With its almost predatory lines, plumb bow and short fixed bowsprit, the X-Treme 25 is a sport boat that attracts a crowd just sitting on its trailer. The boat seems like a cutting-edge maxi in miniature—ICAP Leopard back in grade school.
The resin-infused hull laminate, set in epoxy, is glass with a foam core. To increase stiffness, the boat has five structural bulkheads and a beefy longitudinal member securely laminated along the centerline. According to company co-founder Jeroen Wats, who was on hand as we rigged and launched the boat prior to our test sail, all deck hardware is positioned so that the bulkheads anchor the running rigging loads. The result is a tough, stiff, but light hull.
Perhaps the most impressive feature on the X-Treme 25 is the 1,069lb lifting keel, a 6ft-deep, very high-aspect, milled aircraft-grade aluminum fin with a massive lead bulb on the end. The hull includes a sacrificial plate where the keel is attached in the event of a hard grounding. The deep high-aspect rudder is mounted in the cockpit sole on a set of large-diameter bearings—as opposed to being transom hung—which allows owners to adjust the balance angle and fine-tune the “feel” of the tiller. The keel is raised and lowered with a chain hoist on a simple steel frame. Three of us launched the boat and stepped the mast with ease.
The rig is aluminum, in the interests of durability and keeping a lid on costs. It includes a very long conventional spinnaker pole for flying a symmetrical chute, and a Code 0 sail can be flown off the bowsprit. The arrangement adds a level of complexity, but allows the boat to excel in a wide range of conditions at all wind angles. The only complaint I had was with the extra pair of lower shrouds, which force you to step outboard of the cap shroud if you want to go forward quickly.
The cockpit is large and well configured for racing. Custom foot cleats are available for the helmsman. Half-height stanchions and Spectra safety lines keep crew safe and relatively comfortable when hiking out. Control lines run to both sides of the cockpit and fall easily to hand. Most of the hardware is from Ronstan.
The boat’s narrow bow, flat sections aft and a chine running aft from near amidships ensure excellent planing performance, and the big lead bulb makes the boat incredibly stiff on the wind. Veteran SAIL boat-tester Tom Dove told me the boat showed exhilarating performance during a breezy test sail off Annapolis, Maryland, on all points of sail.
Alas, I had to sail the boat in light air during a quiet evening off Milford, Connecticut, but the boat was no less impressive. The narrow hull gets unstuck in almost no wind, and the rig and underwater appendages work in concert to create a ride that rewards those willing to tweak the strings. It really was incredible to be able to sail the way we did with so little pressure—and let’s face it, far more regattas are won in a drifter than in a gale.
I loved this boat and feel like I’ve only begun to touch on all it has to offer. If you’re a sailor looking for a top-flight racing experience, be sure to check out this well designed and well built speedster. www.regattamgmt.com
LOA: 25ft, 8in
LWL: 23ft, 11in
Beam: 8ft, 2in
Draft: 6ft, 6in
Sail Area: 404ftsquared (jib and main)