FAQ About Hanse 388 Options

Me and Charlotte dancing on s/y Charlotte, Hanse 388

I’ve received quite a few emails (from all over the world!) from people who are interested in buying a Hanse 388. Some are in the “we’re thinking about it” stage, others are already committed, but have questions about their final selection of options. It’s really cool to get these emails! In this post I’ll share some of the questions I’ve received, as well as my (candid!) answers to them.

Are you happy with the standard engine? What do you think about the 39 hp upgrade?

The base engine has been ok for us, and before ordering, I didn’t give it a second thought whether to buy the bigger engine option. Now, though, with the benefit of hindsight, I think it’s a slightly more difficult question.

  • Going by (the smaller) engine isn’t very fast going. I thought we’d easily get over six knots, but we don’t. It’s more like five point something in good weather, and below five with headwind/waves. Our Hanse 388 with the smaller engine (and the folding two-bladed prop) is noticeably slower than my last boat, an IMX-38 with a Volvo Penta D1-30F. The IMX-38 is a much lighter both, with much less windage, so that ought to explain it.
  • You’ll get more speed with higher RPMs, of course, but we’re usually at about 2300-2500 (dealer recommendation) to get decent fuel consumption numbers.
  • Our dealer mentioned that a three-bladed folding prop (not a Hanse standard option) would increase speed significantly. This might be an alternative to the engine upgrade.

Below is the speed test table we did down in Greifswald, motoring up and down the Ryck river. (We did have a loose saildrive protection rubber at that time, which might have affected the speeds. Don’t know, will try again next summer!)

10002.0 knots
15004.0 knots
20005.0 knots
25006.2 knots
35007.3 knots

Here are some fuel consumption graphs:

Power and fuel consumption graphs. 3JH5E on the left, 3YM30AE on the right. The 3JH5E spec sheets had better resolution πŸ™‚

I extracted some number from the graphs above (with WebPlotDigitizer) and here’s what I got:

  • Optimizing for 3 litres/hour fuel consumption, we’ll drive our standard engine at 2400 RPM and get about 9 kW power at the propeller. (This might give use, say, 5.5 knots of boat speed depending on the weather.)
  • With the upgraded engine, 3 litres/hour fuel is at about 2120 RPM (significantly lower). The power output is about 10-12% higher, though, with about 10 kW prop power. How this will translate into boat speed, I don’t know. The upgraded engine is about 60 kg heavier, so that counts for something as well. Adding 10% to 5.5 knots would be about 6.

Lastly, we haven’t actually ever been in a hurry, so going a bit slower by engine doesn’t matter so much, to us.

We have the standard engine, a Yanmar 3YM30AE, but with the two-bladed folding prop upgrade costing 1,000€ (all prices excluding VAT). The bigger engine is the Yanmar 3JH5E, and this will set you back 3,600€.

What is your sailing speed?

I wrote a separate blog post about this: Hanse 388 Speed and Polars.

Short answer: we did about 90-94% of Hanse’s advertised speed guide, but they are using a spinnaker and we have a smaller downwind sail.

Last summer, with a bit of wind, we were quickly faster sailing than go by engine. Speeds between 6-7 knots were “normal”. With more wind, getting up to and over 8 wasn’t very rare.

UPDATE (08/2020): When we lifted the boat for winter storage last year, we had a lot of barnacles on the bottom. Sailing the boat this spring with a clean bottom (and less stuff loaded), it was clearly faster, and 100% official polar speed was quite attainable. See blog posts: We’re Flying and Hanse 388 Performance 2.0.

UPDATE (02/2021): More speed analysis in the blog post Hanse 388 Real-Life Performance.

On the pictures your plotter looks like the 12β€œ upgrade. Is it? Happy?

Yes, it’s the 12″ upgrade, and yes, happy!

The resolution is the same, but a bigger screen is bigger. I can see it better from behind the wheel. There is more area to fit your fingers when touching/using it.

And it looks more cool! πŸ˜„

The 12″ B&G there in the middle.

The plotter is a B&G Zeus3. The 12″ upgrade is 900€ on the Hanse price list. In a marine store here in Finland, the difference in product price is 1,250€ (excluding installation). So, if you desire the bigger size, smarter to get it factory installed.

Crossover better than Gennaker?

I think this is a resounding yes!

Ok, small disclaimer here: I haven’t used a gennaker on a Hanse 388, so I really can’t compare. We had one two boats ago, though, on a Dehler 34, but I’m sure it’s not the same.

But, the crossover. It’s a brilliant sail! Easy to use and useful in a lot of different wind angles (see Hanse graphics below). The self-tacking jib stops being wonderful quite soon when turning down from close-hauled upwind. If there isn’t too much wind (below 15 knots TWS seems fine), the crossover/code zero will really get the boat going!

The useful area of the crossover is much bigger in this picture. Theoretically, at least. For us, it has been especially useful as an alternative to a genoa when reaching. The self-tacking jib can’t be well sheeted as it opens up.
Delivery trip. Crossover flying.

The Gennaker Package is 3,690€. The crossover is 4,490€ + 790€ for halyards and fittings = 5,280€ total.

