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Interview with Tom Linskey -Owner of J/32 Hull #57

By Dana Paxton

Subscribing to the theory that "smaller is better," Tom Linskey and his wife Harriet purchased their J/32 "Independence" to serve as the next vessel in a long line of cruising boats that have taken the Linskeys to exotic and fascinating places around the world.

Tom, describe a little of your sailing background?
TL: My wife and I grew up on a bunch of dinghies and my Dad had a couple of race boats. Independence was a Yankee 38 Sparkman & Stephens design. We started with two Coronado 25s. I guess you could say that we were a typical West Coast family.

What boat did you own before the J/32?
TL: A Bristol Channel Cutter. It was 28 feet on deck and a great long-distance cruiser. It was stable and could carry a lot of stuff but didn't go to windward very well. We actually built it in our backyard in Costa Mesa, California. It took five years to build. I was collecting wheel weights from garages and having them melted down for ballast. It was pretty much a slow project.

What kind of sailing did you do?
TL: We did a lot of cruising. Went to Mexico from California across to the South Pacific and then to Australia and Japan, where we worked for a while. We sold it there and moved back to New England. We were gone from the States for a total of nine years.

What were you looking for in your next boat?
TL: We wanted a boat that was quicker, sailed better and more modern. With my job at SAIL magazine (Tom was the senior editor) I sailed every new boat on the market in the past five years between 25 and 45 feet.

Why the J32?
TL: The J32 sails well and makes sense to me. J Boats didn't try to cram a huge aft berth in the boat, which would raise up the cockpit. The cockpit is deep and secure and we love it. With the lockers you have great storage. We can put our toolboxes, etc. in there. The hard dinghy is on foredeck, but its sailing rig and eight fenders are also aboard. You need that kind of storage.

What particular sailing features do you like?
TL: It's a fast boat and goes great upwind. What first attracted me was the feel on the helm. When you really push the boat (in windier conditions), it doesn't spin out. When a boat is too wide they round up, but this boat is a moderate boat with the beam in the middle of the boat. It's really fun to drive.

What are your sailing plans?
TL: Last summer we sailed around Buzzards Bay [Mass.] and did a few 2-3 day local cruises getting to know the boat. We're both a little rusty since we sold the last boat in '91. We shouldn't have waited so long to buy another boat! We want to go up to Maine this year to get in some more cruising.

So is smaller really better?
TL: Definitely. When we were cruising we were always one of the smaller boats out there. All the others would say, "You two are either brave, crazy or stupid." We thought people on larger boats were all of those things! We can handle our boat. There are no huge systems to keep track of. We like small boats. A big boat is like driving a truck. On a big boat you can let off the mainsail and not really feel it. On the J32 everything you do has a great feel.

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 Gear For 2019

JGear marquee 2018Look 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

Better Sailboats for People Who Love Sailing