Sailing the New Hylas H48 Offshore

David and Peggy Sailing the H48 in the 2019 Salty Dawg Rally
David and Peggy Sailing the H48 in the 2019 Salty Dawg Rally

By David Crafa

Dec 19, 2019

On November 3rd Peggy Huang and David Crafa of Hylas Yachts and this year’s Fleet Captains of the SDSA  Bahamas leg set off from Hampton, VA. Their departure was delayed by 15 hours due to late arrival of crew. The new Hylas H48 they sailed was nicknamed “Winner” because she was awarded best boat of 2019 by Sail Magazine & Cruising World magazine. She not only made up the 15 hour delay but arrived in Eleuthera at the head of the fleet!  

Below is the Interview of Captain David Crafa by Hank George, President SDSA

David, you’ve just finished sailing the Hylas 48 as part of the Salty Dawg Fall Rally. In this case you sailed from Hampton, VA to Harbor Island, Eleuthera, the Bahamas. I’d like to ask you some questions about this passage and the new Hylas 48. First, for the perspective of our readers, how many offshore miles do you estimate you’ve sailed, and on what kinds of boats?

I’ve been sailing between the East Coast and the Caribbean for about 15 years now, averaging about 3,000 nm per year. I first sailed offshore in a Hunter Passage 420, and then crewed on a Hylas 70 on passages to the Caribbean for several seasons. That opened my eyes to what a proper blue water boat should be. I then bought my own Hylas 54 in 2015, and now my wife Peggy Huang of Hylas Yachts  and I are building a new Hylas 57 Hybrid Center Cockpit.

What were the weather and sea conditions like for this passage?

The weather and sea conditions for this passage were pretty benign. There wasn’t that much wind to sail fast. We motor-sailed quite a bit which can be a problem in itself for vessels that don’t carry a lot of fuel . One of the critical features of the Hylas H48 is its ability to carry massive amounts of fuel and water. We never had to worry about running out of fuel. When motor sailing with the H48 or any Hylas yacht depending on your rpm, you can extend your fuel range to thousands of miles.

From this passage, what are your impressions about the Hylas 48’s sailing abilities? What other features about this boat impressed you on this passage? 

Very fast! And comfortable too. We left 15 hours after most of the yachts on the Salty Dawg departed for the Bahamas and we ended up being one of the first boats to arrive in Spanish Wells! The cockpit is spacious yet protected with good viz. Loved the offshore gourmet galley. Makes meal prep a breeze. With 3 luxury staterooms, everybody had their own berth and private cabin which left the salon a community area for relaxing off watch and crew dinners. The yacht is cutter rigged but we never got close to using the staysail.

What other features about this boat impressed you on this passage?

The volume of this H48 design by Bill Dixon makes the yacht feel much larger. I feel like I’m back on my Hylas 54. Bill has done the impossible and designed a yacht that from the outside has a racy, sleek, and crisp lines, and sails super-fast for its size. And, then you go down below and are blown away by the amount of space. It’s like the Tardis on Dr Who.

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