November 19th, 2014

J/Boat Show Schedule
(Newport, RI)- Over the course of the next few months, there are some excellent boat shows to view some of the latest J/Designs and also have a chance to speak with many of your friends and colleagues about the world of sailing.  Here are some of those events to consider, so mark your calendars to see the latest J’s on display:

J/88 sailboat- family speedsterJ/88 The Perfect Boat?
(Chicago, IL)- “When I sailed the J/88 in Newport in the fall of 2013 I really liked the boat but wondered how was it going to fit into the racing scene in Lake Michigan and who would want the boat. I have sailed boats from Sunfish to IOR Maxi’s and America’s Cup 12 meters and I enjoy smaller boats more than the big ones. So, for me a 29 footer was right up my alley. The big question was could it do all the things I want to do with a boat?” said Richie Stearns.   Rich went on to say, “my perfect boat” needs to do the following:

  1. Has to be fast and fun to sail.
  2. Has to be affordable (price/ resale price) J/Boats hold their value better than any boat.
  3. Has to have a head with privacy
  4. Has to be able to trail behind a normal size vehicle
  5. Single-point lift and mast-up with gin pole. Doesn’t need a boat yard to launch.
  6. Can sail the Chicago-Mackinac race.
  7. Can sail short-handed and around the buoys.
  8. Have an inboard engine to get some place.

After sailing in Newport with Stu J, I bought our first demo boat.  We had an amazing sail in 15-20 kts, a spectacular northwesterly breeze, clear skies, sunny, on Narragansett Bay.  I had to put all the pieces together to see if this was my perfect boat. So, I started looking at vehicles. That was tough, I live in downtown Chicago in a 1924 building, and the parking is tight. No way could I have a truck or a big SUV and I don’t want one either. Most medium SUV’s can only tow 3,500 pounds. However, Jeep had just come out with a diesel and that fit the bill. The Hemi in the Jeep would have worked, but didn’t get good mileage.
J/88 sailboat- towing on trailerSo, I picked up the boat in December 2012 during winter storm “Hercules.” They were closing schools in Rhode Island and I was pulling a boat to Chicago. We did have to stop in the mountains but it wasn’t it was the car or trailer’s fault, there was 2″ of ice on the road and the spin outs of other vehicles were getting out of control. But, the next day we made it to Chicago. Until we got to Indiana everything was very stable. There was some rocking in the rig as we approached Chicago. We found out later they closed Interstate 80 to trucks because of 50 kts cross-winds. The answer is, “yes a mid-size SUV can tow the J/88 over mountains and through storms!”  Read more about Rich’s experiences here (PDF download):
Then, the J/88 Great Lakes fleet invites everyone to join them for the 107th running of the Chicago-Mackinac Race in 2015.  Afterwards, you can then cruise the beautiful waters of the lakes, like the North Channel in Canada or Harbor Springs, Michigan and surrounding islands. It is an experience that cannot be beat anywhere in the world with your J/88! When you’re done, just pull at Mackinac City, Harbor Springs (or anywhere else) and drive home!
Here is the J/88 invitation to sail the gorgeous Great Lakes in awesome fresh water sailing, you can truly knock-off several “bucket list” programs with these experiences (PDF download):

J/27 one-design sailboat off TorontoJ/27 Midwinters Announcement!
(New Orleans, LA)- On behalf of Merlin Wilson (Commodore & J/27 Sailor) at the Southern Yacht Club, you are all cordially invited to attend the inaugural annual J/27 Midwinters (and Mardi Gras festivities) in New Orleans this coming February 18th to 21st, 2015.
For those of you who are unaware, Southern YC has a fleet of 5 J/27s and is actively growing.  This presents a real opportunity to build another OD/Class event so those of you who are closer to NOLA and too far to make it to the NAs in Oakville can now also have a chance to race the 27 at its most exciting level.  And for those of us stuck in a “Polar Vortex”; an excuse to head South to escape the cold!!
For more information on sailing J/27s outside of the Polar Vortex, contact Andrew “Curved Air” Riem (CAN 59) at-  As a Canadian, Andrew knows about all that polar vortex stuff, how it relates to your financial future and how to go “short” certain energy futures for all you hedge fund guys.  Plus, it also affects the trajectory of hockey pucks!  Finally, so that you can take advantage of some really fun sailing activities in the “French Quarter” (no explanation needed), be sure to contact J/27 maestro “Curved Air” Andrew.  Andrew truly is your “go to” guy for all things J/27s this winter.  The simple recommendation here?  Go South with your J/27!  Trust us, these J/27 guys (and some of their all girl boats) tend to have a LOT of fun!