Electrical winches? Second set of winches necessary?

Electric main winches: great choice! (We would get that now.) Getting enough halyard tension and sheeting in the jib is hard work with the manual ones. Also, when we tried, we failed at hoisting me up in the mast because Charlotte simply didn’t have enough strength to do it with the manual winch.

Secondary winches are good when flying the crossover (or other downwind sail). It’s doable without them, but I remember feeling it quite useful to have the main on the port winch (can be either), the jib on the starboard winch (can be just starboard) and then two additional winches to use for the crossover. (The jib is rolled in, in the process, of course, but still.) Also, if you are on the port tack with the crossover (with only one set of winches) and want to adjust the kicker (also on the port side), then you’re out of winches. 

A final positive for secondary winches: I think it will benefit the resale value. Most people want to use downwind sails (the crossover one of those) and I think they usually look for boats with a second set of winches.

Two winches there. The second winch is well out of the way of the sprayhood, by the way. I heard some models had some problems with this, but we haven’t had.

The electrical main winches (Lewmar 40EST) add 4,990€ to the price (that’s actually quite a significant amount!). The manual secondary winches add 1,950€. All manual winches are Lewmar 40ST.

Light Sofa material. Is it ok regarding stains etc?

No! πŸ˜„ It’s quite terrible regarding stains!

If you are just two (or a few) adults and you focus on keeping it clean, then I think the light fabric is great. It looks great, for sure!

We have a dog (who loved to get up on the sofa), children jumping and walking on it with dirty feet, spilling food etc, and our light fabric got pretty dirty.

There are companies specialized in cleaning sofas like these, and I’m waiting for contact information to one of them. I hope the end result is that they will be perfecrtly bright and clean again, but I’m not sure.

With hindsight, we (with the children and the dog) might have taken some light coloured leather option. I’m not a big fan of leather, but for keeping it clean, it would probably have worked out much better.

Ok, in this picture (after our sailing vacation), it still looks great. I cleaned the sofas myself but on the right, there were some dirty areas that have to be cleaned by more professional people than I am. Fabric: Valencia – Cream.
Three current options. Hanse has dropped the Valencia family and is now offering Sorrento fabrics for the same additional price. With hindsight, I think we would have picked one of the leather options.

Our Valencia (now replaced by Sorrenty) upholstery added 590€ to the price. Going leather would have added 2,490€.

 Synthetic teak vs real teak. Good choice of yours?

We’ve been very happy with this choice! It looks like, feels like real wood. (When we sailed the boat home from Greifswald one of my colleagues was completely fooled by it.)

To me, it seems that synthetic teak has all the good features, and none of the bad ones of teak. Also, I think it is another big plus for resale value.

Just a few of the synthetic teak options (there are a lot!). We have the Scrubbed White on the right. Check earlier pictures in this post for what it looks like in real life.

The upgrade from real teak to synthetic teak is just 490€ (for cockpit floor, benches, helmsperson’s seats, bathing platform). If you want to cover the whole deck in (synthetic) teak, it’s obviously quite a bit more πŸ˜ƒ

Standard floor. Still happy?

Yes, it’s great!

I was afraid that the floor would might get scratched and ugly, but that hasn’t happened at all. Quite a few pieces of something has fallen down on it, but it seems to hold up great.

The main thing for us: we wanted to get the “light and airy apartment feeling” inside, so to us the light floor was more appealing than, for example, the traditional sailboat stripes. 

We have the Acacia floor. In the real life pic above the floor looks a bit warmer/more yellowish than I remember from looking at it with my own eyes. Classic stripes is +1,490€, the others +590€.

Do you use the optional side entry? (Gateway stanchion)

Yes, absolutely, all the time.

When we’re docked alongside, it’s the only way to get on/off the boat. Because the boat is quite high, it’s difficult enoughβ€” especially for the children. Without the “opening” it would be much harder. 

Also, when docking alongside, and with one person jumping off of the boat, the opening is really useful there as well.

Here it’s really easy to get on and off the boat using the bathing platform. We’re not docking with the stern platform down, though, so the first steps to firm ground (or shaky pontoon finger) is from the side. And when docked alongside, the bathing platform is only good for swimming.

The add-on price for the gateway openings (on both sides) is 790€.

The standard radio. Happy with that? What about the USB ports on the back?

I didn’t know it had USB ports on the back! πŸ˜ƒ 

We don’t have any CDs, and we don’t plug anything into anywhere. Everything comes from our mobile phones over Bluetooth, and this has worked great.

I don’t know whether the audio package upgrade has marginally better sound (the spec sheet is hard to read), but the base package worked great, both inside and in the cockpit. No complaints.

Me and Charlotte dancing on s/y Charlotte, Hanse 388
We used to play music in the cockpit a lot! A dance there as well! Especially when we needed to lift the spirits because of bad weather or tired mornings πŸ˜ƒ

The standard boat doesn’t have a media player. The base entertainment package, including speakers inside and in the cockpit, is 1,560€. The CD player version upgrade is an added 490€ to that.

