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Deutsch delight: The 495 continues Hanse's commitment to build fast and elegant family cruisers while offering even more automated systems than on previous yachts, reports Kevin Green.

As the German built 4,95 illustrates, production yachts are increasing in size but thanks to electric trimming, thrusters and manageable sail plans they continue their appeal to couples and short-handed sailors. The Hanse 495 epitomises this approach and is one of the best examples of it. Naval architects Judel/ Vrolijks minimalist styling continues on this latest fifty footer which also is available with the company's new Smart Mooring System- a joystick controlled swivelling saildrive.


The 495s elongated and uncluttered cockpit is easily entered thanks to drop-down transom door, allowing plenty of space between the twin wheels and table, which also serves as a binnacle for the Simrad plotter housed in a stylish stainless steel cabinet. Wide cockpit seating and similarly proportioned coamings reflect the ample beam of the 495. The helmsman is well taken care of with four substantial Lewmar54 winches shared between the two lightweight, composite wheels. The pair nearest the helms, electric on the review boat, quickly gather the mainsheet and adjust the self-tacking headsail.

Two sets of oversized jammers catch all the lines running aft, neatly hidden in Manse's trademark gutters. Also at hand are the Simrad 1S 30 readouts, at knee height near both helms, and on starboard the AP24 autopilot nestles just above the engine controls. The compass is relegated to below the table but within view of both helms.

Moving forward in the cockpit, a tunnel entrance with a drop down washboard leads down to the saloon.

The extensive cockpit is functional with good detail touches that include locker openings for rope tails, cup holder recesses and a sturdy fold-out table. Further storage is revealed when the pulley holding the transom is released to create a wide swim platform. Here, just inside the open transom are two halches for access to the Jeff a steering gear and quadrant. The large area has ample space for gear with only the smallish hatches limiting the entry of bulky items.

The review Hanse 495 bristles with extras which substantially raises the price from the $443,000 base with the inclusion of the Cruise Pack ($43,269). Comfort Pack ($11,029) and the Simrad Navigation Pack ($23,546) as fitted to the review boat. For this tidy sum you do get a lot of boat which includes electric winches, upgraded North Sails ACL sails and a capacious designer interior that even includes a coffee maker. In addition the review boat came with a bow and stern thrusters (rather than the Smart Mooring System) and teak decks ($25,156) to complete what is a highly-specified luxury yacht.


Three cabins, an ensuite forward and second head in the main saloon take care of accommodation with options that include either a bow or stern owner's cabin with twin shares in both if desired.

The contemporary, angular look and stylish lightwood beech finish in (he saloon should win this boat plenty of fans, and as Windcraft boss Peter Hrones reports, is increasingly attracting motor boaters who want the apartment lifestyle but with a mast and some strings to pull.

In the saloon Hanse has made some interest! ng changes but retains the angular design approach demonstrated in the earlier siblings of this Series Five. For the first time the German builder has opted for a longitudinal galley, and combined with an island bench, has created a functional portside cooking area. The double sink is surrounded by real Gorian work surfaces, and cupboard space is plentiful both above and below the benches. Neat slide-out stainless cabinetry, solid push button latches and use of gas struts reflect the high quality approach Hanse continues to improve on. However, I'd have preferred a four burner stove/ oven to the three fitted but there is little to grumble about with room for a dishwasher if you sacrifice a set of drawers. The Vitrifigo Ocean Drawer double drawer fridge with separate freezer is another quality touch on the 495 and blends in nicely with this stylish Birgit Schnaase designer interior. Hidden behind the fridge is the small pull-out coffee maker, which completes an excellent galley area. Across from it the L-shaped dinette should seat a full crew and guests comfortably. Good features here include the solid beech table that can be folded to create more space and a further option is to have it slide down to create a queen sized bunk.

