Niels Jeppesen, the founder of X Yachts, has presented the new path of the yard at the Boot Düsseldorf. Between the two lines currently under production, the Xc (cruising boats with central cockpit and right stern) and the XP (racing models featuring the most original X Yachts style), comes the X series (the first two models presented are the X6⁵ and the X4³) which, as desired by the shipyard itself, combines the best of the two worlds.
The new concept has been explained in detail by two young designers of the yard seated in Hadersley: Benoit (Ben) Mancini and Jacob Deane has shown how speed, structural strength and comfort are three important elements the new X-series boats, representing a perfect fusion between the two already existing lines, have focused on. In short, the yard aspires to introduce the typical amenities of the cruising line into more modern and powerful boats, even if not specifically designed for races. This last concept is the keystone of the new vision of the yard: the fact that they are not designed for races means that these boats are not subjected to any racing regulations, which gives the freedom to choice the most appropriate bottom shapes without caring about size measurements imposed by rating.
Moreover, the designer is not forced to facilitate close-hauled or downwind speeds but he can choose more powerful and rounder layouts, fuller on both the bow and stern: more appropriate to runfree or on a beam wind and, thus, for a pleasant cruise and to create greater spaciousness inside. Of course, all loads are gathered at mid-ship in order to minimize pitching and dissipation of kinetic energy for the benefit of performances.
Construction, too, aims to favour under-sail performances: in both the X4³ and the X6⁵,the foam sandwich hull has been successfully infused using epoxy resin and carbon reinforced elements. Their lamination was made by the same experts that have built over 300 boats over the last 4 years. To ensure maximum strength, engineers have also used the traditional galvanized steel “hull girder” ( a typical feature on Jeppesen’s boats) which acts as a basic frame and the unique structural point where all the strains of the boats are concentrated, from the sail plain to the keel with terminal torpedo.
The above-mentioned comfort is ensured by the considerable length of the boats which allows to receive the greatest possible number of passengers and berths . So, the X4³ can have two or three cabins with one or two bathrooms while the X6⁵ can host three or four cabins. Both the two models have preserved the huge chart table whose sizes are hard to find in other recent models.
Interiors, especially on the 20-metre model, are available in nine different customizable layouts, all provided with an astern tender garage hosting a William rib . A smart water-jet system and some rolls allow to easily and safely launch and recover the rib.
High-quality finishes, fine wood and generous volumes below deck set these boats apart from mass produced ones. Style is contemporary but not glamourous, certainly more modern than that of the X boats launched in late 90’s, the golden age of the boats featuring a three-stripe waterline.
Aesthetically, the two models share an evident family feeling: right bow with a small bowsprit (actually optional but strongly advised to accomodate and hide the anchor or set the asymmetric spinnaker); side rectangular windows (much larger than those of XP series); squared and snub deckhouse and open stern. Distinctive, but available only on the larger model, is the rollbar hosting the mainsail lead.
Well, X Yachts has decided to bet on this hybrid solution. Only time will tell whether it turns out to be a revolution able to seduce sailors wishing to have a X-boat only for cruise but non convinced by the classic lines of the Xc series or whether the yard goes back to offer a single series for all purposes like it did until few years ago or whether it has been a double ballon d’essai. What is certain is that the X6⁵ presented in Düsseldorf is already the third one: not bad for a 20-metre boat which has existed for just six months.