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J’s Sailing Worldwide

The second to last week of November brought with it stormy, wintry conditions in North America, similar scenarios for northern Europe and a mix of weather in Hong Kong and South America.  Down under, the J/24s in South America were enjoying relatively decent weather all week long for their South American Championships in La Punta, Chile.  North of them in Florida and the Bahamas, the Storm Trysail Club and the SORC hosted their famous Miami to Nassau Cup Offshore race that goes from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas.  It was a challenging race for a J/122, a J/125 and twin J/120s.
Across the pond, there was plenty of activity on the Solent, with the 6th weekend of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series taking place for one-design J/111s and J/109s along with an IRC fleet that included a trio of fast J/97s.  Also taking place in the flight path of busy Heathrow International Airport was the RYA National Match Race Championship sailed on J/80s at the Queen Mary Reservoir.
Finally, leaping across to Asia, we find the J/80s in Hong Kong had concluded a very busy three weekend schedule that include their Hong Kong J/80 Championships, the Lipton Trophy Pursuit Race, and the always entertaining Around the Island Race.  Also sailing the around Hong Kong race was a fast J/111, a J/145 and a J/109.
Read on! The J/Community and Cruising section below has many entertaining stories and news about J/Sailors as well as cruising blogs about those who continue to enjoy the Caribbean and the South Pacific, staying warm while others are trying to stay warm up north.  Check them out!  More importantly, if you have more J/Regatta News, please email it or upload onto our J/Boats Facebook page!  Below are the summaries.

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 4- Nov 30- Garmin Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Oct 24- Mar 8- Monaco J/70 Winter Series- Monte Carlo, Monaco
Nov 19-22- J/105 International Invitational- Hamilton, Bermuda
Nov 22- Hot Rum Series #2- San Diego, CA
Dec 4-7- J/22 Jamaica Jammin’ Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 6- Hot Rum Series #3- San Diego, CA
Dec 13- Feb 7- Quantum J/70 Winter Series- Davis Island, FL
Jan 18-23- Quantum Key West Race Week- Key West, FL
Mar 4-7- Bacardi Miami Sailing Week- Miami, FL
For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/111 sailing Hamble Winter SeriesHamble Winter Series- Weekend #6
(Hamble, England)- Menacing skies, a torrential rain squall and an indecisive breeze couldn’t stop the assembled Garmin Hamble Winter Series fleet from getting in some cracking racing on the sixth weekend of the series.
After a vicious rain squall caught the fleet on the way out, the wind shifted around between southeast and northerly until it settled in the northeast for long enough to get a good race in for all classes. The race team combined some starts to get everyone away in good time, with all classes sailing short courses between Royal Southern and East Knoll buoys. This led to some close-quarters racing to keep everyone on their toes, but the frequent windshifts gave tacticians the chance to make some big gains up the beats and down the runs.
In IRC 0, Chris Body’s J/111 Icarus added a first place to her scoreline which leaves her equal on points with fellow J/111, Louise Makin’s JOURNEYMAKER II.  Just 2 pts back is Martin Dent’s J-ELVIS.  With two weekends left, is it possible there is a three-boat clean sweep of IRC 0 Class for the J/111s?
J/88 family speedster- sailing Hamble on SolentStew Hawthorn’s J/88 JIFI sailed a great race to take the top spot in IRC 2, ahead of Paul Hayes’ J/88 JONGLEUR in third.  At this stage of the game, JIFI is sitting in third overall with 24 pts with a good mathematical chance for 1st overall. Not far off the stage is Paul Ward’s J/88 EAT SLEEP J REPEAT; and an outside chance for the top three is Ivan Trotman’s J/88 JOJO.
It appears that Charles Ivill’s J/97 JTB TYRES/ JUST LIKE THAT, which finished just under two minutes ahead of the fleet on corrected in their last race, is poised to be the primary candidate for series leader.  However, they have a mere 2 pts lead over Andy Howe’s J/97 BLACKJACK II and knowing how the teams have responded to sailing conditions in the last few weekends, this class could still be open for a surprising outcome?
