It is time for another interesting sailboat as seen during Boot Duesseldorf. It´s the new Xc-47 by Danish boatbuilder X-Yachts. This yacht is no stranger to me as I have seen her sailing during the “European Yacht of the Year” sessions in Port Ginesta when I was there with a client, sea trialing the Oceanis Yacht 54. Unfortunately, the “real” journalists had been occupying the yacht the whole time and I couldn´t enter the boat for that reason, nevertheless, I remember that, seeing her sailing by, I thought “she doesn´t look as awkward as on the renderings …”

Meeting X-Yachts CEO Kraen Brinck Nielsen

It was not the Xc-47 initially that I wanted to see when I approached X-Yachts co-owner and CEO Kraen Brinck Nielsen, admittedly. I was rather much more interested in doing an interview on the brand new upcoming X-R or X-Racing. Anyway, whilst talking, I peered above and again, in real life she didn´t looked quite as droll as I thought. And so I asked if Kraen would show me around, to which he enthusiastically agreed. And boy, am I happy I didn´t gave in to my initial prejudice: This boat is a head-turner!

Back to the roots – off to new horizons

X-Yachts, at least from my personal perspective, did indeed had quite a roller coaster ride during the past years. For what reason ever, the fact that Niels Jeppesen left the company – at last he was the founder and “soul” of X-Yachts – was very, very strange and sad. Also, I couldn´t understand the “X-Pure”-product line, which I felt was quality wise inferior to the previous boats. At the same time, they launched bigger and bigger units which received a “Mediterranean”-styling, twn rudders and so forth, which may have been good according to market demands, but it didn´t feel quite “Scandinavian” or what I was used to see from X-Yachts.

Well-known lines – new styles

Looking at the Xc-47, at least a larger part from those past values which I still hold dear in the brand, seem to re-appear. A wonderfully shaped single rudder blade, a relatively classy (narrow) length-to-width-ratio and a hull shape that promises speed, performance and sailing fun, rather than Mediterranean vacation with Aperol Spritz at anchor.

Nicely done: The bow sprit

Walking around the Xc-47 I start to notice all the nice details which always set apart an X-Yacht from all the others. Things they do because they want, not because they must. Like the seamlessly integrated bowsprit which is done not just beautifully but also practical. If damaged, the whole GRP-unit can be exchanged. The Xc-47 is made in vacuum-infused production technique and she also features the X-Yachts signature steel-frame onto which the keel is bolted. Very few boatbuilders are undertaking such an effort for maximum keel-safety.

What a fitting name …

The boat showcased in Duesseldorf is a special one. We will discover that during the walkthrough. A herald of this claim is her name: SPACE X, not just a sidekick referring to Elon Musk´s rocket company and his vision of the future, but also to her being a roomy, voluminous cruiser. The Xc-series by X-Yachts was and still wants to be the perfect fast cruising yacht. When her hull reminds very strongly of the “good old times”, her deck structure is completely new: A deck salon yacht? We will see.

A new signature? Rhombs!

But why did she seem awkward to me in the first place. Well, this is because of the rhombs. Apparently, the designers at X-Yachts decided that hey should re-invent the principal shape of the windows. I can understand that they always seek for something new, for something special and “nice” and you can see that hull-windows and windows in general are a great chance to come up with new own signature shapes, just like the seascape windows or the “cateye”-windows on the Oyster, or even the hull windows on the new Hanse 460. Anyway, X-Yachts´ designers decided to go for … rhombs.

Gonna like those rhombs …

I still don´t like these shapes very much, I must confess. Maybe I am too conservative when it comes to boat design, maybe the shapes themselves feel too “spiky” or aggressive, maybe it´s all-too audacious and unexpected to see this from such a well-established rather classy brand like X-Yachts. I don´t know. I feel they are a bit off, design-wise. But, at the same time, remembering her sailing, it´s not as bad in real life at last. We board the yacht and I am very much excited, for some reason.

