One Day Miami Cruise!

By Rich

This weekend we had 3/4 of Team Rover aboard for a quick one-day trip to Miami to see the University of Pittsburgh play Miami in men’s basketball. Just like the last time Lisa and I did a Lauderdale to Miami cruise aboard our Sabre 42, the forecast was for 15 knot easterlies, and just like the last time the forecast was way off (we had 25 knots with higher gusts again this weekend)! These were some of the liveliest conditions we’ve had the Hylas in, and the boat was fantastic. She really comes alive in these conditions, yet she somehow also exudes a confidence that makes everyone aboard feel completely at ease. Plus she makes seriously good time! Here’s a short video clip of the trip down with a reefed main and jib:



A quick sidenote for some personal reflections on the Hylas 54 design. (Important note: the rest of Team Rover doesn’t share the critical views I’m about to share; I tend to be super analytical and about the way boats sail). Since we’ve owner her I’ve personally been mildly disappointed by the way the Hylas sails compared to the Sabre, especially when it comes to her rudder, which has felt pretty lifeless to me going upwind. On a 10-15 knot Chesapeake Bay daysail, I don’t find it all that inspiring to steer the boat. It’s almost like sailing the Hylas is like sailing the Sabre but with the sensory volume turned much lower. But this weekend I realized that the Hylas 54’s’fun zone’ for sailing is there – it’s just much higher in the wind ranges than the Sabre’s is. Once the boat speeds get to 8 knots and above, the rudder really comes alive and boat gets to be pretty darn entertaining. In this weekend’s conditions the steering actually feels perfectly weighted, so I suspect German Frers tuned it for the open ocean conditions the boat was really designed to focus on.

— End random yacht design commentary —

We had a terrific evening in Miami and enjoyed the views of the skyline from Miamarina:

It’s not often you get such good weather windows, but the next day we had the 15 knot easterly that had been forecast for the whole weekend and enjoyed a fantastic close reach back home doing 8-9 knots with a full main and lightly reefed jib. Fantastic sailing!

3 thoughts on “One Day Miami Cruise!

  1. In the going to Miami video I was not sure of the point of sail but looks to me you are about at the critical point where the lee rail is going under. We have found if this is happening consistently on our Hylas 54 its time to reef a bit, bring her more upright and watch her speed up half a knot.

    And agree, she loves 25 more than 15knts.

    1. We were close hauled and had too much heel in that clip of video but there was a mitigating factor. It’s hard to see in the video, but the seas state wasn’t head on but more from the beam because it had been blowing even harder from more of an easterly direction the previous three days here in Lauderdale. So we were carrying more like 20-25 degrees of heel (which I can believe is the max that makes sense on these boats) on a consistent basis, but then being thrown to more like 30 degrees by various swells, which buried the rail periodically. On our Sabre 42, the designer’s notes said that any more that 25 degrees of heel was slow, so as accomplished racers we were always sensitive with that boat to reef early and often. We’ve race over 3,000 miles on a Hylas 56 before buying our own Hylas 54 this past summer so we know the boats very well. My gut is that 25 degrees is probably close the max “fast” heel for these boats too, but with more of a beam sea one can expect to dump the rail periodically even when trimmed out for the right amount of heel on average.

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