In Brief

Hans Christian 33 Traditional Designed by Harwood Ives and introduced in 1980, the Hans Christian 33 is the smallest in the family of sturdy double-enders offered by Hans Christian Yachts. Like all boats from the Hans Christian line of that era, the HC33 is a heavy displacement double-ender, solid and seaworthy. She oozes the traditional feel with extensive use of teak inside and out.

At first glance you’ll notice the springy sheerline, large bowsprit and a cutter rig that’s become a favorite among blue water aficionados. Overhangs are quite moderate making for a long LWL for her size and a good hull speed. Below the waterline is a full keel with an aggressively shaped forefoot cutaway and a large rudder that’s hung at the very aft extremity of the boat. Compared to previous Hans Christian boats, the turn of the bilge has been tightened up and the HC33 carries more shoulder in the underwater sections which has resulted in more form stability (righting effort).

She was one of the more innovative boats at her introduction with an internal layout that utilized every nook and cranny that even today has yet to be surpassed. Ives, having designed the previous 38T, 38MkII and 43 moved the interior furniture outwards closer to the hull. The galley was located below the deck and molded fiberglass tankage (both water and fuel) was located in the keel cavity for stability.

What separates the HC33 from the larger boats in the Hans Christian line is her exceptional ease of handling, we’ve heard of a 90 year old skipper who sailed from San Francisco to Turkey with only one crew in tow. Given this and the massive amounts of cruising gear the HC33 can swallow, as much as the HC38 and even the HC41, it’s believable to hear of older owners offering straight swaps of their larger Hans Christian model for the HC33.

Under sail, she’s seakindly without the tendency to bounce or bob over waves and owners report hoving-to in relatively high comfort when the going gets rough. Fully laden at over 25,000 lbs in typical cruising trim there can be no expectation for fast passages yet the HC33 can perform well, you can expect easy 125 mile days in the trades and we’ve heard of a 7 knot overall average from Mexico to San Francisco via Haiwaii. On the lighter end of the wind spectrum, when Yachting Monthly took a factory fresh model for a boat test in flat water and 5 knots of true, they reported slipping along at 3 knots managing to tack through 95 degrees of angle and making 4.4 knots on a reach with 8 knots of wind.

History

The HC33 was commissioned by Hans Christian Yachts founder John Edwards around 1979 to replace the Hans Christian 34 and her unauthorized stretched sibling, the 36. Various disagreements over the two boats, not only with designer Bob Perry (who did not receive royalties for the bootleg 36 stretch) but also the Union boatyard that owned the molds meant a new 33 would be the easiest path out of strife for Edwards.

By then, Edwards had engaged a new designer, Harwood Ives, described as creative with an uncanny eye for lines, and shared Edwards’ love of traditional boats. Having designed the 38T, 38MkII, and the 43T in the direction set by Perry, the HC33 became Ives’ most technical design challenge to date, resulting in many clever innovations which helped set the course for many boats in what has been described as the “Golden Age” of Taiwanese boatbuilding. For Ives’ work on the Hans Christian boats, it’s interesting to note his payment was his own HC33 from the factory.

The first boats were built at Hansa Yachts Und Shifbau, a new yard located in Taiwan with state of the art facilities. The yard itself was built by former Hans Christian employee Herbert Guttler (a German engineer noted for his genius as a boatbuilder) and his Taiwanese wife, Susan. Hansa continued construction from 1980 through to 1987, the year Hans Christian Yachts ownership passed to its new owner Geoffrey White. Shin Fa Industries, a boatyard located in Taipei, Taiwan took over production in 1988 and these boats, although good, never match the exceptional quality attained by Hansa.

In 1990 Hans Christian operations shifted to Thailand in search of lower costs under the twin pressures of a recession and a Taiwanese luxury tax. In Thailand, Edwards set up a company with the lofty name of Dutch East Indes Trading Company (DEITC) to carry on Hans Christian production for its new owner. We believe one HC33 was constructed in 1992 before production properly recommenced in 1996 under Andersen Yachts Ltd, the boatyard that had essentially risen from the ashes of DEITC.

By 2003 when Andersen’s owner sought retirement, its production manager, a Kiwi by the name of Jack Hall migrated production to his new facilities in Pattaya operating under his own company, Pantawee Marine Ltd. Pantawee presently manufactures all boats from the current Hans Christian line and the Hans Christian 33 is available for purchase at the base price of $297k USD.

