Hylas 46 Review: Owners’ Choice

PDF Brochure (Click To Download)
PDF Brochure (Click To Download)

If the 44 used to be the core of what Hylas stood for, I see that now as the 46. If you need any proof, the company owners themselves own a 46 up in Marblehead and daysail her. It was 1995 when Hylas started production on the 46 model. The 46 is the final evolution of the 44 and 45.5 series. While the 45.5 added the sugar scoop stern to the popular 44 hull, the 46 completes the integration. She has a fully extended design by Frers. The standard layout swaps the V-berth and head of the 44 making the head forward and guest stateroom aft portside. The cabin trunk is sleeker, and the forefoot flattened. The bridge clearance is higher to 63′ with the same drafts of 5’5″ shoal and 6’5″ deep. Included are all the same features, plush accommodations and quality materials that characterize Hylas. The 46 is in production as of 2010 with one of our lower wait times of 6 months to a year. Please see our Hylas Models Page for information about other Hylases. Contact us or Hylas Yachts USA for the status of open production slots.

First Impressions
Her fine Frers beauty and Queen Long quality make for one exceptional impression. I had a lucky chance to meet with another Hylas admirer one day recently to see to be commissioned 46 docked at Riverbend Marina in Fort Lauderdale. The one we looked at was white hulled. Queen Long uses a white gel coat while owners Awlgrip their hull navy blue or any other color. This 46 was a deep draft (6’6″) versions while bulb keel 5’6″ versions are the most popular. The 46 has a split backstay, not overlong boom, and a wide luxurious cockpit. Teak decks are an option and make some sense in Northern climates. The toerail and handrails are either teak or stainless. Often, as on this one, owners request the optional extended sternrails where the pushpit flows far forward.

Hylas 46 Review
Hylas 46 Review

The Hylas 46 has a solid hand-laid fiberglass layup with no core and using vinylester resins and Isophthalic gelcoat. The semi skegged rudder is for optimal performance, strength, and protection. The bottom of rudder plane lies above the keel plane for grounding safety. Solid GRP fiberglass in all areas of of deck for deck fittings and stress area

All the builders seem to have gone to the synthetic balsa like material for coring. Newer 46s have this Balsatek cored deck with a solid hand laminated reinforced fiberglass hull. Older 46’s used end grain balsa. Twaron, the bullet proof Kevlar like fiber, is an option on the 46. Some owners have half the boat Twaron – the front half. The aft is plain fiberglass. Twaron makes a boat almost unsinkable. The tanks are all stainless steel. The rudder is solid foam, skeg hung. The keel is cast lead that is attached by 15 of 1″ steel bolts. The hull-deck joint is the standard inner flange fastened together with 5200 and 6″ centers through the toerail. The mast is keel steeped and surrounded by a teak enclosure with a full length access door. The Mamba steering is of the highest quality.

The electronics are well organized. My friend mentioned how he went to Taiwan and met the man who does the electrical work. “I met the electrical guy at Queen Long one time. I always admire his work. When I make changes or fixes, it’s hard to maintain his standards. I told him, ‘I really admire your work.’ He just smiled and nodded. I do not think he knows English.” Look inside the electrical panel on a 46. The skill and care taken typifies the Queen Long quality of these fine yachts.

What To Look For
The only question is if the yacht was chartered. CYC used the clever business model discovered by CSY. You offer yachts for sale on a purchase and charter basis. Doing so, CYS shared in the cost of a new Hylas with an owner but made up the cost via the charter profits and shared depreciation. While allowing owners to purchase yachts at an attractive price, they could charter them for different length contracts. CYC operated until 2000 when the owners sold the business to focus on new builds. These post 2000 models are guaranteed to be non-chartered. This has improved the reputation of Hylas yachts in general.

Some 46’s have a Grunnert refrigeration system in the aft stateroom berth. While this works for some, others have had issues with the system running at 3am in the morning and waking them up. A better location was the engine room though this had heat load implications and Queen Long was hesitant to move the compressor there. Another option would be in the salon with unconfirmed reports of units installed in the starboard settee area.

