We had long been admiring the technical specifications of the Xquisite X5 and finally got our chance at the conclusion of the Miami boat show to take a test sail. Although the weather conditions were not ideal to show off just how well she can perform, they were adequate to put her through her paces. In light air and a moderate swell, we headed out Fishermen’s Channel and exited Miami’s Government Cut to meet the edge of the Gulfstream, which was close to shore just licking the first set of sea buoys offshore.
Hoisting the large composite fully battened mainsail was easy with the power main halyard winch. Then, it was a simple pull on the sheet of the self tacking jib and we were off sail- ing on port tack close hauled, she came through the wind with a turn of the helm and reached six knots in the blink of the eye. We decided to bear away and unfurl the reacher, which kept her moving at wind speed.
In the many decades of our sailing careers we have found that if a yacht can move in the lightest of air, she will really impress you in a stiff breeze. The Xquisite X5 did just that, she performed flawlessly in the light air and rolling swell with the comfortable motion we had hoped for.
By Jeanne Levine and Jeff Grossman, Multihulls Quarterly
The mainsail made by North Sails is a high-tech quality performance oriented laminate. The fully battened mainsail has three reef points and is mounted via a batten car system that allows for the smooth raising and lowering of the large sail.
The customized stack pack and lazy jack system practically flakes itself. Both the self-tacking, furling jib with foam luff and the reacher are also made of laminated fabric and are mounted on roller furlers, with all of the running rigging made of high tech Dyneema.
Her single spreader fractional rig is made of anodized silver-grey aluminum and has a slight rake that distinguishes her from the others. Her sleek stylish looks catch your eye unlike any other catamaran on the market today.
If you could envision the Xquisite X5 catamaran as a high quality customized automobile she would be the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet.
Step aboard this space age rocket ship and you immediately notice the solid blue water design touches like the solid stainless-steel railing just over two feet high running the complete perimeter of the deck instead of simple life lines. In addition, there is a stainless steel toe rail covering the hull deck joint. From the stern your eye follows the smooth curve of the Targa arch that contains not only the mainsheet controls, but also the specially designed shower that flows like a tropical rain from the bottom of the arch. The factory also installs a stylized heavy-duty set of dinghy davits that follow the beautiful curved lines of the rest of the yacht and keeps the dinghy secure at sea.
The cockpit is protected from boarding waves with a high coaming that acts as the seat back to the customized dining table engraved with the world map. Cleverly hidden into the molded seat across the stern are lifting backrests for lounging and reclining. As you walk forward along the coach roof there are stainless steel grab rails. Stainless steel brackets support the solar panels that allow you to tilt them to match the angle of the sun; all these features are factory standard. The forward deck is solid and stable underfoot, the anchor windlass, anchor and chain are all concealed under the deck, and the deck hatches are recessed with lockable stainless steel catches and struts. So, the entire deck surface is clear. All the sail controls are led underneath the deck and to the helm for single-handed operation of the yacht.
The sails are controlled at the helm with Harken two-speed electric winches and a bank of rope clutches as well as a second control for the windlass to deploy the anchor from the helm. Although she is set up for a single person to operate there is an extra large double helm seat with a nicely padded backrest. A unique windshield and retractable Bimini protect the helm, which is raised slightly from the cockpit, allowing for both a 360-degree view of all four corners of the yacht and communication with guests in the cockpit.
Completing the deck walk, we took a look into the engine compartments accessed from hatches on the aft deck that provides excellent access to all serviceable maintenance items.
The engines are mounted on a specially molded bed; the wet exhaust system including the water trap, gooseneck and anti-siphon loop can be easily inspected along with the Racor fuel filters. There is a fuel transfer pump that allows you to transfer fuel from one tank to another. Each engine is equipped with a 120 amp alternator to provide optimal charging capabilities.
We were pleasantly surprised to find her equipped with twin 80-horsepower engines. The twin 80 HP Yanmar 4JH80CR engines give you plenty of horsepower to push the weight and windage of the vessel against the wind as well as agility when docking and maneuvering in tight quarters.
On the port side of the saloon is the forward-facing navigation station with an L-shaped desk. The large countertop provides plenty of room for paper charts and there are drawers and cupboards for stowage. The custom designed switchboard, has a digital battery monitoring system, equipment mimic and placement area for optional navigation instruments.
Standard on every X5 is a unique C-Zone digital switching system that includes an iPad as the controller. Also loaded on the iPad are all the user manuals, serial numbers, warranties and the scheduled maintenance program. A Garmin GM120 multifunction display is located at the helm, along with a GPSMAP 8212 chartplotter with remote keypad, Garmin 4Kw radar and Garmin autopilot. The Garmin 200i VHF radio is mounted at the navigation station with a remote mic at the helm. Completing the entertainment electronics is the 32-inch 3D LED smart television with built in media 700i series music system.
Enter the cabin through a recessed sliding door. The grating in the cockpit floor at the door and a protective cowling under the bridgedeck prevent water from getting inside. You are immediately taken with the panoramic views from the main saloon. Also standard are pleated blinds for the entire saloon and the hull cabin windows for privacy. The headliner houses the recessed LED lighting throughout the vessel operated by light switches conveniently located. The U-shaped settee is to starboard with cloth upholstery and wraps around a fixed saloon table with storage compartments under both the seating and table. Three large opening deck hatches and a sliding window to the cockpit provide excellent ventilation.
The galley is to port, designed with the gourmet cook in mind. The counter space follows an L-shape facing aft towards the cockpit for entertaining. Along with the security and convenience of an island counter that conceals a vast amount of storage. She’s equipped with both a 12-volt compressor driven, front-loading door fridge and a two-drawer deep freezer with icemaker. Also, not typical is the four-burner gas stove and oven with grill and extraction hood for ventilation.
The entire starboard hull is the owner’s cabin with the king size berth aft. As you go forward there is an extra large wardrobe with shelves and drawers for storage almost the equivalent of a walk-in closet. Additional amenities that come standard include: a 52,000 BTU air conditioner, washer-drier, a 200 amp battery charger, 2.5kw inverter and a 12Kw generator that allows full sys- tems operation at anchor.
The guest cabins are in the port hull and accessed from the saloon via a companionway with nice wide steps for good footing. Each cabin has an island style queen berth with steps up either side of the bed and proper mattresses for a good night’s sleep. Storage is provided by drawers underneath the berths, recessed bookshelf, cabinets and wardrobe for clothing. Over- head are opening deck hatches for ventilation. The ensuite heads have an acrylic section tinted with smart glass as enclosure.
The hulls and deck are a composite sandwich made up of E Glass and Multiaxial glass with Divinycell com- posite foam infused with epoxy. The bulkhead thickness is 24 mm and there are dedicated collision bulkheads at the bow and transom to protect the engines and the bottom section of each keel. High-density materials are used along with stainless steel backing plates under all the deck fittings.
Designer Rudolf Jonker rounds out her blue water construction features with large tankage. She carries 204 US gallons of fuel, along with 227 US gallons of water with a light ship displacement of 39,680 pounds. This gives the Xquisite X5 the ability to carry more personal gear aboard and provides an excellent motion at sea.
The Xquisite X5 catamaran truly has it all; for a couple with the dream of bluewater sailing, this cat will take you anywhere in the world in luxury and comfort.
By Jeanne Levine and Jeff Grossman, Multihulls Quarterly