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Old 17-05-2008, 22:34   #1
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Hanse 43 - Thoughts?

Hi all, I've asked about several other yachts, but I forgot to ask if anyone has had any real world experience with the Hanse line of Yachts. They do look great and I am hoping to see some at the boat show.

Let me know what you all think.. Thanks..
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Old 18-05-2008, 06:06   #2
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You might want to read this before you run out and by one.
Marine Casualty Investigation Board
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Old 18-05-2008, 13:25   #3
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So as I don't have to download a large file that I most likely can't open on my ancient system, can you give a brief description of the findings.
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Old 18-05-2008, 13:39   #4
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Quite short and to the point actually. Here you go:

On the 26 May 2005 the yacht "Megawat" sank following failure of the rudderstock. The craft was sailing from Dublin to Scotland in 20/30 knots of wind when a loud bang was heard, the steering failed and the craft began to take on water. The liferaft was deployed to allow transfer to another yacht "Quite Correct" which was in the vicinity. The liferaft failed to inflate. The crew were successfully transferred using the inflatable tender belonging, to "Quite Correct". The yacht "Megawat" sank in approximately 40 minutes.

The total file is huge however. For those of you who wanted to read it, I am sorry I spoiled the ending...

Alot of detail but nothing conclusive or truly damning about the manufacturer. Interesting reading. Especialy about the anti-fouling paint not being compatible.

The installation of the auto-helm also may have played a part in weakening the rudder stock.

They were surfing down a wave at an estimated 11 knots when failure occurred.
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Old 19-05-2008, 10:58   #5
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Below is an excerpt from the "Conclusions" section of the report, specifically addressing the failure of the rudder stock

----------------------------------------------
5.3 RUDDERSTOCK FAILURE
5.3.1 The chemical composition of the rudderstock material corresponded to the
specification stated.
5.3.2 The mechanical characteristics of yield point and tensile strength determined
are about 10% above the upper limits of the strength class F32, which means
the rudderstock had a reduced toughness leading to fast growth of any fissure
present.
5.3.3 The rudderstock was roughly machined.
A surface finish of 80mm is rougher than the surface finish achieved for sand
casting and flame cutting. As stated in the test report in Appendix 7.7 80mm is
"considered as very rough machine work".
5.3.4 The macroscopic findings indicate a fatigue fracture due to a V-notch (approx.
0.3mm) in the circumferential direction with unsymmetrical bending stress at
the notch.
It is unclear how the initial V notch defect was formed. There are two possible
scenarios.
5.3.5 The defect was caused during manufacturing which resulted in a rough surface
finish.
5.3.6 The retrofitted autopilot tiller arm was clamped to the rudderstock so the
lower edge of the retrofitted tiller arm caught the top of the taper or a
particle was present when the new tiller was clamped onto the rudderstock
causing the initiating V-Notch defect. The presence of an initial defect leads to rapid growth of a fatigue fracture.
Final failure will occur when the original diameter of the rudderstock is
sufficiently reduced to lead to failure. Aluminium does not have a fatigue
endurance limit unlike steel.
5.3.7 The surface finish detailed on the designers drawing, see Appendix 7.1, was
specified as "smooth" and the drawing specified no dimensional tolerances.
On a constructional drawing the surface finish and dimensional tolerances
should be specified in accordance with best engineering practice. "Smooth" is
not a recognised engineering specification.
5.3.8 The exposed part of the rudderstock between the underside of the hull and the
top of the rudder blade was corroded.
The antifouling (Awlgrip Gold) was incompatible with the aluminium
rudderstock. The manufacturers of Awlgrip have advised that Awlgrip Gold
should not be used on aluminium components as it is copper based and causes
corrosion if applied to aluminium. Hanse Yachts advised that this type of
corrosion has been found on other Hanse Yachts. Continued corrosion of the
rudderstock could eventually lead to failure.
5.3.9 The owners manual does not warn the owner about the use of copper based
antifouling.
---------------------------------
What I took away from the report was, if you are going to have an aluminium rudder post it has to be machined and installed to very very standards, which wasn't the case here. Aluminium rudder post can develop microscopic cracks that lead to "rapid growth of a fatigue failure". How do you find these microscopic cracks, on an installed rudder post? I think one would be better off using a material that doesn't require absolute perfection to avoid catastrophic failure.
It also appears that some things have fallen out of favour, rudder tubes that finish above the waterline and water tight bulkheads, both of which would have prevented the boat from sinking.
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Old 19-05-2008, 13:23   #6
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Maybe talk to Swagman. He posts here on occasion and sailed his Hanse 46 from Europe to the Caribbean in the last ARC. I think he also won his class sailing across in 16 days.
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Old 20-05-2008, 02:27   #7
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WOW, nice read. I really hope that it was a one off that may occur on any yacht regardless of maker. Well, I guess everything does look great on paper and on those highly glossed brochures!! thanks again for everyone's input!
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Old 20-05-2008, 03:40   #8
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Strangely enough I spend Sunday following a fleet with a camera. They certainly sail nicely. Also knowing one or 2 of the skippers, who shall we say might not be very experienced, they seemed to be easy to sail well at the same time. That can often indicate an good yacht. Nice lookers.

