In 1979, two Danish brothers and their friend built a racing sailboat in the barn, and then went out and won every race they entered with it. That was the start of X-Yachts, a major sailboat builder that over the next 40-plus years produced a large international fleet of popular race boats, cruisers, and performance cruisers.
Then, about four years ago, the company decided to add a powerboat line.
“A lot of our sailboat owners have a powerboat as their secondary boat, and they were used to X-Yachts’ approach to construction,” said distributor Bob Rodgers of X-Yachts USA, which is headquartered in West Mystic, Connecticut. That approach, he continued, is Scandinavian: “Make it strong first.”
Instead of giving its sailboat R&D team the task of designing a powerboat hull from scratch, X-Yachts decided to use the patented, proven hull technology developed by Swedish firm Petestep. The X-Power 33C’s Petestep hull is engineered without flat spray rails or other horizontal flat surfaces that might slam against the waves, creating undue noise and an uncomfortable ride. Instead, a V-shaped array of Petestep Deflectors redirect the water under the boat down and aft, providing a smooth, quiet ride as well as creating additional lift that in turn enhances energy efficiency.
“It gives you a little extra speed and [better] fuel consumption,” said Martin Lindbaek Luk, who leads the X-Yachts powerboat division. While the hull has a pure powerboat design, the company’s sailing legacy may have had something to do with its decision to offer the X-Power 33C with a single 320-hp, 340-hp, or 370-hp Yanmar diesel, auxiliary-style. Still, as uncommon as single diesel inboard power may be in a sporty boat like this one, at least in the U.S., it delivers excellent fuel economy in combination with the Petestep hull.
Our test boat was equipped with the upgrade 370-hp Yanmar. During a sea trial on a rare stretch of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway with no speed restrictions, I drove the X-Power 33C to a top speed of 35 knots, recording a mere 19.13 gph total on the fuel display. (Next year, the boat also will be available with twin 300-hp outboards, which will give it a projected top end of 47 to 48 knots.)
The Petestep hull lifted the 33C onto plane without the least bit of bow rise. Acceleration was so swift and smooth that I had trouble setting the throttles precisely at 25 knots, an efficient cruise speed, although I am sure that would come with practice. I was able to turn the boat crisply and confidently hard over at cruise. The sightlines forward and all around the boat were excellent, and the venturi-style windshield provides very good protection from the breeze.
The X-Power 33C’s dashboard has room for twin 16-inch Simrad multifunction displays. The boat is also equipped, standard, with a CZone Control & Monitoring system–a digital switching system that, to my mind at least, is the wave of the future for boats even in this size range. The CZone system is operated via a touchscreen that is mounted face-up in the lower helm. (One caveat: This location seems a bit prone to sun glare.) With the flick of a finger, you can control the refrigerator, navigation displays, entertainment system, lights, and more.
“The owner can customize the CZone system with X-Yachts,” Luk said. For example, he explained, you can create a “Cruising Mode” that automatically turns on all of the multifunction displays at the helm; an “Unattended Mode” that switches everything off on board, and other one-button group settings.
The X-Power 33C has the amenities of a large day boat, including generous cockpit seating served by a convertible dining table and on-deck galley with sink and single-burner stove. One refrigerator drawer is standard; a second is optional. The hardtop also is optional, but would be highly desirable in a sunny climate. You can order an optional extendable sunshade as well.
The boat comes with a dual sunpad for the foredeck which has a dedicated storage locker in the sole. Of special note is the anchor hatch that opens out of the “nose” of the boat. It is engineered to bring the anchor back up straight onto its mount every time. The 33C has walkaround side-decks, and grabrail “slots” are molded into the hardtop for safety. The decks are lined in Flexiteek, but real teak is available as an option.
The X-Power 33C has a clean, Scandinavian style that continues to beautiful effect in the cabin, which features an enclosed head and large V-berth. Our test boat was finished in glossy Rosewood and brass, but tinted oak woodwork with chrome hardware is also an option. Yes, the V-berth is a bit sailor-like, but that’s the only amenity that might remind the viewer that the boat is built by a major sailboat manufacturer. In every way, the X-Power 33C is a true, versatile and highly attractive powerboat.
Displ.: 8,818 lbs.
Power: (1) 370-hp Yanmar 8LV
This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue.