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Hylas 66

2008 November 6

Luxury cruiserr

This Frers-designed cruiser features an interesting layout.

Hylas yachts are built at the Queen Long yard in Taiwan. I like that yard. Years ago on a cold morning I stopped by Queen Long for a visit and they gave me some strange, grayish drink to warm me up. I like the way Queen Long build their boats. They were one of the first Taiwan builders to adopt a more stark, Euro-style of joinerwork.

Hylas yachts are designed by the German Frers office in Buenos Aires. These are handsome boats with lots of freeboard and top hamper, but it's all carried off well by the careful interplay of lines and curves. You really can't judge the looks of this type of boat by comparing it to a low freeboard, aft-cockpit boat. Just the use of a center cockpit is going to force up the height of the cabintrunk so you can walk from one end of the boat to the other with headroom. Now add the vertical pressure of a raised saloon. Compound this by the need to raise the cockpit so you can see over the raised saloon. All this is driven by interior requirements.

The hull form is conventional with shortened ends and a moderately broad stern. The L/B is 3.69 indicating the 66 is on the slightly narrow side of medium, but as LOA increases L/B also typically increases. The D/L from the Hylas "preliminary, light" numbers is 173. Draft is 9 feet, 2 inches unless you want to spend an additional $31,000 to get a hydraulically raised centerboard that will give you a board-up draft of 6 feet, 10 inches.

At first glance you assume this is a raised-saloon type layout. But it's not. The saloon is down where it would be on a normal, non-raised saloon design. There is a "mezzanine" level to this layout just aft of the saloon. There is 6 feet, 2 and a half inches of headroom on this mezzanine level and 9 feet, 2 inches of headroom in the saloon.

The mezzanine level includes a generously sized forward-facing nav station with a worktop extending aft from the chart table. This worktop provides the headroom for the accommodations directly below the mezzanine level. On the port side there is a settee that is pulled inboard with a pilot berth outboard and up at the top of the seatback level. This pilot berth provides the headroom for the galley, which is on the saloon level. Are you still with me? Raising the mezzanine sole provides room below it for the engine, which can be accessed from the stateroom on the port side. It's not a walk-in engine room but it would certainly be an ample crouch-in engine room.

I like the galley. It's roomy and has plenty of counter space. Headroom in the galley is 6 feet, 3 inches. That means that, depending upon just how high I pile my Roy Orbison pompadour, my hair will hit the overhead. I'd rather stoop than have my hair rub. If you are shorter than 6 feet, 3 inches you'll be fine. I'm not criticizing as much as I am trying to point out the Chinese puzzle aspect of this type of layout.

Sleeping accommodations are aft in a stateroom with an almost centerline queen-sized berth and forward in two staterooms. There is also the smaller upper and lower berth stateroom adjacent to the galley. Each stateroom has its own head. The forward heads share a shower and the aft most forward head is accessed from the passageway. The saloon is very spacious and has a large dinette to port with chairs inboard. I think you will be quite comfy aboard this 66-footer.

I suspect Hylas will be as successful with this model as they have been with the rest of their line.