X-99 One Design Class
X-Yachts A/S was founded back in 1979, and the first yacht to roll out of the doors of the factory in Haderslev, Denmark was the 8 m One Design "X-79". The brainchild of young Danish designer, Niels Jeppesen, the X-79 was (and still is) a fast, simple, non type formed yacht that met with instant approval and strong fleets were quickly established in Denmark Germany and Sweden.
By the mid 80's there was an increasing demand for a yacht with similar qualities to the X-79, but of around 10 m. A One Design Class yacht fast enough to beat existing yachts of similar size, including ¾ ton racing yachts, yet comfortable enough to allow for occasional or extended cruising.
The prototype of the X-99 was launched in 1985, and within one week a staggering 100 boats were sold to clients who had paid a small deposit based on a draft proposal test sailed hull #001 and signed the actual order. No other boat, before or since has enjoyed such a spectacular launch. Within the first 2 years the X-99 had established fleets in Denmark Germany, Switzerland and Holland. This list of accredited National fleets soon grew to include the UK, Hong Kong, and most recently Sweden.
Starting first with National, then European, and finally World Championship regattas the X-99 fleet has grown in both numbers and stature. The 1989 World Cup was won by renowned American yachtsman Jim Brady, and with Dutch, Hong Kong and Danish crews appearing on the winner's rostrum over the years the fleet enjoys a truly International flavour. Annual Championships attract participants from up to 9 different countries, and up to 3 different continents with fleet numbers constant at between 40 - 50 boats. Since hull 001 took to the water in 1985 the X-99 has been upgraded to include such standard X-Yachts features as a steel bottom frame to replace the original glassed in wooden floors. Other improvements include the upgrade of the Bukh engine to a Volvo and aluminium window frames to replace the original recessed Plexiglass panels.
Over the years, one name has stood out in the X-99 racing scene above all others, and after winning his 3rd World Championship in a row we at X-Yachts reluctantly decided that enough was enough, and offered him a job. Dan Lindquist Pedersen is the name, and his principal role in the company is to oversee "end quality control". Dan also brought with him his considerable talents as a racing sailor which are put to good use in new product development as well as allowing us to send a top class sailor to test sail or race on X-Yachts around the World.
It is the success of Dan's X-99 "FAXE KONDI", and his ideas on setting up the X-99 for racing that has formed the basis of the new deck layout and deck gear that is central to the development of the X-99 Mk 2, so late 1996, ten years after the first launch of the X-99, hull No 500 was delivered to our Dutch importer. She was the first of this new Mk 2 version and can be seen in the brochure. The deck layout plan in this brochure reveals the principal changes on the X-99 Mk 2 all of which are geared towards making the boat even more crew friendly and efficient to sail and 100% "race ready" out of the box.
To bring the X-99 more "up to date" the styling of the waterlines has been changed, and the cabin windows have been upgraded to a more "classic" look with two windows on each side which, on request, can be made to be opening for better ventilation in hot climates.
The interior of the X-99 Mk 2 has also received an upgrade, with new materiel being used for the freeboard linings, and distinctive new cushion covers.
X-YACHTS has rejected the idea of replacing the X-99, or even of producing a boat designed to compete in the same market, but instead to develop the X-99 Mk 2: -
1. FACT: Even in today's market, the X-99 is still a very fast 33 footer, and up to now, no other designer or producer has been able to build a boat that matches the X-99 in its broad market appeal. Many of the "One Design Classes" being introduced today are pure sports boats, and in our judgment are aimed at such a narrow market that they will never be able to sell in sufficient numbers to allow true Inter-national class racing.
2. FACT: More than 500 X-99's have been built to date. Hence the tooling and development costs for this boat have been paid off a long time ago. On price alone, the X-99 Mk 2 will out perform any other 10 m cruiser/racer. We invite you to make your own comparison.
3. FACT: The X-99 is firmly established as a Class, and it is highly improbable that any new yacht, aiming for the same market can ever get close to the X-99. National and International events organized by X-99 associations around the World afford the X-99 owner a well structured, competitive racing forum that is hard (if not impossible) to beat.
4. FACT: Since 1989, the true One Design status of the X-99 has been assured by the formation of the International X-99 Class Association. Together with X-YACHTS (one vote) each country with a Nationally recognized fleet has one vote. The board of the International X-99 Class Association has sufficient power to protect the X-99 owner from unnecessary costs brought about by inappropriate "developments" from within the class.
If you are serious about class racing but also want a boat that you can cruise with family and friends the X-99 is still the Class to join.
Despite its recent appearance in many custom built IMS racing yachts and "look alike" One Design yachts I do not feel that the plumb bow is appropriate for a cruiser/racer as it makes upwind sailing in choppy water a very wet experience. The principal advantage of the low CG bulb keel is seen in cruising yachts that are unlikely to have crew hiking on the rail. We use this style of keel on the newer X-Yachts models for that reason. The X-99 keel is of very low CG, being of composite construction with a lead shoe bolted underneath the cast iron keel
Fractional rigs supported by aft swept spreaders are currently in vogue amongst modern sports boats, but have their roots in the cruising scene. The principal benefit of such a rig is its simplicity, not its performance. The X-99's spreaders are raked aft 5o . This allows sufficient safety margin to tack or gybe the boat without the runners on, but the performance gain from having adjustable runners is still inherent in the rig. A perfectly trimmed fractional rig will always depend on having runners and checkstays - the X-99 is "born" with these.