With the introduction of every new model Hylas looks to industry partners to verify that all the systems will achieve the highest possible standards of performance and reliability. In some instances this will pertain to the quality of life on board such as air conditioning or fresh water pressure. Others include the mechanical efficiency of engines and props. Many sailors are also familiar with data from the designer that predicts boat speed with different wind angles and sail configurations—most commonly presented as a chart known as a “polar”. This does however have to be theoretical and it really is up to the skipper and crew to try and achieve those numbers. The consequences of missing a number by a fraction could mean a few minutes gained or lost on passage but that’s about it.
In the same way the designer has to “predict” performance in a polar, there is also another extremely important prediction which is the “stability” curve. This reflects the “righting moment” of a yacht at different angles of heel – basically the forces working to put the boat back upright. An important consideration here is the ability of the rig to hold up in the conditions that may be creating excessive heeling. To 100% verify the rig requirements there has to be a “Heel Test”.
We asked Scott Alexander of Seldén Mast, the long time partner and rig manufacturer for Hylas Yachts to give us a very quick summary of what was going on when he came to perform the “Heel Test” on the new Hylas H57.
“When the designer gives us the stability curve for the yacht we are able to “calculate” the load bearing requirements of the mast and standing rigging. Mostly these designer calculations are quite accurate but we want to leave absolutely nothing to chance. Being a few percentage points out may be a little more troubling than losing a few minutes on passage. To do this we induce heeling when the yacht is alongside the dock. In this instance using the boom to help with leverage we are able to accurately determine the righting moment in Lbs from 0 to 10 degrees of heel. We then plot this data against the “predictions”. Extrapolating these real world numbers allows us to confidently determine the maximum loads the rig will ever need to withstand. From this we can verify the selection of the rig’s component parts from the smallest clevis pin to wire sizing for shrouds to the mast section itself. This is just one more way we are able to confidently testify to the suitability of the rig on this Hylas for ocean passages and the conditions the yacht may encounter” Scott also shared that “Selden has been carrying out heeling tests for over 60 years. It is the only way to actually confirm the predicted righting moment”