mxNext

Ever since Russian naval architect Vlad Murnikov burst onto the scene with his Whitbread racer Fazisi back in 1989—a time when Russia was still the Soviet Union—his designs have defied the norm.
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Blistering speed and a bit of history 

mxNext

mxNext

Ever since Russian naval architect Vlad Murnikov burst onto the scene with his Whitbread racer Fazisi back in 1989—a time when Russia was still the Soviet Union—his designs have defied the norm.

And with the passage of time, his vision has only become that much more exuberant.

The dramatic lines of the mxNext are evident in these drawings

The dramatic lines of the mxNext are evident in these drawings

Alas, the day of our test sail off Marblehead Harbor was somewhat wind-challenged. But it was nothing less than amazing how the boat skimmed across the water, even in a breeze of 10 knots or less. The boat’s wave-piercing bow performed as advertised, quickly shedding the chop as I tacked my way out toward the open water beyond the cast-iron lighthouse guarding the tip of Marblehead Neck. Video of the boat being sailed in some truly epic conditions late last spring show the bow popping back up to the surface just when you would have expected the boat to not only submarine, but to pitch its occupant headfirst into the briny.

If there is a downside to this boat, it’s a tendency to get caught in irons—a result of the fact there is neither a headsail nor much in the way of weight-based inertia to carry you through the eye of the wind. This is not to say it can’t be done both quickly and reliably. However, it definitely constitutes a challenge, especially in lighter conditions. I suspect the key is “carving” a turn through a combination of rudder and body weight, a technique that will certainly help define the winners and losers if a one-design class is ever established. 

As is the case with the iconic MX-Ray, the mxNext is equipped with an expansive gennaker for blistering speed off the wind. Suffice it to say, this is not a boat for beginners. Nor is it necessarily a boat for middle-aged fogies, like yours truly.

The 27-foot Yandex is currently undergoing testing in Europe

The 27-foot Yandex is currently undergoing testing in Europe

Nonetheless, if you’re the kind of sailor forever in search of the ultimate rush in a stiff breeze, or if you’re interested it being a part of what may someday be sailing history, this just might be the boat for you.

In fact, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind having another chance to work on those tacks...

A rendering of the 100-footer Murnikov hopes will someday be the fastest sailboat of them all

A rendering of the 100-footer Murnikov hopes will someday be the fastest sailboat of them all

Specifications

LOA: 14ft 4in

BEAM (HULL): 3ft

BEAM (OVERALL): 6ft 6in

BEAM WATERLINE: 1ft 9in

SAIL AREA: 110ft2

SAIL AREA (GENNAKER): 110ft2

ALL-UP WEIGHT: 90lb

SpeedDream/MX – 617-271-0712, mxspeeddream.com

Is SAIL's executive editor. He lives and sails in the Boston area

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