BOAT TEST: HANSE 325 & 355

By: ALLAN WHITING

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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Hanse's model revamp has extended to its entry-level 32- and 35-footers. ALLAN WHITING reports after a pleasant day on Sydney's Pittwater...

BOAT TEST: HANSE 325 & 355
Hanse 325 & 355

Not everyone wants or can afford a large yacht. Also, some buyers who may have over-boated themselves, finishing up with a craft that's stressful to handle or requires a crew, want to downsize. That's why I reckon there'll always be a place for smaller yachts with good performance and quality inclusions: to suit those with restricted budgets and those who don't need the physical constraints of a big boat.

Hanse agrees.

The 2011-year 325 and 355 are like peas from the same pod, but one's a bit bigger than the other. Side-on they look almost identical, with matching cabin-port shapes and wheel pedestals, and the variations are subtle - a longer forward coach house and cockpit, plus a slightly taller mast on the 355 being the main changes.

Clamber aboard and the differences are more noticeable, with the 355's large cockpit offering more crowd space, uninterrupted by mainsheet and block. Below decks the 355 has room for a third cabin, if required, but the galley, dinette, cabin and head spaces of both craft aren't greatly different.

The 325 and 355 have vee-berths and twin robes forward, with the 325's being slightly narrower and having smaller robes. The saloons are very similar in size, with dinettes that offer comfy seating for six and the 355's table is larger. Highly polished compression posts drop through the table centres and integrate well with the décor. A movable, round stool with padded top is provided with the 355.

The galleys are almost identical, but the 355 has a tad more bench space. Chart table areas are also similar and the radio and electrical modules are the same, including grey plastic cover mouldings, with roller shutter doors. We found the plastic covers somewhat jarring in a polished-wood environment and buyers have the option of deleting them if they want.

Three-cabin 355s and the 325 have a large head with integral shower, but two-cabin 355s come with a larger head and separate shower section. Tap and recessed shower-head designs are non-obtrusive and very stylish. The two-cabin layouts of both boats provide huge sail-storage lockers beneath their portside cockpit seats, with additional access from the heads.

Although compact boats, the Hanse "babies" share their larger siblings' construction features: GRP hull strongbacks, monolithic hull layup with vinylester first layer and isophtalic gelcoat, balsa deck laminate and main bulkheads laminated to hull and deck. Iron bulb keels are fitted, with choice of shoal or deep draft.

Trademark self-tacking 95 per cent, furling jibs are standard, along with single-line, slab-reefed mains that are fully-battened. Rig options include genoas and asymmetric or pole spinnakers.

As with the other Hanse yachts in the Windcraft stable, the concept of 'base boat' has had something of a transformation. For a RRP of $168,000 the 325 comes with cruise and navigation packs, containing many items that are normally extras, inc. chartplotter, autopilot, wind instruments, mooring kit, anchor with stainless steel chain, extra battery, charger and shorepower. The 355's ticket of $188,000 has similar add-ons, plus an engine upgrade from 18hp to 27hp.

 



ON THE WATER


Being Hanses, the new 325 and 355 were ridiculously easy to sail, thanks to self-tacking headsails and simple mainsheet controls. The major difference between the boats was with the mainsheet systems: end-boom sheeting on the 325 to a cockpit-sole block and cleat; and mid-boom sheeting on the 355, via a German mast-base turning block system, to cabin-top winches.

The 325's smaller cockpit and the fact that it had a multi-purchase mainsheet tackle in the middle of the sole certainly restricted people-room in comparison with the larger boat, but sheet purchase was powerful enough to allow easy control of the smaller mainsail. A strop at the base of the mainsheet deck block served to lift the cleat to optimum height for easy mainsheet adjustment, even when the mainsail trimmer was hiked out on the cockpit coaming.

Another mainsheet control option is to run the mainsheet clear of the block cleat and feed it to one of the genoa sheet winches. We reckon for club racing a dedicated mainsail trimmer would use the block cleat and for singlehanded sailing the helmsperson could control the main via a sheet winch.

The 355's cockpit was free of lines in cruising mode, with the main controlled by cabin-top winches and the jib looking after itself unless easing or tightening the self-tacker was necessary. For singlehanded sailing the mainsheet could be led around a cabin-top winch and run aft to a genoa sheet winch. With mid-boom sheeting and no traveller, boom angle control wasn't as precise as with the 325's end-boom arrangement.

Both boats were fitted with Jefa's rack-and-pinion steering system that provided light control, without any slack wheel action. It was equally easy to steer standing cruising-style behind the wheel, or sitting racing-style on the windward rail.

