Is an IMX 40 a family cruiser?
Lars Jeppesen from X-Yachts told us quite frankly that in his opinion,as an Israeli with no former yacht racing experience, and consideringthat our previous yacht was an Oceanis 445 which we had used mainly forcruising, the X-412 would be far more suitable for our needs. But as a sail maker with over twenty years of dinghy and yacht racingexperience, I could not resist the temptation to buy an IMX 40, so nonethe less; we decided to take a gamble. After two years with the IMX 40,I can clearly say it was the right choice, both as a family vacationcruiser, and as well as a lean, mean racing machine. Israel lies some 2,000 miles away from the centre of many Mediterraneanracing events; a reality that we decided would not stand in our way, orprevent us from participating. We organized a strong team that includedOlympic champions and first class sailors, which attained thesponsorship of companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Easy Sails, andadditionally some government support, so off we sailed.
Cruising with 4 powerful childrenWe had taken a long vacation, 8 weeks, and were a bit worried of such along period cooped up in a fast and edgy racer, crammed with 4 kids, theyoungest of which was our 5-month-old girl. The plan was to devote mostof the time sailing the Adriatic, experiencing the amazing shores ofCroatia, and only then to start the long trek back home. Croatia is tough to describe. The history, the nature, and the sea, areall too much for words, so I will concentrate on the outstanding,hospitable people we encountered at every port and marina that weanchored in. The level of service and quality of docking facilities are high, andthe prices reasonable. In many places the mooring is free of charge, ornearly so, and we found that by using the navigation books, one caneasily plan the route so as to anchor for a day or so in the magnificentbays that abound along the Croatian shores, and then moor in one of theMarinas to get supplies and refuel. All this without ever the need tosail legs exceeding 5-6 hours at a time. Every bay and marina wasbetter, more surprising and more exiting than the previous one. Andthat, to us, is the whole philosophy of cruising. Our greatest problem was the overflowing and abundant energy of ourkids. Aviram, the elder, who is 13, and Ohad, 11, who both race dinghies(Optimist class), demanded we fly a spinnaker every time the wind wouldblow from a 90 degree angle, and we, as good educators, never say no tothe proper exploitation of wind, found ourselves hoisting and loweringthe kite constantly. With a robust 8 or 9 member crew, all well trainedand muscular, the spinnaker is no big deal. But with a family crew, andOrit watching out for 2-year-old Eshed, who had just recently learnt toswim, made untiring attempts to jump overboard, which became a littletiresome, and sometimes I will admit to preferring a Volvo 140 over a spinnaker.
|When we decided to buy an IMX 40, it was after lengthy deliberations and a long process of research, lead to the choosing of X-Yachts as the supplier of our next yacht. A boat we had defined for ourselves as a racer-cruiser.|
IMS Championship in CroatiaOur target was the European IMS Championship in Cress, Croatia,approximately 2,500 nautical miles from our marina. Our yacht was sailedby some of the crew to Croatia, while the rest of the team flew in fromIsrael. The participation in the championship was impressive. Ninety-sixcutting edge racers were crewed by experienced and professional teams.We learned a lot from this regatta, not least of which, that we neededto be in many more of their strong positions. So next year we willdefinitely be on the starting line. After the regatta the yacht had to be sailed back home, so Orit, mywife, and our four children, an experienced skipper and the helmswomanof a women’s crew racing on an élan 332 in Israel, joined me in Croatia,where we spent a few days on preparation to set sail for Israel.
Welcome to Greece!The Dubrovnik marina was to be our last stop in Croatia and from therewe planned to sail to Corfu, in Greece, some 20 to 30 hours away. InDubrovnik we met with a group of Israeli sailors who were on their wayback to Israel aboard a Sunodessy 45, so we decided to stay on a bitlonger. The parting was difficult but the urge to move on will alwaysprevail. Throughout our sojourn in Croatia the wind had been in ourfavour, a constant 10-15 knot blowing from our stern, and I have noexplanation, but the day we entered Greece everything turned around. First a Meltemi blew with all it’s 45 knots strength, then the passportcontrol, and a new Transit Log (even though we had one from last monthon board) all occurred in a commercial port, full of huge passengerships with nowhere for a sailboat to dock. The whole procedure requireddriving the dinghy to the harbour, searching out the customs building,then the police, and the customs again, then lastly the harbour mastersoffice. Surviving all this, we returned to the dinghy, hoping that ithadn’t been sunk by some ferry, all this time; around 8 hours, with Oritand the kids at sea, without the possibility to anchor or dock.Unfortunately, we found no rest in Greece, as all the way to Athens thewind blew and gusted. In Athens we moored at the Zea marina, a marina situated in the centreof town. We had to stay there for a week as Aviram wanted to see the 420European Championships that were taking place there at the time. Aviramwas allowed on the committee boat and had a great time; we on the otherhand, did not. The voyage to the Ciclades was full of excitement, as this was “our”neck of the wood. We had sailed the islands on many occasion, and Israelwas just at the tip of our fingers, but not quite. The Meltemi wasrelentless, and got stronger as we sailed. Luckily we were running withher, and not against her. We anchored at an island, by far the prettiest we had visited inGreece. A lovely protected bay with a good, clean restaurant on thebeach and nice people. The following day, with the forecast improving;only a scale 7 sea, we were off to the next way point, the island ofPorus. Too many tourists landing in their thousands from huge passengerships, challenge the Greeks’ patience and tolerance towards cruisingyachts who spend little on hotels and shops, so we bolted off from thereand sailed to Kos, where a new marina, which many say is the mostbeautiful in the whole of Greece, was built. On the way there theMeltemi grew stronger, over 50 knots, and we reached the speed of 7knots with only the mainsail cover! It is no rumour the IMX 40 is a fast boat!
Wonderful TurkeyEventually we arrived at Kos, and the new marina is indeed, at leastfrom what we saw along the way, the most beautiful and cared for marina.From Kos we sailed straight to Turkey. Turkey we know well. For the pastseven years we have sailed her shores and bays. The Turks amaze us withtheir standard of service, spotless shores and coves, a veritable havenfor the yachting tourist. We moored in Budroom, Marmaris, Gochek, Kekova, Patya, so whoever isfamiliar with these locations will share our delight with Turkey, itswaters, and the cliffs that surround the bays. Fancy anchoring alone ina bay? You can. Looking for a bay with a restaurant run by a localfisherman? You got it. Prefer a classy marina with posh western cuisine?No problem. Just choose.
Tel Aviv in 60 hoursFrom Turkey to Israel, one long 400 mile leg with the spinnaker flyingall the way, we made Tel Aviv in 60 hours, after two months of eventfulsailing on a sturdy, easy to manoeuvre and control yacht that handlesthe sea better and safer than any we have previously sailed.Easy Swissa