J/30 Sailing Review
By Dale Mead
"Anyone who’s had even the briefest exposure to sailboat racing has heard of J/Boats. Ask a racer to list the hottest production racers active today, and they’re sure to Include J/24s and J/35s. Begun in 1977, J/Boats Incorporated, has defied the yacht sales slump with an ever-changing line that threatens to run out of numbers - 18 models through 1991, ranging from 22 to 44 feet.
For 1992, they’ve come out with a J/105 and J/92 (metric measurements equal to 34.5 and 30 feet respectively, opening the door to the European market), both of which have been pushed aggressively as fast, family oriented and very simple to sail. In addition, the J/130, a 42-footer, will debut in October, and a J/60 (feet) is in the advanced planning stage. Is there a length they’ve missed?
Surviving The Fastnet Storm
The story of two J/30’s caught in the middle of yachting’s worst disaster as reported by phone to Bob Johnstone.
"J/30 hull number 10 was shipped to Westerly Marine to serve as a model as they began production in the U.K.. She was named JUGGERNAUT and entered in the Fastnet Race skippered by Andy Cassel and crewed by Tim Levett, project manager from Westerly.
J/30 number 29 was purchased by Bill Wallace from Houston, Texas. She was commissioned in Rhode Island, sailed single handed from Bermuda across to England where she was caught entering the channel during the storm. Bill plans to enter the OSTAR singlehanded trans-Atlantic race next June.
Fitting Out for Extended J/30 Cruising
By Thomas Mitchell
Years ago in a Chicago bar over our last call drinks, my friend suggested we spend the following cold season sailing the Caribbean. Hoots of bitter derision naturally followed, and then quiet. Was it possible? Well, yes ... all we needed was a boat.
I don’t have to tell you she was a J/30. Most people down the Ditch who heard our float plan took one look at the boat and said - you guys are crazy. Well, sure. Connecticut to the Yucatan to the Virgin Islands and up 6,000 miles the wrong way around. Now my tan’s slowly being replaced with freckles of Blue Streak, and the guys at the yard have a kinder view of my sanity. And a pretty solid respect for the strength of J-boats.
If you want a boat for the entire family,
invest in one they will all enjoy.
Finding a sailboat to motivate and sustain participation by the entire family is no easy task. Research shows that active sailing families divide 76 days/yr. on the water equally between daysailing, cruising and racing. The ideal boat will be good for all these activities, while crewed by people of all age and experience levels.
Too large a boat can be intimidating. A slow boat will eventually turn off the young. A racing boat may not be suitable for serving a nice meal or curling up with a good book. It seems the ads claim every boat to be a "racer-cruiser." Few really are. Even fewer would get the vote of each family member. We know there’s only one that will and has for nearly two decades: The J/30.
At least that’s the opinion of the three families who designed and built it... combining 102 years of cruising and racing experience in everything from 8 to 46 feet. And, you’d receive another 545 endorsements from current owners.
Speed Is Important. The key ingredient to sustaining enthusiasm of all ages is very often missing in cruising boats: speed. A J/30 sails the speed of 35 to 40 footers and will be ahead of the average 30-foot cruiser by the length of a football field after a mile of sailing. Such performance means that 40 to 50 mile daily runs are easy. Speed in light air and pointing ability also mean less engine time and more sailing.
Easier, More Fun to Sail. A key to making fast boats easier to sail than slow boats is the "fractional rig". By making the mainsail larger and jibs smaller, a 12-year-old can lift, hoist, and trim the #1 genoa of a J/30. In fact the jibs on a J/30 are smaller than those on a C&C 26, Sabre 28, Pearson 28, Cal 27, Newport 28 or Hunter 27. Then, because the tapered racing mast can be bent aft easily with a pull of the backstay adjuster, the mainsail shape is flattened and depowered so the jib that’s up can be used over a wider range of wind velocities ... meaning less need to reef the main or change jibs... and fewer jibs to buy and store below.
The J/30 performs under mainsail alone better than most 30-foot cruisers under full sail. This "no problem" alternative comes in handy getting through storms or crowded harbors or for relaxed picnic sails. There are few boats that will surf downwind in strong winds under spinnaker with better control.
Dry and Stable. The J/30 hull is designed with plenty of flair and reserve buoyancy forward to keep spray off the decks when sailing upwind and to prevent the bow from submarining when running before the wind in high seas. She is stiff in a blow with good sail carrying power.
Cruising Comfort. When the owner of a classic 40-foot Concordia yawl switches to a J/30 for a family cruiser, you know something is right. The beautiful, handcrafted interior has become a standard for design excellence among boatbuilders. The new L-shaped galley with optional propane oven and the new cruising cockpit that seats 3-4 on a side make it even more attractive.
Storage space includes 29 enclosed cabinets and lockers and 16 open shelves and compartments. The icebox holds ice for 11 days. The 15-hp diesel auxiliary powers J/30 along at 6.3 knots. The enclosed head has a full length mirror and fresh water shower. And, the main settee cushions are 5-½" thick.
Built to Last, Not to a Price. There’s no excuse for not using the best hardware and construction available in the world on a family sailboat. That’s why the J/30 bull and deck are made with Lloyd’s approved Contourkore and fiberglass laminate. The mast is stepped on the keel and supported by stainless rigging one size larger than necessary. Chainplates are anchored into a full structural fiberglass bulkhead. The hull-to-deck joint is bonded then bolted, then bolted again with a teak toerail cap. Complete genoa and spinnaker gear as well as Barient winches (25s, 21s, 10s), Harken mainsheet & vang tackles, Headfoil jibstay system and Kenyon spars are standard. A J/30 was the top stock production boat with a 3rd and 4th overall in fleet during the rough 1979 SORC... 1000 miles of hard racing! Two J/30s survived the Fastnet Storm one singlehanded.
One-Design Benefits. To believe, all one has to do is see the fun that J/30 owners have sailing together as a Class for the past twenty years. It’s a whole new group of friends dedicated to fun racing on a great sailboat. The J/30 Class Association publishes strict Class Rules and an excellent J/30 journal to keep everyone informed. Be sure to visit the J/30 Web Site for more on the association. J WORLD sailing school is also a great resource and can help you sharpen your racing skills.Introduced: 1979 Built to: Hull #546
Last Model Year: 1987 Builder: Tillotson Pearson, Inc.
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."
NEW 40' Offshore Speedster for 5 or fewer Crew
The new 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 - NEW J/112E
J/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
The 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/70 - The Sportboat Changing Sailing
The 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 1,300+ boats delivered worldwide, the choice is clear. Learn more about J/70 here.
J/Sailing Gear For 2018
Look great this season in J sailing apparel. Check out the comfortable and fashionable sailing clothing, tech shirts, polo shirts, sailing jackets and sailing hats at the J/Sailing Gear site. Also backpacks, totes, J battleflags and other fun items like half-model sailboats are available as gifts and trophies.
J/Gear is fully customizable to your needs. When you order, you can specify just about anything you wish, including boat name, boat type, yacht club, hailing port, etc. Please be sure to visit our store here.
Upcoming Sailing Events
Nov 4- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov 11- Around Hong Kong Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov 13- The BIG Sail- San Francisco, CA
Nov 17- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Nov 30- Wirth Munroe Memorial Race- Palm Beach, FL
Dec 1- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA
2019- Jan 26-28- Festival of Sails- Geelong, Australia