Hanse continues to refine its range of cruisers. Its latest launch had her world premiere at Southampton Boat Show, where Chris Beeson put her through her paces
What’s she like to sail?
I thought we were chancing it by going out in conditions that most cruisers would sensibly avoid but she acquitted herself very well. I was very pleasantly surprised that we didn’t lose control once, despite her prodigious beam. She behaved well and the Jefa steering system was a delight as ever. She’s enormously comfortable to helm and despite the absence of footblocks, the space between the folding transom and the wheels is confined enough to feel safe and offer all sorts of bracing.
The principle of having all the lines to the helmsman’s hand is really gaining traction in modern yacht design, as it keeps the cockpit line-free, which is a real boost for young families. My one caveat is that, with just two winches, there’s not much redundancy. Fortunately, with the reliability of modern kit, malfunction is going to be extremely rare, but if I was looking for a yacht to take me into the wilderness I would always prefer to have a few more options. But for the 345, which will spend its time port-hopping with couples or families, I’d be perfectly happy with the principle – indeed delighted.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
Hanse excels at providing a home-from-home and the 345 has everything you need to sail away without compromising comfort. Headroom is over 6ft throughout, light and ventilation are better than ever, though I’d still like to see a hull port or two, and the light control panel, which offers preset light configurations at the touch of a button, is a lovely detail. The recessed deckhead lights also create a premium ambiance in a boat that offers comfort and value. OK, the joinery and finishing is not a match for premium brands but, crucially, neither is the price.
On deck, the folding transom continues to delight, opening up the cockpit and making a huge difference to the sensation of space, while still retaining the security of a closed transom at sea.
With all the lines tucked away, the cockpit becomes a genuinely relaxing space. However, the halyard bin to port also houses the gas bottle, and when I mentioned to Hanse that I was concerned that a released line could easily tear off the bottle’s regulator, they explained that they have already addressed this problem by mounting halyard bags on the coaming.
Would she suit you and your crew?
Thanks to the self-tacker and ‘winches-at-the-wheel’ layout, she’s very easy for one person to handle and feels great at the wheel. The Judel/Vrolijk hull means performance is lively, which cuts down passage times in most conditions, but never out of control, so you won’t frighten the children, and you don’t need years
of experience to get the best out of her. Down below she’s got everything you might need for a comfortable week’s family cruise, and at anchor the cockpit turns into a waterside terrace.
The owner of this particular example ticked nearly every option on the extras list and she still comes in at under £140k.
If you wanted the base boat, delivered to the UK, rigged, anti- fouled and ready to sail away, you’d get change from £120k.
I’d choose to upgrade the engine and the winches, and look for a less threatening plotter housing, but otherwise she’s exactly what you’d expect from such a successful yard – fun to sail, comfortable to cruise, easy to manoeuvre and great value.