Our friends at Hylas Yachts have been teasing us and the Hylas family with the drawings and renderings of the new German Frers-designed Hylas 60 for many months. On paper it looked stunning and represents a new direction for the long-time Hylas builder Queen Long.
So, it was with a bit of glee that I got to see the new 60 in the flesh last weekend at the Miami boat show. Even though it was stern to the floating docks with a display float on one side and another sailboat on the other, you could see right away that the 60 is something different, something that will turn a lot of heads.
With a broad transom, and a dinghy garage inside, sweeping sheer lines and a very low-profile cabin top, the boat is stylishly modern yet instantly a classic. Company president Peggy Huang was there and beaming from ear to ear at the great response the public and the press have expressed on first seeing the 60. American sales director Kevin Wensley volunteered to give me a walk-through of the boat and was able to point out a lot of details that might have been missed on a first pass.
The brief for the 60 was to create a luxurious family cruising boat that has very clean lines, uncluttered decks and superior sailing performance. Everything on deck is tidy and hidden away. The roller furling headsail has the drum under the deck. The windlass and chain locker are also under the deck. All halyards and control lines at the mast lead aft through under-deck conduits (each line has its own private tube) to the electric winches at the twin helms. Even the deck cleats are folding models that are stylish and unobtrusive.
The 60 can be laid out in either a three-cabin or four cabin accommodation plan. The three-cabin plan has the master stateroom aft under the cockpits. This entails having a bridge deck between the sailing cockpit aft and the lounging cockpit amidships to provide headroom in the after cabin.
Or, you can opt for the four-cabin version that has two quarter cabins aft and no need for a bridge deck. Thus, the cockpit can be made much larger and can run from the transom to the companionway with bench seats on both side and a folding table down the middle. In both plans, the cabins forward offer a double berth in the forepeak and a upper and lower bunk arrangement in the smaller cabin just aft and to port. These cabins share a large head.
The saloon in both versions have an L-shaped dinette to port with the proper chart table aft of it. Across is a bench settee and the large galley lies in the passageway leading aft to the after cabin. With large hull windows and overhead hatches, the saloon and the sleeping cabins are full of light and have excellent ventilation.
In the first Hylas 60, the builders decided to make a real style statement. Instead of the traditional teak bulkhead and joinery, they opted for a very light-colored wood without the bright varnish that you are used to seeing on a Hylas yachts. The look is very modern and the effect in the combination with the natural light, the pale joinery and the light-colored fabrics on the settees is bright, airy and welcoming.
We’ll be sailing the new 60 in March and will come back with a full in-depth report. In the meantime, check out the new 60 on the Hylas website.