NORTH X-TYPE 7.3M 2013 TEST REVIEW
Those that like sailing powered-up and cranking high-speed turns and tricks, especially in choppy water locations.
Rig a size larger than the rest and then effortlessly burn-up the competition!
Described as “The ultimate no-cam performance sail”, the X-type promises all the handling and rigging advantages of a no-cam sail whilst still delivering control and power. North have a 2-cam race sail in the S-type and the Natural is the freeride option.
Outline: Aggressive cutaway clew (shortest on test), low aspect ratio/compact outline, stepped leech below top batten and steep ‘negative’ top batten/head cut.
Build Quality: X-ply in the foot, leech and head areas combined with clear and coloured film. There’s a roller tack pulley, foot, batten and head abrasion protection, moulded tack fairing and a warranty that’s extendable to 5 –yrs.
Rigging and Tuning: One (460) mast fits all sizes, which is convenient if you’re considering a quiver. (SDM). As usual the North Visual Trim System (VTS) is reliable and gives accurate indicators of the recommended tuning range. The printing system always seems to give precise placement of the tuning displays, which makes life easy when in a hurry!
Low End & Acceleration: With such a solid and locked-in batten profile we found the X-type lacking a little in low-end power. It’s a 7.3 too which made a bit of difference but the strong and stiff battens do seem to prevent the sail filling as early as some.
Top End: The top-end is excellent because of the control at the high-end of the scale. The X-Type surprised us in just how much it could handle. In fact this 7.3 was mistakenly brought out with some 6.5s in over 25 knots and horrendous chop one session and all the team commented on how the North was the best for control before noticing it was actually the 7.3! If sailing powered-up but in control is your thing then the X-Type could well be for you.
Gybing & Manoeuvres: Perhaps unsurprisingly, with the shortest boom length on test we found it easy and lightweight in the turns. The clew cut-out is quite large but didn’t hinder tack-to-tack motion and on the right boards the X-Type’s a perfect fang-around-and-crank-turns contender.
Handling: Off the plane and in neutral the balance and stability is immediately obvious. The draft’s locked solid and forward and is almost impossible to shift off axis.
Light and exceptionally stable, the X-Type’s got incredible top-end control mixed with a fun and flickable nature.
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