The Hylas 44 from designer German Frers is a center cockpit offshore cruiser known for her good looks and build quality from Queen Long Marine of Taiwan. Introduced in 1984 production spanned eight years before ending in 1992. These days Hylas 44s are particularly popular for their accommodation layout, her idiosyncratic hull shape carries her maximum beam far aft allowing for a wide aft stateroom. You can find them on the market today with variations in the keel configuration (deep or shoal) as well as their rigs with both cutter and sloops being offered.
Queen Long Marine commissioned German Frers to design two cruising sailboats in the early 1980’s. These became the racy Hylas 42 and the more “cruiserly” Hylas 44 in 1984 which now are part of a well known Hylas series of yachts.
The Hylas 44 in particular became popular among charter boat circles in the Caribbean with Bill Stevens of Stevens Charters and then Dick Jachney of Caribbean Yacht Charters (CYC) purchasing most of the boats. Private dealers throughout the world also sold these Hylas yachts. In 1990, CYC became the sole importation agent for new Hylas yachts. By 1992, CYC had Queen Long add a sugar scoop stern to the 44. In 1995, they introduced a wholly new German Frers designed 46 footer with a different cabin trunk, deeper forefoot, and fully integrated swim platform. These 46 Hylas yachts are currently in production as of 2010.
The accommodations are the most attractive feature. All 44’s have a offset berth forward and settee with a private head and shower. The main salon includes a dinette arrangement to port and a starboard settee. Leading to the master stateroom are dual walk-throughs, a tremendously popular feature. Along the port side is the master head and shower while the galley is along the opposite side. The master stateroom has a centerline queen on all except the first thirteen hulls which had a berth offset starboard side.
The hull is solid hand laid up fiberglass by Queen Long Shipyards, the Taiwanese builder. The construction includes an impressive stiffening network of full length fore and aft stringers and transverse floors. The deck is balsa or Airex cored and fastened to the hull via stainless bolts and 5200. Chainplates are massive and tie into glassed over stainless steel I-beams. Queen Long was already well known for their Kelly Petersons and Stevens 47’s before producing the 44.
The Hylas 44 is a wet boat. Offshore, a steady stream of water slides over the fine bow and back to center cockpit because of the low freeboard. You often see complete enclosures. She never pounds but slices through waves. Downwind with her sexy beam at 3.8 ratio, she surfs down waves.
Many Hylas 44s underwent the hard life of a Caribbean bareboat charter. Caribbean Yacht Charters ran a purchase and charter operation out of the British Virgin Islands. The owner saved on the purchase of a new Hylas 44 from Queen Long but leased the yacht into charter for four years. It is difficult to tell between non-chartered and chartered 44s. Tell tale signs are high engine hours, eyebrows along the cabintrunk, and a Hylas logo in the cockpit. Late in production in 1992, Queen Long decided to extend the 44 with a swim platform into the 45.5. This 45.5 has a different deck mold. Subsequently, owners retrofitted 44s with swim platforms. These aftermarket 45.5s often have unique issues.
As of 2010 the asking prices are in the approximate range of:
Hylas 44, 1984-1986 $100k-$150k USD (have smaller cockpits and offset aft berths)
Hylas 44, 1986-1992 $150k-$175k USD
Hylas 45.5, 1989-1992 $175k-$200k USD (aftermarket swim platform)
Hylas 45.5, 1992-1994 $200k-$250k USD (new deck mold, factory swim platform)
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