A 40’ Offshore Speedster for 5 or fewer Crew

The new J/121 (pronounced 1-2-1) is a 40’ offshore speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by just 5 or fewer crew…. the best short-handed J ever…. capable of winning on any race track while also excelling in daysailing and weekend mode. Here’s a boat, class and program that redefines sailboat racing as a recreation and shared adventure with friends, reducing the focus on specialization and athletic short-course W/L racing.  The J/121 fulfills the growing need to simplify life and reconnect with those you really want to sail with on a boat that’s pure magic to sail.

Why a New 40 Footer?
Sailing continues to adapt to the rapidly changing demographics, technology and social trends of an ever more hectic world.  As our lives become more fast-paced so does the need to escape from the time constraints, pressures and burdens.  “Always on, always connected” is leading the drive to “get away” to a place that can nourish and recharge the soul.  Nowhere is that more evident than the extraordinary growth of adventure travel, providing people a much needed outlet through outdoor, shared experiences with others.

The challenge is trying to align 8-10 people onto the same schedule.  This obstacle alone is impacting keelboat racing participation across the board in most areas. Just as technology is making it easier to sail, the over-reliance on crew is making it more complicated.  Two of the positive growth areas in sailing today are one-design class racing in trailerable boats, and short-handed day racing and fun point to point events.   The global success of the new J/70 is a direct result of pent-up demand for an affordable one-design with a pre-planned circuit and easy entry.  The travel and event logistics for four people are infinitely easier than that of 8-10.  For those sailing larger keelboats, it’s the charity pursuit races and day distance events like San Francisco’s Three Bridge Fiasco that are becoming increasingly popular.  And it’s no surprise why.  These events pack a lot of sailing fun and adventure into more acceptable, smaller doses that require less practice and time to manage.

The J/121 is designed with both of these trends in mind.  Imagine a fleet of high- performance, offshore-capable speedsters sprinting along point-to-point, around- the-island, and adventure-style races with half the normal crew size, with owners enjoying a “dream circuit” of events that tie into regional “classic” races that everyone aspires to sail in.

Now is the Time
The J/121 is the answer for those seeking a boat that offers compelling performance with less crew, all-around sailing versatility, low maintenance, and is fully ocean capable to be delivered on its own bottom anywhere.  The J/121 is a return to the shared adventure, sail-with-friends style of sailing and racing that’s more memorable and meaningful than the specialized, athletic W/L racing that’s succeeded mostly in establishing a pecking order that’s impossible to crack.  This design hits all the hot buttons for J/sailors, but will appeal to new entrants to the sport who are drawn to turnkey adventure sailing with a pre-planned event schedule and readily available event support only the J/Network can provide.  Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images and Billy Black


2017 1115 J121 SailBestBoatslogoJ/121 Awarded SAIL Best Boats- Performance 30 to 40 ft!
SAIL Magazine has announced the winners of SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards. If there’s one word that sums up the Best Boats Class of 2018, it would have to be “performance.” The boat review team at SAIL magazine determined the new J/121 offshore speedster was SAIL’s choice for Best Boats- Performance 30 to 40 feet. Here is Adam Cort's commentary:

“The J/Boats team are obviously good designers and boat builders. Their record in this area stands for itself. The latest in this long line of outside-the-box designs is the new 40 foot J/121, a boat specifically tailored to appeal to skippers who are 1) tired of having to round up eight to 10 people to go racing and 2) are looking for something other the usual windward-leeward “sausage” courses that now dominate inshore racing.

To this end, the boat carries a “five-sail” rig that includes a main, jib and removable staysail (like the IMOCA 60 class), to make shifting gears with a crew of as little as five a snap, whether sailing inshore or off soundings. (A Code 0 or A-sail—sails #4 and 5—can be flown off the boat’s retractable sprit). To keep the boat on its feet, designer Al Johnstone has also included an easy-to-use water ballast system that can shift 104 gallons of water (880 lbs. worth) from side-to-side."

J121 SAILBestBoats Video
Click here for SAIL's review & video

J121 SW BOTY webJ/121 SAILING WORLD's "Best Crossover" in 2018 Boat of the Year Awards!  Simply put, the J/121 is a bucket-list boat, designed to tackle adventure-style races where it’s more about the experience than winning. Here is the commentary from Dave Reed:

"As if on cue, in the midst of our BOTY dockside briefing with J/Boats’ Jeff Johnstone, a middle-aged gentleman appears in the companionway, out of the blue. Johnstone introduces him as an owner, from Portland, Oregon, who is trading in his J/46 for a yet-to-be-built J/121. He climbs down the companionway stairs, interrupts the judging team’s Q&A session, and then promptly cites all the races he intends to enter when he takes ownership of Hull No. 14: the Swiftsure, the Oregon Offshore, the Van Isle 360, and even the Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii. Moments earlier, Johnstone had explained this very concept: The J/121 is a bucket-list boat. This guy is Exhibit A.  Read more here on Sailing World BOTY site.




