Hanse 375 Cruiser
Established in 1993 on the Baltic coast of the former East Germany, Hanse Yachts has gone from strength to strength by building performance-oriented yachts at affordable prices. Having recently extended its production facilities, Hanse is now Germany’s second largest boat builder after Bavaria. All its boats are designed by Judel and Vrolijk, a renowned team of naval architects that has had input into many very successful race boats.
The new Hanse 375 is super-sleek with a low cabintop, near-plumb ends, low freeboard, an open transom, a long waterline, shallow underwater sections and a generous beam. It is clearly designed to be both quick and easily handled by a small crew, and is available with a single or twin-wheel helm.
As with all new Hanse designs, the hull is heavily reinforced and incorporates a complex framework of foam stringers and floor beams for strength and stiffness. Weight is reduced by using a balsa-cored laminate above the waterline. Vinylester resin is used throughout.
The 375 has a generous beam that continues well aft. To maximize interior volume, the cabintop is extended out as far as possible, which results in quite narrow side decks.
The boat has solid aluminum toe rails and six stout cleats. Although the fairleads are a little small, they are almost unnecessary as the cleats are raised above the toe rail.
The foredeck is uncluttered, with a deep chain locker that also houses the electric windlass. The bow roller is sturdy, but is offset some 25 degrees from the boat’s centerline, which can’t be ideal when the chain snatches in a choppy anchorage.
The teak inlaid cockpit is wide and boasts an open transom, with a seat/bar that slots into place if required. This might appease those who find an open transom a little daunting, but I think it unnecessary as there are already a set of lifelines. It does little to stop anything dropped from rolling out over the stern. Otherwise the open transom is great for swimming and boarding, although the lack of a permanently fixed ladder might make reboarding difficult for a single-handed MOB recovery. The lack of a dedicated platform means you must shower in the cockpit.
There is reasonable stowage in four shallow cockpit lockers and a sealed locker for a single propane tank.
Our boat had a fully battened mainsail and a standard self-tacking 95 percent jib; in-mast furling and a genoa are optional. We hoisted full sail in a gentle 7 to 8-knot breeze and my concerns about the small jib were soon quashed as the 375 slid along quietly at nearly 5 knots on a close reach. Hard on the wind she pointed well, some 34-35 degrees off the apparent wind, with our speed dropping to around 4.2 knots. The boat tacked easily and swiftly through less than 80 degrees.
Steering was pretty much ideal—light, positive and nicely balanced— although we were sailing in light air on a calm sea. We had a single-wheel helm version and the wheel is just the right size for sitting outboard while steering, without being so big as to obstruct you when going forward.
The self-tacking jib makes life easy. Mind you, having both the sheets led to the cabin top means you must leave the wheel when trimming, so if you plan to sail singlehanded you’ll need to order an autopilot.
As the wind picked up to 10 to 12 knots, we started logging speeds closer to 6.5 knots on a reach.