x-yacht vs. grand soleil - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-16-2003 Thread Starter
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x-yacht vs. grand soleil

after the boat show I came away very impressed with the 46'' X-yacht and Grand Soleil boats. Can anyone give some first hand info, pros and cons, on either of these? Especially liked the lack of clutter on deck, ease of going forward (hate the usual slalom around side stays), European layout below decks and quality of fit and finish. The goal is to find a relatively easy to shorthand, med. draft performance/cruiser which will be a live-aboard for a single guy spending 6 months in the BVIs, 6 months in the Chesapeake. I expect a stream of snow bound couples and friends to visit, but no more than two or at most three at a time. I would like to find something used, but for whatever reason (either low production or very satisfied owners) there doesn''t seem to be many of these out there. If anyone has other suggestions I''d be willing to listen. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-17-2003
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x-yacht vs. grand soleil

Being an owner of an Dehler 36 I would also suggest you to look at the new Dehler 46 which is also a performance cruiser like some X-yachts and Grand Soleil.
I have been on board on all three and I would rate them first class from build quality to hardware.
They are also a blast to sail and race.
However,I would not consider them traditional live aboard boats to sit at anchorages months at a time specially in the tropics.
They are rather fast passage makers and point to point long distance racer/cruisers.
Generally speaking their stowage capacities are not that high comparing to some other higher displacement boats at the same size.
Good Luck
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-26-2003
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x-yacht vs. grand soleil

Have been following x-yachts since seeing them at the Paris boat show a long time ago and being impressed by the high quality (Northern European) constucttion features . They seem to be built for taking on the North Sea and moving through it quickly while they''re at it. The sail handling and controls are generally well thought out and seamanlike overall. Cleats are big enough and placed where you need them. Winches: ditto. Lines lead to where you can get to them easily and make whatever adjustments are needed to boost performance. The boats also seem to look good, both under sail and at anchor. They also have enviable racing records. Am not as familiar with the other makes mentioned, but the name "Grand Soleil" - French for "big sun" , would not make me think what I belive to be an Italian boatbuilder was focused on performance or rugged construction.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-26-2003
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x-yacht vs. grand soleil

I had a chance to get a close look at the Grand Soleil and talk to the builder at the Annapolis. I was familar and not expecially impressed with earlier Grand Soleils. I came away from the boat show with mixed feelings about the boats. Apparently, Grand Soleils has been developing a new line that is based on the principles trickling down out of the IMS type forms and in general sense the design brief looks good. In looking at the actual boats I was less impressed. One thing that has happened in recent years is that there seems to be an increased attention to ergonomics. This attention shows up in a wide range of small details that make some of the new boats more comfortable to sail and cruise. Similarly there have been a lot of engineering breakthroughs that should improve the pleasure of use, toughness and the durability of these newer boats. As I looked at the Grand Soleil, I felt like the boat at the show really did not reflect this more up to date thinking. I also thought that the Grand Soleil was over priced for what they were offering.

One line of boats that really impressed me was the Elans. I had not seen one of these in person and up close. I thought that these were a very nice design with a nice execution and very well conceived details. The boat that I was on was a Rob Humphries design and I have admired Mr. Humphries works since his wonderful design for the Contessa 33.

I have always generally liked the X-boats. They have always attemped to produce genuine dual purpose boats (as well as some very fine single purpose race boats.)I think that the design quality of the individual models varies pretty widely so it is hard to make too strong a general statement about them. I have mixed emotions about their steel frame system. It is very stiff and uses steel as it is works best. On the other hand I wonder how well that will hold up over time. When I was buying my current boat I looked at a 15 year or so older X boat that had obviously had a very hard life but the bilges were a rusty mess.

Another boat that might make sense to look at is the Dehlers. I have generally been quite impressed with them as well.

Good luck,
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