Category Archives: Hylas 54

Rover Is For Sale!

By Rich

Rover, Hylas 54 #43 shown in Bermuda near the end of our 2022 winter cruising season.

Yes, you read that right! A very lucky buyer is about to get one special boat! This news may come as a surprise to followers of this blog but you can believe us when we say this is good news and all four of us are really excited about it.

Continue reading Rover Is For Sale!

WOW, The Hylas 54 Is Perfect For the Caribbean

By Rich

We have been based in St. Martin for the 2022 winter season since early January, and holy cow, does the Hylas 54 shine bright here. Unlike our New England summers, for the first half of the season we have been primarily living at a slip on Simpson Bay in St. Martin, having taken two one-week cruises to see St. Barts and St. Kitts / Nevis, respectively. For the second half we will be traveling much more consistently and will mostly be at anchor or on moorings. But our cruising so far has shown me that a winter in the Caribbean is literally the perfect environment for these big Hylas boats. With a “town water” hookup and three air conditioning zones, life at the slip is easy and divine. But down here these boats really shine when you leave the dock!

Continue reading WOW, The Hylas 54 Is Perfect For the Caribbean

Last Week Was Not a High Point: Still No Engine, More Breakdowns, Almost Out of Water

By Rich

Like the “vacation week” I tried to take during our cruise last year, last week was a “character builder” for me when it comes to the live-aboard lifestyle. We continue to wait for the part needed to get our main engine operational again, which could take three weeks to arrive from Japan – although the actual delivery time is a total unknown since the mechanic sent the pump to a rebuilding shop, who ordered the part from a distributor, who ordered the part from Yanmar. So chock up the arrival time on that part – and the continuation of our cruise – to “?????.” Note to Yanmar: you suck for not offering this pump for sale anymore. There are tons of us out here with this engine!

In the meantime we have been on the mooring and taking advantage of Newport, but last week things took a turn downhill on the mechanical side. Unless we want to be towed to a VERY expensive Newport slip, we are 100% dependent on the generator for power. And with water running low early in the week, I planned to commission the water maker, which also relies 100% on the generator and will dramatically increase it’s scheduled runtimes. On Monday the generator started to stall during the evening charge. By Tuesday morning it was becoming so unreliable that I shut it down to investigate the problem – easily ruling out clogged fuel filters since I had recently replaced both. I traced the issue to a dead fuel lift pump – a part that, luckily, I found was in stock at the local NAPA, which meant a shore crew could be sent in to fetch it and I was able to install it after work. Problem solved, but not without some stress and very good luck that this pump was in stock because it is also used on old carbureted cars. Since they had two in stock, we bought both to have a spare onboard.

Continue reading Last Week Was Not a High Point: Still No Engine, More Breakdowns, Almost Out of Water

Passage Making Cruisers: Adopt These In-Port Bilge Pump Checks!

By Rich

There are two fascinating difference between our prior boat, the Sabre 42 (and most similar coastal cruisers) and our current Hylas 54 from the standpoint of automatic bilge pumps. The first big difference: on our Sabre, a variety of sources would cause the (single) automatic bilge pump to run regularly quite apart from any leaks that would be alarming to the crew or a threat to the vessel. For example, rainwater would run down the center of the mast into the bilge which could cause the bilge pump to run periodically during rainy periods. Also, the Sabre’s air conditioning and refrigeration drained condensate directly to the bilge (neither of which were particularly desirable) which would trigger automated draining of the bilge by the pump. Whatever the cause, while aboard we regularly would hear the bilge pump run and therefore had an awareness that that the bilge pump worked.

Continue reading Passage Making Cruisers: Adopt These In-Port Bilge Pump Checks!

2021 Cruising: Getting Ready!

By Rich

We are beginning to shake off our winter slumber and get Rover ready for the 2021 cruising season! Brian has been working very hard cleaning & polishing the boat and managing a variety of contractors who have painted the bottom, made repairs to the plumbing in the forward holding tank, and repaired a variety of leaky hoses and other related items on the generator. Below is the dodgy repair I had to make last summer to keep a cracked cooling hose from failing; hoses like these have all been replaced along with a badly corroded heat exchanger. The contractor raised the generator off of its mounts to do the work – something I could not do while were still cruising and living aboard.

Continue reading 2021 Cruising: Getting Ready!

Winterizing The Hylas 54 Is a BEAR

By Rich

Rover is hauled out for the winter here in Annapolis and I’ve spent essentially every free moment for the last two weeks getting her winterized. The process has been about what I expected, which is to say confirmation of why it’s easier to sail these boats 1,000 or more miles south to somewhere warm than to winterize them! Here’s a short list of the task list with some details on the methods I chose: Continue reading Winterizing The Hylas 54 Is a BEAR

Hylas 54 Yacht Review!

By Rich

Our WordPress website data shows that over the last six years of blogging my yacht reviews are the most popular posts with our readers by a considerable margin. The data surprised me somewhat, since I am neither an industry nor sailing professional. No matter – I love writing them and people seem to love reading them so I’m going to keep them coming! Having covered thousands of miles aboard our own 2006 Hylas 54, Rover, and as crew aboard the 2015 Hylas 56 Odette, I thought it was high time I put my reflections on these yachts down on paper for the benefit of anyone who might be interested. Moving forward, I plan to segment my yacht reviews into the following sections:

  • Designer’s Intended Use (to put the review in context)
  • Design Characteristics
  • Performance Under Sail
  • Sailing Dynamics & Handling
  • Performance Under Power
  • Handling When Docking
  • Ground Tackle Fittings
  • Quality / Fit & Finish

Continue reading Hylas 54 Yacht Review!

“You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”

By Rich

We bet a lot of you wonder how it’s going with three of the four of us working day jobs from the boat. It’s an interesting question because while I have been working from boats for long periods full time for several seasons between Rover and our prior boat, Le Saberage, those experiences were very different in that the boats tended to stay in one marina for weeks at a time, most often at a slip. That meant marina-supplied WiFi, electrical power supplied from the marina, and a known cell phone signal strength.

Continue reading “You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”

Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle

By Rich

Fortunately for each member of Team Rover, we are all aligned on preferring to be at anchor by far over moorings or slips. That’s a really good thing because the experience is considerably different for each of the three options. Slips and (in particular) moorings are more or less tie-up-and-forget-it affairs, whereas anchoring requires more diligence and skill in choosing the right spot and monitoring to be sure swing radiuses are appropriate and the boat is not dragging in stiff breezes. So far we’ve been anchored more than half or 3+ week trip and I have the following reflections to share about the experience so far: Continue reading Hylas 54: Reflections On Ground Tackle