Quick Look: X 34

Jeremy McGeary reviews this performance cruiser for the CW 2009 Sailboat Show

For many years now, X-Yachts has been carving out its niche in the performance end of the market. More recently it's been padding that niche with a line of performance cruisers, of which the X-34 is the newest and smallest.

While this junior member of the X-Yachts family is aimed below the grand-prix level of its seniors, it still carries several features-the jib furler recessed into the foredeck, discontinuous rod rigging, the mainsheet led under the deck, the big steering wheel that puts the helmsman on the rail-that appeal to both the Wednesday-night racer and the keen weekend cruiser. The non-overlapping jib makes sailing shorthanded a breeze and also allows the shrouds to be placed outboard, leaving the side decks uncluttered.

Belowdecks, the simple two-cabin-and-saloon layout allows a large nav desk, and beneath all is the X-Yachts signature galvanized-steel backbone that distributes the rig and keel loading throughout the boat's structure.