The 40TH anniversary of X-Yachts - Starting in a barn

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Friday 30th August 2019

X-Yachts as a start-up company in 1979

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of X-Yachts, a number of upcoming stories will give you an insight behind the scenes of how the foundation of X-Yachts was made.

These stories will take you through a journey of a company, which is built on passion, innovation and the hunger to create the eXtraordinary.

2# Starting in a barn

The outcome was that one of the casters, Birger Hansen (born 1948) took on the task. Birger Hansen came from a farming family on Haderslev Point and was originally trained as a shop assistant at a grocer’s in Øsby between Haderslev and Årøsund. In his leisure time, he enjoyed riding his motorcycle, but after an accident, he had to undergo rehabilitation in Sønderborg, where he learned to work with fiberglass. He had been working as a fiberglass laminator at Banner Både for seven years. After work hours, ran a small company fitting out small motorboats, as well as laminated and sold GRP roofs for Citröen 2CV´s and Dyane models. For this purpose, he had set up a workshop in a former barn by his home in Marstrup five kilometers outside Haderslev.

Banner 29
Here, the Banner 29 prototype was built. Lars and Niels helped out during weekends and evenings, and all three were able to sail on the boat in the first season. The boat was launched in the spring of 1978, and in its first race – Little Belt Cup – arranged by Sejlklubben Assens – the Banner 29 was not just the first boat to reach the goal, it was also the overall winner. The competition included a 55-foot archipelago cruiser captained by Peter Reedtz. He had an ambition to win Denmark’s biggest sail race, Sjælland Rundt. With its more than 2,000 entrants, it was also one of the largest sailing races in the world.

Ravage 36
Peter Reedtz was both impressed and enthused by the excellent qualities of the 29. He did, however, want a slightly bigger boat for the purpose. So he persuaded Niels Jeppesen to design a 36-foot boat. The resulting product to realize the dream was Ravage 36. Once more, the three shared the building of the prototype in Birger Hansen’s barn. The agreement was that they could spend 1,950 hours on the task and would be paid DKK 60 per hour. Work commenced in the autumn of 1978 and the launch took place during a snowstorm on 3 December of the same year, in Vejle. Sjælland Rundt 1979 The prototype was entered in the Sjælland Rundt race in the summer of 1979 and was the first DH boat in the large boat class to finish, with nearly 600 entries. Peter Reedtz subsequently started a series production of the boat with Bianca Yachts in Rudkøbing on Langeland, the largest pleasure boatyard in Denmark at the time.

More to come – stay tuned!

The 40th Anniversary paper book is now for sale – Read all about the X-Yacht journey – 150 pages of history, models and pure X-moments.      Click to order