The 2008 Xc 45 was the first of X-Yachts' successful cruising range, and now the Danish builder has revamped and reintroduced the model, number one of which we tested for boats.com on Chesapeake Bay. Still a great performer, the 2016 Xc 45 has benefited from some updates and is ready to ride again.
The “c” in Xc 45 stands for cruising. X-Yachts builds two distinct lines; c for cruising and p for performance. Arguably, however, both models are speedy, a trait we’ve seen with other X-Yachts like the Xc 35 introduced two years ago. In flat water and a breeze of 14 to 16 knots, our test sail went swimingly with speeds of eight-plus knots regardless of the point of sail. The Xc 45 will tack through 60 degrees and doesn’t drop her speed in the turns. That’s good news for anyone who may want to club race the model or make tracks upwind on a passage. Our highest speed was 8.6 knots at 60 degrees apparent wind angle and the helm was one-finger light. With her 180 square-metre (2,000sq ft) cruising spinnaker, the Xc 45 could easily do nine or 10 knots downwind, but alas, we had no sail to test this with.
A 75hp Yanmar diesel pushes the boat efficiently under power. On flat water we motored at 8.5 knots at 3,000rpm. Her deeper hull sections are more comfortable for beating upwind than flatter performance hulls, and the shape also provides interior volume for extra stowage and bigger tankage. An integral steel girder frame spreads the loads from the keel-stepped rig and her engine, tanks, and batteries sit deep down in the hull to lower the centre of gravity. Tankage is respectable for offshore cruising, with 440 litres of fuel and 615 litres of fresh water.
Cockpit & Rigging
True to her blue-water roots, the Xc 45 has a relatively narrow but deep cockpit good for offshore work. Twin wheels are positioned rather close together but as you sit outboard on either side with one hand on the wheel, there’s good visibility forward and under the genoa. The Xc 45 offers three headsail options: a 94 per-cent self-tacking jib, a 108 per-cent headsail or a large 140 per-cent genoa. Because the Xc 45 carries a Solent rig, the most versatile sail plan would be a small working jib on the inner stay with a furler and the large genoa for broad and beam reach runs.
The nine-tenths fractional rig supports triple aft-swept spreaders and a total sail area of 105 square metres. An optional sprit is available as an attachment point for an asymmetrical and rod rigging comes standard. All lines are led aft to the cockpit in tunnels under the deck. Andersen winches for halyards and reefing are on the cabin-top by the companionway, and behind the small windshield.
The split backstay makes it easy to board via the drop-down transom. The middle section lowers manually to create a small swim platform and allow for passage via an opening in the cockpit coaming. A drop-leaf table is on the centreline with seating on either side. The table will be useful for dining but also for bracing when heeling. Raymarine instruments were at both helms on our test boat but engine controls and the optional bow thruster are to starboard, only. It was easy to move from one side to the other with a hand one of the wheels at all times.
Today’s interiors are all about volume for easy living at anchor. That makes the boats comfortable and provides a lot of freeboard. But yachts like the Xc 45 are designed to travel, and what may be desirable at the dock isn’t always best for offshore. With a beam of 4.32m, the Xc 45 is quite narrow—and that’s not a bad thing, as this boat will make quick work of upwind sailing.
The builder also provides plenty of ways to brace oneself or hold on when the boat is on her ear during a rough passage. Good grab rails run along each side of the cabin-top just below the port lights, providing a way to get the length of the boat, with one hand always having a good hold.
The galley to port is L-shaped and positioned at the bottom of the companionway steps so food can be handed up to a hungry crew quickly, and without much movement needed by the cook. There’s lots of countertop space bordered by fiddles integrated into the Corian, so dishes have only so far to slide. The Eno three-burner gimbaled stove means the cook can have multiple pots going at once, and a top-loading refirgerator/freezer combination will keep the cold air from escaping when opened. For quick access to small items like a stick of butter, there’s also a front-loading fridge. An abundance of soft-closing drawers keep kitchen tools organised.
The saloon gained light and ventilation as compared to older models because the opening side portlights were enlarged in the revamp. A C-shaped settee is to port, and wraps around a table with a centerline seat that can squeeze in two more for dinner. A straight settee to starboard adds lounge space and with a lee cloth, would make a nice sea berth since it’s unlikely that anyone will be sleeping forward on passage.
A forward-facing nav desk is to starboard, and for distance cruising is a must even when today’s navigating is mostly done on a multi-function display in the cockpit. There’s an option to add a shower stall to the aft head, which will eat up this nav desk space. With this option, the starboard side also gains two seats with a table in-between. Because there’s already a stall shower forward, however, most cruising couples will likely opt for the nav desk and keep the aft day head more compact.
The master stateroom is in the bow and has a centre island berth, a small seat, hanging lockers, and an en suite head with a separate stall shower and a Jabsco electric head. Stowage was added throughout the boat, including drawers under the master berth.
There were nearly 200 hulls launched of the original X-Yachts Xc 45, so clearly, it was a successful design—and making improvements based on owner feedback is not a bad way to refresh the brand. After testing hull number one of the revamp, I’d say any cruising couple looking for a safe and capable boat that moves like a luxury car would do well to put this model on their list.
Other Choices: Sailors interested in the Xc 45 are also likely to check out boats like the Dehler 46 (see: Dehler 46 video: first look aboard). If you're looking for an option that's more cruising-oriented and places less emphasis on speed, the Hallberg-Rassy Mk III 43 would be an option. Take a look at the Grand Soleil 50 review and the Discovery 55 MkII as well.
See Xc 45 listings.
X-Yachts Xc 45 Specifications
LOA: 13.86m (45ft 6in)
Beam: 4.32m (14ft 2in)
Draught: 2.2m (7ft 2in)
Sail Area: 105sq m (1,135sq ft)
Displacement: 13,220kg (29,145lb)
Fuel capacity: 440 litres (116 gal)
Water capacity: 615 litres (162 gal)