Spoilt for choice

The world’s biggest boat show has wrapped-up for 2020, and several designs in the extremely competitive 40-45 foot category definitely merited closer inspections.

Written by Scott Alle

28 January 2020


Ever since it was launched toward the end of last year, X-Yachts’ new 40-footer, the X4.0, has been attracting praise for its stylish looks, sailing prowess and optimum use of space.

Further confirmation of the 4.0’s appeal came on the opening night of boot Düsseldorf when the Danish yard’s hull won the Performance Cruiser category at the prestigious European Yacht of the Year awards.

There were reportedly long queues on the X-Yachts stand in Düsseldorf to view the smallest model in the Pure X range.

According to the highly-respected Danish yard, the 4.0 blends quality, performance and styling with cruising capability.

The design philosophy was very clear from the outset – like all X yachts, there was a big emphasis on giving the owner a superb and comfortable sailing experience, on a yacht that is easy to handle by all the crew.


The X4.0 is light, strong and stiff thanks to epoxy infusion construction while also benefiting from X-Yachts’ steel keel frame; a carbon/composite structure which gives an improved strength to weight ratio for hull impact resilience and rig stability with a lighter overall weight.

Also, as explained to me by CEO Kraen Nielsen, the 4.0’s size means it’s easily manageable by a couple, without the mooring or maintenance costs of a larger boat.

Its cockpit layout though is easily adapted for regatta or twilight racing, and the yacht’s strength and versatility should find admirers here in Australia, according to local dealer Andrew Parkes.

“It’s a fantastic boat,” he agrees.

“We’ve fielded some strong enquiries about the 4.0 and we could potentially see one in Australia this year.”

According to the reviews the X4.0 is fast and points well, thanks to its powerful lines, precision moulded composite T keel with heavy lead bulb ensuring a high degree of stability.

The 47-square-metre mainsail, and the 31-square-metre self-tacking genoa, delivers upwind speed of 6.5 knots in 12 knots true wind according to the VPP program. As with all X-Yachts, rigging is over speced to reduce stretch and stop the mast pumping whilst sailing upwind into a heavy sea.

The boat is available in a two cabin and a three-cabin layout.

The standard layout has a head compartment with separate shower compartment. Standard layout features a forward facing navigation station with full length sofa.

The 4.0 comes standard with the latest generation 29 HP Yanmar diesel common-rail engine, upgradable to 40 HP, a 2-blade folding propeller on an S-drive installation. The engine is mounted onto special rubber engine antivibration shock absorbers to minimise vibrations, and the engine compartments fitted with sound reduction insulation to minimise noise.


If your sailing needs are better fulfilled by two hulls rather than one, and you are also interested in that 40-45 foot sweet spot then France’s Fountaine Pajot also exhibited several models worth investigating.

The new Elba 45 replaces the Helia 44 and is intended to be the yard’s new big volume seller. It’s already picked-up several awards with the verdict of improved performance and efficiency over the popular model it replaces.

The 45 has been designed by Olivier Racoupeau from scratch, following over 150 meetings and thousands of hours of work.

The hull offers 10 percent less drag than the Helia, thanks to a small chine in the aft section and a remodeled transom. The result is better performance at medium to high speeds and more efficient motoring: all that in a hull that is slightly longer and beamier than its predecessor.

Two interior configurations are on offer: a “Maestro,” or owner’s, version that dedicates the entire port hull to a double cabin with fold-out TV, dressing table, copious clothes storage and a large shower room and heads; and a charter-friendly four-cabin, four heads “Quatuor” setup. Both include a crew berth in the starboard bow and room for a crew head to port. There’s space for a sail locker as well. The standard finish is in a light grey oak for the furniture, dark oak flooring and a choice of neutral upholstery.


Also featured at Düsseldorf, the Astrea 42, a Boat of the Year Winner from 2019. The Astrea’s design team at Berret-Racoupeau maximised usable seating options, a voluminous interior with multiple head configurations and larger windows all around to make the boat brighter and more inviting. They added slightly inverted hulls like those on serious racing machines, which if nothing else certainly makes the boat look faster.

Construction includes a PVC foam core sandwich with vacuum-laminated outer skins. The deck and superstructure are made using the company’s proprietary Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) technique, and both sides are sprayed with gelcoat for a nicely finished look from every angle. Spars are aluminium, supported by stainless wire shrouds and stays.

The Astrea 42 is available in two versions: Maestro (owner’s three-cabin) and Quatuor (four cabin).  In the Owner’s version, the entire starboard hull is dedicated to an expanisve master suite. There are a number of options available including a four cabin with four head layout and two shower stalls would make the most sense for charter.



  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement