Cannes Yachting Festival: The Hanse Yachts

I think we decided to visit the Cannes Yachting Festival at the same time as we put in the order for our new boat. We both like sunny places with warm water, obviously, but we did have one additional excuse: to check out our material and colour selections “in real life”, and maybe make some changes to our order, if needed.

We had good day at the show, and we saw a lot of quite amazing boats, yachts and other marine related stuff. With regard to our colour and material selections project, though, that didn’t go exactly as planned.

First of all, the yacht show was quite crowded. Some boats were more popular than others, but with quite a few people in the cockpits and even more people inside, a lot of energy went to just not being in anyone’s way. A quick look here and there, then a move along since more people push forward from behind. 

Secondly, the specifications of the yachts (posted outside) were lacking. It’s cool that Hanse yachts can be ordered in a gazillion different ways, but when looking at grey sofa cushions and going “aww! beautiful!” it would be really nice to know which of the gazillion versions of grey sofa cushions we’re actually looking at.

(I’m putting this in your feedback inbox, Hanse Yachts! In all of your beautiful demo pictures but especially at the yacht festivals, please list all the material selections, since it’s so much more enjoyable to know what material we’re looking at!)

Nevertheless, it was a good day. Sure, reality can be somewhat hotter, sweatier and dirtier, with unexpected headaches and expected but surprisingly sore toes, but it’s real, and that’s what makes it so much better.

Quite crowded at times. The models from left to right: 508, 458, 388, 348. Judging by the amount of people, the most popular boat appeared to be the Hanse 458. We were turned away twice before we were allowed to enter.

The Sailing Boats

All the sailing boats we saw were quite beautiful! We spent most of the time in the Hanse area, but did look a quite a few others as well. Here are some pictures with a few reflections about the Hanses!

Hanse 348

The smallest Hanse in the show was the 348. It did feel slightly smaller than the 388, especially in the toilet/shower area. Where the 388 has a separately wall mounted shower, the 348 shower handle is pulled out from above the sink (see picture below).

Still, a very nice boat, and I’m sure our family of two adults and four children could fit in one. Why we didn’t choose this one was mainly because the 388 should be slightly faster, and is classified into CE category A, where the 348 is category B.

Hanse 348 with Cream coloured bimini and lazybag, Dark Blue cockpit cushions and either standard or synthetic teak (don’t know which). 
Lounge with French Oak furniture and some kind of dark blue upholstery. Maybe Monte Carlo Blue but we weren’t sure since the fabric looked different than the one on Hanse’s web. 
The shower is pulled out from next to the faucet.

Hanse 388

The boat we are waiting for, our dream boat! 🙂

Charlotte practicing downwind sailing in light winds! Here we have bimini, sprayhood and cockpit cushions all in Cream. Teak is again either real or synthetic, it’s hard to say. Standard leather wheels. We left the helmsman’s seats out in our version (more room to move) and selected the bigger plotter (for us with deteriorating eyes!).
This Hanse 388 had the larger kitchen with only one aft cabin. It’s the first time I’ve seen one of those and the kitchen really is quite much larger. The furniture is Mahogany and floor Acacia.
The storage space in place of the second aft cabin. Quite large, indeed! Charlotte thought it could easily fit a couple of mattresses if someone still wanted to sleep there. I think we could fit all the instruments for a small jazz band.
This is what the fold-out swimming ladder looks like. See below for a picture of the fold-out stairs on the Hanse 508.

Hanse 458

We were very interested in the 458 since it was the next step up from the yacht we bought (there is a 418 in between, but none in Cannes). Unfortunately for us, though, everyone else seemed very interested in it as well so we didn’t manage to take but a couple of pictures of it. 

Cockpit cushions in Light Gray, the same we selected. This boat also had the optional (bigger) cockpit table that fits a fridge. The hand in the lower right corner, I think it’s Charlotte’s.
Here the shower is mounted on the wall like in a “normal” shower. In the 388 (and 418) we don’t really know whether it’s possible to shower hands-free while standing, but in this boat it seems to be. (“We need a bigger boat”, Charlotte would say only because of this, but she won’t since she has NEVER seen Jaws! We have to correct that abnormality in time and space, soon.)

Hanse 508

The kitchen of the Hanse 508. This one has the same furniture we ordered, Canadian Chestnut! The floor is Delight Oak (at least we thought so). 
The lounge. Still Canadian Chestnut furniture. The upholstery is leather and called Portofino Cream (we think).
This is what the fold-out swimming stairs look like. 

Hanse 588

We were standing barefooted (you always exit your shoes before entering the boat) in the cockpit of the Hanse 588 and enjoying the lovely feeling of standing on real teak, when it struck me. This wasn’t real teak, it was actually the very same version of synthetic teak we had ordered ourselves.