Ad joining the dinette is a spacious navigation station which has a full sized chart table and ample bulkhead space for several electronic screens, with the review boat using a Simrad NSS8 multifunction plotter. The power board is neatly laid out with key information of battery status, tankage and electric breakers conveniently on display. Both AC and DC current is available with space for a 340V generator above the saildrive Volvo engine, which has a 115V alternator. Further charging for the dual 1 &&ah AGM house batteries is via a 16oowatt/7oamp Victron charger. Another essential on a boat of this calibre are good entertainment systems and the Hanse has plenty with '48inch flat screen television emerging from a cabinet on electric rails, quality Fusion digital player and waterproof housing for iPods.



Natural lighting throughout the 495 is plentiful thanks to Hanse's recent innovative rectangular hull windows. This is further enhanced by deck level opening hatches while Ocean Air blinds ensure privacy on the roof hatches.

The owner's suite forward continues the apartment theme with spacious island bed, plentiful headroom and a firm Visco softec memory foam mat tress. Locker space includes a large under bed drawer, wardrobe and bookshelves all around. The ensuite layout benefits from having a separate shower starboardside with head to port. Stylish touches in the ablutions include white ceramic bowls in both bathrooms, with one electric head in the main saloon and the ensuite, a manual one. The polished beech wood lends pleasant warmth to the area and even the compression post near the cabin door is similarly finished. Moving aft, noting strong longitudinal handholds on the saloon ceiling, brings us to the symmetrical stern double cabins. Floor space in them is perhaps on the meagre side, given we're on a < o footer but locker space is good and even includes a small vanity corner. Sleep shouldn't be a problem either thanks to the big mattresses and headroom also is adequate. Natural light seemed a bit limited however despite the four hatches, as these are all on the small side. Both stern cabins have access to the engine room while the saloon companionway easily lifts on gas struts to reveal the 72HP Volvo engine. The four cylinder saildrive sits below the cabin floor but additional access is available by removing the lower front section which may hide the impellor, I think. All other service components--oil, water and filters--are accessible from the front.



Hanse's signature self-tacking headsail comes as standard and the cabin top double ended mainsheet means that sail control can be done from either side of the cockpit; especially good for short-handed sailing-A simple slab reefed mainsail that folds down via lazy jacks completes a functional sail plan on the 495.

The Selden tapered rig on the review boat came with conventional slab reefed mainsail, FurlexTDzpo headsail furling and outboard wire shrouds. The twin backstays also had the optional hydraulic adjuster as well. Main sheeting is from the mid-boom to double Lewmar blocks on the cabin top then led aft to the electric Lewmar 54 beside the portside helm. With boats of this size, mainsail area becomes a challenge for short-handed sailing so in-mast furling is a Hanse option worth consideration. North Sails ACL carbon weave sails were preferred on the review boat because of their longevity and performance. The outboard shrouds ensure the 495 has clear side decks, aided by the genoa cars location on the coachroof where strong hand grips are the only protrusions. Flexing of the top panels here compromised the otherwise quality finish throughout the deck. Moving forward to the bow the vertical LewmarV2, windlass protrudes above the deck (in contrast to the Furlex TD400 which is underdeck) and is equipped with 10mm stainless chain attached to a 25kg Delta anchor. The single bow roller looks a bit inadequate on a cruising boat of this stature though. Behind the pulpit a low profile Lewmar hatch leads down into the sail locker cum crew area. This is a large space that could fit bunks and has a forward hatch through to the anchor well. Looking back down the decks, there is little to intrude thanks to pop-up cleats, smooth integrated GRP toe rail and laid teak.


The GRP hull is ultra modern with veiy little overhangs, equally modest topside Hare and snub nosed bow with volume carried aft. Underwater, the impressively large spade rudder is nearly as deep as the cast iron keel with T-bulb, while the hull shape has a fair degree of rocker. Hull construction is foam-cored with isophtalic gelcoat and vinylester laminate.