In all 155 boats have been produced with the last recorded build in 2009 which shipped to a European dealer.

Specifications

LOA: 41′ 0″ (including bowsprit)
LOD: 32″ 9″
LWL: 29′ 2″
Beam: 11′ 8″
Draft: 5′ 6″
Displacement: 18,500 lbs.**
Ballast: 6800 lbs. (cast iron encapsulated)

Fuel: 80 US Gal.
Water: 90 US Gal.
Holding: 15 US Gal.

Designer: Harwood Ives
Builder: Hansa Yachts Und Shifbau / Shin Fa Industries / Andersen Yachts Ltd. / Pantawee Marine Ltd.
Year Introduced: 1980
Total Built: 155

Also Known As: Hansa 33, Hans Christian 33T

**Given that most owners report haul-out weights in excess of 25,000 lbs, it’s likely factory finished displacement was higher than specified.

Buyers Notes

HC33′s in general have been built well and have stood the test of time. Signs of osmotic blistering in some boats are common but none have been structural. The boats built by Hansa up to 1987 are of higher quality. One owner who has owned both for example has noted solid fiberglass decks in the earlier build and plywood coring, more susceptible to water damage, in the later. Additionally a change was made to through-bolted chainplates over the original monolithic joint embedded in epoxy. We believe the last Hansa built hull was HIN#131.

The HC33 has retained its popularity through the years and is readily sought after. Resale value remains high and in some ways the boat has verged on cult status.

Similar Boats

Hans Christian 36
Hans Christian 34

References and Further Reading

» Yachting Monthly, Jul 1988, a review of the Hans Christian 33
» BoatUS: Hans Christian 33 review by Jack Horner
» Hans Christian Owners Association, owner information and discussions

Credits

Thanks goes to Craig Beckwith for providing the extensive history of Hans Christian Yachts, its boats and its people. Craig Beckwith joined Hans Christian Yachts in 1979, was involved with overseeing construction in Taiwan, and served as VP of Sales.

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19 Responses to “Hans Christian 33 Traditional”

  1. Jon Neely says:

    Just wanted to let other boaters know that we have just bought a 1982 HC33 and are in process of refitting it to got to the south pacific in 2015. The more projects we do the more little things we have found out. You must know that nearly every one of these boats are different. From layout to building materials. From what I have been told is that all 1982 boats have cored decks (working with Sam from SV Pegasus) minus out boat. Our boats hull is dated December of 82 and is on the 83 roster. I am guessing that our boat was the transition from cored to solid glass decks of 83. I have also been on a 83 with cored decks as well so there is probably no correlation between cored or solid decks and it all had to do with what workers where working on which boat at that time. To stay updated with our rebuild and cruising the San Jauns in August with a offshore passage to San Francisco in September, got to svprism.com
    Plus any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Cheers,

    Jon

    • Michael Ruiz says:

      Jon,
      We met recently at Berkeley Marina.Would like to discuss further the HC33. 707-486-7498

    • Steve says:

      We’ve owned Hansa 33 # 123 since new in 1986, living aboard since then. I have put enough holes through this deck to know that there is no core, I have heard that the ones produced after the Hansa series are cored with plywood. I have had people before tell me that there is a core in Hansa produced 33s. Can you confirm without doubt your deck is cored, and if so, the material used? Thank you, Steve

  2. GRATIGNY says:

    hI ? I am looking for informations about Hans Christian 34 ?and differences between the modele 33 ? best regards

    • Steve says:

      Hans Christian 33 and 34… they are really completely different boats, besides being double enders of near the same LOD there is really nothing at all the same. Begin by looking at the interior layout and the hull shape.

  3. John Morch says:

    My neighbor who has no email has a HC331981…..the rudder is stuck solidly about 10 degrees off midship.any suggestions as to cause and fix

    • Steve says:

      On our Hansa 33 #123 the thrust bearing below the “quadrant” was inferior materials and had started to rust to the point of seizing. These are standard industrial bearing and can be obtained for a reasonable fee in all stainless. This may be the cause of the stuck rudder.

  4. Thomas Chappell says:

    A fantastic, and informative article… I was just wondering if Hans Christian ever released a deck layout of this magnificent cruiser, I have been searching the web for one but have yet to find one. If you know of one could you point me in the direction of it?

