This new cat from South Africa offers a very sophisticated cruising boat in a thoroughly modern design package
The instant you lay eyes on the new Xquisite X5, which MQ first saw at the Salon de Multicoques last April in France, you know you are looking at a cruising boat that is pushing the design envelope to its very edges. The first eyecatcher is the massive cockpit arch that they call the “Targa Arch.” This dominates the stern and cockpit and provides a base for the mainsheet track and is a good place to mount communications antennas. The hardtop over the cockpit is linked to the arch to form an open but well protected living space.
The next thing that catches your eye will be the massive windows all over the boat. Each hull has three large side ports and four vertical ports in the base of the arch. The saloon has giant cat’s eye shaped windows on both sides and two vertical front windows that are recessed under an eyebrow. You know at once that the X5 was created to be filled with natural light and to give those onboard a sense that they are closely linked to the watery world around them.
Once you climb aboard, you know you are in a boat that has had a very high degree of thought put into each detail of the living spaces. Instead of just a wide open cockpit with settees and a table, the X5 has a nicely curved dinette to starboard with a beautiful teak table that has a world map inlaid into it. To port is a smaller curved seat and teak table that converts into a lounge when the table is lowered and the filler cushion is in place. With two folding chairs added, the large dinette will seat six for dinner. The cockpit is where you will live but with a wide door to the saloon the boat has a large and commodious living space. This indoor-outdoor layout is becoming more and more popular.
The helm is raised to port in the cockpit but is more integrated into the cockpit than on most cats with raised helms. You can be standing watch at the con and still be part of the conversation below. Raised helms are exposed to the elements and difficult to enclose with canvas. The builders have come up with an ingenious dodger design on the X5 that has a curved frame that allows for a neat sliding hood in wet or cold conditions.
The interior of the new boat is exquisite as the name implies. As noted, the saloon and cabins in the hulls are filled with natural light and offer really great sightlines both in and out of the boat. On the three cabin version that will be coming to the U.S., the owner’s stateroom fills the port hull with a king-size berth forward, a huge head and shower aft and living and working space in between. The two guest cabins in the starboard hull are large and comfortable and each has its own en suite head.
The saloon has the galley to port and this is linked via a large sliding window to the cockpit so it becomes easy to pass dishes and glasses back and forth at meal time. There is a small fridge in the cockpit under the window that will be used for cool drinks during the day.
When you really have a close look at the new X5, you will discover that the builders have gone to great lengths to provide a uniquely complete package. The mechanical drinks locker that deploys on an electro-mechanical tray is the first of its kind. The tool locker offers one of the best systems for keeping tools sorted and in top condition out there. The massive stainless steel davits on the stern will handle a large and powerful dinghy. In addition, it has been designed as the storage place for all of your fenders and for up to eight dive bottles.
The attention to detail is the hallmark of the new X5. Every time you open a drawer or a cabinet door, the layers below the surface, the inner works, the hidden systems all announce that this new boat is unlike all the rest. For more information: www.xquisiteyachts.com