Part 2 of our close look at the Farr X2. Part 1 is here.
Everything on the boat was placed with optimum ergonomics in mind, and the boat is probably over winched in terms of size. With things like the Olympics in mind and just mixed gender and shorthanded sailing in general, we’ve gone with bigger winches so that even a smaller person can apply full load on the Code Zero for example.
Just to make things dryer and more simple, as well as easier to ship, we’ve gone with a deck-stepped, fully custom 2-piece Selden carbon fiber mast package that is specifically designed for the boat. The boats are shipped in 40-foot containers and the keel will be in a frame so that the boat arrives and is ready to sail the day you get it. Keel in, mast on, sails up in a matter of hours. The boat will come out of the container with a 2-reef main, a 1-reef jib and an all-purpose A2 so that you can immediately go sailing the day you get it.
The sail plan is extremely modern with what I call a ‘Comanche’ style rig which sits well aft in the boat. The boom goes all the way to the back and there’s a large J which enables easy multi-headsail flying. You can run a triple headed rig configuration quite easily and get into the furling sails quite early. In 17 knots, you could be in a furling A5 spinnaker, a J5 jib and a Genoa Staysail and just absolutely cranking. Knowing that you can pull a string and make the big sail go away allows for really safe modes of sailing when shorthanded. The main is a 2-reef main which is effectively a 1.5 reef and then a third reef that covers the IRC rule of 50 percent so that you don’t have to carry a storm trysail.
One of the key differentiations between our boat and some others is the transom hung rudders. From experience in the Minis, we have hit something and ripped the transom out of the boat. Then you are in real trouble and effectively sinking. So we put our heads together and came up with a cassette system that has an impact shear pin, so that if we hit something, the shear pin breaks and the rudder kicks up. You can’t sail the boat with one rudder up, so there will be a spare pin located on the cassette so that you can re-install the affected rudder. If you hit something, it doesn’t have to be the end of your race, and you can put the rudder back down and keep on racing or at least get home safely.
SA – You mentioned aspirations of class racing a few times and building one-design fleets. Where would you like to see the class go with the Farr X2?
One of the big things that is happening is based in Europe and it has the potential for there to be a new world series type of doublehanded tour. You’ve potentially got X amount of countries interested to have a tour. One of the things that was important to me and my project was to align Australasia with Europe and with the States.
As a project manager and license holder of this boat, it’s important for me to be on the front foot of this. One of the things i’m trying hard to do is potentially be a supplier of these events. We could end up with fleets of these boats around the world. It’s a long shot obviously, but there’s a lot of positivity around this style of event.
It is not entirely dis-similar to the old ‘Tour de Voile’ in the Mumm 30s and the like. The plan would be to have these short day race style events, 40 or 50 miles, from one port to the next and then a longer overnight event at the end where you end up scoring points like in a regatta format. There’s no reason why we in Australia couldn’t align with Europe and the States and turn this into a proper world tour.
SA – You mentioned that you were in the process of building the first boats. Have you actually sold any yet?
BP – We’ve sold two boats and will potentially sell a third this week. The first boat will be sailing in Sydney in July or August. Well, that’s the plan anyways, but we are pushing hard for that. The second boat is actually going to Toronto, Canada. The guy who’s bought that boat has been researching the market heavily and was quite disappointed with the performance elements of what’s currently available. He’s a numbers guy and and so he punched the VPP’s of the Farr X2 in, then rang us up and we made a deal. He’s an Antrim 27 and A-Class guy and he’s stoked. We should have another boat soon sold to Sydney as well, and there is a lot of interest coming in from around the world.
SA – All right, so if I wanted one, how much does it cost and how do I get it?
BP – The pricing of the boat is $205k USD leaving the factory and not yet including shipping, as per the specs on the website. This price includes a main, jib and one spinnaker. That also does not include instrumentation or autopilot. We have B&G H5000 and Triton options available with us, and installed by us. The boats are being built by XSP in Batam, Indonesia, which is an Australian run high performance boat building company that was established more than 20 years ago.
Each boat is fully CE certified, and will be the same. Each boat will be supplied with a certificate to Offshore Sailing Regulations’ ISO standards and we will be working to build within the tightest tolerances possible for both one-design-and class racing.
SA – Thanks for the chat BP. It’s been really exciting watching the Farr X2 come to life, bit by bit, for the last year and a half and I wish you the best of luck. I’ll continue listening to your excellent yacht racing podcast ‘Bar Karate’, and I can’t wait to go for a rip on the Farr X2 once the borders open!