Hylas Yachts – Shipyard Visit


During the middle of March, Grabau International’s Alex Grabau travelled out to Kaohsiung, Taiwan to visit Queen Long Marine – builders of Hylas Yachts.

Queen Long Marine was founded by the Huang family in 1978 with the construction of a shipyard in the industrial city of Kaohsiung, home of many famous yachting brands including Horizon, Johnson, Ocean Alexander, Tayana, Jade, President, Hans Christian, Ta Chiao and Kha Shing. The Hylas name brand name was introduced in 1984 following the introduction of the German Frers designed Hylas 44. Queen Long Marine remains in full family ownership with the third generation of Huang family now working throughout the business, both at the shipyard in Taiwan and also at their Palm Beach offices in the US.

The Hylas Shipyard freshwater testing tank (complete with Koi Carp!) with the lamination hall to the side

The Queen Long Marine administration and design offices

The main build hall at Queen Long Marine with Hylas 57 (left), Hylas 57 deck (middle), Hylas 60 (right), Hylas M44 (middle left) and Hylas 49 (back left)

2017 saw major changes at the shipyard with company president Joseph Huang’s son Andy Huang stepping forward as new CEO, the opening of their US sales headquarters (Hylas Yachts are now sold factory direct in the US/Canadian markets) and the introduction of a brand new range of yachts from designers such as German Frers, Bill Dixon and the interior design gurus Hotlab from Milan. The first two examples of these new-generation designs are the Bill Dixon designed Hylas 57 and the German Frers/Hotlab designed Hylas 60. With two examples of each now in build at the shipyard, it was high time Grabau International packed their suitcase and headed to Asia’s yacht-building capital for a closer look.

The new Bill Dixon designed Hylas 57

Hylas 60

Hylas 60 saloon

The new German Frers and Hotlab designed Hylas 60

Our trip coincided with a visit by Bill Dixon who was there to inspect progress on the first of the two Hylas 57s, both sold off-plan to buyers in the US. Hull No.1 is due to be delivered to her new owner this season with Hull No.2 to follow soon after. As with all Hylas Yachts, there is almost unlimited scope for customisation with this boat no exception. With an in-house CAD design department and a team of highly experienced shipwrights, almost anything can be accommodated, quickly, efficiently and with minimal additional cost.

Hylas 57 designer Bill Dixon with Queen Long Marine CEO Andy Huang

Hull No.1 of the Hylas 57 in late stages construction

Hull No.1 Hylas 57 twin rudder configuration

Queen Long Marine’s dedicated lamination hall with Hylas 57 Hull No.2 being made ready for her keel attachment

With hand construction and hand finishing a trademark of all Hylas yachts, Queen Long Marine is working hard to maintain the balance between tradition and modernity with the use of high-tech vacuum infusion technologies for hulls and investment in multi-axis CNC milling machinery sitting hand-in-hand with the multi-generational skills of fine woodwork finishing, highly skilled hand lamination and metalwork fabrication. Few European manufacturers are able to retain such a high degree of hand finishing due to spiralling labour costs.

Queen Long Marine CAD offices overlooking the main construction hall

Traditional hand finished joinery work in abundance across all the Hylas range

Stepping across from the Hylas 57 to the new German Frers Hylas 60, the new Hotlab-designed interior was taking shape with what will surely be one of the best aft owner’s staterooms of any yacht at this size. We are really excited to see the development of this new model which is designed to span the gap between the traditional centre cockpit blue water market where Hylas has a legendary reputation and the performance aft-cockpit sloop market. The opportunity to offer a hand-built, highly-customisable, ultra-modern and realistically-priced option to this market is something that we are all truly excited to be involved with. Hull No.2 is already out of the mould and with two deck options available (allowing for owner’s aft stateroom, or owner’s forward stateroom), both yachts are available for immediate order and completion.

The new Hylas 60 Hull No.1 with Hylas 57 Hull No.2 deck in the foreground

Hylas 60 Hull No.2 fresh out of the mould and awaiting fit-out

Tying in perfectly with the Hylas DNA of marrying tradition with modernity, was the yacht in build just across the impressive main build hall from the Hylas 60. The Hylas 49 can trace her roots back to the very first yacht built by Queen Long Marine – the Stevens 47. Evolving into the Hylas 47 in the early 1980’s and then to the Hylas 49 in early 1990’s, this achingly pretty classical Sparkman & Stephens design has become a true icon in the blue water fraternity. As much as we would love the Hylas 49 to remain in the lineup for another generation, the demands of the new-generation Frers and Dixon designs means that this elegant Hylas 49 will be the very last out of the mould. This extremely special ‘last of the line’ example, built to celebrate 40yrs of Queen Long Marine is available for immediate completion. Please contact us for more information!

The iconic Hylas 49 – The very last in the line of this classic Sparkman & Stephens blue water cruising yacht

It’s not all sailing yachts at Hylas. As many of our followers will know, Hylas Yachts also build a range of sedan motor yachts on behalf of Salthouse Next Generation boats from New Zealand. Marketed as the Salthouse Corsair in New Zealand and offered as the Hylas M44 and M49 elsewhere, Queen Long Marine have now built a larger number of these ultra-seaworthy motor yachts, one of which is available for demonstration here in the UK. Salthouse founder and designer Dean Salthouse was also at the shipyard during our visit to inspect the two hulls currently in build, one in final fit-out and the other in the lamination stages.

Hylas M44 designer Dean Salthouse discussing dashboard instrument positioning

Another Hylas M44 Euro / Salthouse Corsair nears completion

For further information, brochures and price lists for any of the Hylas Yachts range, please contact us. Grabau International are exclusive European sales agents for Hylas Sailing and Power Yachts.

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