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Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

New Hylas H60 exceeds expectations during troubled times

by Hylas Yachts International 22 Jul 08:32 PDT
Hylas H60 yacht © Sand People

Join globally acclaimed designer Germán Frers and learn about his "on paper" goals for the H60 design. Find out how she is measuring up "on the water".

Over time change is certain but change for it's own sake adds little value. Modifications to embrace new technology, serve a more knowledgeable and sophisticated audience at the same time as staying focussed on the expectations and goals of today's voyagers is an absolute must. Even the most well established looks and characteristics of a brand like Hylas must evolve.

Occasionally change is forced on us and the Covid pandemic has certainly made an impact. Lockdowns and boat show cancellations have suddenly unleashed the true potential of group video communication. Hylas asked Germán Frers to join viewers on a webinar to discuss the Hylas H60. Here's a link if you would like to "Meet the designer—Germán Frers".

The questions address the look, the performance and the ease of handling of the yacht.

Frers is quick to share that he was given a "freer hand" with regard to aesthetics. He was looking for clean and sweeping decks, a low profile and the goal of maximizing interior space. When questioned about sailing performance versus cruising volume it becomes clear that Frers has not compromised this "performance cruiser" as an excellent sailer. Every aspect of the design from the relatively plum bow to the broad transom and twin rudders adds to performance. Even the contoured deck has water shedding functionality. All these things make for spectacular good looks and a sumptuous interior.

Another important question was the ease of handling. The Hylas H60 is specced by Frers with a 105% working jib and an optional self tacking staysail. The audience wanted to know if by making the sailplan manageable for a cruising couple the yacht was perhaps a little underpowered? Once again this was not the case. Frers has spent his whole career working on making yachts sail fast, his designs have won the world's most prestigious ocean races. Yes there is a relatively short footed forward sail but she's a high aspect rig, 91.5 ft off the water. This allows plenty of upwind sail area and the ability to catch the better breezes up high in light conditions.

Details like the integrated bowsprit makes the setting of an "A" sail or code zero type sail very easy off the wind. The sprit itself being part of the hull mold avoids the "bolt on" need for tie rods and bob stays and also looks fantastic.Anyone who has worked with these larger sails knows the need for storage space—the forward sail locker with the collision bulkhead has been readily described as "cavernous".

Although Frers believes the Hylas H60 would be a very credible racing yacht the "need for speed" is as important to cruisers as it is racers. Weather avoidance and reduced time on passage are all important safety factors.

Frers was also keen to share the close working relationship his company had with Hot Lab who created the interior design. The Italian design house has given the yacht a truly luxurious yet functional interior.

Form and functionality are key for any designer. Being able to find the right balance with all aspects of the design is what makes this yacht extraordinary.

The first of the Hylas H60s arrived in the US in time for the Miami International Boat Show and Hylas has been staying busy with test sails as much as Covid lockdown requirements have allowed. Christian Pschorr is the Hylas Service and Program Director and now has several hundred miles of sailing the Hylas H60 under his belt. Here's his thoughts on the performance and ease of managing the H60.

It's still early days as far as testing the yacht in all offshore conditions is concerned. The delivery to Newport for the boat show in September 2020 will be another great opportunity to learn more. What we have found is that the yacht is extremely maneuverable in moderate conditions, the twin rudders make her super responsive. She accelerates quickly and the medium displacement gives her a sense of purpose through the water.

The positioning of all the sail controls within easy reach of the twin helms, the visibility of the sail plan and jib telltales make her a joy to sail. For those of us that enjoy sitting back and relaxing and letting the autohelm do the work this yacht is a dream. The Jefa rod steering system makes the loads on the autohelm drive very light. This of course saves on power. We can also fit a secondary backup autohelm drive that can be engaged with the flick of a switch if required.

We did have an opportunity to be out in one of the typical Florida summer squalls and were pleased to find that the furling systems were indeed very easy to handle and the deployment and tacking of the staysail in winds well above 30kts was easily done without any need to leave the confines of the cockpit. The same applied for the main furling system that has the benefit of a powered outhaul to make this all fingertip control even in the heavier breeze.

She's a very stable platform and very comfortable under way. I would like to get a feel for her with a spinnaker and perhaps in some bigger seas but everything Frers wanted from the yacht so far seems to be falling into place."

For more information click here.

The H60 is based at the year round Hylas Service Center in Riviera Beach, FL and is always available for test sails and private viewings please contact Hylas at or call (561) 515-6027.

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