Generous cockpit, made safe

This yacht is advertised by X-Yachts as being “probably the best cruising boat” they have ever made. Xc-cruisers can often be seen in the Baltic Sea and they indeed have a spotless reputation for being quick, comfy yachts for long cruising. Standing in her cockpit, I quickly notice that the designers have put much effort into the layout and utilization of the cockpit by owners and guests.

Modern cockpit layout

First of all, it´s a completely enclosed cockpit. The transom isn´t open any more. A large seating bench (which of course can be opened to give way onto the large bathing platform) stretches from one end of the stern to the other. There are two little Gecko-seats on the pulpits where you can enjoy a morning coffee when its calm and nice, together with the large coamings this cockpit first of all conveys much, much safety. I am sure this is to the liking of many prospect buyers of the Xc-47.

Closed cruising transom

The enclosed transom has a second reason: The volume of the aft “locker” is huge! A large opening hatch gives way into the aft transom “room” where some equipment and machinery is installed (like the rudder mechanics, auto pilot and so forth) but the bis spin of this all is that by having such a huge volume in the back, you don´t need to have big lockers in the cockpit benches. And this will save so much volume for the aft cabin underneath, you will see later. An ingenious move by the designers!

Entrance to a big-ass locker

What also strikes me, because it really has been literal years since I´ve last been aboard an X-Yacht, is the accurate and spotless finishing quality of the Teak deck woodworks. Ah, this is just awesome! Any detail you look at, the individual Teak-battens, the caulking, the spacing – it´s just perfect craftsmanship. Wow.

At the Xc-47 helm station

Standing behind the steering wheel, there it is again: This wonderful attention to detail. This is not just any ordinary steering wheel, which would be perfectly fine since it´s just a wheel that turns and moves the rudder. It´s also not just any ordinary composite wheel which has indeed some advantages over the heavy stainless steel-wheels. It´s a composite wheel with a perfectly crafted wooden round grip. Aaawww, how nice is that?

What a beauty!

The whole helm station is from an ergonomical standpoint very well executed. The panel on a large post (again, for my aesthetical taste a bit too much of edgy, “rhomby” forms) has everything well within reach. A large chart plotter, switches and controls where they are quickly in reach. I liked the idea of the massive steel handle in front of the wheel with a small cushion, again, it´s the details …

Anderson, what else?

You´ve read my article on the new Hallberg-Rassy 69 as well? I remember being a bit puzzled to see “ordinary” Lewmar winches and some other rather cheap-appearing details aboard the new Swedish flagship. On the Xc-47, I am relieved, they stick to high quality equipment, even in the details. For sure, the Andersen winches are common sense aboard the Xc-47. Nice.

Ah, design!

But the real surprise comes when I go down into the salon. The smell is enchanting. Every time the scent of wood is dominating over GRP- or Styrol-odors, that´s a sign for me. The Xc-47 smells like a recently inaugurated sauna. Like a stroll in the woods. Her light Oak wooden interior is welcoming and beautifully to look at.

Oh. Yes, please!

The layout of the salon is pretty classic, a fact that calms myself a bit down, since I had the fear that the designers could kind of overload the interior with rhombs and stuff. But the opposite is the case. The day-bath to starboard side (where it belongs), a large L-shaped galley to the portside (where it belongs) and to the front a huge lounging area, which is awesome.

Communicative, big & cozy

It´s not just the usual L- or U-settee. The main sofa around a huge, foldable and by the way beautifully made dinner table, is maybe the biggest sofa I´ve seen so far on a 47-footer. There´s not just enough room and width along the ship´s wall, but also the two opposing parts of the settee offer more than generous seating area. This place is surely capable of hosting wonderful dinners – for many people.

X-Yachts quality

Opposite, there´s a smaller 2- or even 3-seater sofa with a dedicated chart table. Again, the cushions are generously sized and welcoming. I like the massive quality of the joinery. No floorboard is squeaking, when “knocking on wood”, well, you are knocking on wood indeed. But also in the details …

Continuous grain: Well done!

Most of the fronts of the shelves, cupboards and facings are made of one partitioned piece of wood. This is just a pure design feature and real luxury, but to look at a cupboard front and see the continuation of the wood grain over two, or three different wooden parts, is just pure eye-candy! Again, this is the real luxury and driving expenses in production, but hats off to X-Yachts, this attention to detail is what makes it look so awesome.

