Technology and disposable income are changing sailing and making luxurious boats available to more people than ever. The Hanse 460 is a perfect example. Not many years ago, a 46-foot production model performance cruiser with electric winches, apartment-like accommodations, and a simple rig that a typical middle-aged couple could handle easily was a wish. Now it is a reality.
Hanse went to Berret-Racoupeau for this fast, modern design with its reverse bow, wide, stable underbody, and rounded chines. The hull form permits a low ballast ratio while producing a spacious vessel that likes to sail flat, qualities that both sailors and guests appreciate. And it’s fast in the moderate conditions where we choose to cruise.
On our test sail at Annapolis in 12 knots of breeze and smooth water, 7 knots was easy. Even better, the self-tacking jib and double-ended mainsheet encouraged me to make a sequence of short tacks to windward purely for the fun of it; just turn the wheel and go. The twin wheels controlled the single rudder precisely and with pleasant feedback. Sight lines over the low coachroof and seating positions at the helm and cockpit were nice, although I recommend the optional footrests at the helm for security.
Motoring was efficient and predictable, with a sharp turning circle, clear responses, and accurate close-quarters handling. The sound level at a 7-knot cruise was reasonable.
Hanse made a significant cockpit design decision to keep the sailing controls clustered aft but still put the sailors in proximity to guests. Many cruiser/racers spread out the working area winches, lines, stoppers, steering, and nav displays to be handled by distributed crewmembers, while most large yacht cockpits keep the working sailors back at the stern, away from the guests. The Hanse layout is especially suited to owner couples who need all the rig controls close at hand but still want to socialize.
Hanse has also provided wide side decks for easy passage fore and aft with handy grab points integrated into the hidden halyard tunnels. The headsail rig stores both jibs on rollers, while the bow pulpit provides an attachment point for a light downwind sail as well as a solid platform for handling the anchor.
Amenities abound in the cockpit. Line tail compartments keep the space clear, twin tables lower to form lounging or sleeping surfaces, two shallow trays beside the companionway provide safe places to put your cell phone or tablet, and there’s a USB charging outlet. The electric-powered stern platform opens to become a sizable space for swimming, boarding the dinghy, stepping onto a dock, or cooking on the outdoor grill. Clever retractable dinghy davits will hold the tender while you sail but stay completely out of the way when you launch the dink at anchor. These are little things, but they add up.
Poking about inside the hidden spaces inside lockers and under decks revealed neat construction and organized wiring and plumbing, with the systems labeled to make maintenance easier. The engine access is very good from the top and front and fairly good from the sides.
And then there’s the interior. Oh my, what a lot of choices you have. There are four sections to the boat, with four options for the forward cabin, three for the salon, four amidships, and one standard layout aft, although a few combinations are not possible. Multiply those possibilities by four different cabinetry woods and four cockpit soles, and then again by 15 upholstery types. The deck and hull have their own options. You get the picture.
Hanses are like snowflakes: they come from the same production line and share structural qualities, but no two are alike. Surrounding those variants are the constants, including large ports and hatches for plentiful light and ventilation, extensive lockers for storage, and substantial grabrails for safety.
A stylish linear galley with lots of countertop surface fills the starboard side forward of the small nav station. While the Hanse 460 is certainly capable of sailing offshore, it is optimized for comfortable coastal cruising, not hardcore ocean voyaging with a compact galley that surrounds the cook.
The final appeal of the Hanse 460 to American sailors is the price, thanks to a dollar that will buy more Euros than in years past. If you seek a modern, swift, easily sailed, moderately large vessel for family cruising, day trips, and entertaining, this boat should be on your list.
LOA 47’ 11’’ / Hull 45’ 6”
LWL 42’ 10’’
Beam 15’ 9”
Draft (deep/shoal) 7’5”/ 5’ 9”
Displacement 27,690 / 28,395 lbs
Ballast 7407 / 8113 lb
Sail Area 1141 sq ft (Actual)
Power 57 / 80hp diesel
Designer Berret – Racoupeau
Builder HanseYachts AG Hanseyachtsag.com
Base Price $455,900