SAILING ANARCHY Review- By Scot Tempesta
Many have tried; most have failed in the quest to build a right and proper racer/cruiser.
We fired up the 27 h.p Yanmar Diesel (with sail drive) and shoved off. The engine could not have been any quieter, and the boat accelerates quickly under motor. Also, the turning radius of the boat is remarkably small, and backing up under power was a breeze. Hell, we put the throttle down while coming back to the slip, and I'm sure we were doing 6.5 knots - going backwards! It seemed exceptionally maneuverable - a consideration for those who will choose to anchor out and harbor hop.
|It was a run out of Newport Harbor, so we stuck the main up - an easy task with slides - pulled the 5'5" carbon sprit out and hoisted a 105 sq. meter J-105 asymmetrical spinnaker up in breeze anywhere from 6 to 12 knots. This boat, hull #32, was not yet fully commissioned (hence the borrowed 105 kite), so we had no instruments to verify any numbers. Better wait for the big-buck glossy magazines to tell you that stuff. But I can tell you that jibing down the bay, the boat felt remarkably lively and responsive. You could square in the puffs, and the boat did not die. This boat is not sluggish, and does not feel anything like the typical J-Boat - a good thing, in our estimation. With a displacement of just under 11,000 pounds, and a SA/DSPL ratio of 21, the boat should be in the zone for good performance. It went through the water cleanly, and really felt very nice. Dare I say it felt quick, given the parameters of what it is? Time and the racecourse will indeed tell the ultimate story.
The three of us, myself, Trask and Bill Matchett, jibed probably 15 times or so, and it is, as are most all sprited, asso, no runners-type boats, a snap to jibe. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would build a boat like this (or any, for that matter) without a sprit. Frankly, this feature alone, because the boat becomes so much easier to use for a small crew or family to sail than a standard pole and gear, makes it much more desirable than some of it's competition, notably the Beneteau 36.7 and C&C 99. More on that, too.
We had a 155% genoa on the furler, so we dropped the kite, unfurled the sail and beat back to windward. The sails on this boat were Ullman; Kevlar genoa, Dacron main, and they looked quite nice. This is not an endorsement but if they were mine, I'd be pleased. Take a look at the picture of the genoa, and you'll see what I mean.
Upwind the boat steered like an absolute dream - very light touch, very little helm, and very responsive. This is the kind of boat that you want to steer because it feels so nice. The boat seemed to have plenty of power, and even when we had breeze at around 10-12 true, with no one on the rail, the boat didn't heel excessively, in fact seemed to go quite well. A 7' draft and about 4,000 pounds (with a squished bulb at the bottom) in the keel didn't hurt here, I reckon.
Right about then, I'm thinking that I really like this thing, but there must be something I don't like! Honestly, if there was something that was out of place, I didn't see it. I found it well thought-out, well executed, and well built. I liked the looks of the boat, I liked the way it sailed, I liked down below. No new ground is broken here, nor would we expect there to be: J-Boats produce a conservative product. Rather, the 109 would appear to be one where the sum of its parts does indeed equal a greater whole. Granted, I was on the boat a total of a couple of hours, but first impressions are usually correct. And my impression of this boat is that it is a significant total package for a serious racer cruiser.
Now here's what I alluded to earlier, and it is what I don't like: the price. A full up, out the door J-109 will set one back just over $200,000. That is an amazing amount of money for a 35', and significantly more than the most immediate competitor, the Beneteau 36.7. According to Trask, about 50 grand more. I'll grant you the 109 is a SCRIMP, fully cored boat with a carbon sprit, and the 36.7 is not, but 50 grand is 50 grand. That is a new Porsche Boxster. If the 109 had a carbon rig, I think the price difference would completely justified, but as it is, it is a sizable price difference.
Is this boat worth it? A reasonable analogy could be BMW - their cars always seem to carry a price premium over some of their competitors, and it is sometimes hard to see why, yet in the end, they almost always seem worth it.
Is the 109 in that league? The marketplace will ultimately decide, but I suspect that the buyer who can truly afford this type of investment in a boat of this size and purpose will likely decide that it offers more than the competitors and despite the price premium, will chose the 109. Isn't that why they buy BMW's?
The Joy of Sailing
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. Why is sailing so appealing to so many people? Perhaps because 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. Or maybe it's because sailing is never the same twice - each time on the water 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 even four family generations? It is 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 the right boat that fits you - whether you aspire to day-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. There aren't many wooden or metal tennis rackets, skis or golf clubs in use anymore. That's because newer designs that perform better and are easier to use are MORE FUN! 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 learned and designed into every "J." We invite you to explore our site to learn more!
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Oct 4- Nov 30- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
500+ J/70's Sailing in 2014!
The J/70 speedster is the new "baby J" that is generating tremendous enthusiasm for a next-generation ramp- launchable keelboat. J/70 introduces a new dimension of fun, fast sailing in a stable, easy to own boat that all of your friends and family can enjoy. J/70's 22-foot long waterline with high aspect, all carbon mast and boom provides spirited performance and stability that feels like a much larger boat upwind. Off-the-wind, J/70 will simply light-up the crew with a smile! Set the masthead asymmetrical spinnaker and plane away in moderate breezes.
J/70 is already taking the world by storm-- it's the fastest keelboat class to receive ISAF International Class status in history! 19 fleets have developed in the USA alone, and Europe has fleets forming in a half-dozen countries. Learn more about the J/70 concept here. Find out why J/70 has been generating enormous buzz in 2014-- J/70 are again setting records for class participation at Key West Race Week (60 teams), St Petersburg NOOD Regatta (28 boats), Charleston Race Week (87 teams registered), and North Americans (93 teams). In 2013, J/70s also set records for Annapolis NOOD Regatta (49 teams) and North Americans (90 teams entered in 28 hours)! In 2014, the first J/70 Worlds will be hosted by New York YC and SailNewport and the first J/70 Europeans will be hosted by Fraglia Vela Riva on Lago di Garda, Italy in September 2014!
J/111 One-Design/ Offshore Speedster
2013 was another great season for J/111 one-design and offshore sailing around the world. With numerous events organized in Europe and in the USA, J/111 sailors enjoyed the camaraderie of sailing close, tactical racing around-the-buoys and in major offshore events. Highlights again included domination by J/111s in Chicago-Mackinac Race overall. J/111s hosted their 2013 North American Championships in Chicago in August. J/111's have established a remarkable sailing record offshore. Learn more about this versatile, easy-to-sail, offshore racer-cruiser and, more importantly, join in on the fun and set your sights on the best combination of offshore and one-design racing in the world's greatest sailing areas- Cowes, Newport, La Trinite, San Francisco, Great Lakes, Harbor Springs, to name a few. The first J/111 Worlds will be hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in August 2014! Find out more about the J/111 and the one-design sailing regatta schedule here.
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