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Speed and performance

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Category: Hints and Tips
Forum Name: 385
Forum Description: 385 Hints, Tips and News
Printed Date: 20 February 2019 at 22:49
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Speed and performance
Posted By: Ist
Subject: Speed and performance
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 16:29
So, as we havenít seen all that much here wrt performance and speeds of Hanse 385s, we will share a few facts and impressions here, and encourage others to share also.

Some reviewers claim that the 385 was/is the best performing Hanse, and while thatís a bit subjective, they may be on to something.

Ours is a Ď14 model, and out-of-the-box, with dacron sails, self-tacker, Selden rig and a generous application of hempel classic anti-fouling.

Not seeing anywhere near the polar-chart speeds, we made a few adjustments this season:

(I) antifouling changed to VC17, slippery stuff, and more importantly,
(ii) Elvstroem epex sails, and replaced ST with a 105 blade jib.

Performance has been transformed.

Here are some shots and comments on performance.

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 16:33
As a benchmark, we are looking towards the polars produced by JV. These ones are for Jib/Main setup that, I would think, matches our boat. Polars are from 2011, and I am not sure whether the 385 design was later changed in ways that could impact those.

Generally, we sail faster than the polars indicate, and thatís in family cruising style, carrying full water, diesel, dinghy on the rooftop, and lots of stuff that fills up the kids aft cabins.

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 19:08
First out, mid-strength-wind, 7.3ms (14kn), broad reach, at 120 degrees true wind angle. More or less flat water.

She is clearly faster at 75-90 degrees true, but for some reasons we find ourselves often at 120 degrees true, this seasons, headed for our destinations.

Polars indicate a benchmark speed of 7.1kn at this wind strength and true angle, and as can be seen in the picture, we matched or exceeded that easily.

GPS shows 7.5kn speed over ground, and generally hovered a bit lower, but not by much, I.e 7.3/7.4. 

Speed through water was faster. The paddle-wheel spins at 8.3kn at this moment. I suspect that the log instrument may not be perfectly calibrated. Calibration tests may indicate abt 5 percent overrated speed reading from our log. As such, real speed through water may have been closer to abt 7.8. Faster then speed over ground (SOG), and well ahead of the polars chart estimate of 7.1kn.

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 19:09
Here is a picture of the main at that time. In hindsight, my novice eyes thinks it is trimmed too flat. I.e the curve is way forward, possibly to much mast bend, and too tight main haul? Also, the outhaul was very tight, and as you can see, the bottom third of the sail was nearly flat. 

Am I right that a slightly fuller/rounder sail would have given more power, and more speed? There was practically no healing at that time.

The epex sails are really wonderfully responsive to trim, and seems to change and hold their shape very precisely - a whole different world from the blown-out dacrons. 

And also, the (short) tracks for the jib are very effective in controlling the twist, while with the self tacker, adjustments were basically not practical or possible.

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 19:10
Light wind sailing, wind only 3.5ms/6.5kn. True wind angle at 91 degrees. The 385 is generally fast at these angles, yet somehow we couldnít match the polar chart speed here. 

Cruising at abt on the GPS. 

Boat speed, through water, probably higher given the currents in this area, but as you can see, the paddle wheel had stopped turning. Suspect some critters have taken up residence on the wheel...

Probably a sailtrim issue. We managed to exceed the polar chart estimates later in the day, but it took some tweaking of the lines to find the right groove.

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 02 July 2018 at 19:14
And finally, for now, light wind, at really low angles, close to 150 degrees true wind, only abt 2.9ms/5.8kn true wind speed. Very comfortable sailing, but a bit slow at these angles and wind.

GPS read 3.8ish kn SOG, which is quite a bit faster than the polars, that indicate 3.1ish kn at these speeds. 

There may have been currents affecting speed through water, but we couldnít measure them at the time. 

Jib and main at this time.

Main sail trim was very relaxed. Mast straight, outhaul very relaxed, mainhaul slightly eased. Quite round and full sail-shape with much twist at the top. (No picture from that time unfortunately)

We find that the Jib holds down to about 150ish degrees at these low winds, at which point, it doesnít catch much wind anymore.

Later, if we have the chance, will try to capture some moments of upwind performance, as well as in heavier winds. 

Stay tuned.

Posted By: sailkoop
Date Posted: 03 July 2018 at 06:53
Hi IST (it would be nice to have your real Name....)
specially in the last Post (Downwind) you see the result of Current in the SOG, because Downwind by that angle it's equal if you have Dacron or Epex. You can max. reach the Polardatas! I believe that your datas have all the time an influence of the current in your sailing Area.

best regards

Hanse 470e #165

Posted By: Ist
Date Posted: 03 July 2018 at 11:19
Thanks Bjorn,
Yes, I think you are right, in that area there would a general northern bound current, supporting our ride north, as well as the tide coming in at that particular time. Otherwise, exceeding polar chart speed by more than 20pct doesn't seem reasonable. Also, interesting point that the quality of the sails wouldn't make all that much difference on that deep downwind angle.

I am still a bit puzzled that we seem to exceed polar speeds at other angles, if only by 5-10pct, but still, the currents in those other situations above should have worked against us and not with us. And this is supported by the (inaccurate) log readings although it clearly needs calibration.

I guess there can be instrument problems on our boat, obviously with log/speed-through-water, possibly wind (but brand new B&G wind sensor?).

There could be issues with the polar themselves. Its predictive value is sensitive to the parameters put in. And I haven't found those details, i.e crew weight, gear weight assumptions used. Maybe our cruising weight is lighter? After all, this is sold as a cruising boat, not as an Americas Cup racer, were customers care more about the margins. 

Furthermore, the polars that were distributed as part of the original marketing package, from 2011, may not have covered some last-minute designs changes? For sure the 2011/2012 of H385 had Spacecraft rig, later switched to Selden. Does that impact performance?

Much to consider. Good guidance on the ORC VPP here:
and more technical here:

For now, I enjoy the feeling of what appears to be a faster than expected H385.


Posted By: Rubato
Date Posted: 03 July 2018 at 17:25
The JV polars will be for the smaller factory supplied ST jib so you should get better results with your 105%. 

Have you read any of the mast tuning guides? I found that once I followed those instructions the performance was much better  - don't assume your dealer knew what they were doing when they commissioned the boat, most of them don't.


Hanse 400e, #168

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