2020 May 1

The new ‘baby’ of the X-Yachts fleet is a 40-footer that is a real looker and a great performer

It was a mile-long trek in 90-degree heat from the front gate of the Miami International Boat Show past countless fishing gear booths and outboard powerboats to the far southeast corner of the docks where the sailboat companies had set up shop. I didn’t mind because I had a date with the prettiest girl at the dance. Amid the many catamarans and a sprinkling of monohulls, one navy blue boat was drawing all the attention with its U.S. debut—the X4.0.

 X-Yachts was founded by brothers Niels and Lars Jeppesen with Birger Hansen in Denmark in 1979 and has launched more than 5,000 boats. Known for its high quality and performance, the company has three lines: the XPerformance, XCruising and XRange, which includes X4.0, the smallest of the line. 

The company fondly describes the new 40-footer as its pocket luxury baby, but I saw nothing infantile about this sleek cruiser-racer as I headed up the dock. Welcomed aboard by Greg Williamson of Ashley Yachts, X-Yachts USA’s southeast dealer based in Charleston, South Carolina, I hopped on easily through the drop-down transom into the wide cockpit.

“We just took delivery of her and got her set up just in time for the show,” Williamson said, his excitement clearly showing. “The owner choose all the bells and whistles, including teak decks, carbon wheels and the top-of-the-line B&G instruments, fully intending to race locally.”

On deck

All hardware is top-quality. Harken Performa 40ST mainsheet winches are recessed into the coaming and the mainsheet traveler is forward of the wheels. Sail controls are close at hand, making it easy to sail shorthanded.

The companionway washboards are hinged and open into recesses that house line bins for the sheets and halyards, a nifty solution to the clutter created when all the lines are led aft to banks of stoppers on the cabintop.

The optional teak decks felt solid as I moved forward. The 4.0 references the boat’s 40 feet from stern to the tip of its bowsprit, and the boat’s waterline length is 34 feet 1 inch. A low bulwark adds security when heeled. The test boat came with the optional North Sails 3Di Endurance sails on the optional carbon fiber rig.

Down below

As I stepped below, the saloon felt open and bright thanks to the 12-foot 6-inch beam. Scandinavian design is known for its crisp aesthetic, which is in abundance aboard the 4.0, but also for its smart functionality. Innovative storage solutions, such as a pull-out wine bottle cabinet, are incorporated throughout the boat.

The L-shaped galley to port at the base of the companionway makes the most of the space. It features a small-top opening and an optional front-opening refrigerator and large double sinks. There is plenty of workspace on either side of  two burner stove and oven.

The dining table flips open and six people can fit comfortably on the port and starboard settees. There are opening portlights and deck hatches for plenty of light and ventilation. A double V-berth cabin is forward and a second double-berth cabin is aft to port. The large head with separate shower stall is to starboard. The three-cabin model sacrifices the large head, chart table and sail locker to fit in a mirror aft double cabin.

Under sail

It was a race against time. Breaking up the docks after the Miami show is a tedious affair, and the fact that the X4.0 was one of the boats docked the farthest in caused a long delay. It was late afternoon by the time the boat was sailing, so photographer Billy Black gave me a lift in the photo boat out to Biscayne Bay and the sun was dropping low on the horizon as I climbed aboard.

Luckily the wind was holding and the  X4.0 was sailing smoothly over the bay. We trimmed in and headed off in the direction of Coconut Grove hard on the wind in the 12-knot breeze. The boat was set up with the self-tacking jib and we managed to sail at 7.2 knots at 38 degree apparent wind angle.

The helm was balanced and the boat felt lively, easily moving through tacks. It was comfortable to steer from either helm, and visibility was good. The X4.0 was a joy to sail. It was with great reluctance we furled the jib and dropped the main. It was dark by the time we pulled into the slip at the Biscayne Yacht Club, but with a quick shot of the retractable bow thruster, we nudged into the tight slip.

The X4.0 would be a perfect boat for a couple or a small family. If you love to sail with style and speed, this elegant cruiser-racer is the boat for you.

LOA 39’8”; LOD 37’9”; DWL 34’1”Beam 12’6”; Draft standard 6’11”, deep 7’10”; Ballast 6,724 lb.; Displ. 17,857 lb.; SA/D 19.65; D/L 201; L/B 3.02; Auxiliary 40-hp.; Fuel 48 gal.; Water 65 gal.

Sailaway price: $537,000

X-Yachts USA

P.O. Box 182 

West Mystic, CT 06388