J/109 fleet rounding mark on SolentIn the J/109s Adrian Wheal’s JOLLY JACK TAR added another first to her scoreline, with Owain Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in 2nd place. As a result, Wheal’s crew is leading for the series with 9 pts, followed by Roger Phillips’ DESIGNSTAR II in second with 12 pts and Franks’ JYNNAN TONNYX in third with 18 pts.  Given the fact that any one crew is capable of winning one or more races, it would not be prudent to go down to your local Ladbrokes Betting Parlour and bet on a horse that may not leading by a nose on the final furlong!
Having endured one rain squall before the race, competitors were relieved that the clouds held their rain until the fleet was assembled in the HRSC clubhouse for the prize-giving, were day prizes were presented by Peter Kay and Ian Brown from One Sails, who have been longstanding supporters of the Hamble Winter Series for over 20 years.  Next week sees the penultimate weekend of racing in the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series. Thanks for contribution from Ben Meakins.   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Wyeth/    For more Garmin Hamble Winter Series sailing information

Bruschetta- Santa Cruz win South AmericansBRUSCHETTA J/24 South American Champion
(La Punta, Peru)- With spring sailing going full-tilt “down under” the equator everywhere, it was perhaps the South American J/24 sailors who were most eager to get the ball rolling in their 2014 South American Championship hosted by Centro Naval de Peru- Club Nautico.  An enthusiastic group of thirteen J/24s, mostly from Peru and Chile, were ready to take on the top Brazilian team led by skipper Mauricio Santa Cruz on his famously-named BRUSCHETTA.
Sailing in the spectacular bay surround La Punta, the fleet was treated to excellent sailing conditions all five days of the event with winds averaging around 8-13 kts for the total of ten races.  It was a fair test of skills and it was pretty self-evident after the first day of racing that Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA simply had “another gear” and could extricate themselves from difficult situations and still manage to win races.  In the end, they were crowned South American Champions after posting a remarkable seven 1st and a 3-4 as counters for a total of 14 pts net.
J/24 women's sailing team- La Punta, PeruBehind BRUSCHETTA, it was a game of consistency and avoiding “the big mistake”, some teams faired better than others.  After day one, the Brazilian BRUSCHETTA team led the fleet, followed by Luis Olcese’s SCARAMOUSH from Peru, then Javier Arribas’ WAYRA team also from Peru.  For two more days, the top three didn’t change.  Then, disaster struck the WAYRA team.  After posting mostly top three finishes, the WAYRA gang seemingly “lost the edge” and plunged into the abyss and off the podium.  In their last five races, WAYRA posted a 6-6-10-8-10 to seriously “fall from grace with the sea,” ending up in 5th overall.
On the third day of the regatta, the composition of the top five began to change, with Matias Seguel’s GURU team from Chile getting two 4ths to slide into third by a point to spare.  Then, on the final day of racing Saturday, WAYRA continued to be snake-bitten while GURU finished off the series by winning the last race and taking the bronze.   The race for the top five was rounded out by Vernon Robert’s Chilean team on JOYITA, taking 4th overall with relatively consistent finishes.
Of note was the continuing improvement of the all-women’s team sailing JITANA, skippered by Tania Zimmerman and her sisters and friends from Peru.  While they finished 8th, they managed to post a 1st and 3rd in races #8 and #9.  In fact, their 9-3-1-6 in the last four races on the last two days of the regatta was the 5th best in the fleet!   Sailing photo credits- Bernardita Grez  For Facebook photos & commentary on the J/24 South Americans   For more J/24 South American Championship sailing information

J/80 sailors- Queen Mary Sailing Club- Heathrow, EnglandWilliams Wins 5th RYA National Match Racing Title
(London, England)- Ian Williams confirmed his match racing caliber this weekend as the quadruple World Champion scooped a fifth RYA National Match Racing title at Queen Mary Sailing Club sailing on the matched fleet of J/80 one-designs supplied by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames YC. The Lymington-based skipper now joins Mark Campbell-James and two-time Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Andy Beadsworth at the top of the all-time winners list with five wins each.
The Championships got underway in a light five-six knot breeze on Friday, with results going very much according to the seeding’s, however the big match of the afternoon saw Ali Hall beat the world number two and former world champion leaving Williams with it all to do after the opening day’s eight flights of round-robin.
