The Hylas H57 seen through the Eyes of the Shipyard and of the Owner

Have you ever been onboard a Hylas H57? This model is designed by Dixon Yacht Design to evolve the concept of a “bluewater sailboat” with a host of features that make her easy to sail with automated technology and a layout with more open social spaces to enjoy. 

During the Miami Boat Show 2022, we had the opportunity to meet Peggy Huang, COO at Hylas Yachts, and David Crafa, owner of the first Hylas H57. A unique opportunity to discover more about the H57 from the shipyard’s and owner’s perspective!

Hylas h57 new sailboat
Credits Abner Kingman

Peggy’s interview

The cockpit is protected by a hardtop. What are the benefits?

Apart from protection from the elements, and particularly the sun in the tropics, this feature offers both aesthetic and practical benefits. Aesthetically speaking, why would anyone want a “wagon train” look when there is an option for the lines of the covering to be integrated into the sleek look and feel of the yacht? Practically speaking this is a great platform for solar panels, cameras, german sheeting and no need for removal or re-installing as part of storm prep.

The H57 has a Solent rig with a 140% genoa on the forestay and a self-tacking jib for upwind legs: what advantages do you have when sailing?

Most voyagers have a destination plan that involves upwind legs and long stretches of reaching. For the upwind legs, a 96% jib and full main will be plenty of sail area. There is usually a number of tacks involved so the self-tacking arrangement makes for supremely easy boat handling. When we are clear of the upwind stretch, bear away and start reaching the apparent wind numbers drop significantly. This is where a nice reaching genoa works best. With the solent rig, you simply furl the jib and unfurl the genoa. If you end up on a deep broadreach then the yacht is all set for a nice “A” sail or “code” sail.

hylas 57 bluewater sailboat
Credits Billy Black

Could you tell us something about the layout and the materials?

Bill Dixon embraced our request for an easily handled, ocean capable and performance-oriented cruiser. He kept some traditional “Hylas” features like the transom steps, center cockpit layout below deck, and raised coachroof forward of the mast but did some amazing things. Moving the helm stations aft but keeping a massive master stateroom below is a great feature. Helm stations aft and moved outboard coupled with duplicate controls on both sides (helm, engines, and thrusters) is really quite a bonus in tight quarters.

Bill works really hard on the balance between people space and “stuff” space. The people space is self-evident as you come down the companionway steps. Wide, open, airy and plenty of natural light. The “stuff” space is not compromised as the sheer volume of the yacht lends itself to more than ample storage.

Down below there is a perfect balance of traditional elegance and modern day relevance. The teak and slightly raised sole is classic but also allows good visibility to the outside world. The use of white oak brings a brightness that is also warm. Teak and oak being proven high performers for centuries in the marine environment.

hylas h57
Credits Billy Black

How was the public reception of the Hylas H57 after the Miami International Boat Show?

Given the awards the H57 has received from the industry and the number of prospective clients we are now working with it is hard to imagine a busier time. The lead time is currently at about 21 months and this is changing all the time as more and more voyagers want to join the extended Hylas family. For those that couldn’t make it here is a walkthrough of the yacht we had on display.

David’s interview

The Hylas H57 is a true Bluewater model. Why did you choose it?

I have always wanted to own a Hylas yacht. I’ve spent time crewing for many different Hylas models on long ocean passages. I finally was able to buy my first Hylas 54 for myself in 2015. I loved the yacht and sailed over 3k miles each year. I was given the opportunity to build a new H57 in 2019 and incorporate what I had learned over the years. I helped design some of the critical systems on board. 

Hylas h57 new sailboat
Credits Abner Knigman

Did you make some special requests to the yard?

I asked the yard to let me develop a co-marketing program with our industry partners and suppliers to be able to curate state of the art systems to install on H57 hull 1 such as a 2000 Watt Solar/Lithium Iron phosphate battery bank which powers all systems including a 3 zone variable speed compressor air condition system, all refrigeration, and hot water heating for over 12 hours. There is a fast charge system which will charge the battery bank to 95% in under 3 hours. 

What are your sailing plans?

I sail the yacht to New England in the summers and follow the sun to the Bahamas or the Caribbean in the winter. It is a 4 season vacation home.

What does it mean sailing for you?

Sailing is a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy a simpler way of life while still being able to work remotely. 

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