Best Full-Size Semi-Custom Cruiser: Hylas 63

“As usual with Hylas, all the equipment is first-class and beautifully laid-out, installed and labeled,” says Boat of the Year judge Ed Sherman of the Hylas 63.

Hylas 63

Billy Black

Details, details, details: when it comes to a 63-foot sailboat built to roam the Seven Seas, the sheer number of them can seem endless. In the case of a boat as intricate as the lastest offering from Hylas, for example, the ultimate success of the design is often measured not by the yacht's many grand features, but by the attention paid to the countless fine points in the rig, on deck and below. Yes, the Hylas 63 is a mighty sailboat in every dimension, but it was the many, many thoughtful smaller touches that made it the Best Full-Size Semi-Custom Cruiser for 2014.

“There are lots of details that really are well sorted out,” said Tim Murphy. “Coming out of the cockpit, making the transition to the deck, not only are the lifelines 34 inches high, you’ve got a stainless-steel rail that goes all the way around the stern of the boat. It’s very smart and secure.

“When you work your way up to the bow,” he continued, “the anchoring system is again very well reasoned. It’s got steel plating over that whole section so you’re not dinging up the gelcoat while you’re getting the anchor up and down. These are just a couple of things, but they’re indicative of the approach to systems and safety features throughout the entire boat.”

“It’s a very complex yacht,” added Ed Sherman, “but Hylas does a great job of considering things like maintenance. Take the engine-room serviceability. It’s a walk-in engine room, but you also have access from the front and the side. There’s plenty of room to dive in there and work on things if you need to. Anything you need to service on a regular basis you can get to quickly and easily.

“They do a nice job with the systems and wiring,” he continued. “Everything is labeled and neatly tucked away.”

“A lot of boat,” added Mark Schrader. “Robust. Comfortable. Best in class.”

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