Took the $145k J88 on a demo. Conditions were 10-12 knots off Annapolis with mild Chesapeake Bay chop.
The traveler shares the same design as the J111, which seems to be a less effective means to depower the main. The micro and macro tune are on the centerline of the boat instead moving with the traveler. Dropping the traveler all the way means dropping the boom about half way.
The headsail shares the same below deck roller furler design as the J70. Very nice and very clean. Hiking was better than the J70 since the J88 has two lifelines. Inhaulers were useful carrying over the same design as the J111. Distance races would need more range on the inhaulers to be able to set barber haulers.
Upwind worked well in the chop. Backstay probably needs 48:1 to be effective.
Down wind was like a miracle. Class spinnaker seems to be targeting the east coast averages of 5-15 knots of wind. 10-12 knots of breeze netted 10-12 knots of boat speed and dancing on a plane. Very easy to keep the boat controlled with the large high aspect rudder. We had lots of smiles.
Class spec sail inventory is 3Di main, jib and huge asym. $17k for the package new.
Lots on the options list like radio, instruments, below deck autohelm. A v-berth is a strange option that is also available.
The boat is light enough to dry sail with an appropriately sized crane. Reducing yard costs.
The boat is fast enough to net great down wind rides.
The small inboard high revving diesel will push the boat around 6.5 knots through mild chop.
I really enjoyed it.
Later in the day the boat was hitting 18 knots downwind in heavier conditions.