Downeast charm complements an upturned peak and generous flare, and with a full-keel hull form that draws only 3 feet 2 inches, the Hylas M44 is a cruise-anywhere craft.
The M44 is built at Hylas Yachts‘ Queen Long Marine yard in Taiwan, a well-known sailboat builder. It’s applying the same level of craftsmanship to its relatively new powerboat line. New Zealand designer Dean Salthouse developed the M44 from proven fishing, patrol and other commercial craft penned by the Salthouse family.
Boarding from the platform is via three accordion-glass gates that allow access to the aft deck. The opening doubles as tender stowage underway, hence the metal skid plate on the deck’s edge between the cockpit and swim platform.
The yacht’s integrated hardtop overhang shades most of the cockpit, and an enclosure makes this space usable on inclement days. An L-shaped settee is to port, while to starboard are a high-gloss teak high-low table that converts to a lounge pad, and a bench-style seat for alfresco entertaining. Stowage under the seats is adequate for dive tanks, gear, a hot-water heater, batteries and more. Additional stowage is in the lazarette, which is accessed via a hatch in the teak sole.
Designed with an eye toward openness, the salon has a pocket door and a gas-hinged aft window that opens, creating an indoor-outdoor social area. The M44’s galley, aft and to port, becomes central to that social area with a propane stove/oven, a microwave, dual fridge drawers, a top-opening freezer, twin stainless-steel sinks, a pull-out pantry and 10 self-closing sectioned drawers.
For dining indoors, there’s a U-shaped settee to port with a teak high-low table that converts to a berth. Across is a bench-style seat for more guests to stretch out after a day’s cruising.
Belowdecks accommodations include a forepeak master stateroom with a queen berth, a closet, four portholes and an overhead hatch. A second stateroom has twin bunks, one a double berth. The head includes a shower stall and MasterFlush electric toilet.
The M44’s helm is sized to house a Raymarine 14-inch multifunction display, engine monitors, autopilot, tab controls, thruster and more. The burl-wood steering wheel is a nice contrast to the teak cabinetry and light-tone leather and fabrics.
Powered on our sea trial with twin 370 hp Yanmar diesels, the 20,943-pound yacht got up to 30 knots at wide-open throttle, with unobstructed visibility in all directions.
An entertainment-friendly layout, solid construction and admirable performance make the Hylas M44 a noteworthy entry into the powerboat world.
In addition to incorporating grab rails, Hylas designed an indentation into the roofline as a handhold for anyone transiting the decks. To maximize walking room, the railing stanchions are mounted on the outer edge of the deck just above the rub rail, allowing for wider side decks.
Breath of Fresh Air
Opening hatches on the foredeck are above the sleeping accommodations down below, allowing a fresh breeze into the forepeak master stateroom with queen-size berth as well as a second stateroom to port with twin bunks for guests or the kids.
The M44’s 370 hp Yanmars are amidships, accessible from the salon. The positioning distributes weight, allows more space aft and protects the power plants from the elements. The engine-room layout allows access to strainers, fuel filters and around both engines. Insulation keeps noise low a level above, and in the salon and helm.