BOAT REVIEW Hanse 315 Phantasea

October 2016 Yacht Reviews
Words by Rebecca Hayter Photos by Andre Ismael
MODEL Hanse 315
DESIGNER Judel-Vrolijk
LOA 9.62M
BEAM 3.35M
ENGINE Volvo 18hp diesel
Mast & Rigging Selden mast
Sail Area 47 SqM
  • Simple boat to sail
  • Strongly constructed
  • Twin wheels
  • Great swimboard
  • Comprehensive options list
  • Set up for short-handed sailing

The first Hanse 315 in New Zealand is the German boatbuilder’s invitation to newcomers to sailing to step onboard, take the helm and learn the delights of cruising without complications.

Wayne Ormandy describes himself as a novice in sailing but he seemed pretty relaxed when we met for a sail at
the Tasman Bay Cruising Club, Nelson. His new yacht Phantasea, the first Hanse 315 in New Zealand, is near the marina ramp, prime spot, and moored stern-to so that stepping aboard on the lowered transom is easy.
“It’s proving to be a nice easy boat to learn,” Wayne says. “There’s nothing complicated about it. For people who want to become proficient sailors, it’s ideal because it’s easy to handle but there’s enough performance there to practice with and improve your skills.”
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The Hanse range is built in Germany and designed by Judel/Vrolijk Design, a team which prides itself on creating boats based on simple, user-friendly systems. At 31ft, the 315 is the baby of the Hanse fleet and it’s easy to fall into the 30ft-is-tiny way of thinking, but Hanse has found ways to create a Tardis effect. Belowdecks encapsulates more volume than would seem possible within the hull and decks; Hanse has achieved it with generous flare in the topsides but without the look of extreme beam carried well aft that typifies some of the current European models.
The sense of space belowdecks is a function of excellent natural light from long windows either side, hatches in the top of the coachroof; generous, 1.9m headroom and Wayne’s selection of the open-option. This is unusual – there is no bulkhead and door between the saloon and the for’ard cabin so from the companionway the line of sight goes all the way to the bow. A structural ring frame provides strength in this area.
The open plan option was recommended by Dominic Lowe of Windcraft NZ which imports the Hanse range into New Zealand. As Dominic pointed out, Wayne will mostly be cruising one or two-handed so the privacy of a bulkhead is unnecessary. Other layout options include large or small vee berth in the foc’s’cle or a large single berth.
“I’m enjoying it and living onboard is very nice and comfortable,” says Wayne. “I’m not tall but headroom is perfect and it’s as warm as toast inside during winter. We’ve got lots of different systems in the window hatches – with blinds and insect screens, which work well.”
He researched five yachts among different brands and had demo sails on three, before committing to the Hanse 315. “There was nothing I asked for that Hanse or Windcraft didn’t do,” he says.
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Dominic says the Hanse 315’s interior volume is a big selling point. “The aft cabin is a good set up and the headroom means tall people can stand in the galley and not touch the ceiling. It’s a really neat layout, especially for young families.”
Wayne’s jaunty colours of bedding and cushions combine with the light colours and open plan to create a homey atmosphere below decks. Electric lighting is good, too, including over the galley sink and stove.
There is seating for about eight people for dinner on the settees amidships, either side of a drop-leaf table; the nav station to port has a half-size chart table and factory-mounted electronics.
Hanse has a comprehensive options list, including three electronics packages. These include the Navigation package with B&G chartplotter and transducers; the Navigation-Plus package of B&G chartplotter, VHF,
transducer and multi-function displays in the cockpit; or the Entertainment package with Fusion multifunction radio/stereo plus ipod/iphone docking station, Fusion wireless link and two indoor and two outdoor speakers.
This is a great idea: someone who actually knows what they’re doing has worked through the confusing choices of electronics and set up the boat accordingly, to the spec required. If I were buying a Hanse, I’d select
the Navigation-Plus and Entertainment packages and rest easy, because it would drive me crazy to spec all that for myself.
Wayne says that at his age, mid-60s, he’s allowed to treat himself and he ticked about 60% of the options list, including the cockpit squabs, Aakron 2.8m inflatable dinghy and 3hp Evinrude outboard.
Cooking is more my thing so let’s check out the galley. The bench height for the L-shaped galley to port seems high, presumably to take advantage of the flare in the topsides, but is standard for Hanse – I hope the kids can still help with the washing up. Galley stowage has a range of options for stowing food, condiments and utensils. There is one large sink, a toploading fridge and two-burner hob over a gas oven.
