Xp 33

2012 October 9

Having done these reviews now for about 200 years I have had the chance to read a lot of yacht promotional material. My very favorite line from a brochure a few years back was, "Spacious galley. Symbol of dignified social standing." The blurb I received with this new X-Yachts 33 is sparse. The company makes no mention of "target market" or any racing handicap rules. The word "cruising" does not appear in the text anywhere. But I'm not usually swayed by the ad man's take on what he thinks the boat is. I can usually tell by studying the drawings.

All the X-Yachts are in-house designed with Nils Jeppesen being the head designer, as far as I know. His name does not appear in the promo material. It doesn't matter. What matters is that X-Yachts consistently puts out quality designs that excel in performance and good looks.

My take on the target market for this new 33 is a family who will both race and cruise. To that end the 33 is not particularly light with a D/L of 128, based upon their published "light-displacement" figure. But that displacement comes with stability, interior volume and presumably a good IRC rating.

Stability is further enhanced with a T-bulb keel in two draft configurations with standard draft being 6 feet 3 inches and optional draft at 6 feet 10 inches. The L/B is 3.11 indicating a beamy boat and that beam is carried to the transom as is the current trend.

I like the way the forefoot knuckle is elevated above the DWL. Not sure why you wouldn't immerse the knuckle to gain some DWL but to my eye this looks interesting. The transom is cut off dead vertically so you get maximum sailing length aft and maximum deck space aft. The sheer is almost flat but not quite.

This boat is only 33 feet long with a long cockpit so the interior is simple, but effective. You have the option of a V-berth forward or just leaving it open for sail stowage. Mirror-image double quarterberths extend under the cockpit. There is a compact galley aft to port, adjacent to a small nav station to starboard.

Forward of the settee/berths is a head that spans the entire width of the boat. I don't see a door that shuts the head off from the V-berth area. This is a way to get a really comfortable head on a small boat. It used to be a common feature with the head on one side and the sink on the other.

I see what appears to be one very small hanging locker forward. I'm not sure what a crew of four would do with wet foul weather gear. The auxiliary engine is very accessible under the companionway ladder. There are no opening ports in this boat and you only have one hatch forward and the companionway hatch. I think this boat would be a bit short of ventilation cruising in a warm climate. But X-Yachts actually promotes the idea of few hatches and no ports, saying it reduces weight. Yes it does, but…? The specs do offer the window option of "partly openable for improved ventilation."

This is a very clean deck. The companionway hatch is recessed into the cabinhouse top so there is no protruding spray hood. The single hatch forward appears to also be flush with the house top. There is a low toerail set in from the deck edge about 6 inches. The only other "bumps" on the deck that I can see are the short genoa tracks. I don't see a single cleat on the deck.

Lines come aft from the mast on top of the house. The promo material touts this approach as opposed to burying the lines under covers by selling the fact that keeping the lines proud reduces weight.

The mainsheet traveler spans the cockpit sole just forward of the tiller. The transom is totally open. There are minimal coamings forward to provide some seatback but there is no coaming aft where the helmsman will sit. I like this arrangement.

This rig is pretty much like every other rig we see today on modern production boats. It is a tall, fractional rig with swept spreaders and a retractable carbon bowsprit. The mast is an aluminum section designed by X-Yachts. The SA/D, using the company's numbers, including a 106% genoa, is 24. If I had I, J, E and P and I don't, I think this number would drop to about 23. But that's still plenty of power to send you scooting along in the light stuff.

The 33 is a vacuum-infused Vinylester hull fully cored with a GRP floor system and carbon fiber reinforcement. There is a single point lifting eye for ease of transportation.
To my eye this new 33 is evidence that we might be seeing a new wave of wholesome family racer-cruisers on the market soon. Fast is good. Fast and comfortable are really good.

Want to know more about the numbers Bob Perry uses to analyze designs? Learn how to judge boats by their designs at www.sailingmagazine.net/component/content/article/1246