairs and a small side table in its place. The aft design provides for either a single cabin and a storage room or two small side-by-side cabins.
The Hanse 400 is a good sailboat for summer voyages and participating in yacht club point-to-point races but is not a long-term liveaboard sailboat. Less storage space is available due to the open layout and tight bilge turn. The two-burner stove and small tank capacity are consistent with the idea of a racer-cruiser that won’t be burdened by an excessive amount of gear and equipment. This doesn’t mean that a quick trip to Hawaii or a run to Bermuda are out of the question; in fact, the boat is capable of handling such summer passagemaking and getting the crew there quickly.
Before being installed in the boat, the woodwork is computer-cut, finished, and almost entirely assembled. White gelcoat and Corian counters are countered by flat, smooth surfaces coated with spray-applied, matte-finish urethane, giving the cabin a feeling of openness and space. The L-shaped Sailboats Galley is attractively furnished and equipped with all the necessities, including a stove/oven, sink, and refrigerator, although the seagoing gourmet may find that there isn’t quite enough counter space. This fits with the boats lean-and-mean mission statement once more.
A fake teak and holly plastic veneer that is both aesthetically pleasing and strong serves as the cabin sole. There is a minimalist style from Europe that harmonises form and function while omitting wood trim and intricate, expensive joinery work. The engineers and designers appear to have worked together to create a beautiful interior that is also affordable, and it is available in either a dark mahogany or a light birch finish, both of which are attractive.
The Hanse 400 is a true performance standout when compared to other popular production cruising boats, not only in terms of its prowess under sail but also in terms of ease of operation. The Dutchman flaking system, a series of control lines connected to an adjustable topping lift that successfully moves the sail from its boom-stowed position to full hoist and back down again, made it easier to set sail on the yacht. The self-tending, 390 square foot furling working jib is easy to roll up and unfurl, and tacking is a breeze.
Turning the wheel will reveal whether a sailboat has been constructed effectively as a monocoque structure and how robustly it has been built.
Some boats tremble like wet terriers as they sailing into the eye of a 15-knot breeze, and as they settle onto a fresh tack, all manner of squeaks and groans puncture the silence. The big mainsail saw a brief flutter as the Hanse 400 headed into the wind, but there were no audible squeaks or grunts, and the ship showed no obvious signs of twisting or bending.
With a big wheel and a smooth Jefa drag-link steering system that nestles just under the cockpit sole, the semi-balanced spade rudder provides finger-tip handling. With this construction, water cannot enter the accommodations because of the watertight integrity that is kept between the upper and lower rudder-stock bearings.
On the negative side, the drag-link system and autopilot drive must withstand exposure to seawater. These parts are either tightly sealed or constructed of corrosion-resistant metal, which lessens the impact of sporadic dousing.
The sailplan is one of its many advantages. With a large main sail and a tiny blade jib, the lofty mast provides good all-around sailing performance without the need to fend off a huge genoa on the foredeck. A reef is simply tucked into the mainsail as the breeze increases to 12 to 18 knots, eliminating the need for a heavy, partially rolled-up genoa. The crew must make sure they are skilled at mainsail reefing despite the broad wind range that results from using only one headsail. A clever retractable stem head extension that doubles as a tack for a code zero or asymmetric spinnaker and can also be roller-deployed for convenience is available for sailors desiring responsiveness in light air and simplicity of sail management. It becomes obvious why the boat is so pleasurable to sail when well-thought-out sheet leads are added, as well as a cockpit configured for effective shorthanded sailing.
The creation of shapes is the first step in this composition. The hull and deck are designed, drawn, and laminated in the forms as part of the yacht manufacturing process. Laminates require expertise. Hanse employs chemical engineers rather than untrained laborers to work with GRP and epoxy. Where this kind of craft is a tradition, your Hanse’s core is made of resins and mats.
When diverse materials are utilized together, a composition is awkward. Hanse may choose to employ a zinc-plated bottom construction for the keel or the chain plates. Hanse has conducted research on the characteristics of metal and GRP with the Fraunhofer-Institute, enabling it to appropriately and expertly integrate these two materials. Foam below the waterline, balsa above the waterline is the rule that applies to sandwich construction.