Xp 50

2012 March 13

The latest from X Yachts is this addition to its Xp line, the Xp 50. The promotional material I have calls this design a "dual-purpose racer-cruiser." This high-performance hull is coupled with a cruiser-friendly layout and two rig options. It's that combination of speed and comfort that drives so many new designs. The material does not give any designer credit but I think all the X Yachts are the product of an in-house design team headed by Niels Jeppesen.

The Xp 50 has a D/L of 134, so it's light for a cruising boat. The L/B is 3.38, right in the current "normal" range for beam. Like almost all modern boats the beam is taken back to a very wide transom. There is only 5 feet, 2 inches of total overhangs on this boat. The stem is near plumb and the transom is vertical. Vertical transoms aren't pretty but they afford the maximum sailing length and the greatest length on deck, so they are very practical. To my eye the vertical transom goes nicely with the flat sheer and plumb stem. The promo material says the hull has a "slimmer upright waterline for lower surface area and additional topside flare for power." I'm not sure how you combine a slimmer waterline with topside flare because I just don't see any flare in the renderings. The topsides look quite slab like to me. But we know now that this is a fast shape. There is no need to add flare for form stability when you have 11,332 pounds of lead in a bulb and draft options of 9 feet, 10 inches and 8 feet, 8 inches. The rudder is exceptionally deep and knifelike.

The 50 is laid out for three couples with mirror-image staterooms aft and a V-berth double stateroom forward. There are two heads and both have shower stalls. I like the galley with the sinks almost on centerline. The nav station is small but the days of needing a chart table big enough to lay out a chart are gone. I like the squared-off, orthogonal dinette to port. I have this theory that the human body seeks corners and this dinette has some good corners. There is nothing novel about this layout, you see the same basic layout in boats well under 40 feet, but the proportions benefit of having 50 feet to work with.

You can go with an aluminum stick and a slightly shorter rig or you can go for the carbon stick option and gain a few square feet of sail area for an SA/D of 30.5. The designers at X Yachts have learned with their other models that the big rig is the most effective if you are going to race the boat. This is a big rig even with the shorter stick. Masthead chutes will tack to the short, fixed sprit.

Every effort has been made to keep this deck clean. There are under-deck sheet leads and the mainsheet system is a maxi-boat style setup. There are long cockpit seats and what looks like a cockpit table that retracts into the cockpit sole. The side decks are wide adjacent to the twin wheels and there is a wide seat aft. The door that closes off the garage hinges down electrically to make for a big swim platform. The vertical transom is perfect for providing more stowage volume aft. The dodger for the 50 folds down into a recess in the coaming over the aft end of the cabintrunk.

This is a handsome boat. The designers make good use of the multiple boot stripes to help hide the high freeboard. You will sail fast and comfortably on this boat.