Submitted: 03-06-2007 by Kayakcyndi
This weekend I paddled the Point 65 North XP. It is on the short list of boats Iím looking at as potential expedition racers or to use as a fast touring boat.
The boat I paddled was the XP in Carbon/Kevlar. It was light! In the low 40s according to the specs. The boat was easy for me (rather average size female) to solo carry. Despite the light weight it feels really very solid. And itís a real touring boat with bulkheads and day hatch included. It could easily carry a couple weeks of gear although the smaller than normal day hatch opening would make packing a bit more difficult. It comes equipped with a skeg or a skeg/rudder combination. The boat I used had the skeg only and it was the smoothest skeg Iíve used to date. I could literally make minor adjustments with the tap of a finger as I was ending a forward stroke. The rudder is a ďgas pedalĒ model so you donít lose the fixed footpegs and is one of the things that would make this a good racer. The back band isn't great, but I've since been told that new boats will have an improved model.
The finish on the boat is impressive. There is an extra layer of carbon/Kevlar cloth on the hull bow and stern. The inside is very smooth. The deck of the XP is awesome. The rear is nice and low making layback rolls a breeze but itís the front deck that is really interesting. It has cut away sides that enable you to plant your paddle close to the boat during your forward stroke. During a day trip using my wing paddle I didnít hit the deck once with the paddle (which I do in nearly every other boat at some point). The deck fittings are all recessed and the perimeter lines and bungies are in all the right places.
This boat is made to go forward fast. I havenít put a GPS to it yet but from feel it feels slightly faster than my Silhouette and the light weight really helps it accelerate quickly. The boat has a shallow V hull and its initial stability is pretty good (at least for me) but itís the secondary stability that is great. With the hard chine you can really edge the boat and feel rock solid. At 18 feet long it is a bit tough to turn if flat. However, put it on edge, which you can do confidently and it turns very well.
In calm conditions the boat paddled great and didnít require any special attention. In 20+ knot winds the boat weathercocked a bit but the skeg countered that easily. As the waves built (probably never over 2 feet though) the boat was stable and dry. Turning downwind the boat easily caught and surfed the small wind waves.
Rolling the boat was very easy. Standard C to C and sweeps all brought me up with no problem. Skulling and bracing were also easy. A friend tried his Greenland moves on it and his static brace looked pretty good. After three hours roll practice the front hatch and rear hatch were bone dry but a little water collected in the day hatch.
Size wise, the XP is made for medium to larger paddlers and for me is a little on the deep side. If only they would make a XP LV Iíd give it a 10!