New is still the word that sells when it comes to boats of all types, including sailboats. In economically difficult times large boat builders still bet on continuous updates of their model lines, in search of improvements. Bavaria just finished a complete revamp, Beneteau introduced a new type of product with the convertible Oceanis 38, Jenneau launched a performance boat and continued work on their Sun Odyssey line.

Hanse 505 sailing

The Hanse 505 is an update – albeit an ambitions one – of the 495.


But what about Hanse? They came out with the new Hanse 345 a little while ago, provided a face-lift for the 445, and now they introduce the 505. Hull and technical specifications remain the same, while deck, part of the interior and details were modified or replaced by something new. The yard says it offers the “best cockpit in class”, which is in the eye of the beholder, but the foot braces are individually adjustable while the sheets and halyards are led back to winches right in front of the helmsperson, who can handle main and jib. Thus, the boat is perfectly set up for singlehanding, which is also great for couples or family crews with small kids. Also nice: The swim platform is lowered and hoisted manually, which is a simple and inconspicuous solution.

Another advantage is the space gained around the companionway, which is now used for hatches and small cubbies. The downside of leading the halyards aft is that the tails disappear into both lazarettes through slots. It works, but it also takes time to clear up the spaghetti factory, for example after hoisting the main on the two-spreader Seldén mast with shrouds that are attached to the outside of the hull. Nav instruments are now installed in the two steering pedestals, which is not the most elegant solution, but is certainly more practical than putting them at the aft end of the cockpit table.

Fun Starts at 10 Knots

Underway in Cannes, the Hanse proved a bit sluggish in less than eight to 10 knots of breeze. About 4.5 knots of upwind speed can be coaxed from her in modest waves, hinting at the desirable feedback on the rudder. A wide hull with a displacement of 14 tons and only a self-tending jib are not ideal in such conditions.

As the breeze increases to 12 to 14 knots, the speedo will climb to seven knots. The weather helm is okay and with cracked sheets she scratches the eight-knot barrier, which is all good. It takes 1.75 rotations of the twin wheels to move the deep and well-gripping single rudder blade from stop to stop. That’s direct enough to steer upwind while sitting down. With a diameter of just over three feet and a distance of 3’8” from the top of the wheel to the cockpit sole, the ergonomics are right for a helmsperson of average height.

A nice option is the package of Lewmar’s electric Revo winches, for trimming and easing the sheets at the push of a button. That’s comfortable and works well, provided there’s enough load on the lines. The custom self-tailer can be a bit recalcitrant and demands exactly sized cordage.

The bridge deck is gone, which makes access to the companionway easier (aided by the shallower angle of the steps). This was made possible by eliminating the large aft stateroom with island berth. This luxurious option was a novelty on the 495, but there wasn’t sufficient demand by the market.

Thousands of Variations

In the 505, Hanse sticks with its semi-individual appointment of the interior. There could be a sail locker in the bow, which is recommended considering the rather small stowage capacity of the cockpit lockers. But there could also be a crew cabin. In the forward stateroom, the owner can choose between a cabin with plenty of stowage, legroom and access to a head with a separate shower stall, or two single staterooms. In that case, the shower and head have to be accessed through the companionway. In the midsection there are three options: A separate cabin with bunk beds, a utility closet for washer and workbench, or an additional shower. In any case, a designated head with a shower is across the hallway.

Hanse 505 cabin

The actual saloon has a generous in-line pantry, a nav station with a forward-facing seat and a large L-shaped settee, and a console behind the twin seats.

Aft there are two cabins, with the one on the port side a bit tighter because of the additional space in the saloon. The customer also can choose from three different kinds of wood trim: mahogany, cherry and oak. The oak used on the test boat was so light that it produced hardly any contrast to the cabin ceiling and the white surfaces—but that’s a matter of personal taste.

It will please everyone that the rails and edge veneers now are made from thick wood, which should add some longevity. Owners are also required to choose the flooring: classic stripes, maple, or black wood. Given the many layouts, surfaces and materials, Hanse suggests there are more than 6000 possible combinations.
Sail Area1,390 sq. ft.
Displacement30,900 lbs
Fuel capacity79 gal.
Water capacity172 gal.

Simple Pleasures

Below deck the simple things in life, which might not even get noticed during a quick walkthrough at the boat show, are especially pleasant. There are plenty of handholds and other spots to grab and the stowage space was well used. There’s a separate pocket for charts, and the area above and behind the fridge swallows an espresso maker in a little medicine cabinet. The floorboards fit, and space is properly allocated. The seacocks and components in the bilge are easy to access and the ports in the coach-roof can be opened. Skylights that are bending downwards on their forward edge and several hull windows admit plenty of daylight into the interior. The ceiling liner in the salon is partially furnished with cloth, to make for a cozier look and feel. These are nice details that help the boat appear pleasant, and produce an all around successful package. The price also contributes to the positive impression, starting at around $370,000.

Other Choices: The Jeanneau Sun Oddyssey 509 is another new sailboat that shows plenty of innovation, as does the Beneteau Oceanis 48.

See Hanse 505 listings.

For more information, visit Hanse.

yacht-logoThis story originally appeared in YACHT magazine, and is republished here by permission. Translated by Dieter Loibner.