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Hylas Yachts incorporates a sleek hard-top option into the design of the Hylas H57

by Hylas Yachts 11 Dec 2018 17:22 PST
Hylas H57 new sleek hardtop option unveiled © Hylas Yachts

Hylas Yachts has added a hard-top option to the H57, which adds additional comfort and versatility to this sleek bluewater sailing vessel. The hard-top will compliment the builder's goals of providing updated technology, proven construction, and fresh design lines to accomplished sailors.

Hylas Yachts made its name building ocean-capable cruisers with excellent seakeeping for sailors with a globe-trotting spirit. Designed by Dixon Yacht Design, the H57 captures the essence of the cruising sensibility. With the addition of the hard-top, Dixon and Hylas were able to evolve the yacht's concept further with features that make her more enjoyable to sail in a range of conditions, while continuing to employ automated technology and an open and inviting layout.

The hard-top enhances the arch on the H57, providing shelter from sun and rain to the innovative Hybrid cockpit and dual aft helm stations. Because the original H57 design employed an innovative trumpet in the arch to keep the mainsheet vertically oriented and convenient to both helm stations and out of the cockpit social area, the new hard-top will use the same design. Another rigging option is to employ German sheeting on the hard-top.

"The sailors that buy Hylas Yachts know what they're looking for " says Andy Huang of Hylas Yachts. "When they tell us what they want, we listen. And as a semi-custom builder, we can use advanced technology and Bill Dixon's creative designs to meet their needs for cruising comfort, and with a distinctive style."

A Fresh Addition to the H57

The hard-top is positioned on supports in the same position as the original arch. The design is intended to provide shade and shelter yet blend with the pleasing lines of the H57. 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.

The hard-top will use carbon fiber in its construction for rigidity and strength. 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. While the hard-top provides excellent shelter, options are in development for a forward windshield with an isinglass enclosure or a canvas dodger to better shelter the hybrid cockpit in adverse conditions. Designed to add minimal windage, the hard-top can be fitted with an optional, automated canvas bimini that can be extended aft over the dual helm stations when needed yet stows at the touch of a button.

Designed to be handled easily by a couple

With an inventive use of technology, the H57 is designed to be handled by a couple. A Solent rig with a 135% 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 can supplement the reaching sail.

The hull shape is true to Hylas principles offering 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 m") sail area. Twin spade rudders are positioned well above the keel plane to optimize upwind performance while providing redundancy in the case of unforeseen damage below the waterline, two qualities appreciated by bluewater sailors. Twin anchor receivers equipped with self-launch rollers also bespeak the boat's cruising sensibility.

Dedicated trim stations confine the sailing work of the H57 to specific deck areas. Electric winches add fingertip control to furling and tending the sails, while in-mast furling simplifies reefing. The hydraulic backstay and boom vang are controlled from the helm stations as well.

The Hybrid Cockpit: Better Than Ever

With the new hard-top in place, the hybrid cockpit adds versatility to socializing, with shelter from the hot sun and occasional precipitation. The cockpit is still convenient to the aft helm stations, where the business of sailing may be conducted. The hard-top presents no obstruction to onboard movement: Uncluttered side decks allow sailors and nonsailors alike to get around the boat easily. Owners can choose between the traditional transom stairs and an optional hydraulic fold-down swim platform.

"This hard-top is about more than just shelter in the spacious hybrid cockpit on the H57," says Kevin Wensley, a sales executive at Hylas Yachts. "Strong enough to stand on, a great location for solar panels and design lines that compliment Dixon's vision for the yacht. The original design incorporated many cruising features to make the most of onboard spaces. With the addition of this hard-top, Bill Dixon and Hylas have added another dimension to the versatility and comfort of the cockpit and indeed the whole yacht. It's the kind of innovation cruisers look to Hylas to provide."

The owner input on the interior

The Hylas H57 is available with a three- or four-cabin layout. Each accommodations plan is designed to create an easy-living space for a cruising couple who will live aboard or cruise extensively with family and friends. Because Hylas is a true semi-custom builder, owner input on the interior is a key part of each H57.

Bill Dixon's design has a substantial 17-foot beam and makes the most of the almost five feet of freeboard to offer good headroom throughout the layout, including the aft owner's cabin. Wraparound windows and no fewer than a dozen large portlights add to the airy, bright ambience belowdecks. Flexibility in the saloon and galley layouts ensure owners get the kind of convivial spaces they expect in a contemporary yacht.

The owner's cabin includes a queen berth on centerline accessible from both sides, as well as his-and-hers hanging lockers and drawers. The cabin is served by its own air-conditioning zone, ensuring owner comfort. Comfortable easy chairs positioned in the aft corners of the cabin make the most of the space and offer solitude from guests for reading or conducting business.

The Hylas H57 is constructed of FRP composite using isophthalic gelcoat, cored with closed-cell foam and infused with vinylester resin for a strong, lightweight build. Five barrier coats of epoxy help ensure the lamination holds up over time, as do stainless steel anchor strike plates and deck hardware.

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