Not a very useful response for Simon.
I went for the Hanse. I started with what i wanted the boat for, and what crew i was likely to have, added some likes and dislikes from our previous catalina
, drew up a short list, decided which features were most important and than contacted the dealers of the top 3. Hanse dealer was the most responsive so pursued it and after several visits and a test sail (albeit on a 415) ended up with the Hanse.
The forepeak bed
is 2.18 metres long or 86 inches if you are in the US.
Our important things just so you know.
Fast cruiser with a high transom (cathie doesn't like open transom) that we can cruise
as a couple but spice up for club racing
. So mainsheet back to helm
very important. Small jib
rather than big genoa
important (so boat wont round up in gusts while wife or kids
struggle to manage sheets) important. On the other hand has to sail well with additional crew to handle optional genoa
and assymetric kites. Interior
and space was excellent - so we needed something close to being as good, particularly a large gally. And we wanted a boat that was seaworthy
enough for extended passage
making, because we intend to cruise
and port hop for extyended periods, so we needed plenty of storage
So fastish boat for short handed sailing, with additional sails
for club racing
, with lots of space and that is SAFE.
Hanse is geman and even though some argue that it is not as good as the earlier steel
fram ones, it still has a massive subframe strengtheining the boat. To me its more VW than citroen if you understand the references
Short list was elan, dufour
and Hanse, Nothing wrong with the jenneau, looked ok but wanted controls back at the helm
without traveller in cockpit
, and that option wasn't available when we looked.
Im sure you will find plenty of J owners who will support that brand too, so its down to your wish list. Ask anything you want, i have spent the last 5 months researching and buying
our 385, which will be ready in July.