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I originally added this to a current posting but it was suggested I start a new thread. Thanks for all the comments and views I received, it has been really invaluable. We had started our plans based on a Beneteau 50 for our travels Med - Panama - Australia, but this site has made us re-examine our choice. We have started to look at the Hanse yachts, specifically the 470 and 531. Both seem much stronger and more suited to blue water. I particularly like the 470, would seem more manageable but still suited to our end use in the Whitsundays. Rather than adding more water capacity to either yacht how do other members rate watermakers, I am thinking of the Spectra 12V unit? I have turned against in-mast furling but looking for ball-bearing cars and lazy jacks they seem reliable and quick to manage. I saw a comment somewhere about "aluminium rudder" with regards the Hanse yachts, does anyone know anything I should be wary of? Does anyone have any comments about the use of the Parasail for long haul use? Also on the 470 there is a large glassed roof section, would you recommend fitting storm covers over this?

I have also looked at a 4yr old 531 used for charter which may be available at a good price. Any particular components that would require special examination? Thanks to all.

Graeme
 

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I don't have any experience with the Hanse, other than visiting them at yacht shows. However, Caliber makes blue water cruisers that are strong, comfortable cruisers. We moved from a 37' Pacific Seacraft to a 40' Caliber LRC (Long Range Cruiser), and are thrilled with is. Besides the 40', Caliber also makes a 47' center cockpit version. You can check out all specs on their website, caliberyacht.com



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While watermakers are fairly reliable, I would emphasize that you should have enough water in tanks and separate bottles to cover any passage you're making, without relying on the watermaker. If the watermaker dies or is damaged, you need to have enough water to make the longest passage you're on without it. The water from a watermaker is a luxury and should be seen as such.
 

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We had started our plans based on a Beneteau 50 for our travels Med - Panama - Australia, but this site has made us re-examine our choice. We have started to look at the Hanse yachts, specifically the 470 and 531. Both seem much stronger and more suited to blue water.Graeme
Here is an example of the typical feedback you'll get to such questions, neither better nor worse than most. I just had to throw it in :) :) :

In the region where it is produced, Hanse tends to rank lower on the scale, more in line with Bavaria where adaptation to long-distance cruising goes; the Beneteau is more popular. (I have met people who apologized for having "only" a Hanse, which I found quite amusing). Hanse is however very popular as a low-cost choice for regatta, and does well.

I do not offer that as my own opinion. Hanse has made an interesting marketing decision: they refuse to sell more than 5% of their boats to charter, in an effort to avoid the "production boat" image that for instance Beneteau suffers from. Whether that signifies a quality choice or pure marketing savvy is for you to decide.

On the other side of the coin, Hanse is credited with much innovation in its production and design, so it won't be at all surprising if we look back in a few years and say "Hanse, they are great boats for cruising!"

Take your pick :)
 
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