BOAT REVIEW Yanmar X47 Express Cruiser

April 2021 Power Boat Reviews
Words by Lawrence Schaffler. Photography and video by Roger Mills and supplied.
Build Quality
MODEL Yanmar X47 Express Cruiser
LOA 14.53M
BEAM 4.25M
ENGINE 3 X Yanmar 8LV-370
  • Impressive blend of performance and style
  • Flexible entertainment options with three distinct areas
  • Flowing lines and elegant curves are pleasing to the eye

Yanmar has treated its VIP guests to exceptional views of the America’s Cup action on the Hauraki Gulf, all from the comfort of the company’s new X47 Express Cruiser.

Launched at Germany’s Boot Dusseldorf in January last year, the America’s Cup editon of the X47 (47-feet LOA) combines its sleek, svelte exterior with a luxurious two-cabin interior. Understandable when you consider she was born from a collaboration between three leading-edge companies – Yanmar, Italy’s Azimut Yachts and luxury lifestyle leader NEXUS.


And as the Official Marine Partner to the 36th America’s Cup, Yanmar thought the event would be a great opportunity to showcase the vessel in our waters.
Powered by three Yanmar 8LV diesels coupled to ZT370 sterndrives, the X47 delivers a hot performance (top speed is 40 knots) and, equipped with Yanmar’s proprietary joystick system, she’s a joy to maneuver. This technology certainly removes the stress from docking the yacht in a marina, graphically illustrated as she slipped into and out of her tight berth in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

Azimut’s design flair is obvious – plenty of sweeping curves that ‘flow’ into one another, all accentuated by the snappy, two-tone colour scheme. Happily, there’s a graceful targa arch across the cockpit for accessories such as the VHF aerial and GPS unit – mounted anywhere else they’d disfigure those glorious shapes and surfaces.

Though she’s designed as a luxury cruiser, she excelled in her AC-viewing role. Guests were able to view the racing action from three areas – up front on the spacious foredeck (complete with sunbed), in the cockpit with its plush, U-shaped settee, or the spacious boarding platform aft.
For those keen to escape the sun the upper saloon provide another viewing option. The panoramic views are virtually uninterrupted through the large tear-drop side windows and massive windscreen. And opening the large sun-roof over the helm station (further forward) effectively provides an ‘inside-outside’ ambience for those in the saloon.

Upper saloon? There’s another below – though I prefer to call it a lounge. The upper saloon, with its U-shaped settee and table is a great ‘open’ dining area thanks to the large, aft bulkhead window that lowers away. But for true al fresco dining the cockpit settee/table is the logical spot to be. The key message here is flexibility – it’s easier to adapt the spaces around the needs of your guests/party.
For me, though, the ‘X’ in the X47 is underscored when you venture below.

Thanks to the compact footprint/volume of the Yanmar diesels, the vessel’s engine bay is smaller than you might imagine for accommodating three engines. And that, in turn, has allowed the designers to maximise the living areas. It’s all very smart and stylish – enhanced by precision workmanship and quality fittings. As you’d expect, the air-conditioning helped to keep things bearable on a hot summer’s day out on the Gulf.
Aesthetically, she’s a pleasing palette of white upholstery (with red stripes echoing the outside décor), dark floors/carpets, grey vinyl and tan joinery. Accommodation is in two well-appointed en-suite cabins, with a convertible sofa bed in the lower lounge offering additional berths for anyone unable to finding the departure gate after dinner.

An island bed dominates the master cabin forward. The en-suite is to starboard, with shelving either side of the bed, as well as generous lockers/drawers that provide more than enough storage for extended cruising trips.
The second cabin is equipped with an even bigger thwartship double bed (set against the starboard side), with another single bed running fore-aft on the port side. Its en-suite bathroom also functions as the day head.

The two cabins are separated by the lower ‘lounge’ and galley. The former sports an exceptionally ‘butt-friendly’ U-shaped sofa against the port side, with the galley to starboard. For me, one of the key attractions of the X47 is the airy interior – the natural light pours in through large windows – particularly through those mounted low in the hull. They’re just above the water level and there’s a real sense of being part to the outside environment. More great views.

Helm Station
If you can tear your eyes from the sexy, leather-covered wheel, you’ll find plenty of instrumentation to arrest your attention. Two large Simard MFDs provide everything you need to know, but below them are the electronic throttles (configured for the triple rig), the trio of Yanmar engine panels, the Zipwake control pad, the bowthruster and, of course, the joystick for orchestrating the performance of the three engines.
And you can examine all of this from the comfort of the double bucket seats – more akin to what you might find in a V12 Lamborghini. Ergonomically, they’ve got to be among the most supportive/comfortable seats I’ve ever lowered my butt into.

And though I’ve not actually experienced this, I’m guessing they’d be super-useful in high-speed turns where G-forces might otherwise hurl you across the cabin. The AC logo embroidered into rear part of the head rests is a reminder of the X47’s role here in Auckland.
The X47 is justifiably considered the flagship for the entire Yanmar brand – she’s a real head-turner that represents another chapter in the company’s evolution. Perched at her helm, it’s virtually impossible not to look super-cool. Go easy on the throttles.