Hanse 411

By CY Staff

When the Canadian Yachting team heard that the Hanse Yacht line was coming to Canada and knowing a bit about the designers background, we were anxious to get a chance to go sailing on the new 411. Judel and Vrolijk are among the world leaders in designing racing yachts for well-known events such as the America ‘s Cup, the Whitbread Round-the-World race and the Sardinia Cup. For many Rolf Vrolijk’s most recent accomplishment as head designer for “Alinghi ” makes this name so familiar for some. For others, the name may be known through his Canadian connection working with C&C Yachts in the Kiel, Germany plant. I have always felt that anyone who raced would have the practical experience and an edge to design any boat, whether for cruising or racing. In this Hanse, this edge is most apparent. Here is a boat with solid racing lineage that is a solid, safe and functional cruiser.

Arriving at the dock we were immediately taken aback by the good looks and presence of the boat with its teak deck and beautiful blue hull. The 9/10, two spreader rig looked simple and the deck layout clean, with controls running aft, making single-handing a snap. The look and classic feel this boat presented was a head turner for sure.

A close examination of the construction methods and techniques also did not disappoint. One neat feature was the hull deck join being through bolted to the aluminum toe rail and then bonded. Another notable one was the two-part, keel system that includes a lead bottom section through bolted to a cast iron fin section. In the case of severe grounding, the lead will act as a shock absorber and minimize any hull damage. The boat is robust and well-built with a solid fiberglass construction to the waterline and balsa core throughout the topsides and deck.

Hanse 411 - BerthThe late afternoon test sail conditions were perfect; a late spring thunderstorm has just blown through leaving a nice 6 – 10 knot breeze and flat water. This boat showed its heritage and when I took the helm, boasting a fabulous, leather-wrapped steering wheel, the boat was ever so responsive and smooth. Immediately one sensed that the Hanse 411 could be raced as easily as it could be cruised. In fact, just recently “Fram”, a Hanse 411, had won a single-handed race on Europe’s Lake Constance. The boat was quick to accelerate out of tacks and its self-tacking jib made the crew work easy. One could imagine the debate on whether to use power or sail as this boat could easily tack up any tight channel.

We experienced, first-hand, the boat’s super stability created from the balance of the oversized waterline beam and its lower mounted lead keel of 3,250 kg. This allows for its large mainsail and sail plan that make this boat perform in light winds and heavy air alike.

We were immediately impressed with the deck layout, size of cockpit and just how uncluttered the layout was. We loved the big steering wheel that easily allowed the helmsman the chance to get to weather and have super visibility. We were also impressed with the neat footrests that allow easy bracing and comfort for the helmsman. The cockpit also boasts a two drop-leaf table that hangs from the steering pedestal.

The self-tacking jib helped in making the cockpit a clean and uncluttered space. Some might have to get used to the set up for this, however, with the jib sheet running through the mast with controls lead aft; its concept is elegant, simple and provides super easy cruising. The self-furling jib system is quick, efficient and easy to operate.

Hanse 411 - Chart tableThe mainsheet traveler system runs just ahead of the companionway and its controls, too, are lead aft to the neat set of jammer/organizers. The mainsheet is also leading aft, reinforcing the centralized control of the sails and trim. A feature we really liked was the use of a Harken electric winch on the boat. We used it to raise and lower the big mainsail; when lowered, the main is captured into the boom with a Maindrop system that uses lazy jacks, also very neat.

The layout and feel below were just as impressive as on deck. Big, beautifully finished and bright summed the interior up. Hanse itself refers to New England-type interior influences that include a lot of white on bulkheads and an easily removable headliner. As the mast is deck stepped, the Compression post is just behind the main bulkhead and does not in any way interfere with the look and feel of the cabin.

Numerous layouts are available below decks; it is important for one to take the time to really determine personal needs and wants. Our test boat had a useful aft storage locker to starboard, however this could easily be modified for installation of additional equipment or conversion to space for another cabin. Forward, the main cabin had a large, double berth and a curved dressing table on the starboard side. Again, one could easily opt for an additional head and shower combination there quite easily.

We were very happy to see the use of traditional marine suppliers like Harken, Spinlock and Whitlock. It makes any repairs and part replacement an easy chore. Also, the use of sophisticated computer-aided design equipment at Hanse also ensures that any new fittings, doors or hardware will fit perfectly the first time. A Yanmar engine. with sail drive, powered our test boat. making the handling under power easy: backing up and close corner maneuvers are a snap with the incredible. responsive steering system. The steering system, built by Whitlock, is a rack and pinion system mounted on roller bearings.

Hanse 411 - Main SalonThe electrical systems are well laid out and with great access because of the removable headliner and fold down access panel. The windlass system is well positioned forward over a deep well, allowing easy automatic storage of anchor chain.

Simply put, we liked this boat a lot. Overall, if you wanted a responsive, beautifully designed and well-built boat, the Hanse 411 must be considered. The design attributes and option packages below deck, combined with excellent sailing and handling characteristics make this boat a must-see before you decide what to acquire for your next yacht.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s August 2004 issue.

LOA           12.35m
LWL            10.90m
Beam          4.05m
Draft            1.98m (1.69m Option)
Ballast          3.250Kg
Displacement             ca 8.800Kg
Height of Saloon         2.00m
Berths         4 (6/8 Option)
Mainsail       ca 49.00m2
Self Tacking Jib          ca 43.00m2
Storm Jib     ca 10.00m2 (Option)
Genoa          ca 55.002 (Option)
Spinnaker     ca 125.00m2 (Option)
Engine          56hp Yanmar.
Furling          Facnor.
Designer       Judel/Nrolijk & Co Engineering GmbH

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