Moving forward on both yachts was a tad tricky, because Hanse has gone for gloss-finish on the cabin tops that looks classy but offers no foot-grip when wet. Cruising crews, relying on the self-tacking jib, probably don't need to go forward much, except when anchoring, but club racers may need to put down some anti-slip strips.

 

 



(Facts & Figures)
HANSE 325

 



PERFORMANCE


We reckon a twilight-race-crewed 325 could give the 355 a run for its money upwind in stronger breezes, especially with optional genoas replacing the standard self-tackers.

 



PRICE AS TESTED


$183,465

 



OPTIONS FITTED


Spring cleats, primary sheet winches, 10kg anchor and 30m of stainless steel chain, mainsail bag with lazy jacks, additional battery, 30amp charger, shorepower wiring, water heater, 12V fridge, wind indicator, flagpole, mooring kit, Simrad IS20 wind display, Simrad NX40 chartplotter, Simrad AP24 autopilot, rail gates, anchor windlass, 27hp engine upgrade, two-blade folding propeller, bimini, dodger, and cockpit cushions

 



PRICED FROM


$168,000

 



GENERAL


MATERIAL: Monolithic hull and balsa-cored laminate deck with isophtalic gelcoat and vinylester first layer
TYPE: Keelboat
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.63m
WATERLINE LENGTH: 8.72m
BEAM: 3.30m
DRAFT: 1.84m (standard); 1.53m (optional)
MAST HEIGHT: 14.77m
WEIGHT: 5200kg
BALLAST: 1480kg (standard); 1700kg (optional)

 



CAPACITIES


BERTHS: Two-cabin layout
FUEL: 90lt 
WATER: 240lt

 


SAILS


MAIN: 28.47m²
JIB: 22.87m²

 



ENGINE


MAKE/MODEL: Volvo D1-20 diesel; D1-30 (optional)
TYPE: Saildrive
RATED HP: 18; 27 (optional)

 



TRADEABOAT SAYS...


The Hanse 325 provides simple, low-effort sail and boat handling at an entry-level price that includes a host of items that are usually extras. The boat should allow easy family-cruising with some club-racing performance potential.

 

 




(Facts & Figures)
HANSE 355

 



PERFORMANCE


We had an impromptu "race" around Pittwater in breezes that hit the 12-knot mark and as expected, the longer, more powerful 355 outpaced the 325 on and off the wind. Off the wind the 355 should always have the legs to outrun its shorter sibling.

 



PRICE AS TESTED


$188,000

 



OPTIONS FITTED


Spring cleats, primary sheet winches, 10kg anchor and 30m of stainless steel chain, mainsail bag with lazy jacks, additional battery, 30amp charger, inverter, shorepower wiring, water heater, 12V fridge, wind indicator, flagpole, mooring kit, Simrad IS20 wind display, Simrad NX40 chartplotter, Simrad AP24 autopilot, and 27hp engine upgrade

 



PRICED FROM


$188,000

 



GENERAL


MATERIAL: Monolithic hull and balsa-cored laminate deck with isophtalic gelcoat and vinylester first layer
TYPE: Keelboat
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.59m
WATERLINE LENGTH: 9.6m
BEAM: 3.56m
DRAFT: 1.92m (standard); 1.52m (optional)
MAST HEIGHT: 16.43m
WEIGHT: 6360kg
BALLAST: 1845kg (standard); 1925kg (optional)

 



CAPACITIES


BERTHS: Two- or three-cabin layout
FUEL: 90lt
WATER: 240lt

 



SAILS


MAIN: 35.25m² 
JIB: 29.61m²

 



ENGINE


MAKE/MODEL: Volvo D1-30 diesel
TYPE: Saildrive
RATED HP: 27

 



TRADEABOAT SAYS...


Tough times in the global yacht market and very favourable exchange rates have created the best environment in years for new-yacht buyers. There's never been a better time to pick up a new boat and there are worse places to start than with the Hanse 325 and 355 entry-level cruisers.

The Hanse 355 offers three double-cabin accommodation in a small package size, or a spacious two-cabin layout with luxury separate shower and ample sail-stowage space for dual-purpose cruise-race buyers. Standard equipment includes items that are usually extras, making the 355 a sail-away, no-more-to-pay proposition for well under $200K.

 



BOATS SUPPLIED BY


Windcraft Australia, 1714 Pittwater Road, Bayview, NSW, 2104, Phone: (02) 9979 1709, Fax: (02) 9979 2027, Email: boats@windcraft.com.au, Website: www.windcraft.com.au

 

Find Hanse boats for sale.

 


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