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Superyacht style on a production budget: the 630e flagship of Hanse yachts is a fine example of blending all the right elements--a fast, performance-orientated design from the pen of famous America's cup designers Judel / Vrolijk & Co, the latest technology in epoxy construction, world-class components, and of course that touch of European style and luxurious appointments.

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Hanse Yachts' 630e ('e' for epoxy) has not yet been seen sailing Australian waters. The local distributor Windcraft has had great success with the smaller yachts in the line, ranging from 32 to 54 feet, having sold more than 120 boats since they began importing the then unknown Hanse brand in 1999. While in Europe last year, Offshore Yachting hopped on board the Hanse 630e and found attention to detail and special features more in common with superyacht construction than what is typically seen on production yachts. This was indeed one very special 'pocket' production superyacht.

Yachtsmen today have the benefit of the latest thinking and technologies in yacht design. These combine meticulously in the Hanse 630e, the German manufacturer's largest production yacht to date. Offering excellent sailing performance for a yacht that is really more luxury cruiser than racer, the 630e is designed for ease of operation with as few on board as a cruising couple and must surely be the easiest sixty-three footer in the world to sail.

Featuring a length overall of exactly 19 metres (62.4 feet) and beam of 5.2 metres (17.1 feet) the yacht is extremely spacious on deck and below. For its size, it's incredibly easy to handle due to numerous means of simplifying sail handling and, as such, does not require a large crew. This provides great flexibility when either cruising or racing and simply means you get out sailing more often because you don't have to organise crew or phone around at the last minute trying to find extra hands should you wake up to a sunny morning with a fine breeze blowing.

As with all models in the Hanse Yachts fleet, the flagship 630e features a self-tacking jib, a feature that has become a signature of Hanse Yachts' appeal. The standard jib is 82 square metres, which, together with a 118-square-metre mainsail on a towering, triple-spreader, 26-metre mast, presents a total sail area of 214.6 square metres. For a sixty-three footer, particularly one featuring a self-tacker rather than overlapping headsail, this is more than adequate sail area to drive this 24-tonne yacht at boat speeds commendable for a luxury cruising yacht. When flying the optional gennaker downwind on a reach at 130 degrees, the polar diagrams promise boat speeds of up to 12 knots in 20 knots of breeze. In 10 knots at the same wind bearing, the yacht will still achieve nine knots. On a closer reach of 100 degrees to the true wind, the big 630 will nail one for one--10 knots boat speed from 10 knots of breeze--and for a large cruising yacht, that's great efficiency!

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Quite apart from the tall rig and generous sail plan, the Hanse 630e's admirable performance is due to other factors including the underwater profile and keel of the judel / vrolijk design, the epoxy construction which both reduces weight and increases tensile strength compared to more common glass construction, and the efficient waterline length of 17.1 metres from a 19-metre LOA. These factors combine to produce excellent sailing performance for a cruising yacht of its length and displacement.

Although the performance of the Hanse 630e is certainly not near the level expected of racing yachts of similar dimensions featuring carbon hulls, spars and sails with lightweight racing interiors, it does at least go a long way to dispelling the commonly held view that yachts with self-tacking jib systems cannot sail fast. The placement of the mast further aft than usual, the 'J' dimension measured from the bow, together with a recessed jib furler provide for a more than sufficient sail area on the headsail, while retaining the great benefit of a self-tacking jib arrangement.

Ease of sail handling is also assisted by the power jib furler and power winches. The fully battened mainsail is hoisted with a power winch from the comfort of the cockpit and when the day's sail is over, it simply drops into a large lazy-jack boom bag emblazoned with the Hanse livery.

Tacking the Hanse 630e is simple, with the jib a 'set and forget' affair. As you round up to go about, the self-tacking jib, mounted on its below-deck furler for maximum luff length, simply slides along the semi-circular track recessed into the teak of the forward deck, and before you know it you are sailing away on the opposite tack.

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Everything is controlled from the cockpit, with all lines running below deck to jammers, all within reach of the helmsman and the handy assistance from a power winch. There is also an hydraulic boom vang and running backstay with hydraulic adjuster. Hanse Yachts are factory fitted with the latest Simrad Glass Bridge series of instruments and the 630e features twin instrument pedestals ahead of each wheel with full wind, performance and navigation information at hand. So, it is fingertip sailing helmed from the twin carbon wheels aboard the 630e and it can all be achieved short-handed without being intimidating in the manner of many yachts of this size.

The Hanse 630e is of course beautifully appointed, both on deck and below. The cockpit is spacious with the extensive beam of the judel / vrolijk design carried considerably aft.

From the twin carbon helm wheels, you gaze forward over a massive expanse of teak, with all hatches mounted flush with the deck. The cockpit is entertainment friendly with a large teak deck and two folding tables opposite teak lounges either side. And forward there are plenty of cup holders and a collapsable bimini should the weather turn sour.

Below decks, the Hanse 630e is trimmed in either satin mahogany (standard) or a lighter hued cherry wood cabinetry. The designers have made great use of the available space and due to the wide beam and great depth, the saloon looks more like a luxury apartment than a yacht. The flooring is particularly attractive and original, with a clean design of large squares, also seen on the Hanse 470e and 540e models, beneath which hide Hanse Yacht's renowned massive keelbolts. The quality cabinetry allows for plenty of storage in generous lockers, drawers and beneath lounges hinged on gas-struts. Natural light and air is plentiful from hull windows and several overhead ports, so you don't have the cramped feeling of being below deck that you experience on most yachts.

The lounge arrangement in the saloon and the forward master cabin are both stunning in designer style and appointments. There are no less than four standard configurations in what Hanse call their Individual Cabin concept. The most typical layout consists of twin double guest cabins aft and a huge master owner's cabin forward of the mast bulkhead, although this area could easily accommodate many more in another configuration. Compared to the smaller yachts in the Hanse line, the 630e is produced in fewer numbers, so owners can specify a host of custom modifications to create the yacht of their dreams.

For further information contact Windcraft Australia on (02) 9979 1709 or visit www.hanseyachts.com
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 19.00m/62'4" LOA
 17.10m/56'1" LWL
 5.20m/17'1" BEAM
 2.95m/9'7" (standard keel) DRAFT
 2.2m-3.50m/7'2"-11'7" (with the
optional telescopic lifting keel)
 23.7 tonnes DISPLACEMENT
 8.9 tonnes BALLAST
 81 kw/110hp Yanmar diesel ENGINE
 800 l FRESH WATER
 600 l FUEL
 A (ocean) CE CERTFICATE
 214.60m2 TOTAL SAIL AREA
 118.20m2 MAIN SAIL
 81.91m2 SELF-TACKING JIB
 96.40m2 GENOA 105%
 286.00m2 GENNAKER
 judel/vrolijk & co DESIGN
 Hanse Yachts Design INTERIOR
 From AUS $1,795,000 PRICE
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Title Annotation:Hanse 630e
Author:Twibill, Anthony
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Article Type:Product/service evaluation
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:1263
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