The beautifully designed cruiser can go the distance for a couple or a crowd
Now let’s look at what German Frers does with a very similar design challenge. Sitting side by side at the dock the two boats would be nearly identical except for some subtle styling differences. LOA is the same. General configuration is the same. The Hylas offers one option that sets it apart, and we’ll get to that later. But it does not offer a centerboard.
The D/L of the Hylas is 177 and L/B is 3.27. The Hylas has a single rudder and offers a shoal-draft keel drawing 6 feet 6 inches and a deep-draft keel drawing 8 feet 2 inches. Frers carries the beam aft with slightly less taper than the Oyster, gaining some precious area on deck aft. The underwater profiles of both boats are almost identical. Again, no chines. Could this be the start of a new trend? But the additional volume aft offered by chines is not so important on a boat this big especially when the aft cabins are not jammed right up to the transom. I love manufacturer’s brochure content: “She has a lead-bulbed fin for side slip reduction.”
I have only one interior layout for the Hylas but as with the Oyster I am pretty sure the Taiwan Queen Long yard, builders of the Hylas, would do you a custom layout. This layout shows twin aft cabins. I’d bet they have a single stateroom aft layout as well. In this layout, the port side aft cabin has its own attached head and shower but the starboard aft stateroom does not. I find that a bit odd. “Knock, knock, knock. Do you mind if we use your head?” If you did mind, the occupants of the starboard stateroom would have to use the forward head. It’s a nice head and all but you’d run the risk of someone laughing at your PJs or lack of. You could have another head to starboard aft but you would sacrifice half of the galley to get it.
A large galley is tucked into the passageway to starboard. This main cabin has enough seating for eight diners with the addition of two chairs. Maybe the Oyster does too but it wasn’t indicated on the drawings. The nav station is to port, aft of the dinette. Forward of the mast there is a snug cabin to port with upper and lower berths and a hanging locker. To starboard is the head we were talking about. The forward stateroom is very nice and has its own access to the communal head. The foc’s’le is generous. Aft there is a big lazarette with room to stow the inflated dink. This layout was designed by an Italian firm Hot Lab Yacht and Design and its 3D rendering work is amazing.
The deck plan shows some original thinking and it sets this design apart from the Oyster. You can have a typical cockpit, much like the Oyster has, with cockpit bench seats forward and twin steering stations aft. This is great. We know this works. Or you can get adventurous and go for the optional layout with a small well forward and lots of wide open deck space between the well and the wheels. I like this. People like to sprawl on deck, maybe lay down, and with this much clear deck between the confines of the cockpit coaming you have lots of seating options.
The Hylas has an above-deck mainsheet winch on a console just forward of the twin wheels. Again there is no mainsheet traveler. Lines are run aft under covers and lead to the winches just forward of the wheels. The transom opens up to form a huge swim step with access to the lazarette. I like this cockpit. I wonder what they do with the extra volume this opens up below. I’d bet there’s another head aft.
The rig shows a foredeck traveler for a self-tending jib. Headsail size will be limited with two short lengths of jib track. But that’s fine. Nobody wants big overlapping sails anymore. The SA/D
The promotional material I read stressed that this is a cruising boat a couple can handle. Maybe by a couple they mean two skilled and very healthy young men. Yes, a husband and a wife could do it but it might put a strain on the marriage. Sailing the boat is one thing. Bringing the boat into a tight slip and asking your 60-year-old athletic wife to leap off holding the springline in her teeth is an other thing. We are looking at about 6 feet 6 inches of freeboard amidships. “Bend your knees dear!”
It’s been fun to compare these two great-looking cruising boats. Which one would you choose?
LOA 59’2”; LWL 54’9”; Beam 17’3”; Draft shoal 6’6”, Deep 8’2”; Displ. 65,256 lb.; Ballast deep keel 22,562 lb., shoal keel 24,971 lb.; Sail area 1,827 sq. ft.; Water 400 gal.; Fuel 370 gal.; Auxiliary 150 hp.; SA/D 18.03; L/B 3.27; D/L 177
777 S. Flagler Drive, Ste. 800 West Tower
West Palm Beach, FL 33401