BMA X199, a great little boat

The entry-level boat from the Italian yard is a day cruiser that can be put on a trailer, is easy to manage and has an intriguing look. It works excellently with the Mercury 115 ProXS

by Luca Sordelli

IT IS NARROW BELOW, BUT WIDE ABOVE. There isn’t a lot of hull surface underwater, but the boat has plenty of space on deck. Just like the whole BMA range, the X199, which is the smallest of the series but also the first to be launched, owes a lot of its success to its waterlines. They have been studied to ensure speed and safety when underway, and great stability when you are at anchor. In other words, a perfect solution for a boat used for cruising, and still more appreciated in a small day cruiser. That is a result that was made possible by fine entry lines in the bow, a powerful chine on the side on which the boat rests when it is stationary, and the double row of hydrodynamic support pads which accompany the hull of the X199 as it gradually leaves the water, from bow to stern, and the speed increases.

The steering position has been well designed. At the end of a day with tough weather conditions, we nevertheless got back to land without getting wet. The console and the windscreen provide excellent protection.

I had confirmation of the good qualities of the hull of the smallest boat in the BMA stable in the clearest possible way, during my test. It was a day with waves and wind, a cold day off Genoa harbour. Far from ideal for charging around the sea in a boat that is 5.8 metres long and 2.25 wide. But actually, I immediately realised as we left the protection of the harbour wall behind that we were going to do fine, despite the unwelcoming conditions.

The double pilot seat can be folded down to obtain a living area astern with a double sofa. The dining table can be mounted in the forward cockpit.

The boat has been designed in a very functional way. There are a lot of grab handles and they are in the right places, so when you start to bounce around a bit, you can quickly find something safe to hang on to. The console and windscreen protect you well from the wind and sea; the anti-slip material is very good quality and holds very well; overall, even going over the top and taking the boat to its limits, you always experience a nice feeling of solidity. The boat gives you confidence. And so the desire to really go for it comes to you instinctively. Of course, on a day with waves of nearly a metre high and wind of around twenty knots, we couldn’t actually take the boat to its limits, but despite that, I had a lot of fun and was well assisted in the stern by the thrust from the 115 horsepower Mercury ProXS. The yard gives you the option of going up to 150 hp but, both in terms of figures (it is a light boat, and has an excellent power-to-weight ratio: 8.7), and in terms of the feel at the helm, I have to say that the choice of power in the test boat was the right one.

The boat we tried out was powered by a 115 horsepower Mercury ProXS, which is a 2.1 litre with four cylinders in line. The top amount that can be installed is 150 horsepower.

In fairly difficult sea conditions, you need to have a good amount of torque already at low revs, which means you can work on the waves and get some thrust when you need it. The ProXS 115 really helped me in doing that. The understanding I got with the boat turned out to be excellent. The top speed we managed was also very good, we touched 31 knots for a moment, which makes you think that on flat water 36 or 37 knots are completely feasible. The feeling that I had at the cruising speed was especially good, which in these conditions was around eighteen knots. I have to say “around eighteen” because by necessity the throttles were always moving, but this can serve as an average and is a figure that also leads to decidedly limited fuel consumption, of 14 litres per hour, which is just 0.82 litres per nautical mile. These are figures that will clearly fall when the sea isn’t as rough as it was for us.

Milano, Italia

PROJECT: Bwa Design System BMA Boats (naval architecture)

HULL: LOA 5.8m Maximum beam 2.25m Light mass displacement 750 kg Fuel tank volume 90 l No. of people onboard 7 max

MAIN PROPULSION: 1 x Mercury ProXS 115 Outlet mechanical power 86 kW (115 hp) 4 cylinders inline Bore&Stroke 90mm x 81mm Swept volume 2.1 l Gear ratio 2.07:1 Maximal rotational speed 5300-6300/min Weight 163 kg

PRICE: from 32,000 €, Incl.VAT (June 2021)

(BMA X199, a great little boat – – June 2021)