One of the 37's smoked the fleet and some of the 2 divisions in front of theirs which included some big and fast boats. Mind you the skipper/owner is a top line pro. So if you know how they can be bloody quick as well.

Build wise I doubt anyone would make a purchasing decision based on only one boat out of many 1000's. That failure isn't that hugely uncommon or at least rudder stock and environs amongst many types of boats. Sure things can and should be done to minimise risk but then many 1000's to one seems to be saying maybe it's not that bigger issue. I'd go for minimise myself.

Hanse's? I'd have to say I do like them so far and I'm not a massive production boat fan sort of bloke. I'm taking one away in 2 weeks. I'll get back to you with what I think.
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Old 20-05-2008, 04:34   #9
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I followed the saga of a fellow who took delivery of a new Hanse a couple years ago. Roller fuller nightmares, went forward ( in bad weather) to lower headsail and on the way back to the cockpit a stantion came off in his hand! Inspection showed that the nuts on about 50% of them had never been installed! Most of the ports leaked and HE had to have them rebedded. The frig compressor was installed DIRECTLY under the frig and the heat made it impossible to keep food stuffs cold.

This is just SOME of the stuff. These boats are made in EAST germany...so much for quality.

He had little support from the dealer or the factory until he threatened them with a negative PR campaign.

I don't think I'd want one.
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Old 20-05-2008, 05:54   #10
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Hmmmm, very interesting stuff!! thanks again for the input and updates.. Cheers
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Old 20-05-2008, 06:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efraim View Post
You might want to read this before you run out and by one.
Marine Casualty Investigation Board

Yes, and the rest of that account was that the guy went out and bought another Hanse!
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Old 20-05-2008, 14:30   #12
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Ah...Yes...Boat type religious discussions.

I have a 2004 Hanse 371. The sinking of Megawatt was finally concluded to be because of the owner installed autohelm. It was a poor job and he added a second clamp on the rudderpost for the autohelm intead of using the same one that the rod steering uses. Where it clamped the rudder post it was not installed true and eventually weakened the rudder post. Megawatt crossed the Atlantic twice, was raced hard by her Irish silamaker owner and sailed in the Arc twice. She had many thousands of racing miles on it before the incident. Also, her owner went out and bought another one. Hanse rudders and rudder post are manufactured for them by a Danish company called Jefa. Here is their website (Jefa rudder and steering systems). Hey - Beneteaus have fiberglass rudder stocks!

As to build quality I doubt if many of the people posting have been on a Hanse. The fiberglass build quality and strength of the boat are quite amazing. Walking down the sidedecks the boat has that "city sidewalk" solid feel. Much stronger than my previous 3 C&C's. They do not use a drop in glued liner like Beneteau and Jeanneau - they have massive stringers glassed to the hull. Looking at the tops of the bulkheads you will see that each of them is also massivley glassed to the deck (not just glued with Plexus like many other boats). My fuel tank and holding tank are beautiful stainless steel crafted tanks not plastic tanks strapped in to a pocket in the hull liner like Beneteaus and Jeanneaus.

Yes, the plant is located in what was East Germany and their first products in the early 90's had some quirks. Micheal Schmidt is a West German and he moved his "one off" boat plant to Eastern Germany to take advantage of the labor subsidies available from the German government. Since they added Carl Dehler to the plant and have gone through a generation of workers the quality is on a par with any other boat. Lots of new and relatively new boats have problems - many of which are due to poor dealer commissioning.

Finally the sailing quality is head and shoulders above many other boats and Hanses have been winning quite a few races. It seems hard for a new European brand to get traction in North America however I suggest you watch this company. Hanse's purchase of Moody Yachts and Fjord Power boats are an indication of where Michael Schmidt is taking them.
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Old 21-05-2008, 00:20   #13
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Isn't the full story always so much different from 'a report said'.

I'd agree with you Sailorcanuck, from what I've seen, which is some but not masses, the build quality is better than most production boats.

I do a lot with the local importers, the Hanse one needs to do very little pre-launch tidying. Often less than a day and much of that is fitting the anchoring gear and a few bits that don't get sent with the boats coming down here.

