By David Schmidt
As a semi-recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from New England’s historic waters, I was thrilled to learn that the boating season here in Seattle is much longer than it is back East, provided, of course, that your boat is up to the task. While our summer months here at 48 degrees north are characterized by massive high-pressure systems that park-up over the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, delivering bluebird days that are void of any real breeze, our fall, winter and spring months offer plenty of pressure, usually combined with some lively seas, especially when the wind angle disagrees with the tide. This combination of distinctive seasonal weather, paired with the Pacific Northwest’s (in)famous rain and grey, rewards cruising boats that offer some on-deck protection from the elements, as well as a comfortable saloon and galley for après sailing, once the sails have been furled and the cabin heater has been switched on.
As I approached the Hanse 575 at Port Sidney Marina in Sidney, Victoria, B.C., I noticed three things: her impressive freeboard, her spacious, teak-clad foredeck and the 15-knot late-October breeze that was piping in from the south—the same direction that the tide was draining.
“Not to worry,” said Brian Huse, a broker from nearby Freedom Marine, as we climbed aboard. “She’s a dry boat.” Having logged my share of Northwest winter miles, I still donned my bibs and seaboots, just in case.
Our test boat, Crescent Wave, is privately owned, and is equipped with lots of goodies, including optional retractable bow and stern thrusters. These immediately proved invaluable as Huse wove Crescent Wave out of her tight slip. While Huse obviously knows Crescent Wave’s dimensions and turning radius, it was equally obvious that the dual thrusters pacified any docking anxieties, even with the boat’s ample freeboard and the breeze.
I took the helm while Huse and Gareth Wood raised the mainsail—a push-button affair—and unfurled the self-tacking jib. A few more button presses trimmed-on the sails, and we were soon making seven to eight knots towards Sidney Spit before tacking for the Cordova Channel.
Crescent Wave charged through the gathering chop, and I realized that—while warm—my bibs and boots were overkill: I didn’t see a single errant drop tag the cockpit sole. I also realized that the Hanse 575 is a capable year-round cruiser, given her dry, spacious cockpit, her easy-to-single-hand systems and her plush interior, while her Judel/Vrolijk design adds an element of performance-sailing pedigree to her DNA.
Construction: The Hanse 575 is built in Greifswald, Germany, to Germanischer Lloyd SE’s ocean-going classification standards. The GRP hull uses a balsa core and is hand laid using polyester epoxy for all inner laminates and Vinylester resins for all outer laminates, as well as an Isophthalic gelcoat. All bulkheads are laminated to the hull and the deck, a composite sub-frame adds structural rigidity; the keel is attached using Stainless Steel bolts and backing plates. The GRP deck is balsa-cored and is hand laid with a Vinylester outer layer, and polyester for the majority of its laminate.
On Deck: Big teak expanses best describe the Hanse 575’s large and comfortable deck layout. Dual helms (with optional helm seats), a scooped-out cockpit transom, dual retractable cockpit tables (that double as a huge sun-bathing area/abovedecks berth), dual waterproof stowage compartments (either side of the companionway) and a pronounced bulwark that runs from bow to stern are other important on-deck features. The Hanse 575 is equipped with an innovative tender garage (designed for a Williams 2.8 meter jet tender, but it will accommodate other similar-sized boats) and a hydraulically controlled platform that dips into the water for easy swimmer/tender access. Crescent Wave features a spacious sail locker, located directly abaft her stem, and a powered windlass. All hatches are flush-deck, making for a clean, aesthetically pleasing deck. A two-spreader, keel-stepped Sparcraft aluminum rig with a self-tacking jib is standard. Crucial running rigging such as the main halyard, the mainsheet, the jib sheet and the jib-furling line are led aft, via tunnels, to powered winches (one at each helm).