With no racing possible on Saturday due to very little wind, Sunday again started with a light five-six knot breeze with the racing more varied with unexpected wins and losses for many of the teams.
Williams wins RYA Match Race ChampionshipWilliams, and his crew at the event, Gerry Mitchell, Simon Shaw and the British Keelboat Academy’s James French, found their winning rhythm taking nothing but race wins, while Hall who had led after Friday’s racing with five wins was only able to win one of his four races. The breeze dropped early in the afternoon and the decision was made to finish the program at the end of the round-robin stage, handing Williams event honors with eight out of nine race wins.
A delighted Williams said: “It is always satisfying to win any match racing regatta. We were obviously the most experienced team but in match racing it is all about the performance on the day and you’ve still got to get the job done so we were pleased to come out on top in the end. Conditions were mainly on the light side, but the Race Committee did a great job of getting all the racing away which were good fair races and, by the way, in very evenly matched J/80s.”
“After losing to Ali Hall in our sixth race we needed to win all our remaining three races and hope that he slipped up along the way, so when we crossed the finish line in our last race we did not know if we had won or not as we did not know his results. Fortunately for us Ali had lost some races so we came out on top,” explained the 37-year-old.
This year’s event set a very high bar for the quality of sailing in the round-robin stages, as evidenced by the real mix of results between sailors.  Racing in J/80s got underway on Friday (November 14) with a 15-flight round-robin schedule followed by knockout quarter-final and semi-final rounds before the Champion was decided in the final round on Sunday.
“We last competed in the RYA National Match Racing Championships two years ago and I think the standard has definitely improved a great deal in that time. We were behind at some point in four out of our nine races and really had to fight for all our wins. It was just really good fun to get out and do some racing in the UK as we don’t get to sail at home very often,” said Williams.
The final scores showed a tie between Mark Lees, Tom Mallindine and Ali Hall each with six wins. As Lees had beaten both Mallindine and Hall in the round robin he gained second overall with Mallindine taking third. The British Sailing Team’s Olympic classes sailor Nick Thompson took fifth on his first outing into match racing while Annabel Vose finished sixth.   For more RYA National Match Racing sailing information

J/122 sailing Miami Nassau Cup RaceTEAMWORK Makes the Dream Work!
J/122 2nd In Nassau Cup Race
(Nassau, Bahamas)- Since 1934, some of the best offshore sailors in the world have battled for the prestigious Miami to Nassau Cup, including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Dick Bertram, and Ted Hood, aboard legendary boats like Running Tide, Windward Passage, Tenacious, and Boomerang.  Half a generation after World War II forced a short intermission, the race became part of the fabled Southern Ocean Racing Conference in the 1980s until the series’ dissolution in the 1980s.  Building on the race’s welcome rebirth in 2003, the new SORC, a group of race-veteran race managers, announced its management of the Nassau Cup Race in 2010.
Starting in South Florida, racers leave Great Isaacs Light to starboard and proceed past Great Stirrup Light, finally finishing at Nassau harbor. Today’s modern boats just need the right conditions to claim this legendary prize, and racers of all types will enjoy the navigational and crew challenge of the race across the Gulf Stream.
J/125 sailing Miami Nassau Cup raceIt was a “come from behind victory parade” this year for the 2014 Miami-Nassau Cup Race, with slower boats riding new breeze right up to the leaders on the final leg into Nassau Harbor. The entire fleet finished within 2.5 hours of each other on Friday evening. First across the line was Frank Atkinson’s new J/125 RAISIN’ CANE, sailing in the IRC Class.
For the faster boats, it was a day of light downhill work that brought the leaders slowly to Nassau.   Behind them, a classic frontal system blowing off Florida and across the Gulf Stream brought strong, new breeze to the tail-enders in the fleet, the proverbial “fleet compression puff” on an enormous, macro scale!  Nevertheless, Robin Team’s illustrious J/122 TEAMWORK managed to play their cards right and take 2nd overall in the IRC Class for the Nassau Cup.  Getting the short-end of that stick was Atkinson’s RAISIN’ CANE, having to settle for 5th overall after watching their substantial lead over the fleet evaporate in the last 12 hours of the race!
