A commonly held view in the sailing community, I believe, is that brand new boats are riddled with kinks and problems. Therefore, better to buy them second-hand, a couple of years down the road, when the original owner has fixed everything that wasn’t properly done in the first place. I wanted to believe that our Hanse story would turn out differently, that we’d get an “almost perfect” boat from the start. Here’s where we’re at, at the moment.
1. Broken B&G Frame (solved ✅)
This was a minor cosmetic problem we noticed already in Greifswald. A small plastic part of the B&G Zeus3 chart plotter frame had broken off.
A few weeks later (when we were already in Finland) we got the replacement part, or actually Hanse sent us a completely new Zeus3. I took the frame from that package and replaced our broken one.
(And yes, they want either the new or the old Zeus back, so we won’t get to have a spare 😄)
2. Cabin Light USB Charger Broken (solved ✅)
All cabin lights have ports for USB charging (and that’s great!). However, one of the lights in the master cabin didn’t charge.
Hanse sent a new light, I replaced it, and it worked!
3. AIS/VHF Cable Loose (solved ✅)
When we set out from Greifswald, our AIS range seemed awfully short.
When I (later) opened the panel to the mast connections, I found that the VHF cable wasn’t properly tightened. Easy fix 🙃
4. Some Marks in the Teak (waiting for me 😴 )
We noticed a few white marks in the synthetic teak that we weren’t able to just wash away. Our dealer suggested using light abrasive paper, but I haven’t found the inspiration to do it, yet.
5. Saildrive Rubber Boot Came Off (solved ✅)
When we lifted the boat for the colour wrapping, we noticed that the saildrive rubber boot wasn’t attached to the boat any more. Our dealer paid our local yard to have it re-attached.
6. Pantry Lights Can’t Be Turned Off (solved ✅)
This was, by far, the most intriguing problem! During our maiden trip from Greifswald to Turku, we noticed that there was no way to turn the pantry lights off!
We were desperately trying to find the “hidden light switch” from all over the boat, but to no avail. They did go off when we turned all the lights off, at the main DC panel, but that was not how they were supposed to work.
After a ton of troubleshooting, and half a year after we noticed the problem, we finally got it all sorted out just a few days ago.
When they built the yacht, the had accidentally connected one wire too many in the aft cabin. Once I found that specific connection point, and unconnected the wire, everything started working as it was supposed to! Phew!
7. Wind Sensor Failure (pending installation 👩🏭)
Near the end of our first season, the B&G wind sensor (model 608) suddenly stopped working.
Hanse quickly sent us a replacement (the newer model WS310), but since we were on our last week before lifting the boat out of the water (and taking down the mast), we postponed the installation to next spring.
Having examined the failed sensor, I think one of the connector pins might have failed/broken off.
8. Wrong Antifouling (work in progress 👩🏭)
When we hauled out the boat for winter, we noticed a surreal amount of bottom growth. Turns out someone somewhere had specified the wrong bottom paint. Our dealer apologized for the mistake and we’re currently waiting for an offer to fix it. (And will obviously suggest to Hanse/dealer that they should pay for it 🙈)
I think that most of the problems we encountered were quite minor.
The antifouling situation is certainly annoying (and potentially expensive), but I think it was (a human error) not directly related to the boat being new, but something that could happen also when slightly older boats are painted.
From a safety standpoint, however, the poorly connected AIS/VHF cable was the only really serious one. During our maiden trip, the other ships didn’t see us as well as they should have. Also, had we tried to use the VHF, only the nearest ships would have heard us. Not good.
The fix, though, was so easy and elementary, that we should have checked it earlier, ourselves, and just fixed it sooner rather than later.
So, to sum it up:
Based on our experiences, I would certainly not discourage anyone from buying a brand new Hanse yacht. (But do make sure you find a good dealer, because that relationship is key to everything!)
On the whole, our boat— with a gazillion of perfectly working systems, sails, rigging, etc not mentioned in this article— has been quite wonderful, from the very day she was handed over to us.