Xc 35

2014 September 1



Yacht design is part math and part aesthetics, and while not everyone appreciates my honest view of aesthetics, Rick Rogers does, and he wrote a very kind letter to the editor, published in the June issue of SAILING,  about my column. Here’s a shoutout to Rick; now I know for sure that at least one person is reading my column.

The new Xc 35 from X-Yachts is the smallest in the company’s line of cruising boats. The design work is by Niels Jeppesen, and he is a favorite designer of mine. My take is that the 35 is a hot rod-style family cruising boat. I like everything about it from the shapely stem profile to the traditional rake of the transom. This is a good-looking boat.

I don’t see anything unusual in the hull form. The boat is beamy with an L/B of 2.94. The beam has been carried aft as you would expect with today’s designs. The freeboard is not low, but it does not appear awkwardly high. There is a subtle spring to the sheer. The traditional transom rake allows for max sailing length and max length on deck. The rake makes perfect sense. Using X-Yachts’ light-displacement figure, the D/L is 203, indicating moderate displacement. You can get either a 6-foot 3-inch draft or a 5-foot 3-inch draft with moderate-aspect-ratio fins and bulbs on the tips. In the world of purpose-design offshore cruising boats Xc 35 will be fast. Just for fun, the Xc 35 weighs about 10,000  pounds less than my Tayana 37 designed 40 years ago. There’s your humor for this month, Rick.

The Xc 35 is laid out for two couples or a couple with two kids. I’m not wild about the aft double quarterberth. I don’t bend like I used to, and I’m not sure how easily I could contort myself to get in and out of that berth. The thought of getting out of that berth at night while someone else is sleeping reminds me of an old Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Bad Moon Rising.”

The galley is minimal; there is a strip of counter space aft of the stove but that’s only good for aligning spaghetti pasta. But I’m a nut about getting everything pre-prepared and organized when I cook, so I think I could find a way. A good friend of mine is on his world sail now, on a very nice 53-footer, and he says his biggest disappointment in his boat is the size of the galley. His son stayed with us at the shack for 16 days and kept requesting that I cook the dishes they could not make on their boat. A whole rotisserie chicken was his favorite. I call it “as seen on TV” chicken.

The nav station is nice and the head is fine. Dining for four around the table will work, if that table is the drop-leaf type. The double V-berth looks generous.

The rig is normal. It is interesting that the vang attachment point on the boom is snug up against the mainsheet forward block. The SA/D is 19.21, using the 106% working jib for the calculation.

What I find interesting about this deck plan is that twin wheels are used to open up the cockpit for access to the swim platform.  You would never have seen twin wheels on a 34-footer even 10 years ago. Today it is almost standard. It allows you to sit well outboard on that broad stern so you can see the luff of the jib while beating. The helm seats are as close to the transom as physically possible.

I like the short cabintrunk forward and the long foredeck. The mainsheet is a German-style arrangement, adjustable from either side of the cockpit. The aluminum-framed windshield provides shelter in the cockpit and adds interest to the profile. The teak decks make for a very yachty look and good nonskid.

I think X-Yachts has found a neglected niche with this model. I predict sales will be robust.