Meet the J/121
Creating the best short-handed J ever starts with a hull shape that excels on all points of sail, particularly reaching. Most classic distance races have a beat/reach/run ratio around 15%/60%/25%. Straight-line speed is the name of the game and is achieved by having a low drag, efficient hull with high form stability and exceptional balance. Add to this a highly engineered carbon rig package, an L- shaped low VCG keel, infused composite construction, and a water-ballast assist system that adds nearly 400 kilos (4 big guys) of crew weight to the rail and you have the J/121.
Handling a 40 footer with 5 or fewer crew requires a rig, sail and deck plan that simplifies sail handling. New technology developed for the Vendee Globe, Volvo Race and other extreme offshore sailing events, is trickling down faster than ever, particularly in new furling systems. The J/121 class sail inventory features an AP furling J1 jib, a hoistable furling J4 inside the forestay, a furling Code Zero with top-down furler flown from the bowsprit, and an all-purpose A2 asymmetric spinnaker with either top-down furler or snuffer. Each headsail is dedicated to its own furler, meaning less hands on the foredeck and more compact sail stowage below. Combine that with a mainsail on slides that can be quickly adjusted to three different sizes (via a double reef system) and you have a versatile, manageable sail combination across most wind/sea conditions.
J/121’s ergonomic cockpit builds upon the award-winning J/111 design, with excellent working space, protection from the elements behind a soft dodger, and exceptional twin steering stations that allow the driver to straddle the wheel and reach all the mainsail controls while driving. Clean line sights forward from the helm and trimming positions provide immediate gear-changing input. A 3D jib lead system using floating trim rings allows nearly infinite placement of the jib clew (crucial for reaching) without the friction normally associated with in-hauling or out-hauling from a track-mounted jib car. Water ballast controls are cockpit led so that the on-deck crew can easily manage the transfer or dumping of the tank(s). Electric primary and secondary winches are available (and class legal) for push button trimming ease.
When the team needs moments of respite, the J/121 interior is clean and simple but beautifully finished with a feeling of space not often found in fast offshore racers. The interior is offered in Herreshoff classic white with varnished trim accents. For the “armchair navigator,” both onshore and offshore, there is no substitute for a comfortable nav station to house all of today’s modern electronics and entertainment systems. The L-shaped galley features a stove, SS sink, icebox, and storage drawers and shelves. The amidships settees are full-length for sleeping and offered in over/under configuration. The head is aft to starboard near the companionway, perfect for offshore sailing. Forward of the main bulkhead is sail storage with an option for a removable V-berth.