SAIL's Best Boats 2017: X-Cat

Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

Alchemist_Ken Read_doublehanded

Ida Lewis Draws Record-Breaking Numbers

On Saturday, Aug. 15, Newport’s Ida Lewis Distance Race (which is being sponsored this year by Jeanneau America) will kick off with a record number of entrants on the starting line. With many other events cancelled this summer, the annual event has attracted more participants ...read more

RACE_STRATIS_LION_07

Doyle Sails

As sailors, our obsession with sailing connects us to the water – the water is our playground, a sanctuary where we all seek enjoyment, a competitive playing field where we race as comrades; it’s sometimes our home; and always a place that unlocks our sense of adventure ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 9.42.30 AM

Helly Hansen Saltro Jacket

Helly Hansen's new Saltro Jacket is a lightweight outer layer with two-ply construction, a fleece-lined collar and SOLAS-approved reflector patches. The outer layer is made with Helly Tech, Helly Hansen's trademarked membrane that keeps water from seeping in while still ...read more

01-LEAD-PHOTO-CYOA-view-boat-st-john-caneel

Charter Resource Directory

MAIN RESOURCE INDEX PAGE Although the bareboat charter industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic this past spring, things are opening up again. To help prospective charterers make sense of the situation, we’ve put together this online charter resources directory in ...read more

IMG_0207

Ask Sail: How Far to Ease Out?

Q: When sailing dead downwind (assume 22 knots of wind), if the main is eased out to 90 degrees relative to the wind (perpendicular to the wind) are roughly the same forces applied to the sail as to the sail if it isn’t quite out all the way, say, 75 degrees to the wind? My ...read more

200803

Video: A Close Look at the AC75

The AC75 rule crafted for the upcoming 36th America’s Cup was intended to be open to multiple interpretations, and the result has been four very different designs. Coupled with the fact the AC75 is unlike any other boat that has ever come before, the current Cup cycle is fast ...read more