by Des Ryan
Better known for their racing yachts, Denmark's X-Yachts is yet another manufacturer who has bowed to the ever expanding popularity of adventure cruising, and begun to build some good cruising boats. They are ideal for crossing oceans and sail faster than your average cruising boat. Their latest, less than a year old, is the Xc 42, a good size of yacht for the typical cruising team.
Xc42 with spinnaker
She's been tested in quite hard conditions and come up smiling. Nautic News tested her back in 2009 and found her performance 'stable and consistent with the philosophy of the new 'Cruising' range of X-Yachts.'
Her sister yacht, the Xc 45 had won the 'Best European Sailing Yacht' in the Luxury Cruiser range, and this was the next boat in the range. With 20 units ordered before she even went into production, she was sure to be a winner, if all the testing proved true with the production boats - and it did. After a long 30 years producing just racing boats, X-yachts was establishing themselves as a good boatyard to go to for cruising.
She is a very good looking boat with some great features - Dorade vents, wooden bulwarks and quality teak on the topsides; all contained in a classic-looking yet quite spacious hull. She is pretty to watch sailing, and has an aesthetically pleasing mix of form and function - a good and fast passage-making blue water cruiser. She is quite high priced, but the quality of the gear and workmanship make her something to be comfortable about when crossing oceans.
xc42 beam view
The Xc-42 cockpit is great for the helmsman with twin wheels right beside the primary Andersen 58ST winches, plus mainsheet 46STs just ahead and a centre instrument console incorporated in the solid teak fold-down table. However, it's quite a small cockpit for the cocktail hour.
Nevertheless, the pleasures of enjoying a quiet anchorage are well taken care of thanks to the fold-down electric transom and pushpit teak seating.
When sailing there are some good features: There's quite good weather protection; and raising the canvas dodger when in cruise mode seals the area off effectively. Like nearly all fittings on the Xc-42, something the experienced cruiser will appreciate, the spars are oversized. From the cockpit there is a clear view of the wide foredeck. Cockpit instrumentation readouts can also be fitted conveniently above the companionway.
Locker space is huge, something all cruising sailors appreciate, with four in total and the starboard cockpit locker is accessed from the main cabin via a small door as well as the gas-strutted topside opening. This could easily accommodate a six man life raft.
Fuel supply is generous at 250 litres in a fully-baffled alloy tank and includes an analogue gauge. Onboard AC power requirements can be met as there’s space behind the engine for a generator and stored power is via two AGM 130ah batteries securely fastened under the starboard lounge settee plus an engine battery, a 55ah in the bilge. A flip-up control panel at the navigation station shows a straight-forward wiring setup which should aid fault finding and additional system integration.
For the hull X-Yachts has continued with their use of a galvanised steel frame glassed into the GRP foam sandwich outer skin. This well proven build is designed to absorb loads from the mast, rigging and keel. The hull is deep keeled, similar to the other cruising boats in the range.
The boat comes with a 55hp Volvo Penta saildrive and a folding propeller. One really excellent feature is access to the engine on three sides, and all the main servicing points -- impellor, oil and water -- can be easily reached from the saloon.
The main saloon is full of the lustre of teak. The navigation station has a full-sized chart table and outlying bulkhead cupboard that could house electronics. The galley is well fitted, with a large refrigerator and room for lots of extras, like a microwave, a a dishwasher and a front opening fridge.
Xc 42 Saloon
The standard layout below is with three cabins, but there are other options. Cruising couples should enjoy the owner’s suite forward which uses the hull volume well with plenty of height and natural light, but if sleeping in for forepeak isn't for you, there is the option of an aft main cabin. There's an ensuite moulded bathroom area with manual toilet and separate shower cubicle. An adjoining bulkhead also stylishly hides the keel-stepped mast.
Xc 42 owners' cabin - if you like forepeaks
Undoubtedly the Xc-42 is for the discerning sailor who has probably experienced mass-market boats, so can appreciate the difference that these quality Danish cruisers offer.
Hull length: 12.81m (42.03ft)
Draft :- standard: 2.10m 6.90ft
Draft - shallow: 1.70m 5.60ft
Ballast - standard: 4,985 kg
Displacement light: 11,030 kg
Engine: Volvo Penta 4cyl 55hp
Water: 520 litres
Fuel 250 litres
Mainsail: 53.0 sqm
Self-tacking Jib: 90 per cent 36.1 sqm
Genoa: 108 per cent: 43.5 sqm
Genoa 140 per cent: 56.6 sqm
Asymmetric Spinnaker: 158.2 sqm
SAD Ratio (108 per cent genoa & mainsail): 19.78