Beh ind the twin wheels of the Hanse 495 is a very pleasant place to be with unobstructed views forward thanks to the German builder's trademark low profile roof, though in blue/water cruise mode a sprayhood would ideally he fitted to protect the rather exposed cockpit. Comfortably seated out on the teak clad gunwale, with composite wheel in hand, the responsive Jeffa steering gear controlled the large spade rudder easily as we sped along in the light breeze. It didn't feel like 50 foot: of boat was between me and the horizontal telltales on the self-tacking jib, which slid from side to side without fuss, as I tacked my way seaward along the Pittwater shore. Hardening up on the varying breeze as it rounded Scotland Island I leaned forward to stab the Lewmar's electric button, then strolling to the ports ide did the same for the headsail. Easily done; and shows that Hanse really has got things pretty right in the ergonomics department for short-handed sailing. Also nicely placed were the large screens of the Simrad IS20 instruments which confirmed our speed of 6.8 knots in the cj.iknot breeze, perhaps slowed down slightly by the rather tight battens on the carbon weaved mainsail. However, as the stats confirm (SAD ratio showing a lightweight 20.81) the 495 should be a nimble performer in light airs. Also to hand are the jammers for all lines running aft, so a quick flip of the black plastic jammers eased the outhaul while another tweaked the Selden vang; all done while at the helm. Seating here has the option of flip-out teak footplates on either helm as well, which shelters you nicely under the bimini. Chasing the fickle westerly breeze kept me busy at the helm as wind shifts dictated constant tacking, bearing away and finally running as we rounded Scotland Island, which showed 4.2 knots on the Simrad as the breeze lightened to 6.3 knots. Agood time to hoist the asymmetric spinnaker which hangs off a ring on the bow roller, but alas we didn't have it ready.


With the end of the breeze we turned into the wind and released the Spectra main halyard which dropped the big sail neatly into the lazy jacks, while the headsail quickly wound in on the Furlex. With sails easily doused the Volvo was switched on, which hardly could be heard apart from the extractor fan, as I pushed the throttle-forward to unfold the three bladed propeller. This was an opportune moment to play with Hanse's bow and stern thrusters. The system on the review boat is fitted as two independent drop-down Manpower motors controlled by separate joys ticks. So, in effect, there are three separate propellers at your disposal. This seems overly complicated but proved effective in keeping the tall topsides of the 495 from blowing off the wind as I went astern, then did a figure of eight. Simply twist the forward joystick to starboard, then the stern one to port, while for more grunt the main engine can be used. However I'd recommend going for the much simpler Smart Mooring System which uses a single joystick. In forward mode the 495 was no slouch either as the Volvo sail drive propelled the 495 to a speedy 9 knots with revs at29ooRPM.

Undoubtedly the 495 realises the company's design brief of creating an elegant yet functional luxury yacht that should have wide appeal both to couples and families while also being most competitive for club racing. [pounds sterling]


The Hanse 495 combines elegance and function with a user-friendly sailplan and self-tacking headsail as standard. The apartment lifestyle is reflected in the longitudinal galley and a dinette designed to seat the whole crew.


Overall angular-design with large hull windows gives the 495 a stylish edge and a functional appeal. Both forward and aft owner's cabin layouts are available with plenty of storage and vanity space and teak decks are kept clear with all lines cleverly concealed in gutters.

DESIGNERS JudelNroJijk & Co
INTERIOR DESIGNERS Watervision & Schnasse
 Interior Design
LOA 15.40m(50'6"ft)
LWL 13.54 m
BEAM 4.75 m
DRAFT 2,38m(standard)
 1.98 m (shallow)
DISPLACEMENT 14,000kg (standard)
 14,450kg (option)
BALLAST 4,000kg (standaid),
 4,450 kg (option)
ENGINE Volvo 72 HP4cylsaildrive
FRESHWATER 650 litres
FUEL TANK 300 litres
MAST 22.10 m above waterline
TOTAL SAIL AREA 119m2 (main &self-tacker)
 /approx 1.281 sqft
 with self-tacker): 20.81
MAIN SAIL 67.5 m [much greater than]2
 / approx
 727 sq ft
SELF TACKING JIB approx 51.5 m2/approx 554 sq ft
PRICE $443,000 (base) $585,000 (review boat)
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Title Annotation:HANSE 495
Author:Green, Kevin
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Date:Feb 1, 2012
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