Windcraft owner Anthony Bishop recently returned from his first Dealer Meeting at the Hanse Factory in north eastern Germany. July 1st marks the beginning of the new production year for the factory and is when they announce the new models being released in the coming year.

It’s summer time in Greifswald, the river that runs down beside the factory has thawed out from the winter and the Baltic Sea makes for the perfect place to sea trial new models.

“Last time I visited the factory with Peter Hrones it was the middle of their winter so quite a different experience at this time of year. The marina out the front of the factory was filled with boats and everyone there was very excited to be able to show off the new models. They had been running a Power Boat dealer meeting which was just finishing up when I arrived, but I did manage to get out for a sea trial on a new Fjord before the Sailing sessions started. What an incredible boat that was.”

“I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from my first Hanse dealer meeting and imagined that they would be announcing some model-year adjustments that improved interior designs across the model range, but what we were presented with was effectively 4 brand new yachts”.

On the 17th of July, Hanse released 4 new yachts to the market that will replace some of their most successful yachts ever. The new 348, 388, 418 and 548. With these new 8-Series models comes a number of new innovations that will be very significant to those who appreciate a yacht that looks stunning, performs well and is incredibly easy to sail (Hanse’s core design principles for everything they do).

Hanse has taken some of the luxury aspects from Moody yachts and Sealine power boats, combined with some of the performance and functional aspects from Dehler and integrated them perfectly into a new design philosophy that now extends across the entire 8-Series family – irrespective of how big or small the model.

“With some yachts, I have looked at in the past you get the feeling that the smaller cheaper models are made with cheaper materials and the more expensive models made with more expensive materials. One of the design philosophies of the new 8-Series Hanse is that the design, materials and quality of finish are all the same for the 348 right through to the 548, 588 and 675 yachts. The only difference is the length.”

The Hanse hull designs by Judel/Vrolijk consistently outperform other cruising yachts of similar length and displacement and all of these new boats continue to be very slippery through the water. The decks are all brand new designs with much larger hatches, windows and new glass panels that look stunning. An important part of the deck redesign is to allow for a new VIP aft cabin with a lot more headroom than in previous models. This effectively provides 2 owners cabins that are equally special which your friends and family will enjoy when they overnight on your boat.

There have also been a number of “special projects” being driven by different parts of the Hanse Group to improve little things for owners that will make a huge difference to the enjoyment of the boat. Clever new innovations that make the cabins quieter, that remove toilet smells from the boat for up to 10 years, that increase natural light and airflow and make the boat even easier to sail (or to move around the boat while sailing).

With the continued advancements in integrating tinted glass into hulls and cabins (largely driven from the power boat market) you will notice more windows and bigger windows on all new Hanse yachts. These bigger and well placed hull windows create panoramic views at water level from inside the saloon which is very unique for monohull yachts.

“One of the most exciting yachts in the fleet now is the new 548 which has become the flagship for the new 8-series range. It is a stunning boat that is perfectly proportioned so as not to be too big for a couple to manage yet provides very spacious and luxurious accommodations. During the Dealer meeting, I was able to order our first 548 and 418 which will be heading down under soon”.

The latest editions to the Dehler range include the new D34 which will be making a debut at the Sydney Boat Show and the D42 – both of which have created a lot of interest in the market from those who are looking for a more sporty and dynamic yacht that is still easy to cruise with. An ideal boat for twilight racing with spinnakers and gennakers during the week and then relaxed cruising with the family in the weekends.

Aside from the formal education sessions, the dealer meeting was a great opportunity to catch up socially with all the other dealers from around the world and exchange stories and experiences. It does seem that the demand for Hanse yachts (and power boats) is growing considerably across the globe as sailors come to appreciate the unique aspects that the Germans bring to these boats.

Nothing but praise for the entire team.

Whilst the first of these 8-series boats are now rolling out of production and heading to the Cannes Boat Show for their Premiere, the factory took the opportunity to have all of the dealers’ review and provide feedback on the new models before the final production design was signed off. It was great to see some small improvements being suggested and agreed by the factory during the dealer meeting. They really do take the feedback of dealers and owners into consideration when bringing out new models which is refreshing to observe.

Anthony will be providing Windcraft owners with more information on the new 8-Series yachts at a private function during the Sydney Boat Show.

“I am really looking forward to the Sydney Boat Show now and then the Auckland boat show after that. We have always had a great story to tell from the Hanse Group, but it just took another big step up.”