The J/95 opens up a new world to sailors who may have otherwise thought that high performance in shallow water was the special preserve of power boats. With the J/95 you can explore the many new harbors and shallow bays and estuaries AND enjoy the thrill of sailing a fast, sleek sailboat.
The J/95’s performance hull emphasizes high form stability, relatively narrow beam and an easily driven shape. A modest upwind sail plan powers this boat at speeds and upwind tacking angles that sailors expect from a J. The J/95 will sail upwind with the centerboard fully retracted and retain its stability while doing so. This is a distinct advantage over boats with vertical lift-keel arrangements where stability is all but lost (and sailing not an option) when the keel in the “up” position. Over 90% of J/95’s ballast is in the fixed lead keel, with the rest in the foil shaped bronze centerboard.
To optimize steering control during shoal draft operation, the J/95 is specified with tandem rudders. Sailboats of the past with single shoal draft rudders share the common trait of horrendous weather helm load when sailing at large heel angles, especially close reaching in a breeze. This is true of everything from traditional catboats up to the finest keel-centerboard designs to the CCA Rule back in the 1950s and 60s. Likewise deep rudders which pivot up for shallow water create huge helm loads when raised. J/95 will be a dream to steer in any situation with centerboard up or down. Balance and steering control are two of the key features which set the new J/95 apart.
While reaching and running the J/95 has high speed potential, especially with a large masthead asymmetric spinnaker and a raised centerboard. This is a boat that’s even easier to handle than a J/105, with the same high maneuverability in tight quarters that sailors of smaller J’s have been showing off for years.
I can’t wait to sail the J/95, and to explore places I’ve never sailed a J before.
Rod Johnstone