New Zealand boatbuilders Hylas Yachts have introduced the M49 cruiser. It is the third motor yacht model built by the yard, which is better known for sailing yachts.
The M49 was created to offer a larger model for customers looking for more room. There is more space in the aft lounge and the yard has increased the boat's capacity to carry water toys, such as kayaks and paddleboards, with enhanced stowage for the dinghy.
The Hylas M49's lengthened aft cockpit adds 1.40-metre to the overall length and 0.81-metres to the waterline, compared with the Hylas M44.
One of the best features is the additional entertainment area that extends between the galley and outside seating area. This space can be customised with additional pullout refrigerator drawers, wet bar, combination washer, and dryer, or used as extra storage. Also, beneath the aft lounge is an additional storage locker for fishing gear, dive equipment or water toys.
To build the M49, Hylas brought in New Zealand yacht builder Salthouse. The Salthouse family has been designing and building motor yachts for more than 65 years,
Lead designer Dean Salthouse created the yacht for the demanding Australasian environment, introducing elements such as a spacious interior and a practical and secure aft cockpit.
"Having owned and operated five M44, and seriously tested both the M44 and M49 in extreme conditions (and I mean New Zealand extreme), both vessels have many similarities and different strengths when directly compared," Salthouse says.
"Whether it's steaming from Australia to New Zealand in the M49 after the launch of the first hull, crossing Cook Strait (the body of water between the North and South islands of New Zealand) in 30 seas, or delivering an M44 from Auckland around the top of New Zealand and then down to Nelson at the top of the South Island, these experiences only increase the faith and reputation of these models."
The Hylas M49's options for customisation include larger guest accommodation, a second head, more extensive interior and exterior storage compartments and lockers.
The M49 has a voluminous interior layout, with two large accommodation cabins and two heads. The forward owner's cabin can be configured with a conventional island double or with five single bunks.
The guest cabin just aft to port is standard with a twin berth with infill and a further bunk berth above and outboard, which can be converted to storage space.
The forward end of the pilothouse features the helm station to starboard. There is a double helm seat and a large instrument console capable of accommodating twin 12-inch plotter/radar screens. A stainless steel framed sliding door allows access to the side decks.
Opposite the helm station is the dinette featuring a large U-shaped settee and a large dining table, which is height adjustable.
The cockpit consists of an L-shaped settee to port with a height adjustable table, which can be turned into a sunbed or occasional outdoors double berth using the infill supplied as standard. Opposite to starboard is a linear sofa. The extended cockpit in the M49 allows for a wetbar, further locker space and "pop up" grill for alfresco dining.
At the stern is a large bathing platform area with stainless steel guardrails.
The Hylas M49 will be powered by twin Yanmar 8LV-370 8-cylinder diesels. Its maximum speed is 31 knots.
After testing the M49, Dean Salthouse said:"firstly, it is very noticeable how stable the Hylas M49 is in terms of the beam to beam roll. As for athwartship stability, with the longer waterline, the M49 handles the seas. You cannot have enough of that.
"Second, in large head seas, the additional length and comparatively modest beam allow the waves to slide by without a lot of bow lift."
Jack O'Rourke is a contributer to Ocean Media
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