I’m patting myself on the back now because I think we made an excellent choice!

Light Gray cushions and Scrubbed White (we think) synthetic teak!
There are much more beautiful pictures of the Hanse 588 master cabin on Hanse’s web, but here’s the one I took anyway! The furniture wood is Mahogany, sort off, but it felt different than on the other yachts.
Also the floor felt different. This is kind of Noce Nero, but not quite. I wonder if the furniture here is a bit customized.

Hanse 675

“This will be your next boat, right”, said the French Hanse dealer with a smile after we had told him that we just ordered a 388. 

“Absolutely”, I replied (trying to be funny), “but obviously there will be a few other models in between”. 

Charlotte in the lounge. The bar is open. 
A panorama picture of the lounge. It’s slightly distorted but it says something about the boat, that it’s possible to take a panorama picture of the lounge 🙂 
Another panorama, now of the master cabin. The shower straight ahead looks like something from Star Trek. (Obviously this is also bigger than the bedroom in our real apartment.)

Hello, Henrik!

We went to Cannes partly because we thought we might get a chance to say hello to Lennart, the person who actually sold us our new boat. We had never met him since we had only communicated by phone and email. 

But he wasn’t there. He had left the day before we arrived.

Luckily, Henrik was there, so finally (!) we got to shake hands with someone from the Swedish Hanse dealer, and tell him how happy we were with the choice we had made.

“So you have sailed much together, the both of you?”, Henrik asked kindly. 

And so we told him the story about Charlotte never having sailed before

About the Bahamas and the seasickness, and the other sicknesses, and us not really being able to sail there either, although we wanted to. 

And about the children, that we are a bit afraid of how they will take it. And that yes, we are a bit scared, but really do hope and believe it will all turn out allright.

Henrik looked at us for a second before a broad and warm smile appeared on his face.

“They will love it”, he said, “you will all love it”.

Hello, Henrik! It was terrific to meet you!
Send our best to Lennart and thank him for selling us a boat!


  1. Hi! Just started following your blog (like it a lot!!). We also ordered a H388 in August, and expect to take her home to Norway next spring. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    1. Oh cool! Thank you so much for your comment and it’s so nice to hear from other H388 owners and soon-to-be sailors! I sincerely hope that we will be able to sail to Norway someday because we’re very much in love with the nature there.

  2. Hi Mikael,
    Thanks very much for sharing your experiences. We are also a newly formed family (of 3 years), David, Natalie, Tom (21) Elly (18) Nicholas (16) Lucy (8) and Darcy (6) here in Australia that love the water and have a dream of sailing. It’s great to read about your thought processes and decision making. We can relate!

    The Cannes Yachting Festival sounded amazing!

    We are more interested in catamarans right now, due to the additional space, however your blog has got me thinking about a monohull!
    We don’t have a great deal of sailing experience between us and are planning our first sailing trip together (on a catamaran) in a couple of months.
    Hopefully sea sickness free!!!!

    1. Hi David, and so nice to hear from you!

      We were thinking a lot about catamarans as well (lots of space, lack of heeling), but eventually ended up with a monohull. To be fair, I’ve only sailed on a catamaran twice, but both times (for different reasons) the sailing wasn’t a very rewarding experience so both times we ended up mostly just motoring. (And I really don’t like motoring, I want to sail! :))

      Over here the prevailing wind is less prevailing (and also gusty, bending and turning around islands and channels) so we basically seem to end up doing a lot of upwind sailing in tight quarters, and I assume a monohull will be quite a bit better at this than a catamaran.

      And there’s the price, obviously. We couldn’t have afforded a new catamaran in the 38-39 ft range and for various reasons we really did want to buy a new boat.

      Best of wishes from all of us and hope to hear more from you!

      P.S. Your dream (that we share), go for it! 🙂 Team Windcraft, the Hanse dealer in Australia, sells great boats 😉 (we believe, as we haven’t actually sailed any Hanse yet)

      1. G’day Mikael,

        Just noticed your new post, and about to go and check out the Community Sailing Blog! Well done! Looks awesome!

        I get what you say about the winds in your part of the World. I have read several posts about similar issues and headwinds with Cats. We have planned our first sailing trip in a Cat in November and are going to make our next one a mono hull. Both without the kids initially. (For many reasons, not the least of which is some quiet time!)
        Cat’s here do tend to be motored more than sailing, unless it is the open sea. Between the islands people mainly motor and I am with you. It’s a SAILboat!!
        Thanks for the recommendation of the dealer. We are looking forward to making some decisions in the future and really getting excited.
        I can relate to the people who say “Don’t leave it until everything is perfect to follow your sailing dream. Make the decision and then make it right…… don’t worry about making the right decision!”

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