J/33 Articles & Reviews
J/33 Sailing World Review
The new J/33 is a handsome, simply styled performer with excellent helm response, an easily driven hull, a clean open deck, and a no-fuss interior. This design, conceived to excel in light to moderate air, is a cross between the J/27 and J/35 hull types with proportionally longer waterline, yet the same distinctive J/Boat bow and cabin house.
Designer Rod Johnstone conceived the boat as an entry-level offshore one-design with strict class rules written to allow low-cost ownership and equitable competition. He borrowed the "bath tub" cockpit from his IOR J/34, allowing ample working room underway on any point of sail. All sail controls lead neatly to the companionway, making easy work of any adjustments.
On deck and below, the J/33 epitomizes simplicity. The cabin is open and all aspects are completely functional. Weight is saved on deck by leading the running backstay tails forward and up to the secondaries, yet owners may want to rethink this arrangement as it ties up the weather side secondary. Racers may also want to lead hydraulic controls forward from the backstay.
Baltek Contourkore end grained balsa laminated with biaxial and unidirectional roving, and vinylester resin on the outer hull layer for blister resistance. Main bulkhead is molded GRP, faced with a teak veneer and bonded to hull and deck with three layers of glass tape. Solid transverse fiberglass beams over the keel provide additional rigidity. Winch bases are reinforced with marine grade ply and extra glass, and stanchions are mounted on solid gloss. Hull lamination schedule meets Lloyd's standards.
Lines are pure and pleasing, moderately narrow beam and low freeboard, with a short raised cabin and slightly reversed transom, Conventional lead fin keel, bolted, epoxy-bonded, and glass wrapped at joint to deep molded structural sump. Continuous Navtec rod rigging on a fully anodized two spreader masthead Kenyon spar. Martec 14 x 14 folding prop.
Layout is open and clean with genoa tracks well inboard and on the toe rail. Cockpit has no ino, but an ample bridgedeck and a wide deep well with centerline foot tails. Two cabin hatches and opening portlights provide more than adequate ventilation below. Standard hardware includes Lewmar winches, Spinlock halyard stoppers, 6:1 Harken mainsheet system, and 3:1 Harken traveler system, Sparcraft pneumatic solid boom vang with 12:1 Harken purchase system, and a Navtec hydraulic backstay adjuster.
Simple and functional. Almost six feet of headroom under cabin trunk no obstructions in main cabin. Teak and holly cabin sole, with teak veneer elsewhere and light laminate on counter surfaces. Two settee berths and optional V-berth forward make up the sleeping accommodations. Galley is spartan and split athwartships with ice box to starboard and sink and two burner stove to port.
Fresh water, 30 gallon molded tank. Fuel, 15 gallon aluminum tank with gauge and inspection port. Two 90 amp deep cycle batteries, electrical panel includes battery condition meters.
J/33 Yachting Magazine Review
Ever since he designed the J/24, Rod Johnstone has made a name for himself building fast racing/cruising boats with a bent toward performance. Now comes the latest J/Boat, the J/33, with a planing hull. It is the talk of the dock as it more than maintains this builder's go-fast tradition.
Johnstone's idea of building an affordable, fast sailboat that is comfortable for the entire family to race has been well documented (see "Boat of the Decade," January 1988). His success with that initial design - the J/24 - and all subsequent designs over the past 10 years is already a part of yachting lore. So it was with great anticipation that many sailors awaited the arrival of the new J/33 this spring.
Like others before it, the J/33 is a racing machine with its roots in small-boat sailing. Its sailing characteristics are similar to that of a dinghy responsive steering, quick acceleration and sensitivity to weight. But the accommodations are that of a cruiser.
The 33 is an attempt by J/Boats to provide a boat with adequate headroom below while maintaining the distinctive, graceful lines of its predecessors. At the same time the price is well suited to those not willing to stray near the magic $100,000 mark.
As expected, the J/33 makes its biggest statement on the race course. The deck layout is simple and straight forward with a cockpit that is, by any definition, huge. It is the same size as the cockpit of the J/34 (a boat once built for the International Offshore Rule) that has since been discontinued. Measuring 10.5' x 9' on the deck and 7.5' x 4.5' in the well, its size is accomplished by a lack of seats, leaving plenty of room for the crew while keeping the helmsman away from flying elbows. When we took her for a sail we had seven people aboard and found little difficulty staying out of each other's way and running the boat smoothly, even during a spinnaker set. Out of the box, the boat is ready to sail. Standard are #46 Lewmar primaries and #40 secondaries, a 6:1 Harken mainsheet system and a 3:1 Harken traveler system.
Another dramatic part of the boat is the size of the main. At 290 sq. ft. it is much larger proportionally compared with the J/35, making jib changes easier for a family and the boat faster downwind.
While the 33 is closest in size to the 35, its hull characteristics more closely match that of the 27. The 33 has much less volume below the waterline than has the 35, with a finer, narrower hull and a more vertical bow.
The hull of the 33 is also a bit flatter than that of the 35 while the stern is proportionally narrower than most other J/Boats. It is, in short, a planing hull, and Johnstone claims the boat is just that.
A first-place finish in division for hull No. 14, If Only, at Audi Yachting Race Week at Block Island proved the boat is fast. The other J/33 in the division, Hoodlum, finished in a tie for fourth in a division that included four Express 37s and three Tripp 37s. Each of the two Block Island boats had a PHRF rating of 87 ? it's estimated that most of the 33s will rate between 81 and 87. An International Measurement System (IMS) rating has yet to be established.