J/122 Teamwork in 2nd IRC at Miami Nassau CupA similar scenario played out in PHRF Class for the top J/120s.  After a great start and strong overnight performances, the two J/120s, Frank Kern’s famous Detroit team aboard CARINTHIA and Bill Terry’s crew on TAMPA GIRL, could only watch in dismay as they saw the little spinnakers popping up over the horizon behind them with the incoming breeze.
To the fleet’s great amusement, teams were selected to participate in a J/22 Match Race event right off Nassau YC.  Sailing just main & jibs only, a great time was had by all in this fun, low-key regatta that brings local kids aboard to experience keelboat racing on J/22s— a bit different than their Optimist dinghies!    SORC Media – C. Woolsey   For Mr Dunkley’s sailing photos:   For more Miami- Nassau Cup sailing information

J/80s sailing off Hong KongTIGRINA Crowned King of Hong Kong J/80s!
J/111 Wins Around The Island Race
(Hong Kong, China)- Over the past few weekends, the J/80s in Hong Kong have been quite busy, having a wonderful time sailing their Hong Kong Championships, the Lipton Trophy Pursuit Race and the classic Around The Island Race; all events hosted by the extraordinary Royal Hong Kong YC.
Starting with the Hong Kong Championship on November 1st & 2nd, an excellent turnout of seventeen boats participated, with the fleet enjoying a total of eight races to complete the series.  It was extremely close racing for the top two boats, Andrew Moore & Lionel Welch’s TIGRINA and Felix Ng’s JAVELIN.  After the first day of racing, JAVELIN had the upper hand, closing out the day with a 1-3-2-2 for 8 pts with TIGRINA just one point back with an equally stellar record of 2-2-4-1 for 9 pts.  Behind this duo, the fleet was experiencing a bit of the “snakes & ladders” conundrum, working hard to stay in the top three, but often snagging defeat from the jaws of victory.
Hong Kong J/80s sailingOn Sunday, it was clear that Moore’s TIGRINA crew must’ve had a can of “whup-ass” for breakfast in their steak & eggs and heaps of coffee.  For after starting out the day with bullet, they closed out with a 3-1-1 to win the series by four points over the friendly rivalry with Ng’s JAVELIN team.  The balance of the top five was equally tough competition with next three boats finishing just four points apart.  Winning (or perhaps, surviving) this battle was Dan Tullberg’s UNKNOWN PLEASURES, completing the podium on third with 27 pts net.  Only one point back was Jonathan Hodgson’s J-CHI with 28 pts in fourth and sitting on fifth place was Gill Keefe’s JELIGNITE with 31 pts. For more J/80 Hong Kong sailing information.
Lipton Trophy Pursuit Race
The replenishment of the northeast monsoon coincided with the first pursuit race of RHKYC’s 2014-15 season, with an average 10kts of easterly wind bestowed on the competitors sailing in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.  A total of 47 boats started the race in front of Kellett island, on staggered start times according to their RHKATI ratings. For many boats it was a great warm-up for the much anticipated Around The Island Race, the circumnavigation of Honk Kong Island.  In the end, top J/80 was David Fan’s SEA BISCUIT, followed by Alex Cheung’s FIGURE OF EIGHT in second and Paul Lam’s LILA in third.  For more Lipton Trophy sailing information.
J/111 sailing Hong KongAround The Island Race
While the Lipton Trophy took place on Saturday and was good sailing, Sunday’s Around the Island Race was shortened due to a bit too much light air.  Sailing like a man possessed, it was clear David Fan’s J/80 SEA BISCUIT crew were simply on fire.  Starting first in the J/80 Class and increasing his lead (isn’t that what the textbooks tell you to do?), Fan’s crew finished first with a nearly six minute lead at the gun!  Lonny Chen’s crew on MAY-13th took second and they were 4:30 seconds clear of the third place finisher, Henry Wong on FOOT LOOSE.
Amongst the J/70 Class, it was John Leven’s SAN LONG that took class honors followed by Paul McMaster & Fabrice Bureau taking second with DAZIBAO.
In the offshore IRC handicap world, Simon Blore’s J/111 MOJITO again took class honors over the best-sailed boats and most competitive offshore class at the Royal Hong Kong YC.  For more Around The Island Race sailing information.   For more Royal Hong Kong YC Facebook photos

What friends, alumni and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/88 Canada- sailing fast*  J/88 Great Lakes sailors extend a warm welcome to Rob & Sandy Butler! They are from Collingwood, Ontario but winter down south.  Also new to the “Great Lakes 88’s” fleet is Bob Kreilick from Rochester, New York.
