The X-362 Sport

Looks like it’s almost time to fire up the old oceanracing blog again.

It’s been nearly two years since we sold Shanti, the greatest 30′ brick shithouse offshore pocket Racer/Cruisers I could imagine. Clearly it’s long past time that we got back on the water.

It’s amazing how few true Racer/Cruisers exist. The temptations of adding just a little more weight, either for imagined redundancy, cruising creature comforts, or to make up for questionable design/build decisions, seems to bloat every cruising boat. Likewise, racing monohulls nowadays are all about getting into planing-mode as fast as possible–so it’s all massive rigs and deep keels, with pipe-berths and camp stoves down below.

J-Boats rule this space here in the states. So we checked out the most obvious candidate, the J/120. Powerful, fast, practical. But there’s the “only one-design game in town” tax, probably at least $25K, even for a 25 year old boat. And the classic J-Boat low-freeboard and no-nonsense steel and white interior didn’t sing to me. Not to mention trying to round up 10 friends everytime we raced…

Then we checked out the J/40. Really cool for a Caribbean charter boat or gunkholing in Maine (if you got a deal on one), but hard to imagine having fun sailing around in circles in the bay. It really seemed more boat than necessary for our usual sailing. And not fast enough either.

With the help the bay area’s best independent broker, John from Bearmark Yachts, we looked at a ton of boats over the winter: A Nordic 40 (awesome cruiser, but built for the round-the-world trade, and heavy), Beneteau first 36.7 (no offence, but felt souless to me), a dated Waquiez 35, and a ton of others from Olson 40s to Morgan 40s. No love.

Enter the X-Yacht. The X-362 Sport to be exact.

x362 sailplan

I looked at her on a whim, detouring to San Diego on a trip back from the Salt Lake office. It’s a danish-built, 36′ LOA, 11,000# fractional sloop with a tick-list of things you never thought would go together: Decent speed (PHRF between 75-85); a full 2-cabin cruising interior with a refer, propane stove, hot water, and massive head with a shower; decent instruments and electronics (including an oversized autopilot slaved to the nav system); a tall fractional rig, symetrical chute, and below-deck jib furling.

Any time you put an oversized carbon spinnaker pole together with teak decks, I’m hooked. Throw in dive tank holders and a 10′ RIB? Yes please.

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