Accommodations – Although Hanse typically avoids incorporating custom features into its production models, the 575 is available in six different interior designs (one “standard” and five “optional” layouts). Out test boat featured a generous owner cabin (V-berth), dual quarter berths, two heads/showers and a bunk-bed cabin that’s great for junior (or single) guests. All interior designs feature an open, loft-like interior with a portside center-ship galley, a large settee area (with a retractable table that converts to a king-size berth), and forward-facing nav station/desk. All six layouts are available in a variety of woods and upholstery options, and all versions feature plenty of natural lighting (via hull windows and deck-mounted hatches/windows, as well as dimmable LED lighting throughout the vessel). Tall sailors will especially appreciate the interior’s generous headroom, and the boat comes with stepladders for accessing ceiling hatches.
Under Sail – While the Hanse 575 carries a lot of freeboard and interior volume her hull is still slippery and quick. The boat tackled through 100 degrees (N.B., the boat’s magnetic and electronic compasses were not properly swung/calibrated) and had no trouble making 7.8 knots in 13-15 knots of breeze of breeze while sailing upwind. Short tacking up the Cordova Channel was a singlehanded affair that simply required stepping from one helm station to the other. The helm felt balanced but a touch stiff in the big puffs, and Huse advised that we were at the crossover between carrying a full main and tucking in a reef. While the boat is a fully loaded cruiser, she had no trouble quickly covering ground in the small, choppy seas and the cold, late-October air. Crescent Wave was only equipped with a main and a self-tacking jib (but is configured to fly other headsails and an asymmetrical spinnaker), so our downwind run involved sliding comfortably along at seven or eight knots. Yet once we cleared Cordova Channel and could heat up our apparent-wind angle, Crescent Wave proved that she loves reaching as much as her crew.
Under Power – The Hanse 575 is equipped with a Volvo D3-110 shaft-drive diesel engine (a 150-horsepower diesel engine is optional) and two optional retractable thrusters (bow and stern) ease close-quarters maneuvering. Our test boat was also equipped with a wireless fob for starting the engine. Thruster controls are situated at both of the boat’s redundant helm stations, each of which offers great sight lines for docking or negotiating tight mooring fields. Couple the boat’s lengthy waterline and her capable engine and the 575 had no trouble making nine knots at 2,400 RPMs, without generating much noise or hull vibration.
—Pros: Dry, comfortable ride
Plenty of interior room/headroom/light
Fantastic tender garage
Spacious teak decks
—Cons: Self-tracking jib limits roller-reefing options
Conclusion: The Hanse 575 could be a great cruising boat for owners who are interested in a wide variety of sailing, from fun-minded transoceanic cruising rallies to coastal-cruising adventures with family and friends. The boat has no trouble accommodating two or three couples and their children, yet one or two capable sailors can easily handle the boat in almost any condition. Build quality is solid, and the boat’s clean deck layout, its contemporary design and its slippery, performance-minded sailing characteristics should make this a popular design.
Headroom: 6ft 9in
Berths: 6ft 6 in x 2ft (V-berth suite), 9ft 5in x 4ft 11in (saloon), 6ft 5in x 2ft 6in (bunk cabin) and 6ft 9in x 5ft 3in (quarter berths)
LOA: 56ft 3in
LWL: 49ft 8in
Draft: 9ft 4in (standard); 7ft 4in (optional shoal-draft keel)
Displacement: 42,990 lbs
Ballast: 13,007 lbs
Sail Area: 1,727.5 ft2 (Main: 927’9” ft2, 105% Genoa: 796’5” ft2)
Fuel/Water/Waste (Gal): 138/214/44
Engine: Volvo D3-110 shaft-drive diesel engine
Electrical: 330AH (house) 90AH (engine)
Designer: Judel/Vrolijk & co., www.judel-vrolijk.com
Builder: Hanse Yachts, www.hanseyachts.com
U.S. Contact: Doug Brophy, email@example.com
Price: $550,000, FOB Baltimore, Maryland
Ballast Ratio: 30.3
Sail Area-Displacement Ratio: 22.52
Displacement-Length Ratio: 155.39
Photo 1 – the Hanse 575 – A quick, fully loaded cruiser.
Photo 2 – the Hanse 575 is equipped with an innovative tender garage.
Photo 3 – the interior has dimmable LED lighting throughout.
Photo 4 – the large settee area with retractable table converts into a kingsize berth.
Photo 5 – all interior designs feature an open, loft-like interior with a portside center-ship galley.