We’ve just placed our order for Tranquilo! It will be a Hanse 455.
The decision in the end came down to the Dufour 460 and the Hanse 455. It was a very close choice. Both yachts come from highly respected factories, designed by some of the world’s leading nautical architects. Both have the performance, quality, stability and safety we’re looking for to cross oceans.
Important to note, while the the Bavaria 46 Cruiser dropped off our shortlist, it’s still a fine boat. It also met the aforementioned criteria. It came down to aesthetics on deck (the halyards and sheets on the cabin top clutter up useful space) and down below (the open layout wasn’t ideal for crossing oceans).
The reasons for choosing the 455 over the 460 came down to, and you’ll appreciate the subtleties:
- larger cockpit – let’s be fair, that’s where we’ll be spending the most time
- the helm pedestals – provide easy viewing of the chartplotter and navigation instruments; the 460’s chartplotter location was fine, but just not as well positioned for easy viewing
- helm positions – the 455 helms allow the helmsperson to straddle the wheel, which is a comfortable position providing solid bracing when sailing
- solid toe rail – the 455 has a large, solid toe rail which will be useful when having to move forward in rough seas
- spring cleats – how many times have you stubbed your toe on the cleats? Well we’ve done it enough times to appreciate the 455’s cleats that can be pushed down into the toe rail out of harm’s way
- larger cabintop windows, letting in more light for a brighter saloon
- traditional L-shaped galley – while an innovative feature, the open galley of the 460 would have made it rough to cook in heavy seas; the 455’s galley has good bracing spots for a rolling sea
- very importantly, anchors! – the beautifully designed bowspit and bowroller of the 460 can’t accommodate a Rocna 33, maybe the best anchor in the world (if it’s good enough for Jimmy Cornell for his arctic sailing, it’s good enough for us!). We’ll have to wrangle something on Tranquilo but looks like it’s definitely do-able
Finally, some very respected sailors recently bought and are sailing Hanses, testament to their quality and performance.
Here’s our test of the Hanse 455. Note that with light winds we couldn’t test how the 455 handles in heavy seas. It did show us it has a very slippery hull in light winds!
And a more thorough review by Sailing Today!
Having selected the Hanse 455 we needed to decide on the dealer to place the order with. We appreciate the time and effort of both Windcraft in Australia and Inspiration Marine in the UK in working through the different options, providing suggestions and alternatives to standard factory options. They were both responsive and listened to what we needed. Most importantly, they both have a very strong reputation for supporting their owners in far reaches of the world, as attested for in online forums and by the awards they have received.
We placed the order with Windcraft. They put a lot of time into us, comparing the different models, arranging test sails, and working through the terms and conditions so we’re all comfortable with what we’re getting and how we will be supported when we finally sail. Being in Australia, we can work closely with them to understand all the ins and outs of the 455 and how to maintain Tranquilo in the far reaches of the world (well, at least far flung islands of the Pacific).
The Hanse factory in Greifswald, Germany, will be building Tranquilo over the next 8 months, ready for transporting to Slovenia where we’ll be doing the handover, ahead of our first leg down the Adriatic!