Lifestyle is what it’s all about

Tony Churchill | VOLUME 24, ISSUE 1

The X-7400 goes a long way towards achieving what many are looking for in a boat and a caravan, all in the one towable package.

When it was launched, the X-7400 wasn’t intended to take the place of a caravan. But those who enjoy trekking on the tar and cruising on the briny will be hard-pressed to find a configuration in a fibreglass boat that is more user-friendly to both lifestyles than the X-7400.

Aptly named the ‘Allrounder’, the X-7400 features a walk-around cabin and a super structure design. Ordinarily in catamaran hulls, this comes at the expense of interior cabin space. But the X-7400’s tri-hull design ensures that space has not been sacrificed. In fact, there is a surprising amount of room within – enough to comfortably sleep two adults over a leg well infill, which offers an overall area equal to a standard double bed. Take away the infill, and you still have two good-sized bunks and a hatch that hides a head that has a 65lt holding tank, with pump-out facilities if you can’t get to a suitable station.

Here in the government-touted ‘smart state’ of Queensland, the pollies aren’t so smart after all. Considering the sailable coastline and bustling ports, marinas and docking facilities, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a pump-out facility. In fact, at Caloundra, where we tested this boat, there ain’t one at all! Shameful, isn’t it? Fortunately, the leg well can be hosed out if there is any head spillage and a drain in the floor takes the fluid aft from where it can be disposed of appropriately.

ONBOARD AMENITIES

In the aft end of the berths there are deep stowage compartments, which offer more than enough pocket space on three sides of the cabin. You’ll find plenty of head height as well and access to and from is via a twin door featuring a stained Perspex infill. A hinged hatch in the top of the dash bulkhead alleviates head-banging while traversing the companionway.

The helm station is neatly laid out with room for a flush-mounted 10in combo unit. Engine instrumentation is mounted in a separate brow above. The available dash space is pretty well taken up with the top hatch to the cabin, so those looking to add further electronic cabinets might consider suspending them from the solid fibreglass hard top. I’m sure external wiring on the top would be a possibility.

The test boat featured an extended awning that was further supported at the rear. While a rocket launcher for fishing rods was part of the stainless build, they would be difficult to access without having a zip-open flap installed in the forward section of the awning. We asked about a load rating for the hardtop, but it hasn’t been tested. The manufacturer claims that they have had people to 80kg on top without issue. There are a couple of hand-rails running longitudinally, which would be ideal for strapping down a small inflatable.

The X-7400 is big on insulated stowage and you will find a lot of it under the helm chair. The helm seat hinges forward to reveal a tray that is removable and designed to stow a butane gas cooker. With the cooker removed, you can access the front of the module, which is a big insulated icebox. The rear of the box is accessed via the hinged padded seat lid in the aft end.

The passenger chair sits in front of a long module that extends back into the cockpit and forms the galley – and a practical one at that. A central hinged lid opens to expose a multi-burner stainless steel gas-fired cooker and in the aft end, a round sink is where you can wash up. The hard top in the aft end is surrounded by a hand-rail, which makes it easy to hang on in the galley or steady yourself while walking to the port gunwale.

A pair of drawers made entirely from fibreglass is handy under the sink. A small isotherm refrigerator is flush-mounted at the front of the module under the passenger chair. The back of the refrigerator is accessible via a large hatch at the face of the galley module. The clever positioning explains itself once the boat is underway. As the boat moves across the water, the attitude of the hull pushes the contents of the fridge towards the rear of the cavity rather than against the door, just waiting to surprise you when you open it.

With 200lt of freshwater to the sink, a hand-piece on a hose stored in the aft galley module allows for some not-so-private showering in the cockpit.

There are small side pockets in the cockpit liner, which are situated well forward. Twin vertical hatches on either side extend to the transom bulkhead, hiding pumps, a triple battery set-up and isolator switches. The hatches also offer a small amount of residual stowage space. A floodable kill tank in the floor is also insulated for further cold stowage for the catch of the day.

The infill for the double berth may be used as a dining table in the cockpit. A double seat is available on each side of the cockpit, which can be used in their forward and rear positions, or doubled-up across the transom bulkhead.

In each corner on the bow is a hatched anchor locker. Constructed of nylon board, the hatches could do with a retaining strap. Looking inside, I found that one was empty and the other had 150m of rope, chain and an anchor at the bottom. The ground tackle looked like a drop in the ocean. The compartments were large, maybe too large. If you had to use the ground tackle manually, and not the Maxwell Freedom winch fitted to this boat, the compartment could be filled with about three kilometres of rope.

POWER AND PERFORMANCE

With a pair of 150hp Honda VTECs out the back, this was a smart machine indeed. Generally, most multi-hulls lean out while turning; this happened to the X-7400, but only above 87km/h. Under that, it behaved like a monohull, leaning into a turn and offering a soft ride in chop, due in part to its boat and motor weight of around 2200kg. Typical of tri-hulls where the tunnels between the hulls are small, some spray becomes evident when riding over close chop with wind on the quarter, but that’s no big deal.

Hole shot was an effortless and speedy affair. Due to the amount of planing surface when low on the water, tri-hulls are very capable in this department, even with low horsepower. Of course, stability at rest is as good as it gets in any trailer boat.

The X-7400 offers a very capable top-end speed of about 65km/h at 6000rpm (WOT). Cruising at 4000rpm, you can expect to use 15lt/h for each engine at 42km/h. And if you have one of those bad hair days and have to come home on one Honda, the good one will plane this boat out of the hole at 45km/h. Which is pretty good in anyone’s book.

SPECIFICATIONS: LIFESTYLE BOATS X-7400

Length: 7.4m

Length overall: 8.4m with motors

Beam: 2.5m

Deadrise: N/A

Weight: 2750kg BMT dry

Fuel: 300lt, optional 400lt

Water: 200lt

Holding tank: 65lt

Engines: Honda BF 150 x 2 with 17in Solas Saturn propellers

Supplied by Lifestyle Boats Queensland Pty Ltd. 16 Industrial Avenue, Caloundra, Qld. Tel: (07) 5491 8788, Email: enquiries@lifestyleboats.com.au. Web: www.lifestyleboats.com.au


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