Roomy, comfortable, functional and easy to handle. That’s the Blue Water Cruise, made by people who know their craft: German Frers, Hot Lab and Hylas Yachts
by Niccolò Volpati
YOU MAY KNOW THE RECIPE, BUT THAT ON ITS OWN ISN’T ENOUGH. Because you also need a skilled chef and a good restaurant where you can prepare the dish. But moving the analogy from restaurants to yachting, we could say that the recipe is the Blue Water Cruiser; the chefs – two of them in this case – are German Frers and Hot Lab; the restaurant is the Hylas Yachts yard. We just need the name of the dish in question, and it is the H60. It has been “cooked up” over the past few months and was presented for the first time in February, in Miami. It is a dish that is increasingly popular, but you need the best ingredients to make a good recipe.
Hylas Yachts, which is based in Taiwan, is now an established company. It doesn’t produce in very large numbers, and all the boats – whether sailing or powered – are semi-customized. For this new sixty-footer, which will replace the previous 56-foot boat, the yard has put itself in the hands of one of the best chefs around: German Frers, who has always designed performance cruising boats and has continued to do so. Not for cruise/racing but blue water cruising. The difference is that they are performance cruise boats, without being excessively “tuned”.
Many cruiser racers are boats that are designed to win races which can be adapted to cruising with some alterations. Whereas blue water cruising boats take a different approach. They are made for sailing, flying around the world, without problems and that is why they have to guarantee good performance levels when under sail. They are made to grind out the miles, to be on board for significant periods, to sail constantly, regardless of conditions, without necessarily having to cross the finishing line first. Frers’s design project provides all of those features.
H60 is a boat that can provide good performance under sail, both up and downwind. It doesn’t sail especially close to the wind, but it is always quick, even in light wind, and this is confirmed by the instruments. The deck, also designed by Frers, has two main characteristics. From an aesthetic point of view, it has clean lines, while in terms of functionality it is very simple to handle. The clean lines stand out especially along the deckhouse and in general throughout the bow area: it is essential in feel, and doesn’t have a large, weighty superstructure. But despite that, it can rig up to three headsails. A 105% genoa, a self-tacking storm jib and, if you want, also a Code 0 or an asymmetrical spinnaker on the bow fitting.
The deck has very clean lines, but is also very functional. It is a boat designed to be sailed without the help of a sailor. It is very easy to helm, and to move around on board safely
Sheets and halyards run underneath the deck and the deckhouse, so as to keep the deck as clear as possible. They reappear close to the two steering wheels where all of the technical area is concentrated. And indeed, the rigging is all in the stern. And that isn’t just a matter of making handling easier, because the layout is similar to one with a central cockpit. The living area, the chairs and the area for passengers is amidships.
The cockpit is right in the stern. The deck section between these two areas is raised to give extra volume to the master cabin below. Just like a classic central cockpit. All of it is protected by awnings. In fact, it feels as if there were three protections, one after another. Deep in the stern there is the classic one, of the open-and-close type that protects whoever is at the helm or dealing with the rigging from the sun. Then there is another awning that protects the area below which is the master cabin, which connects perfectly to the sprayhood. So basically, there is no lack of shade if you want it, especially when at anchor. Finally, the deck features two wide gangways that reach right to the stern. Moving around is never difficult.
It has plenty of room available as there is no lack of space, but there are also a lot of solutions designed for people who like long-range cruising.
Below deck the interiors, which have been designed by Hot Lab, follow the same approach. There is plenty of room, and there is no risk of overcrowding. We are on a boat that is just over 18 metres long overall, and the layout only has three cabins. The master cabin with private bathroom is in the stern, and is full beam. Also, the deckhouse that rises up between the two cockpits, provides very decent height.
Right in the bows is the VIP cabin and a double room with bunk beds. In this area there is another bathroom, with separate shower cubicle. This is a boat designed for long trips. It is clear from the room available and some of the organisational choices that have been made. For example, it is very easy to get to the engine room, which is also very roomy. It will be easy to do any storage or repairs that may need to be carried out.
Bleached wood, polished nickel and soft leathers give the interior the charm of a traditional sailboat, but with a contemporary style.
The map and galley areas are also extensive, both of them located aft, one on each side. The square dinette area is entirely designed as a living and dining area. Right in the stern there is room for the tender garage, which is something else that a cruiser designed for comfort cannot do without. It is also possible to opt for a four-cabin layout, with two symmetrical double rooms in the stern instead of the master cabin.
Antonio Romano, from Hot Lab, said: «People have often asked us to furnish an area, giving us the dimensions and the size and asked us to develop a design from that. It wasn’t like that with the H60. There has been a lot of synergy with German Frers, who handled the naval architecture and deck. It was a more complete and genuine piece of work, we didn’t just feel like “decorators” but interior designers in the true sense of the word. The result is successful because there was no lack of interest for this new model from Hylas. It is an ideal boat for long cruises and even sail round the world, and it is affordable, but without missing out on quality».
The engine is a 150 hp Volvo Penta D3 with in-line transmission. That is more than enough power to ensure speed when there is no wind.
Queen Long Marine, No 4
Tung Ya Road, Shaou Kang, Kaohsiung
Taiwan R.O.C. (812)
T. +886 7 8315216
Hylas, Italy Sales Office
Via Delle Panche 181
T. +39 333 7489281
PROJECT: German Frers (naval architecture ans hull) and Hot Lab (interiors)
HULL: LOA 18.05m • Waterline length 16.74m • Maximum beam 5.26m • Draft 2.00/2.50m • Light mass displacement 29,800 kg • Full tank volume 1,400 l • Water tank 800 l • Sailing surface 188m2
MAIN PROPULSION: Volvo Penta D3 • Outlet mechanical power 110kW (150 hp) • 4 stroke • Bore&Stroke 81mm x 93.2mm • 5 cylinders •Swept volume 2.4 l • Compression ratio 16.5:1 • Maximum rotational speed 3000/min • Dry weight 297 kg
PRICE: 1.700.000 $ (as standard)
(Hylas H60, a boat to sail around the world – Barchemagazine.com – July 2020)