Shown above is a video of a new X4.6, a 46-footer by X-Yachts with a new set roller/furling X-Drive Carbon cruising sails.
X-Drive® performance cruising sails are perfect for cruising sailors who like their boats to sail well. X-Drive is a two-part construction system. The first part is a lightweight laminate that is cut into cross-cut panels that when put together give the sail its designed 3D shape. UK Sailmakers refers to the joined panels as the “sail skin.” Next the sail skin is reinforced by bonding hundreds of continuous high-strength, low-stretch fibers that run between the sail’s three corners. This construction system is similar to how buildings are built; the steel skeleton provides structure while the glass curtain wall creates the shape. In the X-Drive construction the sail skin is like the glass curtain wall, which creates the shape.
There are many combinations of fibers and laminates to make sails based on the requirements of strength, performance and cost. Fibers can be Carbon, UHMPE (generic for Spectra) or S-Glass. All the laminates UK Sailmakers selects from for cruising sails have a taffeta layer and can have an internal fiber structure of aramid, UHMPE or polyester yarns.
X-Drive is the ideal sail construction process for cruising sailors who appreciate a well shaped sail, but who also need to keep control of price. These good looking sails give maximum durability and signature good looks. On the X4.6, the main rolls into the boom and the roller/furling jib has UV covers on the foot and leech. Video footage courtesy Jeppe Ullmann, whose father Morten runs the UK Sailmakers loft in Denmark, where these sails were made.