The local Benny guy can spend 2 weeks trying to get one of those respectable before floating. One brand new 32fter with the entire port side decks delaminating after 2 weeks, that's bad, real bad.

And the Hanses will blitz a Benny on the race track. Sailed well they are fast.
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Old 20-06-2008, 22:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efraim View Post
Below is an excerpt from the "Conclusions" section of the report, specifically addressing the failure of the rudder stock

----------------------------------------------
5.3 RUDDERSTOCK FAILURE
5.3.1 The chemical composition of the rudderstock material corresponded to the
specification stated.
5.3.2 The mechanical characteristics of yield point and tensile strength determined
are about 10% above the upper limits of the strength class F32, which means
the rudderstock had a reduced toughness leading to fast growth of any fissure
present.
5.3.3 The rudderstock was roughly machined.
A surface finish of 80mm is rougher than the surface finish achieved for sand
casting and flame cutting. As stated in the test report in Appendix 7.7 80mm is
"considered as very rough machine work".
5.3.4 The macroscopic findings indicate a fatigue fracture due to a V-notch (approx.
0.3mm) in the circumferential direction with unsymmetrical bending stress at
the notch.
It is unclear how the initial V notch defect was formed. There are two possible
scenarios.
5.3.5 The defect was caused during manufacturing which resulted in a rough surface
finish.
5.3.6 The retrofitted autopilot tiller arm was clamped to the rudderstock so the
lower edge of the retrofitted tiller arm caught the top of the taper or a
particle was present when the new tiller was clamped onto the rudderstock
causing the initiating V-Notch defect. The presence of an initial defect leads to rapid growth of a fatigue fracture.
Final failure will occur when the original diameter of the rudderstock is
sufficiently reduced to lead to failure. Aluminium does not have a fatigue
endurance limit unlike steel.
5.3.7 The surface finish detailed on the designers drawing, see Appendix 7.1, was
specified as "smooth" and the drawing specified no dimensional tolerances.
On a constructional drawing the surface finish and dimensional tolerances
should be specified in accordance with best engineering practice. "Smooth" is
not a recognised engineering specification.
5.3.8 The exposed part of the rudderstock between the underside of the hull and the
top of the rudder blade was corroded.
The antifouling (Awlgrip Gold) was incompatible with the aluminium
rudderstock. The manufacturers of Awlgrip have advised that Awlgrip Gold
should not be used on aluminium components as it is copper based and causes
corrosion if applied to aluminium. Hanse Yachts advised that this type of
corrosion has been found on other Hanse Yachts. Continued corrosion of the
rudderstock could eventually lead to failure.
5.3.9 The owners manual does not warn the owner about the use of copper based
antifouling.
---------------------------------
What I took away from the report was, if you are going to have an aluminium rudder post it has to be machined and installed to very very standards, which wasn't the case here. Aluminium rudder post can develop microscopic cracks that lead to "rapid growth of a fatigue failure". How do you find these microscopic cracks, on an installed rudder post? I think one would be better off using a material that doesn't require absolute perfection to avoid catastrophic failure.
It also appears that some things have fallen out of favour, rudder tubes that finish above the waterline and water tight bulkheads, both of which would have prevented the boat from sinking.
And now "the rest of the story"

The cause of breakage of the rudder stock was caused by the owner drilling a hole through the rudder stock and inserting a SS bolt to attach an autopilot. A proper installation is a clamp on till arm. The SS bolt is suspected to have worn through use (I understand this boat had a lot of racing and delivery miles} Anytime you insert a SS bolt through an aluminum rudder stock and then work it back in forth you are going to have problems. It is my understanding that the rudder system on the 371 Hanse was supply by Jefa. This company supplies rudder systems and bearings for a lot of the big "sleds" that are raced, mostly downhill, on the West Coast of the US. Jefa is used to to the reiilability in handling the large loads.
I had also heard that the owner replaced his 371 with another one.
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Old 21-06-2008, 00:44   #15
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I've just been doing some sailing on a Hanse 37. I liked it.

Good build quality, nice finishing, good lay out, motored well (had the optional 40hp motor). Not the ideal racing layout in the cockpit but still easy to use. All controls worked perfectly fine. Good feel through the helm and no big loading issues.

Sailing wise she was quick and easy to get quick. We did a couple of races and cleaned up all the Benny, supposed, race model 40's. Elan 43 left in the wake.

Finished one race, motored back into the marina. 2 crew got off, wife and 2 kids got on with a bag of food and within an hour of finishing a race we buggered off for a week cruising.

The only grizzle I'd have is that there is a serious lack of drinks holders in the cockpit, Oh.... and it's not mine.

And that's from someone who doesn't really like 'production' yachts.
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