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Why the High Aspect Yacht Rig Performs so well?

To understand the thinking behind the Hanse yacht rig you need to know where it started. Michael Schmidt is the Hanse group’s founder.

He is also a successful racing sailor with an Admirals’s cup victory to his name… so he likes to sail fast.

When he decided to build yachts they had to be fast – they had to be sailors boats…

… but if he wanted his wife to join him on the water, his yachts had to be easy to sail.

He had to come up with a high performance rig that he could easily handle with an inexperienced crew or even single-handed.

The Secrets of the Hanse Rig

The self-tacking headsail makes Hanses easy to sail.

The self tacking headsail has been integral to the Hanse yacht rig design since 1993. Once you’ve sailed a yacht with a self-tacker you’ll never want to go back to grinding winches every tack!

On Hanse yachts the self-tacking headsail is intrinsic to the overall yacht design as opposed to an after-thought option.

The rig plan is known as high aspect, which means it has a large mainsail and smaller headsail. This high aspect rig plan has proved its high performance on many of the top racing yachts in the world.

A Performance Yacht Rig needs a Tapered Mast

A tapered mast means that the top of the mast gets narrower.

If the mast is tapered you can adjust it using your yacht’s backstay. If you pull the backstay on it does two things.. it effortlessly de-powers the rig by spilling air from the top of the mainsail. And it tightens the forestay and flattens the headsail so you can point higher.

If your mast is the same thickness all the way up you can’t make this adjustment… so you can find yourself over-powered and reefing the main in just 15-20 knots of breeze.  On a Hanse yacht with a tapered mast you will find, with experience, you can use full sail up to 25 knots.  A tapered mast is standard on every Hanse.

A Quality Yacht Rig Needs Quality Sails

It’s no use having a top quality performance rig without top quality sails.

Hanse use the best quality Dacron from Elvstrom on all their yachts.

All Hanse sails are custom designed using Elvstrom software which analyses both the boat’s hull and rig to ensure the optimum design for each yacht.  Elvstrom Sails are top end, quality sails – perfect for Hanse yachts.

And talking of sails…

If it’s easy to get your sails up and down you have a better day out on the water.  It’s wonderful when your mainsail slides effortless up and down the mast. Want to know more about the quality features in Hanse yachts?… here’s more about the famous Hanse build quality.