What’s new in the J/88 program?  Year two of the J/88 demo program is in the books.  This year was a lot of fun because we had 4 other J/88’s to race against on Lake Ontario.  We have the biggest fleet in the country with 5 boats, not bad for a smaller market!  The 88s still raced PHRF, so it was a balance of trying to beat one another but also the rest of PHRF 1 on corrected time.  This year, we were given a 6 second “protect the fleet” rating, so what was going to be an 87 rating, brought us down to an 81.  This was actually OK, because it allowed us to see how the boat stacked up with a tougher rating against those in the area like the Beneteau 36.7 (rates 78 here), J/109 (rates 80), Beneteau 10R (92), Nelson Marek Custom 30 (93), and a J/105 (92). Of course there are many factors that weigh into PHRF besides the boat itself, like wind speed, wave conditions, crew ability, sail inventory, clean bottom, and on and on.  Overall the boat performed very well and all of our owners were pleased with how easy it was to handle and sail, forgiving on the crew, and just plain fun!
My thoughts on the J/88, by Don Finkle:
“I admit to being spoiled.  For over 40 years I have always been able to sail the newest models when they come along, and there have been many.  Each new boat represented the state of the art in production boats at the time.  They varied from just OK to good to really good.  The J/88 falls into the last category in my mind.  With a season and a half of sailing the J/88 under our belts, I can say that with confidence.
J/88 family speedster sailing Rochester, New YorkWhen sizing up a new boat it is important to put the design goal in perspective.  In the case of J/Boats any new model must perform well and be easily handled, with broad-enough appeal to be commercially viable and to sell in numbers sufficient to offer the promise of one design racing.  Boats that are too exotic in construction or too extreme in any way do not fit the pattern that has proven so successful over time.  Sometimes we hear the knock that other boats are faster, and that is true.  There is room in the sport for higher-performance boats but they will always be limited in number.  Examples of new similar sized boats that were designed for that top end speed-wise would be the C&C 30 and Farr 280, and before them the Mumm/Farr 30.  They are each cool boats in their own right but are aimed at the top of the performance curve where fewer sailors reside.
The J/Boats mantra is to offer a level of performance that is fun and exciting but also not intimidating or limiting.  We find that the J/88 is just that, fast and fun but not over the edge.  It is hard to complain about the speed of the 88 when you realize that at 29 feet we are routinely sailing with boats 5-10 feet longer and often beating them boat-for-boat.  At the same time the 88 offers a usable interior with berths, a marine head, modest storage and a comfortable cockpit for daysailing too.  Add in the powerful diesel saildrive and you have a boat that can do limited cruising and overnight racing.  These factors were all part of the plan when the J/88 was conceived; it had to meet a more varied usage profile.  We think the Johnstone’s nailed it.
Race results are not the best way of judging the potential of a boat because so many factors enter into it beyond the capability of the boat itself.  But at this point we are very comfortable saying that the J/88 is a step ahead of most other boats of its size that have gone before, as it should be.  What has surprised us most has been the excellent light air performance, which we did not anticipate, given the lack of an overlapping headsail.  The other aspect that exceeded our expectations is the pointing ability upwind when the in-haulers are employed; it is like riding up an elevator.  The keel really seems to work.
The sail inventory that seems to work best includes a main, two headsails and two spinnakers.  The light-medium jib is 105%, and the heavy jib is 100% but flatter.  The crossover point between the two jibs is in the mid-teens, depending upon sea state.  The heavy jib can be carried down to as low as 12 knots and the Lt/Med up to 18, so there is a fairly large spread where you can get away with either.  The full size A2 spinnaker is 95 square meters, and the heavy/reaching A3 kite is about 80 SM.  Our main has one reef point but if memory serves, we have yet to use it.  Jib battens can be either vertical or roller; either style works with the standard Harken below-deck furler.
Sailing the J/88:  We would normally sail with 5 or 6 aboard, but could take more if they showed up due to the large cockpit and clean deck.  We hate to leave anyone at the dock but for most conditions five people is probably a good number.  The main controls are set up for the helm to trim the main or for a dedicated main trimmer.  Coarse and fine sheet tackles, traveler and backstay are close together.  If you are using a main trimmer, the easy mode is to move the fine tune block on top of the coarse tune block with both in front of the traveler.  For short-handed sailing, the driver can sit aft, straddling or in front of the traveler, any of those positions work.  Tacking the small headsail is easy, one person can release, and then trim in on the other side so long as the driver makes a reasonable-speed tack!
