I have good memories associated with the 49 Hylas. A 49 named Northern Lights was the first new construction slot we at Jordan Yachts filled. That was in 1993 when Hylas was a relatively unknown charter yacht, and the 49 had just been introduced. The 49 was an evolution of the 47 Hylas Sparkman & Stephens design. Tony Seifert who owned a Hylas 47 deserves much of the credit. From his experiences on the 47, he advised Queen Long to increase the freeboard by 2 inches, enlarge the cockpit, and add a sugar scoop stern. She has better headroom than the 47 with the same 3 stateroom/2 head general layout. Hylas produced modified 49’s with Tony Seibert under the Explorer brand with fresh water washdown valves, ice cooler lazarettes, and other enhancements. The 47/49 have encapsulated lead ballast unlike the bolt-on keels of the Frers designs. They are the blacksheep of the Hylas line different than all the other Frers-Queen Long combinations. As of 2010, Hylas still builds these smooth sailing cruisers with a 6 month to a year waiting list. Please see our Hylas Models Page for information about other Hylas models. Contact us or Hylas Yachts USA for the status of open production slots.
The 49 shows like a modern evolution of the 47. Her sugar scoop stern and increased sheer add all the functionality that the 47 missed. And no doubt she still has that classic Sparkman & Stephens beauty. The 49 is a S&S design unlike all the other Hylases. German Frers worked at S&S in the early 1980’s, and after he split off to form his own studio, many S&S clients followed him. Sparkman & Stephens did not make the modification of the 47 to become the 49. Instead Dick Jachney, the president of Hylas, and Tony Seifert, a 47 owner and the president of Explorer Yachts, deserve credit for the 49 with their clever and pinpoint changes which really make this exceptionally functional yacht. The bow is raked and her bottom more roundish than her Frers sisters. She is considered the sweetest offshore ride by many yachtsman – not only just in regards to Hylas yachts. The keel is longer and shorter at 6’+ with a skeg hung rudder aft.
The deck is cored with the synthetic balsa material, Balsatek. Older versions either have end grain balsa or Airex cores except around the mast and deck hardware where the hull is solid glass. The hull is hand laminated fiberglass, optionally Twaron, a Kevlar like paramid. The ballast is internal lead glued with resin inside the fiberglass keel cavity with solid 35mm steel bolts and transverse mounted 8mm backing plates. Standard, tanks are stainless steel with 2 for 145 gallons of diesel, 3 for 250 gallons of water, and 2 holding tanks one for each head. The hull deck joint is the common inner flange glued by 5200 and bolted with 6″ centers. The mast is keel stepped with 63′ bridge clearance. Nine longitudinal foam filled stringers and full wide floors keep the 49 from any chance of flexing. All bulkheads are tabbed in to the hull and deck. These are the standard procedures of Queen Long Marine, arguably the finest yard in Kaoshiong, Taiwan. Queen long is the builder for Hylas. They were previously the builder for Peterson 44/46s.
On Deck and Down Below
The 49 has an enlarged cockpit compared to the 47. The new cockpit includes higher more comfortable combings and more space inside. The 49 swim platform has a lazarette for scuba gear. At the lowest part of the platform is an unfolding swim ladder. Aft port and starboard are deck lazarettes for storage. Portside amidships is a propane locker. Forward the chainlocker is a watertight bulkhead with deck access.
All of the walls, doors, cabinetry and furnishings are carefully finished in the golden tones of premium teak. Even underfoot, the sole is teak and holly. Throughout there is plenty of natural light from the many skylights, windows, opening hatches and ports. The main salon is very open and has an especially high ceiling. Even so, you will be amazed at how handholds are always where ever you need them.
The Hylas 49 is a three stateroom vessel. In the standard layout, this includes the double bunk bed portside forward, a V-berth forward, and master stateroom aft with centerline queen. The forward stateroom has a large V-berth with a full walkaround cabin, hanging lockers, built in drawers, opening ports, and a large centerline deck hatch. Next aft to starboard is the head arrangement with often marble counter tops, lockers, shower, and head. To port is a separate cabin. Moving aft is the light, airy main salon with numerous side opening ports and two deck hatches. On the starboard side is a fore and aft settee. This very nice interior has a solid teak and holly sole throughout the vessel. The Hylas 49 has a double walkthrough to the aft cabin. The galley is to starboard. The portside has the forward facing chart table. Moving aft from the galley and nav area is the large owner’s stateroom with centerline queen berth. This is a very comfortable layout with a quality teak woodwork interior. The saloon has a sliding ottoman opposite the U-shaped settee and dinette table.
The layout is often modified. Owners choose every aspect from the cabinetry design to the tank position with the advice of the Hylas team. From the 47, the interior layout has been modified to have port and starboard heads and showers. The standard layout reverses the galley and nav station/aft head walkthroughs to have a head for each tack. The large chart table is moved to the port side with more headroom. The Hylas 49 has a reverse transom which gives more room in the aft master stateroom. There is larger storage thru-out with the additional beam in this model. The forward stateroom is no longer a small v-berth but a very large queen size owner cabin with beautifully appointed teak drawers and lockers. Headroom is higher than the 47, maybe the best improvement, nearly 7′ throughout.
Engine and Underway
Like the 46, the 49 has a 75 HP Yanmar standard. Older 49’s had a 62 HP Yanmar. Turbos are common. The access is underneath the companionway which has a steep ladder. These are excellent diesels – quiet and low maintenance. Dual racor filters make changing possible while the engine is running. The discontinued 88 HP Yanmar is another posibility. Rare ones came with 100 HP Yanmar which was overkill as the 75 HP is more than enough power.
Sparkman & Stephens designed this vessel to be able in any sea condition. She is just that, dry and well powered but not over rigged. This includes a large rudder and almost a 50% ballast to displacement. Her fuller keel and powerful skeg hung rudder along with a more roundish hull shape than the Frers designs. John Kretschmer has a wonderful review of the 49. Click on the cover page image to the right to download. He test sailed her on a delivery along with designer Tony Seifert. “Luckily we avoided the worst of the weather until we rounded Diamond Head…interestingly tropical storm Daniel sprang to life 50 miles south of Hatteras and collided with a cold front coming from the north. Suddenly we had 40 plus knots on the nose…we slapped two reefs in the main and reduced the genoa to 100%…the boat has no tendency to pound. Frequent checks proved she was tracking true…we were cold and wet sailors by the time we pulled into our slip north of Annapolis but we were all impressed by the design, sailing characteristics, and overall construction of the Hylas 49,” writes John Kretschmer for Sailing Magazine.
From our first new one to the many used ones we have sold, the 49 is always a special yacht. She is that little different model among the Hylas line. Unlike all the other models, she was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and is built with a fixed 6′ keel of internal lead ballast. Originally introduced at $330,000, brokerage 49’s go for between $300,000 and $500,000. Hylas yachts are well known to keep their value and are a solid investment especially in tough times.