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Behind the galley is access to the large, aft cabin which commands about two-thirds of the boat’s beam beneath the cockpit; the enclosed bathroom is to port. Again, this seems quite spacious for the size of the boat; the shower rose is over the head which means a wet toilet seat unless you put the cover down to shower – but it also makes it really easy to clean the entire bathroom after a cruise: have the shower on hot water, maximum pressure and give all surfaces including the toilet a thorough hose down. Pump the shower drain and you’re done – that’s a trick I
learned while working on a charter yacht as Beckie the Deckie.
The Volvo 18hp engine is accessed by lifting the companionway, and from panels either side. As with all systems throughout the boat, the engine installation is neat and well-designed for easy monitoring and maintenance. Underway, the boat is quiet running and purred along at 7 knots. Volvo engine controls are recessed beside the starboard helm.
In décor, Hanse also offers plenty of options in flooring, furniture veneer, galley bench and upholstery – including colours in woven fabrics and faux leather. Choices continue on deck with seven colour options each for the hull and waterline, plus nine choices of synthetic teak and sealing colours, and options for dodger and cockpit upholstery.
General packages include options named Cruising, Comfort and Performance – these cover items such as remote control lighting, folding propeller, gennaker and Elvstrom performance trioptimal sails.
Which brings us topside, where the Hanse 315 continues to deliver on space. The plumb bow is quite blunt; ie, wedge-shaped when viewed from bow-on. This introduces more volume early and gives a solid structure for the spareman of the remote-controlled anchor. Ploughing into rough seas, this blunt bow may generate more spray over the deck but we didn’t have a chance to test that on our day.
With the plumb bow and straight transom, the Hanse 315 has gone for maximum waterline and, despite her generous interior volume, has a low profile coachroof. Aesthetically, it works nicely and the waterline stripes visually reduce the height of the topsides.
Dominic says that Hanse is one of only a few European brands with a category A rating production yacht in this size.
“The structural integrity of the yachts has been good for us with a bonded grid system, backing plates and keel bolts so all the structure that you can’t see is what a lot of people like about the Hanse range.”
Two features in the cockpit enhance the Hanse 315’s big-boat feel: the twin-wheel configuration and the drop-down transom.
I’m a fan of twin wheels – they give a choice of helm position on either tack and create an open access to the
transom. The earlier Hanses had one big, single wheel which was awkward to step past.
As for the manually-operated, drop-down transom – fantastic. It’s safe and closed in for sailing but makes swimming and boarding from the tender or a dock so much easier. Love it.
Cockpit seats either side of a drop-down table are comfortable for two each side, three at a cuddle. The port seat lifts to access locker beneath; there is no locker on the starboard side as the space is used for the aft cabin.
Phantasea is set up for short-handed sailing, which is likely on a31-footer, and an entry level yacht to the Hanse range. Most of the sail controls come back to the jammer banks beneath the dodger but the winches for controlling mainsheet and jib sheet are well aft, within reach of the helm.
The mainsheet system is a new one for me: Hanse has routed the mainsheet from the for’ard end of the boom to the foredeck, partway up the Seldon mast to about topping lift height, back down to the starboard sidedeck and aft to the winch. It involves more angles than usual but it seemed to run smoothly. Having said that, on our sea
trial day of gorgeous Nelson sunshine and only a breath of breeze, everything ran smoothly. Unlike the German system which usually controls the mainsheet from the coachroof, the Hanse 315 has a short traveller just for’ard of the twin helms. Dominic says this is popular with purists who like hands-on control of the mainsail.
As we’ve come to expect from Hanse, the jib is furling and selftacking. It’s trimmed beside the helm, port-side. “The self-tacking headsail has become a signature for Hanse. Right from its first yacht the self-tacking headsail has been integral to the overall design. The rig balances the smaller headsail with a large, powerful main for single-handed sailing without losing performance,” says Dominic.
This means a jib of only 17.5m2 so the mainsail is 29.5m2, making a total 47m2 working sail area on a mast of 14.35m above waterline. In the light breeze, we barely saw Phantasea’s sailing performance however for the numbers claimed by Hanse.

The best sign of a boat’s success is the smile on the owner’s face and Wayne seems totally comfortable at the helm. We would have loved to have had a decent breeze in which to sail Phantasea but had to settle for around five knots, max. However the set-up of cockpit and sail controls certainly bodes well for some idyllic cruising and casual racing, with an excellent dining options above and below deck for entertaining – and that swimboard is going to be
fantastic for getting in and out of the water, come summer.


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