She is more ‘cruising’ than X-Yachts’ Performance range but more ‘performance’ than its Cruising range, so who is she for? Graham Snook takes her sailing to find out
X-Yachts X4 review
See the December 2016 issue of Yachting Monthly for the full test
What’s she like to sail?
The X4 is a dangerously fun boat to sail. She is so engaging and enjoyable to helm that it’s easy to forget about the constraints of things like draught – as I did. I could of course blame the position of the chartplotters on the binnacle in front of each wheel – which were only really visible if standing behind the wheel – or I could just admit the truth, I was totally absorbed in the X4 and loved the feel from the Solimar steering: smooth, precise, responsive and up there with the best boats I’ve sailed.
She’s an easy yacht to sail short-handed, or even solo with an autopilot. While the cockpit is wide it’s also quite short, and not designed for a full race crew. Lines and sheets can be managed easily by one person without feeling like they’ve run a marathon around the deck. The 106% genoa is a doddle to tack and when you sit forward of the wheel, the mainsheet winch is to hand and the cockpit is easily accessible. There are some boat tests where I never want the sailing side of it to end, this was one of them.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
With genoa tracks on top of the coachroof and all lines (including genoa sheets and car adjusters) led under the deck, the only things to catch an unwary toe are two lines going across the foredeck and two flip-flop turning blocks by the genoa winches – that’s it! While the seats in the cockpit are only 1.47m (4ft 10in) long, with the wonderfully clutter-free deck you could lie down and stretch out almost anywhere else. The winches do impinge on elbow space on the coaming a little when you’re relaxing.
No part of her ground tackle or windlass are above deck, so the deck has the best hope of remaining free of muck from the anchor. The anchor lives in the bow roller under the optional bowsprit. There is no second bow roller and the hull has minimal chafe protection around the fold-down mooring cleats (fixed cleats are standard), which are quite far aft, so you’d have to rig up your own anti-chafe solution for nights on swinging moorings.
Below decks she has options of twin or single aft cabins and you can choose to have one or two heads compartments.
Would she suit you and your crew?
If you see yourself as a sporty cruiser, or someone who like sailing fast but also doesn’t want to compromise on their comfort, the X4 could be what you’re looking for. And if you enjoy sailing, you’ll love her. She’s a real connoisseur’s boat and quite simply a delight on the helm. I know looks are subjective, but X-Yachts have put in a lot of effort to keep her lines and decks clean and I think she looks great.
She may have a base price of £288,000 Inc VAT, but there are many lovely details that are options, like the bathing platform, hull-coloured carbon fibre bowsprit and fold-down cleats. Ticking these three boxes would increase her cost by more than £10,700 inc VAT, but that’s not to say these items are overpriced. I mention it as a caution – you really should make allowances for some box-ticking in your budget.
However much you do spend, it will be a distant memory once you get the wheel in your hand and start looking at the telltales. Just remember to keep an eye on the depth…
Facts and figures
Price £397,000 inc VAT as tested; base price £288,000
LOA 13.09m (42ft 11in)
LWL 11.31m (37ft 1in)
Beam 3.95 m (13ft)
Draught 2.20 m (7ft 3in)
Displacement 8,850 kg (19,510 lb)
Ballast 3,800kg (8,378 lb)
Ballast ratio 42.9%
Sail area 97m2 (1044sq ft)
SA/D ratio 23.1
Diesel 200 litres (44 gal)
Water 340 litres (75 gal)
Engine 45 hp HPCR saildrive
RCD Cat A
Designer X-Yachts design team
UK Agent X-Yachts (GB)
Tel 02380 453377