We sail with many different people on our boat.  We spend more time exposing people to the fun of J/88 sailing, and often their first exposure to asymmetric spinnaker sailing, as opposed to fine-tuning our trim.  For sure we can get more speed out of the boat over time as we focus more, and we noted that as the season wore on we kept going better and better.  There is a lot you can do with the jib, especially with the adjustable cars and in-haulers.  The 88 really tracks well upwind when in the groove.  When dialed-in, which is not hard, the boat has a very balanced and light helm.
Before we changed our backstay length (see below) we were probably sailing with a poorly-tuned rig much of the time.  We often got to the boat from work with hardly any time to prep for the race so the rig was often too tight or too loose.  It did not seem to bother the boat much but for sure our performance would have been even better if we tuned for the conditions.  Because we seemed to be going well we also were a bit lazy about the rig.  Finally, as the boat comes the shroud turnbuckles are not as easy to adjust as they should be but we now have a good solution for that (see below).  Looking back on the season, we were probably too tight more often than not.
We found that the big cockpit tended to attract people who ended up sitting further aft than they should be for best performance.  When we moved people forward it always seemed to make us go faster.  The exception is downwind in a breeze where you want to slide people aft.  It is easy to move around the J/88 so there is no problem placing weight where it should be.  Of course, for daysailing, that big cockpit is awesome, you can fit a pile of folks aboard, and they will have a comfortable place to sit.  Tim reminded me of the time we had the young grandchildren aboard this summer and they had a ball, even swimming off the back, easy with the open transom.  The 88 works for daysailing, course racing, distance racing or limited cruising.  The jib furler is convenient as is the Harken luff track on the mast for the mainsail cars.  The boat seems to handle a wide range of wind velocities very well, the sign of a good design.
Toronto Boat Show:  We are lending our hull #27 to Pat Sturgeon Yachts, the dealer for the greater Toronto area so that there can be a J/88 on display at the show.  It will bring good exposure of the boat on the north shore and hopefully we can build out our Lake Ontario fleet even further.  Pat has recently sold an 88 to a Toronto couple.
J/36 Jazz getting cleaned* J/36 Cruising with United Kingdom/ Mediterranean long distance cruiser Norman Curnow.  More often than not, Norm is single-handing his boat from port to port and occasionally brings along a friend or so for double-handing.  Said Norm recently, “just catching up with my J colleagues around the world.  My J/36 JAZZ (Rodney Johnstone’s original J/36) is back at her homeport after a 9,000 mile sail single-handed covering many places in and on the cost of Portugal, Spain and France.  She awaits 2015 for more racing at her club and homeport of Cornwall.  We are looking forward to some offshore racing with friends.  Here is a photo of JAZZ having her scrub off in the Tamarriver River after her trip back home!” All the best, Norman

J Cruisers continue their adventures around the world, below are a selection of most excellent “blogs” written by their prolific publishers.  Some terribly amusing anecdotes and pearls of wisdom are contained in their blogs. Read some! You’ll love it.
*Giant whale breaching in front of J/160 SALACIA off  Australia's Whitsunday Islands J/160 SALACIA has been sailing in Australia in the Whitsunday Islands.  Guess who decided to throw themselves across their bow as they cruised comfortably to their next destination?  A giant whale!  Look at this amazing photo!
