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At X-Yachts we always strive to optimise both performance and comfort, and we believe that they go hand in hand. A yacht that sails efficiently, accelerates well, heels less, and punches through waves better, is a yacht that will give you the most comfort, is safer, and will deliver a completely enjoyable trustworthy sail whatever the conditions.

On an X-Yacht you will cover ground quicker, giving you more time to enjoy yourself in port or at anchor, or possibly beat that weather front you needed to get ahead of or simply to make the most of your time on board.

There are many elements that go into the design of an X-Yacht which help with performance in all conditions:

Vertical Weight Distribution

Vertical Weight Distribution

X-Yachts are often assumed to be light-weight yachts, which is understandable due to the racing heritage; in reality X-Yachts are often slightly heavier than competitors.

Weight is not necessarily an issue, it’s how it is distributed that is important.

What X-Yachts have learnt from their racing past is a strong emphasis on optimum weight distribution.

Starting at the very early stages, and throughout the design of each project weight is minimised where possible, and positioned as low as possible whilst carrying as much weight as possible in the lead bulbs.

As such we create a yacht with a very low centre of gravity, directly resulting in greater righting moment at all points of heel.

Therefore an X-Yacht can carry a bigger sail plan for better performance in light - medium winds.

Hull Stiffness

The term “stiff hull” is used a lot. But what does this mean?

On any yacht the forestay and backstay pull the bow and stern up, whilst the mast pushes down, bending the hull.

If the hull isn’t stiff enough it will flex, especially upwind in waves. This can cause the forestay to slacken as the bow hits a wave resulting in sail shape being lost at critical moments. This is known as forestay pumping.

It is easy make the hull very stiff, the challenge is making it light as well as stiff. X-Yachts have achieved this by using a number of tried and tested methods.

Hull Stiffness
Sandwich Construction

Sandwich Construction

X-Yachts use a sandwich construction method. A sandwich panel consists of two single skins separated by a core material.

Placing core between the skins is an effective way of increasing the panel stiffness without incurring the weight penalty of using solid laminate


Internal Hull Liners

All X-Yachts are fitted with a structural hull liner. The liner is made in a GRP mould with steel inserts. It is fitted into the yacht while still in its mould to ensure the liner does not flex while being fitted and it therefore stays true to the originally designed shape.

The liner is glued in place then over-laminated to ensure excellent and reliable adhesion.

Using a full hull liner can cause problems after the boat has taken damage such as running aground as it makes it very difficult to inspect the hull and keel structure. X-Yachts have solved this by having large open areas and gluing flanges which allow for inspection of both the bonding of the hull liner as well as the hull itself in the event of a collision or grounding event.

By including unidirectional fibres in critical areas in the hull and deck we can add enormous amounts of stiffness for very little weight gain.

Reduced Drag

The more wetted surface area a yacht has the more drag there is. By reducing resistance and drag in the water we can improve the speed. For that reason X-Yachts optimizes the hull and appendages wherever possible to reduce drag to a minimum.

Flush Skin Fittings

Flush Skin Fittings

All through hull fittings on X-Yachts are recessed and flush to the hull and are then faired to ensure minimal drag.

Lead Keel Bulbs

Lead Keel Bulbs

X-Yachts use lead keel bulb. A lead bulb has got a smaller volume than an iron one of the same weight, and therefore a lesser wetted surface area (about 30% saved on the bulb alone).



The keel and rudder represent on average 20% of the wetted surface area of our sailing yachts. Reducing their area would reduce drag, however, it would also reduce the keel and rudders lift which would increase leeway and make it harder to steer. Instead, X-Yachts ensures they use the optimum profiles for each appendage, and the perfect aspect ratio to offer maximum lift and minimum drag.

Folding Propeller

Folding Propeller

A Fixed blade propeller would create huge amounts of drag when sailing. Therefore all X-Yachts are fitted as standard with a 2 or 3 bladed Flex-o-Fold folding propeller.

Retractable bow and stern thruster

Retractable bow and stern thruster

X-Yachts use a retractable thruster units when specified, meaning you have a smooth fair hull when its not in use.

Encapsulated Keel

Encapsulated Keel

X-Yachts' cast iron and lead keels are encapsulated in a reinforced epoxy e-glass shell to guarantee they are accurate to the original design and have a perfect hydrodynamic and fair finish as well as to protect against corrosion.

Mast & Rigging Specification

Due to the stiff hull of an X-Yacht and the specification of the standing rigging it is possible to have a much higher rig tension and therefore have much greater control over the rig and sail shape.

X-Yachts use rod rigging as apposed to wire rigging. This means it would be possible to use a smaller diameter for the same strength. However, X-Yachts has opted to keep the diameter the same as if it were wire rigging meaning the stretch in the rigging is almost eliminated.

A mast section that is too small will not be able to meet the increased rig tension it takes to have full control of the sail plan.

A client may also specify carbon spars which offer greater stiffness for the same weight as an aluminium spar. Carbon spars offer greater control over the sail shape, especially upwind.

To minimize forestay ‘sag’ for optimum upwind performance, it is essential to be able to tighten the backstay (and thereby the forestay). Many X-Yachts models are fitted with hydraulic backstay adjusters to make it easy to set the right backstay tension.

The combination of these elements allows the yacht to be trimmed to ensure maximum sailing pleasure and of course speed.

Mast & Rigging Specification

Sheeting Position

All X-Yachts are designed with optimum sheeting angles. A combination of the car position, barber haulers and sheet tension give good control over the foresail, enabling you to point higher and sail faster.

Sail Plan

X-Yachts work in collaboration with top sail lofts to develop a range of sails that work perfectly with the rig.

Bow Sprit

A range of bowsprit options are available for both the Xp, X and Xc range in order to ensure flying an asymmetric spinnaker is efficient and easy even in light winds

Mainsheet System

The mainsheet system used on X-Yachts runs aft to two winches. This makes it very powerful when needed and also very quick to alter sail trim when rounding marks or when hit by a gust.

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