J/125 PHRF/Sportboat of the Year
Over the last five years, sportboats have evolved into highly refined sailing machines that offer incredible performance with a touch of offshore capability. This year, the competition in our PHRF/Sportboat category included the J/125 the One-Design 35, the Van Gorkam Mount Gay 30, and the Quest 33. All are remarkable boats rampant with innovation, but the long, lean, and mean J/125 simply blew away its competition. We all agreed that the J/125 offered the best bang for the buck with speed, thrills, and absolute sailing excitement.
What J/Boats has done is taken the typical 30-foot sportboat and created what I'd call a maxi-sportboat. The hull form is a radical departure-it's noticeably long, narrow, and light with only 10.5 feet of beam. It's built by TPI, using its patented vacuum resin-infusion molding process (SCRIMP), and the hull and deck materials include a carbon-fiber inner skin, Kevlar/E-glass outer skin, and Pro-Set epoxy. The advanced technology doesn't stop there, though. The keel is composed of a cast bronze alloy strut with a lead bulb. It weighs over 4,600 pounds, which gives the J/125 a ballast-to -displacement ratio of over 50 percent and positions the vertical center of gravity well below the bottom of the hull. To complete this technological tour de force, the mast, boom, and bow pole are all carbon.
We sailed the J/125 in 10 to 15 knots of wind and flat water with a full main and No. 1 genoa. The straight-line speed was awesome, and the low freeboard enhanced the speed sensation. All of the judges were equally impressed with how easily the boat settled into its groove, not to mention how responsive it was to helm and sail controls.
The cockpit stretches to over 16 feet, so don't expect any problems with crowd control at the weather mark. Clearly, much thought went into making the boat as easy as possible to sail efficiently and eliminating any unnecessary weight and equipment.
The only complaint we had was that the traveler controls were hard to use - a problem that J/Boat's Bob Johnstone assured us was being corrected. The Harken winches, tracks, and other sail controls all worked perfectly, were positioned correctly, and were big enough to handle the loads of the highperformance rig.
The narrow beam and high ballast-to-displacement ratio allows the boat to heel a bit more than a more conventionally proportioned boat, but even though we pushed the boat hard, the big rudder maintained its bite and hung on like a junkyard dog. Everyone agreed that the beautifully molded carbon-fiber steering wheel made the boat even more fun to steer. It was quick, positive, and gave superb control, especially when spinnaker reaching with the huge asymmetric.
I checked our boatspeed when the kite went up. In 12 knots of wind we were beam reaching at 9.5 knots-fast enough to slap grins on all who held the helm. J/Boats has plenty of experience with asymmetric- spinnaker systems, and they've refined them to the point of being easy to handle. With minimal practice, any crew would be able to sail the J/125 downwind nearly as deep as a conventionally rigged boat.
Belowdecks, the J/125's small proportions are clearly evident. There's just enough accommodations for a crew of four. The living accommodations are positioned in the middle of the boat to minimize the effect on the boat's pitching moment, while the ends of the boat are empty. The galley includes a two-burner alcohol stove, a small sink, and a plastic ice chest. The enclosed head is just forward of the main bulkhead-the J/125 simply does not pretend to be anything but a racer.
On paper the J/125 looks boxy and not too stylish, but on the water the almost extreme proportions of the boat-the huge asymmetric spinnaker, stealthy black carbon rig, and low freeboard give the boat a distinctive and almost visceral sense of speed and power.
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
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
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/99 - Offshore Shorthanded Speedster
J/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
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 1,400+ boats delivered worldwide, the choice is clear. Learn more about J/70 here.
J/Sailing Gear For 2019
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 visit the J/Gear store here.
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