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The Hanse 388

Building on a winning formula 

By Katherine Stone

The Hanse 388 - feeling at home on the high seas


The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Base Mast and HelmThe Self Tacking Jib

(above left) All lines exit the base of mast and disappear under a combing to come out at the helm.

(above right) The self-tacking jib makes solo or couple sailing easy.

German Main Sheeting SystemThe high-quality sandwich construction is particularly lightweight and resistant to osmosis thanks to the exterior vinylester layer. The hull-deck connection uses a robust polyester bonding resin and the deck and hull are anchored with high-strength bolts in the cleats to go beyond standard requirements and create a stable, torsion-free yacht.

No need for a travellor with German main sheeting system

The high rig and large sail area, combined with the self-tacking jib, make this boat easy to sail, yet with a high degree of performance. We took her out with Mississauga Hanse dealer, Pat Sturgeon, on a beautiful August afternoon with a perfect 12-15 knot breeze and one-foot waves – a champagne sailing day, to say the least. Just splashed in the morning with her new sails, she was easy to handle and got us quickly up to 8 knots on a tight reach, slicing through motorboat chop as if it wasn’t there. The full, plumb bow helps to balance the boat when it is heeled over, and it was very stable even in the puffs, not wanting to round up. It was a cinch to hoist the main – in less than one minute – and it came down smartly and quickly into the lazy-jack bag, without help from the crew.

The Yanmar 27 HP sail-drive diesel engine was quiet and easily pushed us through chop and larger waves. It was also very efficient backing the boat down the channel and into the slip.

There are two reefing points in the main, which is the sail that really drives this boat, which I found very easy to trim from the helm, unassisted, as well the jib, with the self-tailing power winches. My grip on the dual wheels was light with very little weather helm, so the boat was well-balanced. Tacking required no crew conversations to be interrupted for trimming and I was able to bring in the main for a jibe in a 12-knot breeze without assistance. Now that is something, especially for a couple sailing or evening round-the-cans racing.

The 388 CockpitHaving the gennaker package would provide better performance downwind as well as in lighter air, knowing that the self-tacking jib would flop from side to side. There is a nifty little bag that this sail comes in, meant to be left on the bow, which makes it super easy to set up with one eye hole on the bow sprit to rig and up she goes.

the 388 cockpit is comfortable as well as functional with twin composite wheels

The deck is clean and free from hardware and lines which make travelling around easier and safer. The German engineered main sheeting system works exceptionally well without a traveller – adding to the clutter-free look of the deck. The fractional rig is a deck stepped mast with double swept-back spreaders running the uppers and lowers to the gunwales. All sail controls, including halyards, lead back to the winches at the helm, encased on the coach deck. With an adjustable backstay and lots of support, this rig would be quite easy to tune. Easy to grab handrails provide a wonderful safety feature with two handholds moving along the coach roof.

Swim LadderThe cockpit is free of lines, uncluttered and comfortable for four to six people. The center table can easily be expanded on both sides with a lift of a finger for meals or beverages. A stainless-steel grab rail is incorporated into both sides of the table, providing a good added safety feature. An uber sized dodger with zip-out window provided excellent visual site-lines for the helm, which is especially important for vertically challenged skippers.

The wing-up helm seats flip up for easy access to the swim platform and have storage underneath for a BBQ, fenders, life raft or extra lines. A shower off the back and the swim ladder compactly folds up into the swim platform. Even more physically challenged adults are able to take a dip and re-board the boat with the two easy-to-grab vertical handles on the ladder.

Swim ladder has easy to grab vertical hand rails

This model was equipped with the performance package which included the black composite wheels – easy to hold, not getting either too cold or warm to the touch, but also rather sexy looking. I couldn’t get over how easy it was to steer, either sailing or under power, with only a light touch on the wheel. You also didn’t need to be a contortionist to view the instruments, with the chart plotter mounted up on a pedestal between the wheels and off the cockpit table.