Beautiful galley

The galley of the Xc-47 is placed exactly over the keel. This position on the pivotal point of the yacht is clever since here least of the boat´s motion within the moving waves is felt. Cooking a meal here even in foul weather shouldn´t be as stressful. A fact to seriously take into consideration when looking for a serious long-haul cruiser indeed.

Pushing it even further

Kraen is seemingly proud of this boat. And I´d say he is absolutely entitle to be so! As I roam the boat, he points to various details, some of them hidden. For example, he slowly starts to pull out one of the drawers in the galley. By doing so, he looks at me. Smiling. Of course, he is celebrating this and pulls a bit slower than normal, but I get the intention: This is a long, longer, the longest drawer I have ever seen in any galley so far!


It has a comical side to it, for sure, but the practical use of stowage cannot be underestimated, especially in the galley. How often do I get the comment – even on bigger boats – from guests on our boats, that they feel a lack of stowage? This hidden volume, utilized in the Xc-47, will most certainly thrill potential buyers and skilled sailors.

Most gas springs ever

Another detail are the gas springs. As Kraen opens further more lockers in the salon here and there, I notice that each single flap is operated by at least one gas spring. Kraen smiles and tells me a story from the “European Yacht of the Year”-press sessions, when Jochen Rieker told him in awe that this was the “X-spring” boat, he´d never seen a boat with more gas springs.

This thing with the rhombs …

Now. Let´s talk about the rhombs. I get it that X-Yachts wanted to have something new. Something special and something that makes this boat recognizable at one glance. I get it that maybe they wanted to visually state some kind of turning point or a new era. I am fine with this. But a rhomb? It´s a shape that isn´t used by any other brand, so this can be a signature shape for X-Yachts, but maybe there´s a reason – I still find it hard to befriend myself with this shape. But. Well, but – at least for the large side windows – this form creates a large area for natural light to enter the boat.

The thing with the salon windows

This is best seen from inside the salon. The Xc-47 may appear to be a deck salon yacht, but she is not. It´s even not a raised salon yacht as her deck or floor is relatively low. But the large headroom and the utilization of those big-area windows make for a great feeling inside. The large salon makes it appear to be on a much larger yacht. In the end, the Xc-47 is “only” 14.37 meters long (hull) and this makes her a mid-sized boat.

… halyard ducts!

The big windows are separated by a horizontal GRP-frame. From the outside it appeared a bit awkward and also “disappointing” to not have the full area of the window, but as Kraen tells me that this “frame” is indeed a duct for the running rigging, I am excited: Again, what an ingenious move and intelligent utilization of the apparent. You just have got to appreciate the creativity and practicality here.

Truly a cruiser to spend a lot of time aboard

The amount of natural light in this salon is amazing. Even within the relatively dark surrounding of the exhibition hall (before the opening hours it´s even darker here as not all lights are switched on before 10 a.m.). Next to the large side windows, even if parted by the halyard-ducts, there´s a big frontal window and no less than four skylight hatches.

So much natural light!

Looking from above, Kraen turns my attention to the fact that those four skylight hatches can be opened, which isn´t the big banger at all. The great thing about those four hatches is that each opens into a different direction. In this, you can adjust the hatches to funnel fresh air into the boat according to the wind direction outside. Or even have a hatch open but don´t have any airflow. Clever!

Different opening orientations

All in all I am absolutely enthralled by the boat´s effect on me. Being a bit reluctant to come aboard because of my prejudice, I am now more than happy. She really is a beauty. But she also offers so much generous space and volume that she conveys a much bigger size that she actually has I reality. All those smaller and bigger details, which are practical and valuable for daily life aboard but also the attention to design and detail is stunning. Back to the roots? After the “Pure X”-boats couldn´t really convince me, this is a completely different thing now!

