Hylas Yachts builds ocean-capable cruisers highly sought after by globe-trotting sailors for their seakeeping and comfort. The Hylas H57 is designed by Dixon Yacht Design to uphold that legacy, yet evolve the concept with a host of features that make her easy to sail with automated technology and a layout with more open social spaces to enjoy.
A second H57 will arrive to the US this fall and will be available for showing and test sail in Riviera Beach, Florida. The world debut will be at the Miami Boat Show 2021.
“Tacking the new Hylas H57 through the typically breezy San Francisco Bay thoroughly impressed”, says Christian Pschorr, Hylas Yachts Program Director, after the sea trials. “The simplicity of the solent rig’s self-tacking jib, in particular, stood out as the boat turned nimbly through the wind. She maintained speed, accelerating swiftly on each new heading, and it all came so easily. Rolling out the reacher off the wind offered another treat. Even when we weren’t paying attention to sail trim, we’d suddenly realize speeds in the 9 and 10 knot range. Switching headsails with push-button hydraulics meant that having the right combination of sails for a given wind direction was super easy, and thanks to in-mast furling, shaking out a reef in the lee of Angel Island took only a minute or so.”
Designed for a Couple
The H57 is designed to be handled by a couple with a hull shape that offers speed and comfort offshore, with a solid-lead fin keel designed to reduce side slip while stiffening the hull to manage the large 1,636-square-foot (152 m²) sail area.
Twin spade rudders are positioned well above the keel plane to optimize handling performance and provide a built-in backup if a rudder is compromised. Dedicated trim stations confine the sailing work of the H57 to specific deck areas. Electric winches and hydraulic furling systems add fingertip control to tending and reefing the sails. The main, reaching genoa and self-tacking jib all come with powered furling controls as standard.
“The twin rudders and the solent rig with a self-tacking jib make the Hylas H57 easy to sail in all conditions,” said Hylas Yachts Director Peggy Huang. “Comfort underway has been improved with a designer hardtop and integrated windshield. The optional extending awning over the aft deck also brings a whole new level of relaxation when it comes to dockside “apres sail” comfort. To extend seasons and during extended passages, an optional helm enclosure extends from the hardtop. Supported by a carbon frame this all-weather protection brings year-round enjoyment. Other characteristics that we have come to expect from Hylas such as build quality, ocean-crossing capability and the benefits that the center cockpit brings to living space below remain intact.”
A Solent rig with a 140% genoa on the forestay is matched to a self-tacking jib for upwind legs to make sail-handling easy, even in heavy air. An asymmetrical spinnaker or code zero can supplement the reaching sail.
The cockpit is convenient to the aft helm stations, where the business of sailing is conducted. The addition of the optional hard-top is in keeping with the lines of the yacht and has negligible impact on visibility, while uncluttered side decks allow easy movement around the yacht.
The hard-top adds comfort and versatility
This first H57 incorporates a sleek hard-top, which adds additional comfort and versatility to this bluewater sailing vessel. The hard-top compliments the builder’s goals of introducing updated technology, the most advanced construction techniques, and fresh design lines.
The hard-top is supported by a carbon-reinforced arch, providing shelter from sun and rain to the social cockpit. An automated awning extends aft to cover the reversing helm seats to shade the expansive aft deck. The H57 design offers two mainsheet configurations. The original design uses an innovative trumpet in the arch to keep the mainsheet vertically oriented and lead to winch pedestal between both helm stations. German sheeting Is also available. This works through blocks on the arch that allows for the mainsheet winch pedestal to be removed and creates a wide-open and unobstructed walkthrough cockpit for an easy transition to and from the helm stations.
The hard-top is high enough overhead as to be unobtrusive both to the cockpit social area and to the lines of sight from the helm. Tubular stainless-steel stanchions provide structural stability to the forward end of the hard-top and add the benefit of serving as an additional grab handle for passing crew.
To keep the Hylas H57 safe and self-sufficient while offering maximum comfort, hull#1 has been fitted with next generation technology such as Raymarine‘s Augmented Reality System as well as cutting edge FLIR thermal imaging cameras mounted in critical areas such as the spreaders and in the engine room. The camera feeds flow through raynet and can be overlaid on electronic charts or the HD digital radar.
The network also displays NMEA data from the Volvo D150 power plant as well as the Northern Lights 9kw Generator. As always, Auto pilot, weather, instruments and the new fusion RS 770 Apollo series entertainment system are networked. All systems on the network can be displayed and/or controlled from any of the 3 Axiom 16XL multi displays at the helm or down below at the nav station or by remote via the ray control app on iPhone or iPad.
At the heart of the first Hylas H57, Xantrex has designed a high capacity Lithium Iron phosphate battery bank and charging system complete with 1200W of their new low-profile solar panels which are easily mounted on the hard top.
The Xantrex lithium batteries and charging system w solar has been designed by the engineers at Xantrex to accommodate the hyper-efficient TMD Thermodynamica Inverter HVAC system which allows for aircon and heating run times of over 12 hours running directly from the house 24v battery banks without having to charge from the Genset.