What did you pay for the golden colour?

You can read more about our vinyl wrapping story in the post It’s a Wrap. It was not a Hanse (or dealer) standard option, but something we had done when the boat was already in Finland. The cost for the wrapping was about 3,500€ (plus VAT).

To Be Updated

This is the first version of my Hanse 388 Options FAQ, actually all from one email sent to me. I’ll dig through the archive later and update this post as I receive more questions. Please keep them coming!


  1. I’m wondering about your boat speed with the standard engine. I have a 385 with the standard Volvo D1-30 and Gori 2 blade folding prop. I can certainly get 6kts on flat water at around 2,000 revs and 6.5kts at 2,500 revs. These speeds do drop off in rougher water. I typically keep the revs below 2,200 for better fuel consumption which has averaged exactly 2l/hr over the 500 hours I have run over the last 5 seasons.
    I did notice slower speeds towards the end of this season and when the boat was lifted at the end of October I had more fouling than in any previous year, despite giving it a good waterline scrub whilst swimming at the beginning of September. This was my first full season outside the Baltic and I think fouling levels ar much higher in the higher salinity UK waters than the Baltic.
    Having seen your post regarding your own antifouling failure and the barnacle growth I am sure that that must be a contributing factor. I’d suggest getting the antifouling sorted out and then doing a speed trial at the start of the year. I’m rather suprised that the factory did not do a speed trial with you as part of the handover. I had boat speed measured against engine revs at 250rpm intervals from 1,500 to 2,900 (max engine speed which gave 7.8kts) whilst runng down he canal.

    1. Cheers!

      The barnacles obviously slowed us down in the fall. Before that, though, we didn’t get what you’re getting.

      We did the speed trial down in Greifswald (have to check the results), but the dealer didn’t mention any discrepancies. I do remember this was the time he told me about the 3-blade prop.

      I know that the boat was quite barnacle free once we got to Finland (we had it lifted there for the colouring), and I just checked the motoring logs from Visby to Turku: we did about 7 knots. However, we were doing the “also high RPMs” break-in stuff here, so we were running at between 2800-3000 RPMs for a lot of the time.

      This will be interesting to check next summer!

    2. Check this out, btw. I compared one of the 385s on ORC data to the single 388, and the 385 is faster for most of the part.

      (wind speed columns: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20 knots)

  2. Hi Mikael and Charlotte,

    Just revisiting this old post after spotting your flexiteek with WHITE stripes in some of your pictures. Somewhat to my surprise, I have sold my 385 and I am in the process of specifying a new 458 for delivery last year. My partner and I did the same reviewing each model as you at last year’s Southampton Boat Show and felt that the 458 gave a great deal more (than the 418) without being too big for us to handle.

    Your decks look great so I have decided to go with the scrubbed white flexiteek. Now that decision is made I may need to review my choice of wheel colour!

    I’m interested in your comments about interior fabric. When we sold Ningaloo the upholstery was totally unmarked (no children or dogs!) but the dark grey with the standard mahogany woodwork was always rather dark. I’m going for a totally different look this time and the selection (at the moment) is light oak timber, noce nero floor with the standard cream Monte Carlo upholstery. I really like the suede feel of this fabric but unfortunately the factory have now withdrawn all except the cream colour. I guess that it is one thing that is relatively easy to replace if the wear and tear is too much!

    Great to know that you have made the trip to Visby. I’m looking forward to your next instalment.

    1. Hello Stuart and partner!

      Good to hear from you, congratulations on the sale and good luck with your new ‘project’! And, indeed, the 458 seems like such an attractive boat!

      There’s a local cleaning company here in Turku that specializes (among other things) in marine items. I planned to transport all the sofa parts to them today, to see what they will be able to do, but they were closed. I’ll get to it next week, hopefully, and it will be really interesting to see if they can get them 100% clean.

      This season we used a few blankets to protect the cushions, but a few more stains slipped by anyway ..

      Re the wheels: white is nice πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Mikael,
    Today I made first payment for my new Hanse 388. The boat will be delivered next year March/ April and the Solent in the UK will be her homebase. Like you we are also a sailing family with 3 children. I want thank you for your website information and blog because your FAQ’s on the options are very useful – as well with all the other technical updates and sailing stories ! Can’t wait to fly the Crossover sail !
    Thank you again and keep updating the website, love it.
    Kind regards, Pieter

    1. Wow and congratulations!!

      And thank you so much for your nice feedback about the blog/site. Warmly appreciated!

      I hope you enjoy the whole delivery process from start to finish. Inspire Marine is your dealer, I assume?

      If I can be of any help, let me know πŸ™‚

      Kind regards,

      1. Indeed Inspiration Marine, and a very good experience so far. When I have other questions I will send you a direct email.

    1. I think the bow thruster is very useful!

      With a high freeboard (and flattish bottom), the bow is quick to start traveling downwind, so for me/us the bow thruster has been great.

      Also, having done a lot of single-handed harbor maneuvers, it has been very useful for positioning the boat getting in, and keeping it off the dock/pontoon when getting out πŸ™‚

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