AIKANE X-5 was designed for the sole purpose of breaking the Trans-Pacific record between Los Angeles, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii, set by catamaran DOUBLE BULLET, in 1983. Optimized for the off-the-wind route that ideally sees steady trade winds of 18-25 knots, the 62-foot L.O.A. X-5 underwent a series of major modifications and enhancements between 1985 and 1989, when the record of 6 days, 22 hours, was attained.
Initially conceived as a “low-tech” boat with a very short racing career in mind, X-5 was constructed of cold-molded plywood joined by tandem arched aluminum tubes. Although initially fitted with a rather conventional Marconi rig, which still provided relatively high performance, X-5 was subsequently equipped, thanks to Randy Smyth and builder Bob Perkins, with an 80-foot tall wing spar, the largest wood composite wing spar ever built. This was followed by the last modification phase in which the aluminum cross-tubes were replaced by composite wood box-beams with an increase in beam from the initial 30’ to 31’. The net effect of these modifications was an overall reduction in weight of nearly 4,000 pounds. Our use of extra-light scantlings for AIKANE X-5 has been vindicated in over 20,000 high-speed miles sailed in the open ocean.
In addition to the Trans-Pacific record AIKANE X-5 also holds numerous other West Coast and Hawaiian Islands sailing records.