There is also a complete custom design plumbing system from Raritan. It utilizes their marine elegance heads and two separate electro scan units, which sanitize black water and eliminate having to call and wait for the pump-out boat all day. A high-efficiency dual element 18-gallon Torrid Marine Explorer series water heater makes hot water for days and can even be run from the DC Lithium batteries or directly from solar. Our Seagull IV X-1F freshwater filter helps keep drinking water tasting great.
“More featured equipment that keeps us comfortable while away from the dock is our Parker 500 gallon per day water maker. It’s high output, simple to operate, very robust, and easy to maintain,” commented David Crafa. “An Ultra anchor keeps us exactly where we expect to be when we wake up in the morning. And when we need to get to shore our new center console Highfield CL380 outfitted with an E-propulsion Navy 6.0 will get us there without burning a lick of fuel. It’s our Aqua Tesla! When the weather’s up and the current is strong, Sidepower Bow and Stern Thrusters make easy work of shorthanded docking.”
A sophisticated lighting concept below deck
Bill Dixon penned the lines of the Hylas H57 and produced a compelling vision for the interior styling which Hylas has realized with great intelligence. It runs too rich teak flooring contrasted with white oak cabinetry, mirrored stainless steel fittings and deep grey suede upholstery. Liveability is always placed first.
“There are almost an unlimited number of options but for wood then teak would be a Hylas classic,” explains Peggy Huang, COO of Hylas Yachts. “The increased popularity of white oak and on occasion ash has really brought a new brightness to our yacht interiors. Faux leather and suede are nice and manageable for interior furnishing and the classic Sunbrella works well for exterior cushions.”
Material choices are divided between a standard and a premium range, but both are brought to life by a sophisticated lighting concept below deck. It masterfully blends direct, indirect and natural light sources to create a really welcoming atmosphere. “This seems to be where people really start to get excited,” explains Huang. “Our clients expect to have all the same digital switching, mood lighting and dimmable options with accent colours as they do at home.”
Together, Hylas and Dixon have brought their experience to bear on the way the interior space is used. By carrying the beam of the boat well aft, Dixon has created so much useful volume – something he has compounded with a generously glazed coachroof. Meanwhile, the hybrid cockpit preserves headroom in the cabin below.
“The raised salon and oversized portlights bring a huge amount of light into the salon and cabins,” says Huang. “The fact that there is also great visibility to the outside from down below is something our clients really enjoy. Every inch of the 5.2m (17ft) beam is felt in the salon and, as the beam is carried well aft to about 4.7m (15ft 6in) across the transom, the master stateroom is huge as well as beautiful. ‘Wow’ is what we were going for, and that was the reaction we heard at the recent autumn boat shows.”
Hylas has long believed that the galley should be located aft of the salon, freeing up all-important central living space. The new Hylas H57 is no exception, with a fine linear galley down two steps on the starboard side. The use of warm teak continues here, set off by a marble-effect composite worksurface. Meganite is the product used here, as is in the heads, because it is less porous and hence more stain resistant than alternatives. Deep fiddles and splashbacks make this a practical as well as a beautiful space. It is well equipped with a gimballed four-burner stove, microwave, dishwasher, drawer freezer and fridge.
Smart cabin layouts
“The three-cabin layout is certainly the most popular, as folks don’t want to give up the gorgeous walk-through galley,” says Huang. “What has been popular has been the use of the third cabin as a utility space. There is still a usable bunk in there, but the focus of the cabin has become a workroom and laundry room.”
This is really a tale of two staterooms: the huge full-beam aft cabin and a luxurious double with island bed forward. The owner’s cabin aft runs to a vast double bed flanked by sofas and copious storage, desks and vanity tables. Double hull lights on each side and hatches overhead fill the cabin with light. There’s lots of hanging and storage space, and an ensuite shower and heads.
At the bow, a luxurious VIP guest cabin also boasts a full island double berth and ensuite access to the shared shower room. Both these cabins feature seamless oak panelling with built-in cupboards and lockers. Just the headboard, headlining and the borders around the frameless hull lights are in clean, white faux leather.
“The vision for the interior is contemporary but warm,” explains Huang. “The Hylas craftsmanship is self-evident. The interior layout really is well suited to a voyaging couple who want to live comfortably and have occasional friends and family visiting wherever they are in the world.”
The salon is naturally the social hub of the boat, with plenty of seating down each side and a lavishly polished fold-out table that can be raised or lowered on stainless steel pedestals. Being a bluewater cruiser at heart, the Hylas H57 also offers lots of storage and stowage space, and there is a well-appointed chart table behind the salon on the port side.
It is all part of the core concept of fast, easy sailing which informs this design. Despite its 57ft overall length, this is a boat carefully designed for short-handing by a family. Twin rudders and a lighter foam-core layup, plus a comprehensive rig with self-tacking jib, electric primary winches, hydraulic backstay and the German sheeting all contribute to uncluttered decks and fluid handling. There’s even the option of a hydraulic bathing platform aft.
Options abound, but Hylas has done lots of the thinking in advance. As Huang puts it: “We work hard to accommodate most requests but it’s important to remember that we have seen all kinds of interesting ideas and have a good sense of what works well.”
This hull of the Hylas H57 is one of two featuring the Bill Dixon/Hylas interior. Another one has a radically different interior by Italian designer Hot Lab, with Newport Yacht Interiors working on number four. The fifth hull is on the drawing board now.