Over the last four years XS Marines has brought about a change in SEABIRD sailing in the Mumbai harbor and this has also spread to Chennai. XS Marines started by modernizing the deck and internal layout of the existing Seabird with improved placement of deck fittings. Rigging the Seabird for sailing was made easier with the addition of hi-tech Aluminum Alloy Gaff & Boom. In addition, comfort & safety features were kept in mind to ensure a safe boat. Finally the most crucial item – minimum maintenance requirements was also adhered to. This led to a superb demand with over 20 boats that have been supplied to various Sailing Clubs and first time private boat owners.
Keeping in mind the changes in modern sailing boats, XS Marines has given the Seabird hull a totally new dimension – an innovative deck cum cockpit with an open Transome layout resulting in a low-profile cabin under the deck. The Jenniker pole now slides into the hull, resulting in less clutter on deck. No changes have been made to the existing Seabird Hull i.e. in dimensions or shape but a completely modern day-sailer / club racer has evolved with the new XS63 Rig. The first of these newly developed boats were launched on 28th March 2014 and will sail its first maiden race in the JJ Memorial Trophy organized over this weekend of 29th & 30th March 2014.
XS Marines was the first company to make a Cuddy cabin Seabird in 2012 specially customized for the owners, with an Aluminum Mast extruded locally in India. Over the last two years a lot of time and effort has been spent in developing a Sloop rig which has resulted in the XS63 Rig & Sail. All the existing Seabirds can now be retrofitted with this new Rig & Sail plan. FULMAR II one of the first of the ‘Mark 3 Seabirds’ built in 1987/88 has been retrofitted with the new XS63 Rig & Sail has been sailed over the last 4 to 5 months by the owner Cyrus Heerjee. This is what he has to say:
“It’s my ‘Dream Boat’ come true after wishful thinking for so many years. She is a well proven Seabird Class Hull, which we have sailed all the way to Muscat and back thru stormy seas, mated with a modern rig which makes it ever so much more comfortable and easy to sail. The old rig and sail had that massive weather helm which made you hold the tiller ‘close to your chest’ to keep her from climbing too high. Then you had to spill the wind in anything over 12 knots if you had to keep a neutral helm.
With the XS 63 all that is ‘history’..
You don’t have to lower the gaff over your head and hold onto the boom crutch, an agonizing task, trying desperately to make it stay in the right slot on the rear thwart and making sure the boom and gaff fall into place! You don’t have to bend to your knees to look under the boom check for any starboard tacker when you are approaching the windward mark. Instead you have a panoramic view all around-even under the jib. The spinnaker rig is user friendly and you don’t have to hold the spin boom and walk it around the fore stay to gybe the spin around, Last but not least, you tack and gybe with out yelling out “let go the b… runner man”. I vote for the XS 63 as the ‘best of both worlds’ and an ideal boat for cruising and racing. Keep on sailing….”
If you are looking to learn how to sail, Cyrus Heerjee is the man. For all your queries you can e mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call after office hours on +91 99202 35492.
Looking to buy a Seabird by XS Marines? Have a look at what one of their buyers Anshul Davda have to share:
“Buying a boat – Always an exciting moment in a family, the elders want to go cruising, the young want to race and everyone wants to enjoy a casual Sunday evening sail. My uncle has always been a passionate sailor and that is what got me into becoming one right from the age of 8. We had a seabird, Grey Eagle, that was known among everyone in the sailing community. This boat was very dear to my uncle, and then me too! When my uncle decided to replace the boat I was very excited…
Obviously, there are a hundreds of choices out there but we came down to a seabird again. Why a seabird? Isn’t it just perfect? It is not the fastest but it is certainly stable, smooth and spacious! A perfect boat that fits into both cruising and racing! I have grown up sailing the seabird and to have a more improved version sounded fantastic. XS Marines’ flexibility allowed us to bring out a perfect combination of colours, sails and interiors that matched our taste. At every step of the process, being involved felt amazing, considering the fact that I am the youngest in the family, I was thrilled to be an integral part of the decision making process- right from the seating to the sails. I attended all the meetings to finalise the various components and materials that needed to be ordered, and the tiny details that we had to look at were just amazing. The more I looked into the process, the more I couldn’t wait for launch day.
Every few days we would make a trip to the boatyard and look at how our boat was coming along. The hospitality, clarity and flexibility there allowed me to fully understand the smallest and innermost components of the boat. I learnt quite a lot about how boats are built, and how much precision is needed for the job. When the boat was ready we fixed the launch date as 14th December, 2013. A day I will never forget. It was amusing to see the massive group of workers pushing that trolley in the water as we launched the new Grey Eagle into the water. Her sails are from Lee, fittings from Harken but I can proudly say she has been manufactured from scratch right here in India. She sails faster than the wind and it feels like you’re always flying over the water. Seabirds are fantastic and I would recommend one to whoever is looking for an ideal boat for the family or for racing purposes.”
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