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The history of HanseYachts AG

In 1287, our home city of Greifswald joined the Hanseatic League. Our name reflects this confederation of merchant guilds and market towns, which was set up to protect trade and seafaring. Shipping and shipbuilding have played a dominant role in this region ever since. Since the founding of HanseYachts AG in 1990 and the start of production in a shipyard that was constructed in 1911, we have done our bit to keep this tradition alive. HanseYachts AG, which now encompasses six brands, has since become one of the biggest manufacturers of seagoing, series-produced sailing and motor yachts and of luxury catamarans. Read on to discover more about the milestones in our company’s history:

Acquisition of catamaran-builder PRIVILÈGE

In June 2019, HanseYachts AG purchased the French catamaran-builder PRIVILÈGE from Aurelius AG. Acquiring the company, which is headquartered in Les Sables d’Olonne, has allowed HanseYachts AG to not only enter the fast-growing market segment for sailing and power catamarans, but also to increase capacity by more than EUR 30 million a year.

Acquisition of motor yacht manufacturer SEALINE

SEALINE became the second motor yacht brand to join the HanseYachts AG portfolio. Since its acquisition in 2013, SEALINE’s portfolio has been completely overhauled and currently comprises three different series with a total of nine models. SEALINE has doubled its revenue over the past three financial years.

HanseYachts AG bought by Aurelius

In 2011, Aurelius AG purchased a majority interest in HanseYachts AG and currently owns 76.77% of issued shares. The remaining 23.23% of shares are freely traded. Shortly after the acquisition, measures were introduced aimed at leading the company into a stable and profitable future over the long term.

Acquisition of sailing yacht brand DEHLER

In 2009, HanseYachts AG acquired DEHLER – the world market leader in the cruiser/racer segment. The brand has sold more than 25,000 sailing yachts since 1963 and enjoys a strong market position in its home market: 13% of all sailing yachts on seas, lakes and waterways in Germany bear the brand name DEHLER.

Completion of production facilities

In 2008, a new hall for the final assembly of premium yachts measuring over 55 feet in length was inaugurated at the Greifswald shipyard. This new building and the additional production capacity that it offers was HanseYachts AG’s response to the growing demand for ever-bigger sailing and motor yachts.

IPO of HanseYachts AG

On 9 March 2007, HanseYachts AG became the first yacht-builder in Germany to be listed on the stock exchange. Around 1.5 million of the 2.3 million shares put up for sale came from a capital increase. Another 500,000 shares originated from the ownership of the then majority shareholder and company founder. The issue was oversubscribed several times over.

Acquisition of sailing yacht brand MOODY

In 2007, the founding brand HANSE acquired MOODY, expanding its portfolio to include a range of deck saloon yachts and one aft cockpit yacht. The sailing yacht brand has a long history stretching back almost 200 years.

Acquisition of motor yacht manufacturer FJORD

In 2005, FJORD became the first motor yacht brand to join the HanseYachts AG portfolio. FJORD power boats enjoy cult status thanks to their performance and iconic design. The brand was founded more than 50 years ago.

Sales network expanded to the US and France

In 2005, the company established HanseYachts US LLC – its first overseas branch – to serve the important US market. In France, an importer based in Cannes was commissioned with selling HANSE sailing yachts. The business partnership is still going strong today.

The first series-produced HANSE yacht measuring over 50 feet

At the Genoa and Hamburg boat shows in 2003, HANSE’s first series-produced yacht measuring over 50 feet was unveiled: the HANSE 531 wowed visitors through not only its sheer size, but also the loft-style interior design from new designer Birgit Schnaase.

HANSE unveils its first in-house development

The HANSE 371, which was unveiled in 1999, became the company’s first new product of its own. It was designed by the world-famous yacht engineering and design firm judel/vrolijk & co and is such a big hit among sailors that our partnership with the Bremerhaven-based yacht designer is still going strong today. The modern, elegant yet functional design as well as the sleek lines and exceptionally pleasant atmosphere on board the HANSE 371 have become the hallmarks that characterise every single HANSE yacht to this day. In 1999, the HANSE 371 was crowned ‘European Yacht of the Year’.

Unveiling of the HANSE 291

In 1993, the company revolutionised the yacht market forever when it unveiled the first-ever series-produced yacht, the HANSE 291, at the Hamburg International Boat Show. It was the first yacht to be fitted as standard with a self-tacking jib and, priced at DM 44,444, became a best-seller not only in Germany and the rest of Europe, but also in North America, Australia and South-East Asia.

Founding of HanseYachts

HanseYachts was founded in 1990 as a brand-new, state-of-the-art shipyard. It drew upon the expertise of the old Greifswald boat and repair yard and, utilising both the extensive know-how and a tradition of shipbuilding craftsmanship stretching back many years, started to develop and build sailing yachts under the HANSE brand.

Boat- and ship-building enjoy a long tradition in Greifswald, flourishing in medieval times during the age of the Hanseatic League. In the 1980s, the last newly built zeesenboote were launched from the Greifswald boat and repair yard, which remained in business until 1990. In 1971, the ship repair business of VEB Boots- und Reparaturwerft was merged with Volkswerft Stralsund. The Greifswald shipyard specialised in repairs, supplies and the production of consumer goods.

In 1953, the old Buchholtz’sche Werft became VEB Boots- und Reparaturwerft.

In 1911, Richard Buchholz purchased the only Greifswald shipyard to have survived the end of the era of traditional sailing boats. He spent the next 40 years expanding the business. Parts of the shipyard can still be seen at the museum harbour in Greifswald. The Hanseatic League had its heyday between the years 1310 and 1363; Greifswald, too, started to prosper. It joined the Hanseatic League in 1278 and to this day remains a Hanseatic town dedicated to shipping and shipbuilding.

In the early 13th century, salt miners from Eldena Abbey formed a settlement that would soon become the city of Greifswald. The salt pans mined by the saltworkers can still be seen on the premises of the modern-day Hanse Yacht yard. Incidentally, it was from here that Caspar David Friedrich gazed upon the water that would inspire the series of pictures he painted in 1810 of ships in Greifswald harbour. To this day, his paintings remain a symbol of the importance of shipping and shipbuilding in Greifswald.