Boats

The Hylas 56 Page 2

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Under Sail

We had great conditions for putting the Hylas 56 through its paces. A cold front was in full force as we cleared Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The wind was steady at 25 knots, gusting to 30. We unrolled the full Doyle main and 120 percent genoa and cracked off on a close reach. We were a bit over-canvassed, but watching the GPS/plotter ratchet up over 9 knots and flirt with 10 was impressive. The helm was remarkably balanced considering the load, a testament to the new hull shape and the boat’s Mamba steering system. The fact that we were able to fly full canvas in these conditions made me wonder about the 56’s light-air performance.

Shortening up the jib was easy with the power winches, and the 56 felt better as we drove her hard on the wind. Even in lumpy Gulf Stream conditions we didn’t pound, and although we were kicking up spray, the cockpit was dry. We executed several tacks, plus a well-controlled gybe, despite the blustery conditions.

Under Power

The boatyard was well up the New River, which gave us an opportunity to see how the 56 handled under power. A 150hp turbocharged Yanmar diesel is standard. Six bridges later I was impressed with how well the boat maneuvers, and we only used the bow thruster a couple of times. The engine can be accessed from both sides and from behind the companionway steps.

Conclusion

The Hylas 56 is a worthy successor to the 54. It is powerful, spacious and robustly constructed. The systems are well designed for access and reliability, a key feature on a serious cruising boat. And like all Hylas boats, the 56 represents an outstanding value. I suspect this will become the new standard, the go-to boat for serious world cruisers. Text Box:

Vital Statistics

HEADROOM 6ft 11in

BERTHS 6ft 6in x 6ft (fwd); 6ft 7in x 5ft 10in (aft)

LOA 56ft 4in

LWL 50ft 5in

BEAM 15ft 10in

DRAFT 7ft 4in (deep); 6ft 4in (shoal)

DISPLACEMENT 50,200lb

BALLAST 20,020lb

SAIL AREA 1,565 ft2 (100% FT)

FUEL/WATER/WASTE (gal) 555/500/54

ENGINE 150hp Yanmar turbo diesel

ELECTRICAL 150AH (engine); 4 x 210AH plus 3 x 225AH (house)

DESIGNER German Frers

BUILDER Queen Long Marine; Kaohsiung, Taiwan

U.S. DISTRIBUTOR Hylas Yachts; Marblehead, MA; hylasyachtsusa.com

PRICE $922,000 base

Our Take

Pros

• Secure handholds on deck

• Spacious, bright interior

• Proven design and solid performance

• Solid systems installations

Cons

• Nonskid could be grippier

• Might suffer sailing in light air

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