Dimensions ft/lbs m/kg
LOA 40.00 12.19
LWL 36.17 11.02
Beam 12.33 3.78
Standard Draft 7.75 2.36
Standard Ballast 4,850 2,200
Displacement 12,900 5,851
Engine 29 hp 21.3 kw
100% SA 809 75.19
I 51.41 15.67
ISP 55.75 16.99
J 15.30 4.66
P 50.00 15.24
E 16.64 5.07




Symetrix bay

Hi Tech Engineering & Construction

Symetrix hullplugThe J/121 hull plug construction was done by Symmetrix Composite Tooling in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Symmetrix is the most advanced precision tooling company in New England and is carving both the J/121 hull and deck plugs using the state-of-the-art CMS Poseidon 5-axis Machining Center located within their impressive tooling facility just a few hundred yards up the road from the CCFC factory.

This machine is like a building within a building, equivalent in size to four or five large garage bays stacked end to end with a perfectly level and polished cement floor.  The overhead computer controlled universal robotic cutter head runs down calibrated tracks on top of the side walls from one end to the other and can reach almost anywhere within the space. The large format CNC machining is optimized for durability, reliability and precision machining of advanced composite materials. It never compromises rigidity or stability over an impressively large work envelope. Further improving its overall structural stability, Poseidon’s A & C axis are equipped with a pneumatic breaking system, which locks either or both the A or C axis when their interpolated movement is not required, resulting in greater 3 axis rigidity. The CMS Machining Center at Symmetrix delivers the tight tolerance needed for aerospace, transportation, alternative energy, marine, art and architecture. In fact, the machining center was certified to an overall volumetric tolerance of 0.1mm or .004”.

X= 26m /83.3’ Y=6.2m /20.4’ Z=3m /9.9’ A= +/-120° C= +/- 270°

Symmetrix engineers analyze final 3D design models provided by J/Boats using Siemens NX11 CAD/CAM software and will run a series of simulations to arrive at final machining instructions for the 5-axis milling machine.   The Siemens NX11

software is a quantum leap forward in delivering tooling not just quickly, but also accurately. Similarly used at companies like Boeing, SpaceX, and MacDonnell Douglas, NX10 gives Symmetrix complete surface model control and simulation in either 3+2 optimized or full 5-axis machining instruction. Like Symmetrix, NX10 has been tested and used across a wide range of industries.  The combination can produce outputs even seasoned craftsmen can’t achieve. Whether it’s curved composite roof columns or the exacting requirements of an America’s Cup entrant, it can achieve tolerance within millimeters over a 26 meter surface and in a fraction of the time.

Symetrix sideThen the exciting part starts.  First the steel backbone frame with foam blocking is milled to within an inch or two of the final plug surface (all milled foam is recycled, BTW) and then the plug and foam are supported by fiberglass/epoxy reinforcement, and then an epoxy milling paste is applied over the glass.  The part returns to the milling machine for a second and final precision machining operation to take it to the final surface.  Hand sanding to 800 grit and buffing to a mirror shine then completes the effort.

From initial steel framing construction, to precision milling operations, to the final polishing the process to build a complete mirror finish hull plug/pattern will take just 7 short weeks. Production molds will then be constructed in January at CCFC and from there J/121 project development will accelerate through the winter and into spring.

By mid-December the Symettrix team completed the hull plug, with the majority of the actual CNC 5-axis machining taking place in the "rough cut" over a 2.5 day period!  Here is the amazing production video of that process, watch it here on YouTube.com:

J121 hull CNC machining video


Meet the J/121

Creating the best short-handed J ever starts with a hull shape that excels on all points of sail, particularly reaching.  Most classic distance races have a beat/reach/run ratio around 15%/60%/25%.  Straight-line speed is the name of the game and is achieved by having a low drag, efficient hull with high form stability and exceptional balance.  Add to this a highly engineered carbon rig package, an L- shaped low VCG keel, infused composite construction, and a water-ballast assist system that adds nearly 400 kilos (4 big guys) of crew weight to the rail and you have the J/121.

Simplified Sail-Handling
Handling a 40 footer with 5 or fewer crew requires a rig, sail and deck plan that simplifies sail handling. New technology developed for the Vendee Globe, Volvo Race and other extreme offshore sailing events, is trickling down faster than ever, particularly in new furling systems.  The J/121 class sail inventory features an AP furling J1 jib, a hoistable furling J4 inside the forestay, a furling Code Zero with top-down furler flown from the bowsprit, and an all-purpose A2 asymmetric spinnaker with a snuffer.  Each headsail is dedicated to its own furler/snuffer, meaning less hands on the foredeck and more compact sail stowage below.  Combine that with a mainsail on slides that can be quickly adjusted to three different sizes (via a double reef system) and you have a versatile, manageable sail combination across most wind/sea conditions.

