Earlier this month our David Walters crew was invited by our friends at Hylas Yachts for a full day tour and sea-trial aboard their new M44 power boat. George, Ron, Stephen, and I, from the Fort Lauderdale office, had the pleasure to meet with Kevin, Christian, Peggy, and Katherine, to get a hands-on look at this exciting new boat.
We headed out of Riviera Beach Marina for a leisurely cruise inside the ICW, passing just off the shore of Peanut Island we reminisced about many weekend cruises to the popular destination, contemplating just how perfect a boat like the M44 would be for such an occasion. As we put down the throttle on the dual Yamaha 370HP engines the boat sprung to life, coming to plane she took the moderate chop astoundingly well without the jarring pounding many of us experienced on other boats. As we made the turn south to head down the coast, Christian turned and asked if we’d like to take the helm. George didn’t hesitate!
Smooth and responsive, the handling of the boat was spectacular. We cruised comfortably at around 20 knots although when you really need to get up and go she’ll do up to 33 knots with ease. In a Hylas we always love getting up to double digits on the knot meter but doing such speeds in a new breed of Hylas was more than exciting!
George had his fun behind the helm and so next it was my turn.
Making a wide turn to the east, the bow came head-on with the swells. Still making 20 knots the hull cut through the water like a knife. Even head on into the waves with the throttle moderately up, the conversation was easy with the engines at a quite hum beneath the saloon floor.
Even with eight of us on board, you never felt yourself elbow to elbow with anyone. There’s more than ample seating and space to relax, two well-sized staterooms and a head with separate stall shower. Ron sat at the lounge, thoughtfully elevated to allow for enhanced visibility out the forward windows. A former captain of a Hylas 70, I caught Ron with a wide smile on his face. Grinning from ear to ear, waiting for his turn at the wheel. I reluctantly gave up my seat behind the helm. Only pausing briefly to consider how quickly we could get to Bimini if we kept on our course.
Ron took the helm, every bit in his element. Likely the most seasoned Hylas sailor on the boat that day, he quickly gave his approval. The construction quality, thoughtful engineering, and of course the superb joinery are all the hallmarks of Hylas and well incorporated into the M44.
Heading back to the marina, I took my last moments of our cruise to enjoy the spacious aft deck. The integrated swim platform would be the perfect place from which to drop a line and wait for the fish. There’s even a fish locker built in. How perfect!
Maneuvering into our slip could not have been easier. The twin engines enable you to virtually spin the boat in place, even without touching the thruster. Christian made it look effortless.
With the lines in place, Kevin had one more surprise in store. A round of cold beers for the crew. With cheers, we thanked the Hylas team for a spectacular day on the water!