|Hanse 415: If Only The Readies Were In The Bank…|
PONDER for a moment….occasionally we do, during the quiet moments in the dying embers of a boat test. You rationalise, you compare and contrast. You are here sailing for work not fun but, given just the right amount of funds in the bank, would you actually buy one?
The conclusion we came to with the new Hanse 415 was…..yes.
Not just myself, but so too the died in the wool, been there done that and the T-shirt went to the charity shop, brokerage sales manager who was drafted in to sail with yours truly on the new Hanse 415 because everyone else was out the office.
So, it wasn’t just your usual brand of sales drivel.
Yes, if we had the readies in the bank and the rainiest day of monsoon season was not just around the corner, we’d have one. That’ll do nicely, writes Yachting Life chief test editor Andi Robertson.
It’s a bit of a strange conclusion to come to, but at our age we are not looking for glamour, not looking for unnecessary frills and expense, not necessarily seeking something which will turn heads or arouse admiration at the yacht club bar.
If we are seeking a 40ft modern cruiser which does a good job of sailing, represents great value for money, and offers a really nice interior with loads of space and just a little bit of character, and it can be easily sailed virtually single-handed, then the Hanse 415, as they say, ticks all the boxes.
It’s the replacement for the 400 which was something of a best seller in itself, with more than 700 sailing around the world. The new 415 is about two feet longer on the waterline with more sail area, and a newer, more modern hull shape from the masters at Judel/Vrolijk.
Forty feet, as we have written many times over the years, is something of a key size. A few feet bigger and you probably will survive OK short handed 99% of the time, especially with modern reefing, sail handling controls and power winches when it gets a bit fruity, but when something does happen, your problems increase with a geometric progression.
So 40ft is the size that many couples will feel happy with, give or take a foot here or there.
The Hanse 415 is a likeable boat with nicely proportioned lines which have a defined balance between the deckline and hull freeboard. Though the hull is quite high volume, it is styled with the three hullside port windows.
The stem is plumb bowed and the stern moderately powerful but not so that it adds too much extra wetted surface. What is perhaps a little overlooked about the modern Hanse’s is the excellent hull shapes designed by Judel/Vrolijk and they are not scared to make sure the rigs are powerful enough to make the boats move well in lighter winds.
Our boat was set up with the single line self tacking jib system which does work extremely well. In fact perhaps the next sail we’d go for would be a masthead Code Zero which seems to be the route that some of the French builders are going for. It’s a fun way to keep moving well in less than 10 knots of breeze.
There are six different interior options aboard the 415 with a big selection of different fabric choices and wood finishes. Our test boat had the extended starboard side galley with the aft quarters there opening into a hanging locker. Ours also had the one single heads.
On an owners version I always think that more than one heads is wasted space. Consider how many hours are spent in there….and the loss of floor area given away!
There is a great, fold down bathing platform on the stern which opens to give perfect access. Twin wheels make for good through cockpit access and the cockpit itself is spacious, well protected and comfortable.
The helm has ample space to work in behind the wheels and all of the key control lines come back to the helm. There are a battery of clutches either side of the cockpit coaming which means the helm can more or less sail the Hanse 415 single-handed.
The tails drop into large integral bins which are let into the coaming. The double ended German style mainsheet can be controlled from either side of the cockpit and the main cockpit table is sturdy, good sized and close enough to the helm to use as the cockpit repeater mounting.
Forward of the cockpit there is some smart detailing towards the aft edge of the coachroof. On either side there are shallow stowage trays with Perspex lids so that the i-pads, phones and so on don’t end up rattling around the cockpit. There are also several cup holders up here, so you can set down your brew safely as you go through a tack or gybe.
We enjoyed a pleasant late afternoon sea breeze on the Solent and it was a real pleasure to sail. The 415 tracked nicely and was easy to settle in the groove upwind.
Naturally stiff with a relatively high form stability, it was obvious that she will carry her sail well but, equally it is simple with the fully battened main to reduce mainsail area easily and the high aspect blade jib ensured you can sail high angles upwind with ease.
She was quick enough in a straight line but sailed needing minimal attention to the helm which was light and responsive. The deck area is excellent for working and walking round, but so too there are ample flat spaces to lie around when the weather is good.
Off the wind we trucked along quite nicely, untroubled and needing little in the way of work. This is sailing as it should be, a genuine leisure pursuit where you do just let your troubles slide away in the bubbling wake.
Down below, the Hanse 415 is comfortable with a good mix between floor space and seating. The saloon sofa converts easily to a double berth.
The one heads version really leaves the forward cabin with a lot of space and through the whole boat there is so much natural light. And in each space the hullside ports ensure you have an eye level view of the outside vista.
The saloon seating area is excellent, with lots of space and a simple finish which enhances the lines and maximises the available area.
Opposite, to port, we have the split settee which doubles as a little work station/nav area. For those who occasionally need or like to work there is also a small seating area with desk table in the forecabin where privacy is assured.
Overall the Hanse 415 is an excellent boat which does everything asked of her to a high level. She sails well with ease, offers a high level of comfort and as a production family cruiser offers excellent value for money.