J/42 cruiser- sailing across Atlantic Ocean* Jim & Heather Wilson just completed a circumnavigation of our “blue planet Earth” in June 2013 on their J/42 CEOL MOR.  Said Jim, “The odyssey of CEOL MOR is over, for now.  We completed our circumnavigation on our J/42 when we crossed our outbound track in Britannia Bay, Mustique. We were, however, still 2,000 nautical miles from home. So we continued on through the Windwards, the Leewards, and then through the British Virgin Islands. After a farewell ‘Painkiller’ at the Soggy Dollar, and a last meal at Foxy’s, we made the 1,275 nautical mile passage to the Chesapeake and completed our port-to-port circumnavigation when we arrived in Annapolis on June 28, 2013. We had been away 1,334 days, completed 259 days of ocean passages, and sailed 30,349 nautical miles (34,925 statute miles). Read more about their adventures in their  well-documented blog here:
J/160 sailing offshore to US Virgin Islands- rainbow over ocean* J/160 AVATAR headed for the Caribbean, again!  We LOVE these updates from our cruising J sailors that continue to criss-cross the Seven Seas. This one comes from Alan Fougere, sailing his beloved J/160 AVATAR.   Alan sent us an email update commenting on their passage south this winter, “In mid-December AVATAR completed her sixth transit to her winter Caribbean home, Grand Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI (seen above)  from her home port in Quissett (Falmouth), MA.  A crew of three, Captain Alan (e.g. me), Crew Pablo Brissett and Mark Conroy, covered the 1,500 nm trip in in her best time to date- 7 Days 5 Hours, averaging 8.7 kts, that’s about 208 nm per day!  Amazing passage it was!  Rainbow at right far offshore was some of the amazing phenomenon we experienced on this fast offshore passage.
AVATAR will participate in the BVI Sailing Festival/Regatta again in 2013, where last year she won the Nanny Key Cup Cruising Class race around the Island of Virgin Gorda.  Here are some photos for you to share with the J/Community at-large.  Enjoy!”
Best, Alan Fougere/ AVATAR
Bill & Judy Stellin- sailing J/42 Jaywalker* Bill & Judy Stellin recently had an interview about cruising on their J/42 in the Wall St Journal called “Retiring on the Open Sea”.  The Wall St Journal asked Bill to reply to dozens of questions that flooded into the WSJ’s Editor desks. Here’s the update:
Retiring on the Sea: Answering Readers’ Questions
Advice about selecting a boat, ocean crossings, itineraries and safety
Wall St Journal interview- Stellin's Offshore cruising/ sailing retirementThe article in our WSJ Online December retirement report about eight years spent sailing the Mediterranean— “Retiring to the Open Sea”— prompted many questions and comments from readers.  We asked William Stellin, who wrote the story, to answer some of the most common queries.
WSJ- “What kind and make of boat did you use? Looking back, would you have picked a different boat?”
Bill- “In 1995-96, J/Boats of Newport, RI, came out with a new cruiser/racer model, the J/42. We bought hull No. 6 of this popular 42-foot sailboat and named it JAYWALKER. This was our fourth boat since beginning sailing in 1975.
Although long-distance cruising wasn’t what we had in mind when we purchased JAYWALKER, it soon became apparent it had the ability to carry us easily and safely anywhere we wanted to go. Because the boat is light, it sails well in light winds, which means very little motoring is necessary.
People often ask (and argue) about what boat is best for cruising. Any boat that is strong, safe, fast, comfortable and easily handled by two people should fit the bill. One thing for sure, fast is fun—and important when trying to avoid bad weather.”
* The J/42 JARANA continues their epic voyage around the Pacific. Continue to read about Bill and Kathy Cuffel’s big adventure cruising the South Pacific headed for New Zealand.  Their blog is here:
* John and Mary Driver are sailing their J/130 SHAZAM for extended cruising in the Atlantic basin. At this time, John and Mary finished their double-handed crossing of the Atlantic, landing in Portugal on their J/130 Shazam after completion of their ARC Rally. Read the latest news at
J/130 sailing ARC Rally arrives Portugal- leave a message on the sea wall!* Several J/160 owners are island hopping across the world’s oceans, fulfilling life long dreams to cruise the Pacific islands, the Caribbean islands, the Indian Ocean and all points in between.  Anyone for Cape Horn and penguins??  Read more about their adventures and escapades (like our J/109 GAIA, J/42s PAX and JAYWALKER and J/130 SHAZAM friends above).
–  Bill and Susan Grun on the J/160 AVANTE are also sailing in the Pacific archipelago, read more about their great adventures on their blog (  Read about their latest adventures as they’ve gotten to New Zealand- “Avante Cruises the Pacific”.
Eric and Jenn on the J/160 MANDALAY also sailed the Pacific archipelago, read more on their blog at  Eric and Jenn are J/World alumni took MANDALAY up and down the West Coast (Mexico, CA), then to the South Pacific and New Zealand.  MANDALAY is back in San Francisco now, and in the J/World fleet–she is available for skippered charters, private instruction, and corporate/executive groups.
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