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Old 08-06-2011, 15:23   #16
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

I would add a Discovery 55 to your list or prospects (raised salon seating so that you can see out and even keep watch offshore).

These are perfect boats to take around the world assuming you are willing to pay the maintenance tab of these very complex pieces of technology ( I expect Oyster does have owners who expect a helicopter to be dispatched for a tangled sail).

But none of these boats are well suited for the East Coast of the US. Deep draft and no ICW bridge clearance will force you into rougher waters and reduce your cruising grounds. You'll do more waiting for weather windows. I also know several guys who's wives refused to go offshore after a few tangles with the snotty weather of the mid East Coast.

If you will mostly be in the Caribbean, you can bring in some crew for the delivery trips but if you plan to spend a substantial percentage of your time on the East Coast with your wife, I'd put a 63ft air draft and 5ft water draft well ahead of interior decor.

Carl
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Old 08-06-2011, 17:31   #17
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

I was looking at Hylas 54's and Oyster 485's and 55's a couple of years ago before finally buying a Moody 54. I agree with most of the comments above. The Oyster was my dream boat and first choice, but I had trouble finding a good one. I had a contract on an Oyster 485 which fell through when I failed to agree with the seller about adjustment of the price after the (ghastly) survey results came in.

The Holman & Pye designed Oysters are some of the most beautiful boats ever made in my opinion. I like the later Humphries designed ones much less. They are rather overpriced for what you get, in my opinion. The interior fitout is not so good and the rigs seem to be a bit underspecified. The boats sail well, however. The teak decks are screwed on and leak (several years ago Oyster switched to glued on teak decks made by Moody which are much better, but be careful with the older boats).

I ended up buying a Moody 54 just because it was in beautiful condition, then ended up liking the boat more and more. The interior fitout is better than the Oysters (gorgeous solid teak everywhere with some book-matched doors and other nice touches; the Oysters are mostly American Oak and a lot of it veneered onto cheap MDF board -- ick) and the rig is highly specified with tall three-spreader mast, eight cockpit winches, remote controlled jib cars and traveller, and other nice touches. The big disadvantage compared to the Oysters is that, although the Moody is a deck salon design, the coachroof is lower and you can't really see over the foredeck from the saloon as you can with the Oysters (a delightful feature; it also means Oysters have much better ventilation since you can open the large front-facing salon windows). But otherwise, they are quite comparable, and the Moodys are probably 20% cheaper if you compare like for like. The Moody 54 was replaced by the 56 in the mid 2000's, a slight evolution. If you buy a 54, you will get some change back from your million dollar bill, which you will not do with an Oyster of similar age and condition.

They are not, however, much available in the U.S. There were only a few dozen made and these were mostly sold in Europe.

As to air and water draft -- I agree that none of these are good coastal cruising boats (my boat is 75' in the air and nearly 8' in the water). They are made for eating up miles on long passages. With in-mast furling and powered winches they are fine for a couple to handle. But you will be frustrated in the ICW or Chesapeake Bay.

The Hylas is also a gorgeous boat and also somewhat less expensive than a comparable Oyster. They were mostly sold in the U.S. and so are quite rare in Europe, so got crossed off my list early due simply to lack of availability. They had some trouble, if I recall, with the bottom part of the rudders breaking off. The whole hull outer skin is made of Twaron (comparable to Kevlar); the Moody has only that part of the hull forward of the keel made in Kevlar.
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Old 08-06-2011, 17:53   #18
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Since you are not buying now, you may ultimately be looking at "newer" Oysters. If looking at a 2008 or later Oyster, you will then need to consider whether the buyout of Oyster in 2008 by a private equity company (and departure of Richard Mathews to later start a a new company) is a factor to consider.

It is certainly possible that the new owners will carry on on as well or even better than the old Oyster. I just don't think spreadsheets and blue water boat building mix very well.

Carl
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Old 08-06-2011, 18:26   #19
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Carl, I appreciate your bringing it all up. I'm running a conflict of interest: I want a boat with live-in room for 2 and amenities (why? because I've worked hard for it and deserve it, and at 57 I'll bend over to crawl into my bed space only in case of a war), and because of that I figure the boat should be in a 50+ ft range, but on the other hand I realize that her height and draft are not good for the East Coast cruising (Caribbean no problem, but as an ex-European city boy I need the hype of the old world bickering, administered regularly). You seem v. experienced. What boat would you buy to cruise the East Coast and Caribbean and live on it with my lovely wife with some room and privacy for one another?
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Old 08-06-2011, 18:38   #20
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The answer here is simple... Amel. ;-)
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Old 08-06-2011, 20:13   #21
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Christian's got a good idea but I thought the newer Amel's were just a bit too tall for a 65' US bridge. Worth checking.

But like the Amel, your best option if you must have 50' is probably to look for a ketch (and there are a lot of other good reasons to like a ketch see some of the threads).

Unfortunately, there are few being built now so you don't see many fancy ads. But if you start looking, you'll see quite a few from some very good builders.