J121 deckVersatile, Ergonomic Cockpit
J/121’s ergonomic cockpit builds upon the award-winning J/111 design, with excellent working space, protection from the elements behind a soft dodger, and exceptional twin steering stations that allow the driver to straddle the wheel and reach all the mainsail controls while driving.  Clean line sights forward from the helm and trimming positions provide immediate gear-changing input.


A 3D jib lead system using floating trim rings allows nearly infinite placement of the jib clew (crucial for reaching) without the friction normally associated with in-hauling or out-hauling from a track-mounted jib car.  Water ballast controls are cockpit led so that the on-deck crew can easily manage the transfer or dumping of the tank(s).  Electric primary and secondary winches are available (and class legal) for push button trimming ease.

J121 interiorSpacious, Open Interior
When the team needs moments of respite, the J/121 interior is clean and simple but beautifully finished with a feeling of space not often found in fast offshore racers. The interior is offered in Herreshoff classic white with varnished trim accents.  For the “armchair navigator,” both onshore and offshore, there is no substitute for a comfortable nav station to house all of today’s modern electronics and entertainment systems.  The L-shaped galley features a two-burner stove, SS sink, icebox, storage drawers and shelves.  The amidships settees are full-length for sleeping and are offered in over/under configuration.  The head is aft to starboard near the companionway, perfect for offshore sailing.  Forward of the main bulkhead is sail storage with an option for a removable V-berth.

J121 spin 0825 048 32656

J/121 Class & Open Course Racing

J/121 Open Course racing combines the best of distance and buoy racing and packs it into a half-day time-slot to better fit people’s time-crunched schedules.  Sailors are trending towards events that offer more variety and adventure, and not just 4-leg, windward-leeward W-4 courses.  Open Course doesn’t eliminate windward/leeward sailing, it simply expands it to include other points of sail on a stretched-out track that rewards navigation, weather routing and strategy as much as it does boat-handling, racing rules and tactics.

Three Bridge Fiasco course on San Francisco BayThe Open Course format and scoring can be applied over any length course, including overnight races. For distance day-racing, the idea is to sail within sight and access to the shoreline including, where possible, courses around islands and other interesting coastal features.  The starting line is set to suit the course and NOT always upwind.  One could start on a beam-reach sprint leg with Code 0’s flying like the America’s Cup.  An example at right is the famous Three-Bridge Fiasco course on San Francisco Bay- an event that regularly attracts 300+ boats.

In a shift from traditional scoring, every race is 5-6 races in one, with incentives built in for great performances during the race.  The overall race has its normal placings (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), but each leg has its own elapsed time trial, providing an opportunity for any team to pick up bonus points for having won a leg, even if they happen to be deep in the fleet at the time.  One leg of each race is additionally designated as the SPEED RECORD leg where the boat with the top recorded speed (as documented in the satellite GPS race tracker) is rewarded.  The idea is to acknowledge and reward highlights teams have during a race - highlights that might not otherwise show up on a normal score.  This incentive-based scoring system can easily be expanded in a fun way to encourage the development of other offshore skills in preparation for an upcoming signature offshore event.


Open Course racing is inspired by and tailor-made for the J/121, the newest J/Boats design that’s optimized for half the normal number of crew, and with the hull form, stability and sail plan perfectly suited for all-points, open style sailing.

The idea is to expand the typical W/L closed course racing into distance day racing with more course variety, less athletic boat-handling, and built-in scoring incentives for winning individual legs. The Open Course concept is growing and we’re currently engaging with event organizers to help introduce this format for future regattas.

J/121 Class Rules apply the best practices from years of one-design management and condensed them into an easy-to-read document that underlines the design mandate of the J/121 –a 40’ speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by a short- handed crew.

A few highlights:
- Five sail inventory– one main, two jibs, and two spinnakers. The two jibs and Code 0 on furlers.
- Corinthian crew with limit of one Group 3 sailor.
- A target crew weight max of 1,050lbs (same as the J/105 Class) to encourage crews of 5-6 sailors.
- In races over 25 miles, multiple crew can drive.

