The German giant has revamped its entry-level model to produce the 325, but how does she perform on the water? Chris Beeson finds out
What’s she like to sail?
Windermere’s surroundings are truly breathtaking, reminiscent of the best scenery Scotland has to offer, and the lake’s shores are studded with dazzling homes owned by admirals of industry, making it feel like a Sandbanks of the North. Unfortunately, during our test, the soporific air wheezed nothing more than a languid three to five knots – and it was shifty, too.
These factors combined to reveal little about the Hanse’s performance. With tanks and lockers empty we peaked at four knots upwind and that was as lively as she was likely to get. Her sail area : displacement ratio hints at a fair amount of power – not dissimilar to the jaunty Hallberg-Rassy 310. She has decent waterline length but displaces around 15 per cent more than the HR310 and about the same as the Bavaria 32 Cruiser, which means she’ll be fairly relaxed in performance terms, putting her very much into the family cruising bracket. She will be an easily handled cruiser in conditions between Force 3 and Force 6.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
Bearing in mind she’s a 32-footer, having at least 5ft 10in headroom throughout is great news and will be appreciated by most people. The saloon is very well-lit, and would be brighter still if Hanse hadn’t ditched the hull ports, but the extra stowage that replaces them is certainly useful in the saloon.
You could fashion a sea berth out of one or other of the saloon seats, should you want to sail longer passages. Berths in the fore and aft cabins are a decent size; stowage is good, but you might want to change the locker latches. She has a decent galley with great ventilation and you’ll get six people around the saloon table. A sink or stove cover might solve the lack of work space but, other than that, she is perfectly functional and has plenty of stowage.
Up on deck you might want to go for the option of a folding wheel, which would allow you to walk through to the bathing platform without hopping onto the seating. Generally, it’s a fine set-up apart, perhaps, from the rather small cockpit table.
Would she suit you and your crew?
She’s not a performance cruiser, so if you are interested in more than the odd bit of club racing, look elsewhere. If you’re planning to run the North West Passage, again, she’s not the boat for you. If, however, you like coastal hopping, with uncomplicated sailing from marina to anchorage to mooring and back, daysailing, weekends away or even a full week’s cruising (and you’re not prepared to compromise your in-port comfort standards too greatly), then the Hanse 325 is a very appealing prospect. She’s also great value for a new boat and, being both very easily managed and comfortable, I see her going down very well with couples and young families looking for some relaxing and simple cruising.
You don’t need to be hugely experienced to handle her, and her engine, though small, handles the size of prop well, enabling good manoeuvrability. The cockpit is comfortable with excellent views forward and the instruments and winches are nicely placed to be within easy reach. She’s also designed to take a gennaker, which would improve her downwind performance, especially in light airs.
The Hanse 325 is certain to introduce many new sailors to the Hanse brand – and in that respect particularly, she’s surely destined to be a great success.