The smoked tempered glass over the companionway and the back half of the coach roof provides excellent natural light below. The drop-down companionway door disappears into the floor and is able to be locked into a half-way position, to comply with offshore safety requirements. Not having to stow a cockpit door is a real plus in my book.


Aft to Cockpitgreat hand holds moving aft to cockpit

Moving below, with the aid of two sturdy handrails, you are immediately struck by the amount of natural light and spacious headroom that made you feel as if you were on a 45-foot yacht, rather than a 38 footer. With six large hull windows and five hatches it is easy to see how this is accomplished. The salon hatch was equipped with both a screen and blinds, should you wish to tone down some of the light. Indirect LED lighting at night makes the salon a very inviting place to spend time with family or friends for dinner or just conversation. This particular model had a light French Oak interior, woven Florence upholstery in a charcoal grey and darker Noce Nero floor boards – very chic. However, if this is not your cup of tea, the choices of interior upholstery and wood finished materials seem limitless.

The galley sported a black quartz worktop, which blended nicely with the upholstery. Both the double sink and stove were covered, providing excellent counter work space. The fridge had easy access from the top and the bottom, so that the food items you want most at the bottom are easily accessible. The strategically placed splash rail in front of the sink ensures that guests don’t get wet from food prepping. The great ventilation in the galley will enable the chef to prepare food without feeling the need to come on deck for fresh air.

Interior Facing Forwardinterior facing forward

The fold-out lounge on the starboard side converts to a double bed and then back again for dining seating. There is also the option to have a lowerable chart table for large chaise lounge on the port side. Your best wines are safely housed in the bar compartment creatively integrated into the saloon dining table. The individual reading/working lights were strategically placed through the boat, also incorporating a USB port to charge electronics.

There are three main layout options, our test boat being the three-cabin model, with two aft cabins that provided ample head room for taller guests and were light and airy with good air flow. They each were equipped with a small hanging locker, overhead hatches and a large hull window for added light. The forward cabin had great headroom with an exceptionally large hanging locker on the starboard side and 6 cubbies, rather than shelves for clothing items on the port side. A great idea!
Port Salon Seatingoption to have chart table lower to extend port salon seating

The good-sized port-side bathroom featured a molded sink, excellent storage for toiletries and towels and a cover over the head providing a seat when showering.

To date, you probably won’t find a production yacht that is more customisable than a Hanse. They have won more than 62 international awards for their excellent designs. They break rules, set trends and make a commitment to their customers to produce a great cruising yacht that will also fulfill the needs of the club racer.

SPECIFICATIONS
LOA: 11.40 m / 37' 5"
Hull length: 10.99 m / 36' 1"
LWL: 10.40 m / 34' 1"
Beam: 3.90 m / 12' 10"
Draft shallow keel: 1.62 m / 5' 5"
Draft L-keel, medium: 2.06 m / 6' 9"
Displacement shallow keel: approx. 8.66 t / 19.092 lbs
Displacement L-keel, medium: approx. 8.27 t /18.232 lbs
Engine: Yanmar Diesel 27.30 hp
Optional engine: 38.00 hp
Fuel tank: approx. 160 l / 42 gal
Fresh water: approx. 295 l / 77 gal
CE Certifcate A - 6 / B - 10
Mast length above WL: approx. 17.60 m / 57' 9"
Total sail area: approx. 72.00 qm / 775 sq ft
Main sail: approx. 43.50 qm / 468 sq ft
Furling: approx. 39.00 qm / 420 sq ft
Self-tacking jib: approx. 28.50 qm / 307 sq ft
Genoa: approx. 34.00 qm / 366 sq ft
Crossover: approx. 61.10 qm / 658 sq ft
Gennaker: approx. 93.90 qm / 1.011 sq ft
Price: (base in Cdn $) $258,000
Price: (as tested in Cdn $) $351,000

Test boat and pricing supplied by: Pat Sturgeon Yacht Sales. Canadian dealers: Pat Sturgeon Yacht Sales Mississauga, Ontario, www.patsturgeonyachts.com , or Freedom Yachts Vancouver, B.C., http://boatingfreedom.com