by Quentin Warren
Blue Water Sailing
Top-end performance, blue-water appeal
Since 1979, Denmark-based X Yachts has taken a high-octane approach to the company’s direction, mindset and market position. They put their name on the map with successful one-design rocketships such as the 25-foot X-79 in the early 1980s, then moved into high-tech Half-Tonner, One-Tonner and even big-boat circles, culminating most recently on the competitive front with thoroughbreds such as the IMX-40 and IMX-45.
Shadowing this trajectory has been a commitment to performance cruising, and lessons learned on the race course have been applied diligently to a growing line of graceful cruiser-racers quite capable in their dual-purpose guise.
The quite beautiful X-412 appeared in 1990; five years later, it was followed by the similarly handsome Niels Jeppesen-designed X-482. We spent 150 miles aboard a 482 two years ago on an overnight test sail down the Chesapeake Bay.
In the May 2001 issue of BWS, we summed the boat up by saying, “Niels Jeppesen’s approach with the 482 has been to invoke elements of classic appeal in terms of its lines and accommodations, and wrap this up in a high-performance hullform with plenty of sail power and good stability numbers for heavy-weather work.” Under way, we found the boat to be well-balanced, responsive and stable. Below, we encountered a comfortable interior impeccably wrought featuring “satin-finished teak, modern molded furniture for that soft radiused look, and an emphasis on open, airy, functional space.” And topside we were impressed by a “roomy but secure cockpit,” with easy access to clean, wide-open, well-choreographed decks sporting state-of-the art sail-handling gear and equipment.
Ballast/Displacement tipped in at a “reassuringly stable” 42 percent. Displacement/Length at 171 was “light without being featherweight.” And with regard to the canvas component we observed, “The sailplan, featuring 1,195 square feet of sail area flown off a three-spreader tapered aluminum Sparcraft/X-Yachts masthead rig, delivers a potent Sail Area/Displacement ratio of 21.5.” Standard draft at 8’2” has stiffness and performance written all over it, but a more reserved 7’2” option is available as well. It adds up to a powerful package in the image of X-Yachts, one with “a lot of potential in it worthy of a savvy crew and a premium suit of sails.”
Construction highlights include European CE-Certification, Divinycell foam core in varying densities with biaxial and triaxial E-glass in an isophthalic polyester resin matrix, and the crux of it all, “a fully integrated 1,100-pound heat-galvanized steel floor frame and girder system that accepts loads from the keel, mast and rig, reinforces the hull in general, and allows the remainder of the vessel to be built light.”
The X-482 truly shines under sail. At BWS we find ourselves more and more committed to the positive attributes of a boat that sails fast and offers a quantifiable performance edge, especially given that in the modern age, light weight and speed need not equate with brittle bones and compromised construction. So it is in the case of the 482, a rock-solid, sweet-sailing sloop that combines “the power and feel of a big boat with the control and handling characteristics of something much smaller.” No Ma-and-Pa character vessel this one, rather a capable pas-sagemaker with the ability to click off the miles with plenty of pace.
LOA 48’0” (14.6 m.)
LWL 41’0” (12.5 m.)
Beam 14’1” (4.3 m.)
Draft (std.) 8’2” (2.5 m.)
Draft (opt. shoal) 7’2” (2.2 m.)
Ballast 11,023 lbs. (5,000 kg.)
Displ. 26,455 lbs. (12,000 kg.)
SA (100%) 1,195 sq. ft. (111 sq. m.)
Fuel 66 gal. (250 ltr.)
Water 118 gal. (450 ltr.)
Auxiliary Yanmar 4JH 2-HTE 75-hp
Designer Niels Jeppesen
Fjordagervej 21, Box 104
DK-6100 Haderslev, Denmark
Ph: +45 74 52 10 22
Annapolis, MD 21403
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