Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Hanse 370

9th May 2008

On the Heels of the Handsome one

Afloat's Graham Smith tried out the new Hanse 370 to find out why it proved so popular at the recent Irish Boat Show


Hanse derives its name from the Hanseatic League, a 16th century trading alliance, and it would appear that the German boat-builder is trading very nicely, if its current sales figures are anything to go by. It is producing about 1,000 boats a year, ranking it third in Germany’s boat-building pecking order.

It seems that the UK accounts for about 10% of total production and Ireland has about 10% of that share. That figure might be revised upwards if the boat show success is any barometer. The joint Irish agents, Paul Kingston of Kingston Marine in Cork and Philip Watson of Watson Yachting in Dublin, reported a highly successful show, ending with sales that surpassed their most optimistic predictions.

First impressions

If, like the half dozen purchasers of the Hanse 370 at the show, you were impressed with her lines without a steering wheel (to allow show visitors easy access over the transom) and without a mast (as the RDS roof height doesn’t permit), you could only imagine how she looks in her natural habitat.

Fast forward a couple of months and, viewed from the pontoon at Howth Marina, the Hanse certainly lives up to expectations. And in an age when white is the nautical equivalent of Henry Ford’s Model T ‘black’, it was refreshing to see a vibrant red hull gleaming out on a bright April morning.

Choice is the central theme of the Hanse offering and eight different hull colours as standard – and customisation of colours if required – bear out that marketing claim. Another good touch is the choice of sprayhood and maindrop system in colours to blend with the deck and sail, rather than a dark blue which distorts the overall shape of the boat.

Since 1999, all Hanse yachts have been designed by the formidable Judel and Vrolijk design team and they’ve a reputation for good-looking, modern boats that sail well. Competitive pricing by the builders enhances the package no end. 

On Top

For a big-ish boat, the 370 has a relatively low freeboard, allowing easy access on board where you are greeted with a teak-seated cockpit that could accommodate six adults comfortably.

Simplicity is the key on deck, with all the lines led neatly along the top of the coachroof in a shallow, covered channel so that nothing is exposed. A clever little feature is a cut-out in the aft edge of the coachroof so that the jib and mainsheet can be guided from the clutch back to the primary winches without impinging on deck space. It also makes it easier for the helmsman to trim both sails from the steering position.

The steering wheel is precisely what you would expect on a 37ft boat – big enough to give the control you want yet not so large as to restrict movement around the stern. The open transom allows the cockpit to drain easily but it does means the helmsman cannot sit directly behind the wheel during cruising (which you can on the larger 400).

The helm’s two aft seating positions also serve to disguise the storage units for gas cylinders on deck where any leaks can escape safely.
Forward of the mast sits the standard-on-all-Hanses self-tacking headsail mechanism, a feature which is ideal for short-handed cruising and one which we were to discover did not adversely affect its sailing performance.

Down Below

There are four uncluttered layout options below, all of which provide plenty of space for even the fussiest owner, with the forward double-berth cabin always the owner’s cabin with considerable storage facilities.

The galley is the central feature below and there are acres of worktop space on which to prepare meals. Hot water supply and a refrigerator accessible from the top and front are standard but it’s the ability to customise to individual preferences that will appeal to many.

Opposite the galley is an impressive ‘bathroom’, where the shower has been separated from the wash-basin and toilet with a door, and in which a wooden seat has been provided for extra comfort.

The choice of interior wood finishes is either cherry or satin mahogany, the former giving a rich, warm effect and the latter perhaps a lighter, airy feel. An unusual chart table arrangement has a seat on either side, conveniently doubling up as a small dining table if there are only two on board, or if you need to accommodate more than four around the main saloon table.

Image Team

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