  5. Rich Messier says:

    The 1992 33T is the TOAD. I am the 2nd owner and have had her for the last 5 years. She is presently in Norfolk, VA awaiting our trip back to her hailing port, Honolulu.

  6. SailFarLiveFree says:

    The HC33t is an amazing about, particularly considering her sea keeping capabilities and accomadations in this size range. How many other bluewater capable 33′ boats have a two private sleeping quarters, a dedicated stall shower, nav station and a canoe stern? None that I know of.

  7. r.m. granafei says:

    excellant article….i had #67,Passage, built for me in 84 and was fortunate enough to have herb and the hansa yard built Bravurs, a HC 48, in 1986..(with the unlimited help of craig beckwith)…she is the aft cockpit version of the 48 and after 24 years i can attest to the quality of the hansa built boats……see our website, salbravura.com, or better yet if you’re in the BVI come sailing with us. r.m. granafei, skipper s/y Bravura, HC 4810

    • Steve says:

      Hi Bob, I remember Bravurs from when we were at the Long Beach location aboard our 33 Warmrain. We are still living aboard her and currently cruising the pacific northwest. I remember you working with Craig to produce the grown up 33… Bravurs is an incredible yacht, I wonder if they built any others.

  8. Richard Bradshaw says:

    Good article. I think there should be a couple of corrections however, although they are quite minor. First, we have HIN #136. She is a 1987 model not a 1988 as the article would seem to indicate. Also, I know that HIN #162 is in Europe and I have heard of a 1992 build but have no idea as to the HIN.

    Even though our HC33T is not a Hansa built boat and we have had a few issues with things in the 4+ years we have owned her, if we were ever to change boats, we’d only get an older HC33T that came out of the Hansa yard. Currently, we are cruising in Mexico and in a few months plan to transit the Panama Canal going East enroute to Europe. Our crew is only my wife and I; a couple of 60-somethings with the usual aches and pains.

    • Will says:

      Thanks, I’ll update the article with your #136 as our best guess. Some hull numbers were skipped including HIN#1 and some others as well, most likely during boatyard changeovers. I have images kindly supplied by Craig Beckwith of HIN#169 under construction which I’ll put up soon. As for the 1992 build, do you have further info? I’ll see if anything comes up over this.

      • Steve says:

        I was living aboard our 1986 Hansa 33 #123 at the long beach Hans Christian sales office/marina when the first non-Hansa built 33 was brought from the San Pedro shipping dock to long beach. That was hull #132.

  9. An excellent article about an excellent boat. The history is quite accurate, although it should be noted that Scott Sprague also made significant contributions to the interior design. The overall feeling of interior space makes one think of a boat several feet longer, and, as stated, the ability to swallow cruising gear is prodigious.
    With regard to haulout weights vs. design displacement, my results are similar.
    Although not a light air speed demon, performance is entirely acceptable. My HC33 Mimoza took line honors in class in the 2010 Swiftsure Rosedale Rocks race.

    • Will says:

      Hi Brian, your comment prompted me to check Scott Sprague’s involvement with Mr Beckwith, thanks for raising the point.

      Sprague’s involvement with Hans Christian Yachts came in 1983/84 after the HC33 design had been set in motion (in 1980). The bulk of Sprague’s involvement with Hans Christian started with the 41 and 43 which were first delivered in 1984. He carries on to say, “Scott, like all other designers that John [Edwards] worked with, was asked for many opinions regarding various boats we were building. John really did not keep the details of his chats available to those of us who were selling the boats, but really, there were few changes in the 33 until Shin Fa took over the build.”

    • Steve says:

      While I am certain that Craig is the “go to source” for all things Hans Christian, I will point out that there were a number of interior refinements that occurred mid-series that are quite “accommodating”. I have met and worked with Scott Sprague and I have no reason to doubt it when he tells me he had significant input to the interior.

      While we are talking of designers and naval architects, let me lay to rest the rumor that Woody Ives is a myth and perpetrated to cover up that a Hans Christian “design team” drew her lines. I’ve spoken on the phone with Woody, he is a gentleman and a scholar (there are darn few of us left). He exists, and by the way, you can obtain from him copies of the original drawings for your 33.

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