Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 149 Times in 122 Posts
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First of all both companies have built a very wide range of models with some being much better than others. To a great extent the choice would be model specific.
In a general sense, I understand that the Grand Soleils have designed a number of newer competitive racers that do well under the IMS and IRC rules, but the boats that I have been on have seemed to be of less than sterling build quality and they have not done well in the lighter air of the US Atlantic coast. They have appeared to be very dated design, cruiser racers that have very little appeal to me as either racers or cruisers.
X boats are harder for me to categorize. Their production models seem to be very well engineered and constructed. Recently I was on a roughly 20 year old X-boat that had been raced hard and treated roughly and was in amazingly good shape. There is a lot about the X-boat interior styling and construction that seems a little bit over simplified to the point of being a little crude for my taste but my overall impression is that X-boats build good boats that sail quite well.
If I had to chose between the two, I would be strongly inclined toward the X-boat.