Sunday, November 19, 2017


Hanse 548
It may seem odd, a Hanse is typically a main market cruising boat, the Solaris (above) it is more of a performance cruising boat but if we look at the two boats we will find similarities in what regards design intention: both boats assume the pretension of looking like a bigger yacht, a yacht with clean lines, a small cabin height over the deck allowing a huge unobstructed area that provides a great view forward from the steering wheel.

Many would think that the Hanse is a more practical cruising boat being the Solaris more of a looker and a fast sailer, less adapted to cruising but it is the Hanse that does not have a dodger not even a place to mount one while the Solaris has one that can fold and be hidden behind a teak cover.

It is true that the Hanse has a version with a large fixed cover (kind of a bimini) but I saw it only on drawings and the thing is so ugly that I doubt very much anybody is going to have it. It is a kind of anti-statement regarding the boat design intention.

Both boats have a dinghy garage and an interior with similar dimensions with several possible options, a very nice cruising interior with all the space and storage needed for cruising (depending on the selection of the interior layout).

Both boats have a good tankage being the standard one a bit bigger on the Hanse and a similar hull with the beam pulled back and not a very different one, 4.85 meter on Solaris, 5.05 on Hanse even if the Solaris has considerably finer entries. Both boats have similarly big sized engines with around 110hp.

The Solaris is much nicer due to a smaller freeboard, a much cleaner design and due to much smaller port hulls, that on the Hanse are really huge and have a very negative effect on the  way the boat looks.

The Solaris has a better stability due to a bigger B/D. Considering, among the different options, approximated drafts (2.70 for the Solaris and 2.80 for the Hanse) and similar torpedo keels, the Hanse has 30.5% and the Solaris 36.9%. note that the Hanse B/D for this type of hull is a good one, the Solaris one is a very good one.

The Solaris is much faster. It his lighter (17600kg to 19 000kg) and due to the superior stability can carry more sail area (176 m2 to 138). The Solaris has also a considerable bigger LWL (15.78 meter to 14.90). Due to better building techniques and materials (vacuum infused hull and cabin, airex sandwich, carbon reinforcements, structural bulkheads) the Solaris is stronger. The interior material and quality of finish are also clearly superior.

Not intending to say that the Hanse 548 is not well built, that it is slow (in fact it has a very decent 19.7 SA/D), that it has a bad stability, that the interior is not of good quality and nicely designed or even that the boat is ugly, with the exception of that incredibly shade that comes as an option.

Far from that, it is good looking, with a good stability and with a rigging that allows for easy sailing. What I mean is that the Solaris 55 is  just superior, sometimes a lot, in what regards all these points.

The only point in what the Hanse is clearly better is on the price and it is not just a small difference, the Hanse is announced with a basic price of 415 310 euro while the Solaris 55 is announced at 821 000 Euros. Even considering that the Hanse is really a 53fter and the Solaris is a 55fter and that the Solaris for the same price has more equipment the difference in price is huge. Even the Solaris 50 is more expensive than de Hanse 548 even if now the difference is not very substantial.

I guess that some that will dream of a Solaris 55 will end up buying an Hanse 548 and even if the differences are remarkable and not only in price, at least they will be comforted with what the press and the brand says about the Hanse: "luxurious...the crème de la crème"..."the new Hanse 548 ... is a demonstration of what luxury means"..."luxury living on 55 feet"..."the new Hanse 548 is every bit the mini superyacht designed for luxury"...European luxury"..."luxury yacht".

No I am not making up, all these qualifications were used as high lines not only by the brand but by many sellers and sailing magazines including American ones. In comparison the high lines used for describing the Solaris 55 are quite modest: "Solaris 55 has been designed to satisfy the most demanding customers requiring performance sailing even with reduced crew."..."breathtaking beauty sets the trends".

Funny that contrary to Hanse we don't find the word luxury used neither by the shipyard neither by boat magazines referring to the Solaris. Guess what this means regarding the target customers, the ones that will buy one or another. Not hard to figure that out 😊

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