On Deck
The forward anchor locker is divided with separate locker for fenders and docklines. The splitback stay aft frees up space for a twin lazarettes, port and starboard with dual Bailey latches for watertight seal. Aftmost, she has a fully incorporated swim platform. In the swim platform is a stern locker with storage for snorkel and scuba gear. The rig is either standard, in-mast, or in-boom. Recently, the especially well designed Schaeffer in-boom furling system has become the most common option. The in-boom furling allows for the ease of in-mast furling without the performance trade-offs of battenless mainsails. Before now, in-boom furling units have been prone to catching, but the Schaeffer system is exceptional. The 46 has a wide cockpit with seating for eight.

Hylas Flyer
Hylas Flyer

Down Below
Hyli are semi-custom yachts. While other manufacturers may give you A, B, C, and D layout choices, Hylas lets owners redesign the whole interior if they like. There is a famous story about an owner who visited his hull in progress hull in Taiwan. The owner went to the Queen Long factory. He looked at the interior and said he did not like the cabinetry they had made. The next morning the yard had changed the woodwork to his liking. Queen Long takes tremendous pride in their work.

The lovely interior is made of light teak with top marine grade woods, hardware, and woodworking by Queen Long, one of the world’s best manufacturers. The standard layout includes a head forward and portside Pullman. This layout swaps the head and V-berth from the Hylas 44 layout. Sometimes you will see another starboardside Pullman for 3 cabins. The Pullmans are comfortable seaberths located nearly amidships with the head and watertight chainlocker forward and vanity to starboard. There is large storage in all cabins. Ventilation is provided by numerous stainless side ports and two overhead deck hatches. Further aft is the spacious salon with circular table and pull-out ottoman or U-shaped settee portside. With the U-shaped settee, you loose a second door to the forward head. A fore and aft settee to starboard has storage behind the seating on both sides.

PDF Caribean Yacht Sales Flyer (Click to Download)
PDF Caribean Yacht Sales Flyer (Click to Download)

The Hylas 46 layout features a double walk through, galley on starboard and head walk through to port. Portside walkthrough is also the nav station which may be transverse or longitudinal. The galley has great counter space and is a real “sea galley”. The sink is located amidship; it drains on any tack. The great mechanical refrigeration is by Grunnert with side and top access. There are numerous storage cabinets for all the necessary culinary needs. Last but not least is the large owners stateroom with centerline queen berth, access on both sides and vanity, two hanging lockers and large drawers for clothing. This cabin can have six opening ports (including two optional aft of the berth) for good cross breeze and a large centerline hatch. There are usually screens on all hatches. The owner’s head is spacious with formica lined areas for ease of cleaning. All the detail is obvious once one enter. They are truely a work of art in all areas of function and beauty.


Engine and Underway
Hylas learned from the faults of the 44 and made all 46’s come standard with a 75 HP Yanmar. Older 46’s came with a 62 HP Yanmar. These engines are quiet and maintenance low. Access is 360 degrees under the companionway. Foremost is the Yanmar with room for a generator, a Fisher Panda usually, deeper in. You might request a Northern Lights or other generator instead of the standard Panda. Turbos are common.

This is a powerful Frers cruising design, providing comfortable sailing in strong winds while performing impressively in light winds as well. This makes her extremely attractive to the off-shore racer or cruiser. The 46 like the 44 is a wet boat which is the only negative attribute I can think of. Otherwise, she is seakindly, never pounds, and comfortable at dock or anchor. A captain who has been delivering Hylases says, “I’ve delivered Hylases all around. And whether the 46, 49, or 54, I never have to hove-to. The only time is if you are tired. Otherwise you just keep fighting windward. Only if you are tired do I ever heave-to.” If you noticed while the 46 kept many specifications the same as the 44 including the draft, Frers increased the mast height to 63′ from 55′ so to share her rig dimension with the 49-foot Hylas. The 46 is well canvased. We experienced this first hand while selling a special 46 whose owner had hit a local bridge, the 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale, which happens to be 55′ clearance. The collision damaged the top of her mast. After consulting with Hylas, the owner decided to take the top off the mast and rerig her slightly lower. Today, she sails just as well with the slightly shortened rig.

The 46 is a beautiful, well built yacht that the owners of Hylas daysail as their personal choice. Not to mentioned, these offer tremendous value. The 46 originally retailed at $309,000. You will be lucky to find an older 1990’s 46 at that price. In uncertain economies, buying a 46 may classify as an investment. One of our customers bought his Hylas and then the stock market tanked. He said, “You know if I did not buy her, I would have lost 60% of my money in the crash. Buying a Hylas was one the best financial moves I have ever made.”

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