Belowdecks the interior faithfully follows the J/Boat philosophy: functional, with no attempts to be fancy. The J/33 has two quarter and two settee berths with a small galley to port and a nav station with ice box to starboard. Forward of the bulkhead is a head along with a forepeak that can either be empty for racing or hold a V-berth.
The latest addition to the J/Boat fleet - now run by Johnstone's sons, Jeff and Alan, is everything one would expect: fast, easy to sail and fun to cruise.
Sailing Magazine Review- Bob Perry
"Utilitarian Performer/Cruiser from J/Boats"
I was standing with Capt. Putam looking over the drawings for the new J33 and I thought to myself, "If you've seen one J/Boat, you've seen them all." This profile and plan view are like old friends.
The basic shape and overall approach have matured since the first J/24, but it really has not changed. This J/33 is a little sister to the highly successful J/35. The target market is sailors eager for close one-design racing and forays into IMS and PHRF fleets. Strict class rules are written and intended to minimize the expense of maintaining a competitive J-33. Standard equipment for a 33 includes rod rigging, hydraulic backstay, Harken rudder bearings. It appears to me that the Johnstones are trying to build a little race boat with an extremely well thought out list of standard items that will prevent anyone from needing to change from the one-design format someone always finds a way.
With a D/L ratio of 165, the J/33 is a medium light boat with enough displacement to give it a well rounded range of effective performance. The midsection shows some deadrise which diminishes as you go aft and accentuates going forward into a V-shaped entry. Overhangs are minimal making the most out of sailing length for the 33 feet. Beam at 11 feet is moderate by today's standards and the stern is drawn in J/24 and J/35 style. This is a nice upwind shape giving the J/Boats family a rock solid feel on the wind with sufficient power to let you feel like you are driving the boat to weather rather than feathering the boat to weather. Draft is 6.2 feet and the fin and rudder are typical of the J/Boats family. If there are any foil refinements the folks at J/Boats are not telling.
The interior could be comfortable for a small family to cruise. There is nothing fancy, just good berths and a semi-enclosed head. I suppose a dining table is optional. Also optional is a "removable forepeak with cushions and canvas curtain."
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The deck is the typical J/Boats deck with minimal camber and a boxy little cabintrunk. The beauty of this cabintrunk is that it accomplishes its headroom requirements in the minimum amount of space, leaving the deck clear for optimum placement of leads, tracks and winches. The deck is not cluttered with coamings around the cockpit. The Jacuzzi cockpit, so called I suppose, because of its rounded corners, is just a footwell for the helmsman and one trimmer. This type of deck layout is wonderful to work on. If you have never sailed on a deck like this, I think you will be surprised just how comfortable it really is when you are underway. Note the footrests next to the mainsheet traveler to help keep the helmsman up to weather. There is a toe rail forward that is replaced aft by genoa track along the rail.
The two spreader rig features slightly swept back spreaders. "Disappearing checkstays" are standard. I presume this is accomplished with a bullet block at the chainplates and some bungy cord.
The profile of the J/33 is uncluttered and simple. Despite the apparent lack of art in this case, I find myself liking this boat. Perhaps it has something to do with once having owned a J/Boat. They perform so well that it's hard to have any negative feelings about them. They are utilitarian and reward bountifully any effort on the crew's part.
Could it be that there is a touch of shape in that house top? I'm positive I see some camber in the transom. Either the Js are subtly changing or my own appreciation of them is.
The first of the new J/33s is now racing. I think we can expect this new J/Boat to be very competitive.
A competitive racer/cruiser that's fun to sail & easy to handle,
with accommodations for weekend cruising
As in all life sports, knowledge and experience lead to ownership of the best performing products. 9 out of 10 J/Boat buyers have owned sailboats before. They want the best ... a sailboat that meets their seasoned expectations for both enjoyment and return on investment. That's why so many people are sailing "J's" an average of 55 days per year.
To enjoy sailing over a longer season, unique demands are placed on sailboat design: Speed and manageability in light and heavy winds; dryness and cabin protection in cold or wet weather; stability and safety to handle the unexpected; durability and strength for long life and rough handling. Hull design is the most important factor in this equation. The faster a boat sails, the more sailing you can do. And the faster a new boat sails versus similar sized boats, the longer the life cycle of the design ... and the better the long term resale value and owner satisfaction. That's why we try to stay 10 years ahead of the competition with superior designs. Mere styling gimmicks or production versions of last year's custom race winner may work short term, but will backfire over time. People are beginning to realize that excellent ALL AROUND performance is necessary for season long success.
J/33 has more speed, ease of handling, open deck space, and comfort than any comparable performance sailboat under 35 feet. J/33 incorporates unique features which define what an offshore racing boat is all about.
Speed & Ease of Handling
Another benefit of this sailplan is it makes harbor tours and daysails a cinch. Plus, it brings peace of mind knowing you can beat off a lee shore with just main alone in a storm. The small jibs are light enough for the younger ones to horse around and they are much easier to fold and store. A bonus is the spinnaker isn't so large that it overpowers the boat in a breeze, so J/33 is easier to control off the wind ... ie. J/33 has less of a tendency to "spin out" on a tight reach.
Investment in Family Recreation
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
Aug 19-26- J/111 World Championship- Breskens, The Netherlands
Aug 24-31- J/24 World Championship- Riva del Garda, Italy
Aug 24-26- J/80 East Coast Championship- Boothbay Harbor, ME
Aug 24-26- Storm Trysail Club Ted Hood Regatta- Marblehead, MA
Aug 24-25- US Women’s Match Racing Championship- San Francisco, CA
Aug 24-26- Verve Cup Inshore Regatta- Chicago, IL
Aug 25-26- Vela J/24 Festival- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Aug 30- Sep 2- SAILING Champions League Finale- St Moritz, Switzerland