A treat for owners and guests

Many fore cabins, especially on big yachts, aren´t that nice. I understand that it is hard for an interior designer to fit in all the things needed, a bed, drawers, cupboards, lockers on the one hand but also to make it look great. Especially on classic aft-cockpit boats where the owner´s cabin is the fore cabin. I know it may sound biased, but I mean it, I still find the Oceanis 46.1 fore cabin/owner´s cabin the best front cabin solution to date of all production boats.

Nice, welcoming. Superb!

The design of the owner´s cabin aboard the Xc-47 is also very nice. The bow section and volume of this hull is much smaller than in the Oceanis, nevertheless, the interior design is absolutely great. The use of wooden panels, the integration of the nice seascape windows (even if it’s the strange rhomb-shape) and the general feeling make it appear roomy. I love the fact that there´s no island bed, a much better solution for “real life”.

Note the deck hatch

Same goes for the aft cabins. The Xc-47 is offered in two layout variants regarding the configuration of the aft cabins. The one shown in Duesseldorf came with two aft cabins for guests, I would say, most owners will choose the version with one dedicated aft cabin for guests and one utility room for the other. The absence of (big) bench lockers in the cockpit, I already mentioned it, make the standing height and volume inside these aft cabins much bigger than on equally sized yachts.

Secondary guest cabin

As for the utility room, X-Yachts offers a washer/dryer-combination, more freezing or cooling capacity and a work bench along with much more stowage if chosen. The version exhibited was a mirrored cabin with two separated berths. I guess the owner´s version is the one the shipyard will be selling most. There are two bathrooms available in the Xc-47, one in the fore cabin to portside, one on starboard near the companionway.

The rhombs again

All in all, the Xc-47´s interior is welcoming, light suffused, lush and modern. It is beautiful and contemporary but not as “trendy” as some others. I am sure, this clever mix of modern lines and classy design will be recognized as beautiful in 10, 15 or even 20 years to come. The boat is also surprisingly “calm”. Whereas other brands seem to need to “cry out” loud that they are new, fancy and great, this is just a calm, relaxed statement of classic beauty. I like it. And to be honest, from the inside, I barely noticed the rhombs anymore …

Going in full electric

I have written some articles on this topic already and the electrification or at least “hybridification” of pleasure boating is a huge trend. For now, I would say it is more politically driven than sourced in a real demand by the market, in any case, I guess, going full electric or just hybrid is something that will come somehow or other in the future. In this, X-Yachts offers the Xc-47 as an all-electric boat.

All electric pod drive

The standard 80 horsepower Diesel engine on the SPACE X is replaced by a 25 kW (30 kW peak power output) electric pod drive by Oceanvolt. The lithium battery delivery up to 46 kWh electric power that, according to the shipyard, is enough for 30 miles at 6 knots. An 11 kW Diesel generator can be used for re-charging. I am not a huge fan of the current systems as they are simply too weak, provide for too less range range and thus safety, but I also see the need that at some point the shipyards and suppliers need to start. It´s definitely worth observing and following.

A new chapter for X-Yachts?

As we leave this boat, I am honestly thrilled. Never had I thought that this Xc-47 would be such a nice boat. I still cannot make peace with the rhomb-shapes, but in relation to all the great details, the overall layout and the stunning finishing quality, this indeed is something I could even live with. I congratulate Kraen and the whole team for this boat. Truly a stunning yacht and for me, after a period when this brand wasn´t too much interesting to me, this indeed is a new chapter for X-Yachts.

Kraen on the upcoming X-Racing

We talk a bit about the upcoming X-Racing project and Kraen discloses that this will be a totally new constructed all-out racer, living up to the true X-DNA, I really believe him. Maybe this is worth a further trip t Haderslev to check out the XR-project in more detail soon? In any case, the brand seems to have overcome the departure of Niels Jeppesen and this is a good thing for the shipyard, the current owners and future buyers. With the new Xc-47 entering the high-class mid-sized cruiser-market, it will be very exciting to see where the Danish brand is steering too in the coming years.


X-Yachts related articles you might be interested to check out:

Top notch yacht production: At X-Yachts in Haderslev/Denmark

Discovering the XP-55 at Cannes

At the famous “Open Yard” event in Denmark: A fleet of X-Yachts