Hylas M49 first look: 2023 Miami Boat Show debut should be worth the wait

After a two-year Covid delay, the classy Hylas M49 is ready for its moment in the spotlight at the 2023 Miami Boat Show...

Spare a thought for the folks at Hylas Yachts in Taiwan. Back in 2020, the builder was all set to ship the first of its lovely, New England Down East-style Hylas M49 cruisers to the U.S. to show-off to potential customers. Then Covid19 roared into town, boat show plans were scrapped, and the launch put on indefinite hold.

Now, after two long years, the original design by New Zealand boat builder and naval architect Salthouse, has been primped and preened, and the salty-looking M49 is ready for its Miami Boat Show coming-out party.

With classic, lobster boat-style lines, this rugged 49-footer will go head-to-head with offerings from established players like Hinckley, Hunt, Sabre, Grand Banks and Legacy for a slice of the lucrative Down East coupe market.

What it has on its side is proven offshore performance. During its two-year hiatus, an early Hylas M49 was thrashed around the frothy New Zealand coastline by Salthouse, who are well-known for their carbon fiber race yachts.

The hull itself is developed from Hylas’ popular M44 model that first appeared in 2018. In New Zealand, the boat is regularly adapted for use as a customs patroller, police boat and deep-sea fish chaser. Rugged doesn’t come close to describing it.

Recommended videos for you

Article continues below…

With the M49, Hylas has gone for flexibility and comfort with a big-windowed, roomy saloon and rear-positioned galley that opens out on to a large, Eisenglas-windowed rear aft deck. Down below, there’s a double berth in the vee and a twin-berth cabin for guests.

As for power, a pair of analog Yanmar 370hp turbo diesels was chosen for dependability and quiet running. Flat out expect an easy 20 knots-plus top speed. With this new M49, we’re sure Hylas is hoping it’s a case of good things coming to those who wait.

Hylas M49 specification

LOA: 49ft 2in (15m)
Beam: 13ft 6in (4.1m)
Engines: 2 x Yanmar 370hp
Top speed: 20 knots (approx)
Starting price: TBC