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Submitted: 11-09-2012 by Wim-B

I am 6'/1.8m high and weigh 90 kg/15 stone. Previous boats, NDK Greenlander and Explorer, North shore Atlantic ; I also have a Three piece Valley Etain 17.5...
I have owned the XP18 for 6 months now. and have paddled it from dead flat to 8 foot surf. Once I had to make a beeline for the beach in 40 knot (on land) wind and confused sea.
    The good:
  • Mine seems to have a very decent finish, good gelcoat, dry hatches etc.
  • Good primary stability, rock solid secondary.
  • Rolls good with a stormroll or reverse sweep.
  • Catches following seas nicely when you use the rudder.
  • Feels like a playboat when the rudder is up.

    The bad:

  • Looks aren't everything and neither is marketing spin, this boat is not what it is sold for: A fast expedition boat. For serious work it is way to rudder depending and without it it is hard to control in following seas. The skeg does not help here either.
  • The foot braces/rudder pedals are a joke.
  • The cockpit in general is one of the worst I ever been in, you have to throw everything out and build your own seat and footbraces in. I have installed extended tighbraces after being sucked out in surf, the original ones give no support.
  • It is a bad boat to surf in the big stuff, broaches as soon as a big one hits the tail. I could/can surf my other boats well enough. (Hence the previous reviewers trouble with surf landings?)
  • The skeg rattles in the skegbox.
  • Rear of the cockpit rim is to high for backdeck rolls.
I still kinda like it because of it's cool looks and the way it paddles in a following sea with the rudder down. I bought it dirt cheap so I don't worry. In Australia it retails for $3600 but you can often buy them in as new condition for around $1500 from people who believed the marketing spin and are bitterly disappointed.
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