The sails were unfurled, with little effort by the power winches and the yacht accelerated into the 5 knot breeze, sitting on around 7.5 - 8 knots at 55° apparent.With the single self-tacking headsail sheet terminates at a adjacent to the helmsman chair, as does the mainsheet so small adjustments were easy and effortless. Winding up to windward angle of 32° app., the yacht actually accelerated into the high 7's - 8 knot range. One person can do the all above from the helm position!! We bore off to around 65° app. and unfurled the Gennaker and were doing into the low to mid-8's...and this is a cruising boat...it must be because at no stage had more than 2 people touched a rope. Turning downwind below 120° app, everything went soft and she slowed right down but you can't expect much from 2.5 knots apparent. Rob advised that in a breeze the boat was quick both up and downwind with a slight regret that she didn't have an Assym Spinnaker...it is a cruising boat after all. Back on the wind, we decided to throw in some short tacks. There's no getting the crew into position and coordinating etc. on the Hanse....you simply give a polite word of warning to the crew and turn the wheel, aren't self-tacking headsails great? On Deck
Looking forward from the cockpit all you seem to see is apparent acres of teak deck and coach-house top. The only sailing fitting is the you notice is the self-tacker track as all the control lines run under the deck and cockpit blind to the aft end of the cockpit. At the bow there is a deep anchor locker that also holds the gas bottle. The below deck headsail furler is mounted on the bow chainplate. From there to the keel-stepped mast are flush hatches for the crew cabin and the two forward cabins. Aft of the mast ate flush fitting cabin hatches. The large cockpit has two levels. The lower forward level is fitted with sofa type seats and the cockpit table, which is a little smaller than you would expect, holds the on-deck chart plotter at its aft edge of this. The raised deck aft of this is has twinwheels and helmsman's chairs. Forward of the chairs in the floor are lifting foot-holds for added grip when the boat is heeled. All control lines run through clutch banks to power winches aft and there is a hydraulic backstay ram to starboard on the stern. Secondary winches are mounted aft of the primaries which results in a quite crowded area. Rob pointed out that later designed Hanses had their secondary's positioned forward. Forward of the wheels are S/S Handrails that were custom fitted as in a seaway it was difficult to get aft without grabbing one of the wheels. Under the raised section is the roomy garage which is accessed through a deck hatch or when the aft bathing platform is lowered. There are removable dinghy davits mounted at the stern that keeps the swimming platform below unobstructed. Below Deck
Hanse offers a number of internal layouts in a modular concept. The Hanse 545 is divided into sections A - D (forward -aft) and in Section A you have the option of a crew cabin or storage, in Section B you have 3 options of forward cabin etc. The test boat had three cabins two with en-suite bathrooms and one with an adjacent bathroom and is fitted with three aircon units and a water-maker. The master cabin is aft and spacious. It lacks a little headroom in the aft end but is so roomy that this is not a problem. The huge bed is amidships with a sofa on the starboard side. Plenty of storage is to port.
The aft location of the master bedroom makes subjects it to noise from the Gen Set and Engine which was being dealt with after the test by the installation of stronger sound-proofing. Adjacent to the companionway on the port side is the navigation area complete with sliding top chart table and a slide out chart holder...the boat has many smart features like these.
As you would expect on a boat of this size, the galley is quite large. The fittings include what looks like a S/S restaurant standard cooker, a refrigerator, drinks fridge and a freezer, a microwave and a coffee machine. ...the cook will be pleased. The Saloon is very roomy and typical of Hanse's loft style. The combination of deck hatches and large hull windows ensure great natural lighting. The table to port comfortably seats eight while there is a sofa to starboard. A large TV is set on the forward bulkhead. While the port side cabin with its ensuite bathroom is comfortable, the starboard cabin maybe a bit crowded with two big adults. Forward of these are a crew cabin that is accessed from a deck hatch, air-con is ducted into it. The floor consists of timber tiles that fit over a sub-structure and which are removed by suction.....a very attractive and practical feature. Overall
The Hanse certainly performs very well under sail and motor. She is also very easy to sail so makes an ideal boat for cruising or recreational sailing being spacious and comfortable, both on deck and below. The range of options on the test boat is extensive and testament to the ability Hanse gives to customise their boats. If you are looking for a yacht with these characteristics, the Hanse 545 is well worth investigating...you get the WOW factor too. Test Yacht made available by Yachtpro (Thailand) and Aquacraft-Asia.