1993 Michael Schmidt christening the first Hanse 291
Now it was time to take the chance: the shipyard together with the Swedish boat builder Bent Elgaard was ready to take-off. After four weeks of taking up the work in Greifswald, the HANSE 291 was exhibited at the “hanseboot” as a best buy offer of only 44.444 Deutsche Mark. There was symbolically a big hammer hanging above the yacht so that obviously there was something special going on at this exhibition booth. The HANSE 291 offered all the basics of a sailing boat: good sailing features, auxiliary engine, bunks, pantry, and pump toilet. Being so well equipped for the price, the boat gripped the hearts of sailors and Michael Schmidt drew up thirty contracts at the show. From then on the motto was “Evolution instead of Revolution”. The HANSE 291 was developing from the experience of its owners and the shipyard evolving into the HANSE 292 and 301.
Despite good ideas the source of evolution at HanseYachts is its location.. Boats have been built in Greifswald since 1361: In the beginning, they built Hanse cogs because the city was member of the hanseatic trade association. The boat builders were smart and built boats with the proper respect for the sea which held, and will always hold danger. Beyond all political and economical changes which have taken place in this part of the country, this very tradition is incorporated into all of the HANSE yachts. The HANSE shipyard has emerged from a former boat and repair yard which had its roots in the Buchholz yard, the last big yard for wooden boats in Greifswald.
The sources of the success of HANSE yachts which include ultra-modern developments originating in Wedel at the Elbe. Going back to the year of 1981: Times were changing and Michael Schmidt had to make a major investment into the insolvent Schwarz shipyard. Motor yachts had been built there. Sailing yachts were to be the future of this yard. Rolf Vrolijk, the designer of the America`s Cup winner “Alinghi” and now one of today’s most successful yacht designers in the world, was still at the beginning of his career. He, as well as Wilfried Reiners were assigned to design and build a boat in Wedel for the Admiral`s Cup which was sponsored by the Düsseldorf exhibition. This project determined the future.
The Admiral`s Cup was no ordinary race – it was the unofficial world championship of offshore yachts. Back then, the yard in Wedel built the “Düsselboot” G2929 as the most modern yacht of its time. This epoxy-construction boat sailed with a 7/8 – rig; it was fast and light: a breakthrough for the racing world of offshore yachts.
Buchholzsche Werft 1991
Eight men - one dream: Rolf Vrolijk, Erik von Krause, Peter Neumann, Willi Reiners, Friedrich Judel, Michael Schmidt, oben rechts Rudi Magg