Do You Understand Why the High Aspect Yacht Rig Performs So Well?
To understand the thinking behind the Hanse yacht rig you need to know something about where it all started.
Michael Schmidt is the Hanse group’s owner and 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.
Here’s 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
This is a photo of a Hanse 400 mast. Our expert team at our Pittwater head office are getting it ready before they fit it to the yacht.
Can you seen how the top of this mast gets narrower towards the left of the photo?
This is the tapered section at the top of the mast.
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 375, 400 and 445.
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.
Here’s an amazing extra worth $4500 that’s now standard on the Hanse 445.
A special track is fitted here in Australia to the back of the mast.
The cars which slide up this track contain round circulating ballbearings so the cars glide effortlessly up and down the mast.
It’s incredibly smooth.
When you come to drop the main it will be in the boom bag in 2 seconds!
Another huge bonus is that all Hanses are fitted with Furlex furlers as standard.
Furlex furlers have a great reputation for being smooth running and reliable.
Want to know more about the quality features on Hanse sailboats?
… here’s more about the famous Hanse build quality.