SAIL's Best Boats 2017: X-Cat

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
X-Cat: Best Daysailer

X-Cat: Best Daysailer

Best Daysailer

This is an exceptionally versatile and fun little boat from Austria that took our judges entirely by surprise. Weighing just 120lb all-up, this car-toppable beach-cat-cum-rowing-shell can be assembled in less than 10 minutes with no tools required. The largest parts, the thermo-molded hulls, weigh less than 40lb each.

As a sailboat the X-Cat, which boasts a modern square-headed mainsail (with built-in flotation up top in case of a capsize) and a sizable jib set on a full-length bowsprit, offers plenty of excitement. And when the wind dies away you can keep going by deploying the boat’s exquisitely engineered double-jointed folding oars; which when paired with the X-Cat’s sliding rowing seat and foot pads, allow you to row the boat while facing forward at speeds comparable to a purpose-built rowing shell. (The action of the unique Row Motion Pro joint mechanism engenders no energy loss and even allows you to feather the oars during strokes, the same as you would with conventional oars.) Then again, if you are too lazy to row your way home, you can always order the X-Cat with an optional lightweight electric motor. As evidence of just how cleverly this boat is conceived, the lithium-ion battery is hidden away in its center beam, and the submersible motor and prop are on a cleverly designed retractable lever arm that deploys directly in front of the boat’s centerline rudder.

The first thing we thought on finding this boat was it would be perfect for the Race to Alaska (R2AK), so we weren’t surprised when we learned that the U.S. rep, Alex Caslow, plans to run one in the Everglades Challenge from Tampa Bay to Key Largo next March. That said, what this boat will be best for is just goofing around afloat on any body of water you can drive a car to. With a boat as easy to transport and assemble as this one, there’s no reason not go sailing whenever you see fit. x-cat.com, Red Beard Sailing

December 2016

Related

SuperFoiler_2018_Adelaide_0325

Foiling Multihulls Take Their Toll

Although sailing has always been inherently dangerous, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that in addition to elevating boatspeeds, today’s foiling multihulls are also dramatically upping the level of risk. In the run-up to the 35th America’s Cup, regatta organizers were fond of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comA Double Winner Off on a longer trip than usual next summer? If so, you may well end up carrying extra fuel in jerry cans on deck. However, lashing them to your stanchions is a thoroughly bad idea, because ...read more

tasha-fuiaba-2

Waterlines: Auto-da-Fé

Why must we persecute bluewater cruisers who get into trouble?It has become standard operating procedure. As soon as the online sailing community catches word of a cruising sailboat that has been abandoned offshore, the crew of said boat is immediately subjected to a cyber ...read more

01_arc17-2079

ARC: Slow Road to St. Lucia

In the curtain call of an Atlantic crossing that had proved frustratingly slow for many of the 186 participants in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), the 37ft classic wooden sloop Trimley Maid crossed the finish line in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, on Christmas morning, over a month ...read more

c45-style-renex-03

Just Launched: Bavaria’s New Look

Having had maximum use out of its Cruiser line of Farr-designed hulls, Bavaria Yachts is in the process of renewing its entire range. The first of the new-look Bavarias designed by Mario Cosutti, the C57, debuted at Boot Dusseldorf last year and has now been joined by two new ...read more

Humpback-next-to-the-yacht

A Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island

A circumnavigation of Vancouver Island? That sounded like a great idea, so after a few months of planning, my friends Bridget, Jelski, Jonty and I quit our jobs in Auckland, New Zealand, and flew to Canada, where we joined Harry Miller and Sarah White aboard their 1983 Canadian ...read more

baths1

A Quick Recovery in the BVI

At 0730 on the morning of December 6, three months to the day after Hurricane Irma’s eye tracked across the British Virgin Islands, I clambered up into the helm station of our Moorings 4500, stretched and looked across at the white sand beach of Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke. ...read more