J/121 Event Schedule:

Jun 15        Newport to Bermuda Race (Newport RI)
Jul 12-15    Rolex New York Yacht Club Race Week (Newport RI)  
July 27        New England Solo/Twin Championship (Newport, RI)
Aug 17        Ida Lewis Distance Race (Newport, RI)
Aug 31        Stamford-Vineyard Race (Stamford, CT)
Sep 2          Around the Island Race (Jamestown, RI)
Sep 29        Sail for Hope Regatta (Newport, RI)    
Sep 30        Bud Humphrey Race (Barrington, RI)

Feb 18        Rolex Caribbean 600 (Antigua)
Feb 28        Heineken Regatta (St. Maarten)
Mar 22        St. Thomas International Regatta (St. Thomas, USVI)
Mar 25        BVI Spring Regatta (Tortola, BVI)
Apr 14         Les Voiles de St. Barths
May 24        Storm Trysail Block Island Race (Stamford, CT)
Jun 17         Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week

Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images and Billy Black


Sailing for Life in Better Sailboats

Sailing is the ultimate freedom, the experience of being at one with nature and the sea, powered only by the wind and one's imagination. It's one of the few "life sports" that offers both a relaxing escape as well as an invigorating challenge. You pick your level of comfort and excitement. Sailing is never the same twice - each time on the water with your sailboat is a unique adventure that can enrich friendships, strengthen family ties, and refresh one's own sense of well-being. How many other outdoor activities can be shared with three or more family generations?  It's been said there are two types of sailors in the world - the young and the young-at-heart.

What a Difference a J Makes

Fulfilling those sailing dreams starts with finding a sailboat that fits you - whether you aspire to sail close to home, cruise to distant shores, or take up the challenge of competitive sailing. Performance differences between sailboats are greater than differences between golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis or cars. A well-designed sailboat, like a good sports car, is an extension of its owner. It could take years of sailing other boats to learn the difference that good design and quality make to one's sailing enjoyment. Or, you can save time and take advantage of what we've designed into every "J."

J/121 Offshore Speedster for 5 or fewer Crew

J/121 offshore speedster sailing off Newport The J/121 is a 40’ offshore speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by just 5 or fewer crew…. the best short-handed J ever…. capable of winning on any race track while also excelling in daysailing and weekend mode. J/121 redefines offshore sailboat racing as a recreation and shared adventure with friends - fulfilling the growing need to simplify life and reconnect with those you really want to sail with on a boat that’s pure magic to sail. Learn more about J/121 here.

Elegance, Comfort & Style- J/112E

J112E 01 19986J/112E is the newest “E” Series of sport-cruising yachts.  An Evolution of Elegant performance cruising design. This dual- purpose 36 footer has a spacious two-cabin layout and a roomy, comfortable,  cockpit.  Perfect for the annual club cruise, offshore racing or short-handed blue-water sailing.  Learn about J/112E here.

A Family-friendly One-Design & Daysailer - J/88

J88 SolarSailer cockpit 001 18209The J/88 combines big boat feel with sportsboat- like acceleration.  Add a weekend interior, inboard head, engine and huge cockpit and you have a versatile 29 footer.  Blistering upwind speed of 6.5 kts and trailblazing speed offshore means smiles all around as you collect both the silverware and priceless sailing memories. Learn more about J/88 here.

J/99 - Offshore Shorthanded Speedster

J70upwind 1117 665 400 80J/99 is the newest offshore speedster. It combines headroom and comfortable interior accommodation with the tiller-driven response of a sport boat. The sail and deck plan are optimized for easy handling with fewer crew, and incorporate the latest developments from the award-winning J/121 and the new Offshore Sailing World champion J/112E. Learn more about J/99 here.

J/70 - The Sportboat Changing Sailing

J70upwind 1117 665 400 80The J/70 speedster is a fun, fast, stable, 22 footer that can be towed behind a small SUV and ramped launched and rigged by two people.  J/70 sails upwind like her larger sibling (the J/80) and off the wind she simply flies - planing fast in moderate winds. With 1,400+ boats delivered worldwide, the choice is clear. Learn more about J/70 here.

J/Sailing Calendar 2020

JGear marquee 2018The Perfect Gift For People Who Love Sailing!
For 2020 we've created another beautiful calendar for J sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world.  Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in far away places. 

The 2020 sailing calendar features photos of J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/99, J/111s, J/121, and J/122 sailing in some of the worlds most popular waters; such as Newport, Palma Mallorca, St Barths, Chicago, Chile, Switzerland, Torquay, Valle de Bravo, and Lago di Garda. A great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew (see gallery here). Order your 2020 J/Calendar today!

Upcoming Sailing Events

Oct 11-12- J/80 Copa de Espana- Coruna, Spain
Oct 17-20- J/88 North American Championship- Rye, New York
Oct 18-20- J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
Oct 19-26- J/24 World Championship- Coconut Grove, FL
Oct 19- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Gzira, Malta
Oct 25-27- J/24 East Coast Championship- Annapolis, MD
Oct 25-27- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
Oct 25-27- J/105 Lipton Cup Regatta- San Diego, CA
Nov 1-4- French J/80 Championship- La Rochelle, France

Better Sailboats for People Who Love Sailing