Carl
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Old 08-06-2011, 20:24   #22
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Nemo View Post
Carl, I appreciate your bringing it all up. I'm running a conflict of interest: I want a boat with live-in room for 2 and amenities (why? because I've worked hard for it and deserve it, and at 57 I'll bend over to crawl into my bed space only in case of a war), and because of that I figure the boat should be in a 50+ ft range, but on the other hand I realize that her height and draft are not good for the East Coast cruising (Caribbean no problem, but as an ex-European city boy I need the hype of the old world bickering, administered regularly). You seem v. experienced. What boat would you buy to cruise the East Coast and Caribbean and live on it with my lovely wife with some room and privacy for one another?
I can think of lots, but you have to add another hull.
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Old 08-06-2011, 21:36   #23
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

I counted 16 Tayana 48's on yachtworld, with bridge clearances posted between 63.5 and 68 feet. Must be a good deal to be had in that market.
Spent time on both a Hylas 46 and a newer Tayana 48, both great sailing boats but the Hylas has nicer curb appeal; German Frers design.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:27   #24
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

I think draft is more important than bridge height for this discussion. My boat is a retractable keel so draws 5'3" up and 9' down. Air draft is 68'. The ICW is not a big deal to me -- it's an offshore boat and eats up the miles. However the shoal draft board up is great Chesapeake/Bahamas no big deal. When you need the benefits of a deep keel I have it.

FWIW I don't like multihulls at sea just not happy with the motion at anchor they are great.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:43   #25
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Some of the Oyster range was built in NZ by Mc Dell Marine on contract, I think 47's and 54's, somewhere around the period 2003-2008. A bit of digging will confirm the exact data. These will be well constructed.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:06   #26
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

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Carl, I appreciate your bringing it all up. I'm running a conflict of interest: I want a boat with live-in room for 2 and amenities (why? because I've worked hard for it and deserve it, and at 57 I'll bend over to crawl into my bed space only in case of a war), and because of that I figure the boat should be in a 50+ ft range, but on the other hand I realize that her height and draft are not good for the East Coast cruising (Caribbean no problem, but as an ex-European city boy I need the hype of the old world bickering, administered regularly). You seem v. experienced. What boat would you buy to cruise the East Coast and Caribbean and live on it with my lovely wife with some room and privacy for one another?

We have everything you want in our Whitby 42. I know it is not the boat for you, not enough panache, but don't limit yourself to 50 foot and higher boats. We have two double bunks, two heads, a spacious salon and a great cockpit. And the ketch rig means I can sail it alone if I have to. Something a cruising couple always needs to consider.

Even though I hope never to see the ICW again we cruise it easily with a 57 foot mast and a 5 1/2 foot draft. And our interior wood work was cut from a single piece so the grains match. Not bad for a 30 year old boat.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:01   #27
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Capt Nemo:
I shopped for 2 years looking at 48 -60' yachts, priced between $500K and $1.5 million. Included Amels, Oysters, Hylas, Hallberg Rasseys, Moodys, Discoverys, Taswells, Tayanas and several custom one-offs. I chose a Kanter 52' aluminum cutter with a "pilothouse" configuration; has been a superb choice. In boom Leisurefurl, electric windlass and winches, bulletproof autopilot (and redundant autopilot) and I felt comfortable singlehanding her from RI to Bermuda and back. Fast modern underbody and big rig means 10 knots over ground in any bit of breeze. Heavy displacement and big beam means stability in a gale.

Excellent advice you have gotten is to consider each boat individually AND consider your cruising grounds and purpose. Air draft is critical on the East Coast; I have 72' and cannot do any intracoastal- this is extremely limiting when the weather is bad and offshore is nasty- I enjoy rough sailing but your wife may feel differently.....

I think the worst mistake people make is to buy the boat at the dock, and not buy the boat for their intended lifestyle and travels. Some people want self sufficiency at anchor, some want a dock ornament to fit in any yacht club they visit, some want performance offshore and some don't go outside of the inlet if the wind is over 20 knots. Think about what you intend to do with the boat....

By the way, our Kanter is named "Nautilus"; our bull terrier is Capt Nemo!!
Fair winds,
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:50   #28
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

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Originally Posted by sailnautilus View Post

I think the worst mistake people make is to buy the boat at the dock, and not buy the boat for their intended lifestyle and travels. Some people want self sufficiency at anchor, some want a dock ornament to fit in any yacht club they visit, some want performance offshore and some don't go outside of the inlet if the wind is over 20 knots. Think about what you intend to do with the boat....

Dr. Michele

^ This
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:33   #29
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Random Thoughts

The 53's were built in NZ by McDell - not sure about the others. McDell has built Farr designs too with a good reputation. I don't think Oyster builds much (anything?) in the UK. They have another yard under contract in Turkey. The Humphries designed 53's are what you usually see around. I can confirm what @Dockhead mentions about the oak interiors. They make cherry and light teak interiors too.

Funny thing about those Tayana 48's - they come with in either 70' and 63' rigs. Perry's specification was for 70', but Ta Yang made some Intra-coastal friendly as an owner option. More important like @Jon and @Dr. Michele say is draft imo. The best thing about the 48 instead of the Hylas 46 is the aft stall shower though I agree with @YADO that the Frers lines are sexier...

I was kayaking around the Fruit Isles in Lauderdale the other day. Surprised that the most common make was Amel per @Christian's suggestion...not sure what means...must be just an anomaly.
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Old 12-06-2011, 17:15   #30
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Re: Hylas vs Oyster

Skippers, I've learned a lot from your answers, many thanks! Largely because of your comments, we now think that a 54' may be too much of a boat for us, and because the focus is on cruising the East Coast / ICW and the Caribbean, my wife and I may very well look into a 46' sailboat, preferably a shoal draft keel. An Oyster 46, no question pricey even several years old, has the advantage over Hylas 46 in having 3 staterooms instead of 2. Just as I always thought that cars and boats make the lousiest investments, I'm surprised how much value pre-owned Oysters and Hylas'es hold.
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