Ulstein X-Bow design Poll

Posted: 31 January, 2009 by SeaBart in personal
Tags: ,

Come on people! Make your opinion count!



Ulstein X-Bow Design poll

One of the fanatical more enthousiast readers of this site has challenged me: She thinks that my opinion of the famous Ulstein X-Bow is halfhearted and I am not brave enough to take a stand on it. Well, I beg to differ so a difference in opinion is born!


So now the ball is your court, what do you actually think???

Please pick your choice in the poll on the right side of this and let’s settle this argument once & forever!

See below for a selection of images & pics to assist you establishing  your opinion:





Do a simple Google if you need to see more images & pictures.

I’ll leave this poll up untill….uhm…Valentine’s day!


  1. bowsprite says:

    You have been absolved! you are not cowardly but, curiously, truly on the fence! I think “half-ugly” is a new description about as useful as “a little pregant.”

  2. Ed Fanuzzi says:

    It may not be conventional or very pretty, but the bottom line for me is economy,speed, utility and stability, I wanted to power a tri-bubble hull once in the 50’s, couldnt get backing,
    looks like a goose without the gracefull neck, or the shape of a single sperm, whats better than that!
    In heavy seas up north might run it backwards
    wonder what the whales think

  3. searoj says:

    I’ve been looking at these designs for a while.
    And I have no other choice than to follow SeaBart’s opinion.
    Half-Ugly it is !

    No doubt it gives nice cover from rain/wind/ice.
    And I can certainly give extra points for this daring project.
    But the only things that pops up in my mind when I see the pics is that I’m looking at a birds beak.
    Or even worse : a snail.

    Can’t explain the snail thing tho, it keeps popping up.

  4. bowsprite says:

    neckless goose! unsocial spermata! SNAIL!!!
    for me: tap shoes. Had a pair as a little girl that looked like the red and white boat.

  5. seabart says:

    Well, it seems there are just as much comparisons to this design as there are opinions…everybody got their own!…or two.

    What do you think of Parrot’s beak bow??

  6. Alex says:

    I don’t think it’s ugly at all, it just looks like an incomplete ship seen frm the stern.

  7. costablue says:

    the conventional bow was so designed to cut and ride through the waves. the flare of the bow, which starts thin on the water surface and wide on the top, mitigates the action of the wave and channel it sidewards. this efficiency allows the ship to ride the wave by staying above it, which is very useful during rough conditions. the bulbous design, on the other hand, works the same way as it is utilized now – under the water. being under the water, the bulb complements the efficiency of the conventional bow by reducing the drag effect of the water’s surface. it’s kinda like cutting through a thin film of water instead of through a heavy current. now, if we utilize that above the water, it would behave the same way if it encounters rough conditions. instead of riding above the wave, it will sink head on under the wave. it will be like a submarine diving down, with the waves going over the bridge and into the top of the ship. not a good idea at all on a cruise ship or even on any ship. unless if being in submarine is what you have in mind.
    as well, the design is downright ugly!

  8. Nikeel says:

    Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The ULSTEIN X-BOW innovative design surely turns heads. While the rest of the world sat content with the conventional bow & at most with the bulb, the Ulstein team had their thinking caps on. They have changed our perception of the Bow.
    The video on youtube with the rock music background clearly illustrates the vessel performing to full potential in the choppy North Sea (I presume).
    In any case, the benefits of the Ulstein X-Bow are not to be found in its characteristic appearance – the secret lies in volume distribution. The bow shape reduces slamming load in the foreship while underway, allowing the ship to maintain speed in bad weather.
    The Bow looks rugged – Harley of the oceans!

  9. Tommunbeg says:

    I saw the Channel Five programme “Built from Disaster”, showing certain characteristics evolving in hull design. The X – Bow seemed to go through the roughest seas without effort as the bulbous shape spread the waves thin instead of cutting them. I would love to see a full size X-Bow ferry doing one of the North Sea runs, eg from Kiel to Oslo. Plenty of room in that bow for an interesting restaurant for tourists or conferences.

    The other revolutionary design in recent years was the Wave Piercing bow. This looked alright in a fast patrol boat with a single hull. It did fifty knots no bother. But that giant catamaran christened by the Queen in the Thames in London a few years ago, [something Philips?] that was supposed to go round the world had two “wave piercing” hulls that were linked only by the deck in the centre. That design, doubtless by a prominent naval architect, was asking for trouble, and it got it when the two bows wanted to pierce in opposite directions and one of them broke off.

  10. Ed Fanuzzi says:

    I think you can spend millions on engineering pretty sleek looking shapes and designs , however need only to look at evolution of cool water animals,
    I like it, the X-bow is approaching mother natures ripple free goose, nothing better so far for its size, the goose does well in calm fair water,
    however if the goose is 4-500 ft long and proportionally wide, it spans many wave periods, , parts the waters fine even lacking the feathers.
    Subs after all the millions in design have finally copied the whale and porpoise,
    My plan of a super triangular tripod hull using 3 huge 50 ft diameter independent jet powered steered spheres, separated 100 ft by triangular interconnected enclosed tunnels.
    supporting a rotary 50 ft stick in the center for lifts, slide in the 2 rear balls for tight spaces, it goes on, maybe 3 geese with,,,,,,

  11. sharp21 says:

    I think this design is fantastic & the best looking ship on the water!
    Add to that superior handling & seagoing characteristics & you have a real winner!

  12. CaptainOfAdventure says:

    The X-bow is beautiful once you get used to it and even more so when you understand the hydrodynamic efficiency of this bow and hull combination. She has amazing capabilities at se and especially going ahead into heavy weather…a remarkable vessel in many ways. I love it…and I know them personnally.

  13. Joe says:

    Looks like a circa 1700’s Thames coal barque. Nothing new in the design here.

  14. 2tugboats says:

    Hmmm, no writing or happenings since April of 2010. . .A little spark in the beginning. I have one of the X Bows on my drawing board as I type. 65 inches long and set up with a RC fishing reel. A large scale rc model of your basic X bow anchor handler tug. . .Michael in Anacortes, Washington http://www.twotugboats.com and you can see some big ugly boats. . .

  15. hussien mohamed says:

    hi all
    i hope to more information about x bow

  16. Laurent SGP says:

    Amazing design and on the top of that higher fuel economics …

  17. Joe Mc Dermott says:

    X-Bow? Ugly in the extreme in my honest opinion. Someone mentioned “handling” earlier, the clowns that promote the handling characteristics of these things are probably the same clowns that can only put her alongside with the aid of DP, and that is in port as well, and don’t come out with that mince that it isn’t allowed, I’ve seen them do it all over the place!

  18. Mild Bill says:

    I’m a firm believer in form follows function, but surely Island Constructor could have followed it with less jangling of the eyeballs.

    Of course, none of these X-Bow designs is half as ugly as the Farman F.4X :

  19. catalin says:

    the seven viking is awsome

  20. Ross says:

    these are boats designed for function, not beauty. As such they lose on that characterisitic. But this has nothing to do with an xbow, its just function over form. If I was having a mega yacht made I would certainly consider the xbow, and when it was done, it would be a thing of beauty and function.

  21. Eivind G. N says:


  22. boldthefox says:

    WOW WTF!!!

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