Hanse 545 Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Zuzana Prochazka   

The new Hanse 545 benefits from the unique focus on speed by its designer, Rolf Vrolijk, the mind behind the lines of America’s Cup winner, Alinghi.  The Germans know how to do it right.  Just look at the aggressive appearance of some BMWs and imagine all that seriousness and perceived speed translated to a boat, and what you might see is the new Hanse 545, a no-nonsense, muscle-bound speedster out of Greifswald, Germany.

Significant in size in every way, the Hanse displaces 41,226 pounds, sports a massive double spreader, fractional rig, and is balanced by a bulb keel with a nine foot draft – a six foot version is optional. 

The self-tacking jib is really a life-saver when sailing the 545 short-handed.  You can tack all day with minimal effort and since all the lines are led aft to the helms, theoretically, you can single hand as well.  There are no winches on the coach roof.  Instead, there are two sets aft – a set for sheets, and a set for halyward and reefing controls, with two sets of stoppers all within reach of the skipper.  A flip-up, 45 degree foot rest at the helms is a nice touch and a must when sailing heeled over for any length of time.

Large sheet bags are conveniently placed ahead of the wheel pedestals so control lines stay out of the social area of the cockpit where there are two long settees and a folding table topped by handholds.  The end of the table holds the compass and the chartplotter so again, everything is neat and tidy and very German in its efficiency.

The deck is completely void of clutter with flush hatches and a low, stylish coach roof.  There are very few things that interrupt the flow of the lines from stem to stern.  From the opening anchor locker on the bow, wide decks run aft to a large social cockpit free of lines, and on to twin helms.  An opening transom forms the swim platform that opens onto a very large garage to accommodate a twelve foot dinghy. 

The sleek, practical design continues below deck where clean, minimalist lines and very functional spaces and furniture complete a chic and contemporary living space.  The saloon is five steps down from the cockpit but doesn’t feel like a cave, thanks primarily to four vertical, almost super-yacht like hull windows that let in light and provide an exciting view of the water rushing by when under way.  On port is an L-shaped settee with a large table and on starboard a straight settee which can make a good sea berth. 
The L-shaped galley is on starboard and provides large working surfaces so the chef and a prep-cook can work simultaneously.  A microwave and a built-in coffee maker are tools of the trade and each space is well designed with efficient access.  Opposite the galley is a head with a stall shower that could serve as wet locker.  Just ahead is a forward-facing nav station with lots of room for the installation of various electronics.

The standard configuration is a three-cabin layout that has the master forward, with a centerline island berth, and two guest cabins aft.  The master has tremendous storage and another well-sized head with shower. However, there are numerous layouts available including 2 or 4 cabins and even crew quarters where there is normally a sail locker in the bow.  Owners can specify two cabins forward or aft, the master forward or aft, and even a master forward with the head in the bow and a Pullman double berth to port. 
Storage throughout is excellent, the berths are long and the coach roof provides good headroom over 6’ 4”.  The finish, in beech or cherry, is elegant, angular, clean and very practical with no line or space wasted.


The options list is long and varied with goodies available above or below deck.  A 6 kW genset and air conditioning will ensure comfort at anchor as will interior blinds, a flatscreen TV, stereo, extra batteries and that always-important coffee maker.

On the outside, add-ons include in-mast furling, a hydraulic assist with remote for the garage door, pushpit seats, teak decking, an anchoring package, bow thruster, three-bladed folding prop and a cockpit shower.  Electronics of course, are always optional as are carbon steering wheels.

With all that sail area and an especially tall rig, the Hanse 545 picks up and goes even in light air, powering up quickly.  But she’ll do well in 20 knots too.  In calm water, the 545 will point to 30 degrees but in order to hold speed, it would be best to crack off to 45 degrees when heading into lumpy seas.  At18- 20 knots of true breeze on the beam, the boat will shoot to 11 knots and still hold over 9 knots when close hauled in a small chop.

Under power, the Volvo 72 HP diesel with Saildrive will push her at 8 knots.  But with over 40,000 pounds, it might be wise to consider the upgrade to the 110 HP Yanmar, especially for pushing into bouncy seas.

With only 100 gallons of fuel, the 545 might be an offshore boat but it will be challenged when on bluewater passages.  A discussion with a dealer might yield some ideas on the possibility of adding tankage.

The Hanse 545’s styling is bold but at the same time, somewhat understated.  Even at the dock, Hanse yachts look fast and serious, and the 545 is no exception.  The flush decks and low coachroof give it a sense of speed and the enormous mast (86 feet above the water) hints at what she can do.  The 545 was the flagship of Hanse Yachts until this year when the 630 debuted in Dusseldorf - we'll check in with that one soon.

Specs for Hanse 545
Designer                Judel/Vrolijk & Co.
LOA                   53’ 3”   
LWL                47’ 11”   
Beam                16’ 1”   
Draft (shoal/deep)            9’ 2”/6’ 5”   
Sail Area (100%)            1,446 sq. ft.   
Displacement            41,226 lbs.   
Water               175 gallons
Fuel                   100 gallons
Mast Height                86’ 1”   
Sail Area                1,668 sq ft
SA/D                22.6
Engine                72HP or 110 HP w/ Saildrive