Hylas 70: A Proper Ship for a Captain or a Couple
This beautiful behemoth won "Best Unlimited Cruiser" in CW's 2008 Boat of the Year contest.
Almost by definition, the boats found in the Unlimited Cruiser category aren't your average mom-and-pop sloops. These are big boats, and they're expensive (priced at more than $1 million), which means they're likely to be loaded with complex systems that will need to be maintained by either a skilled owner or an owner with a professional crew.
The owners of the Hylas 70 entered in this year's BOTY contest are a bit of both. They plan to spend their first months on the boat with a captain at their side as they learn the tricks of sailing and maintaining their new luxurious and complicated floating home. Then they plan to sail off by themselves, letting the hydraulic furlers and winches do the heavy lifting.
The Hylas 70 was designed by Germán Frers and built, as are all Hylases, in Taiwan; it's the largest in a line of cruising boats that starts these days at 46 feet. BOTY judge Ralph Naranjo noted during deliberations that the 70 incorporates feedback gleaned from Hylas' early years in the charter business as well as from the company's experience in subsequent years building large production boats. Systems are properly installed, and access to equipment is excellent.
Below, a bamboo sole makes a distinctive first impression, as does the light that flows in through the saloon's ports and hatches. The owner's stateroom aft has a private head, as do the two forward double cabins.
There's a fourth head available in the small double-bunked cabin located in the walkthrough to port. To starboard of the engine room there's a well-equipped galley with all the comforts of home.
Under sail in light winds off Annapolis last October, the BOTY judges came away impressed with the boat's performance, only regretting that there wasn't more breeze in which to witness the 70 kick up its heels.