f-bomb

Are J/24s Still Fun?

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so, I found a well priced, solid j24. there is a resurgence in the lake erie j24 fleet, several teams are leaving their PHRF boats at the dock and racing j24 instead. looks like fun, although relatively slow fun. So for the $5500 question, are are J24s still fun to race? the one design aspect and low cost is appealing. the speed, not so much. everyone also likes to complain about ergos. whats the upwind/ downwind boatspeed in say 10-12kts wind? hope not to stir up too much S#!t with the initial question but if you must, flame on...

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IMO, one design is always fun.  The J24 was my first keelboat as crew so I have a soft spot for them, and would have no hesitation in getting one for that price as long as well-known checklists items are good.

 

VMG chart here: http://www.blur.se/polar/J24_polar.pdf

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Yeah, OD racing is a blast. They have a small cockpit, and a big jib so not the most comfortable boat, but its really not that bad. Who cares what boatspeed is upwind, you only need to be .1kt faster than the other guy. Speed is relative.

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If everyone is going the same speed, yes its good competition. ive stepped foot on a couple j24s, never sailed one. only time ive seen them on the water, I was racing my Formula 18 catamaran on the same course, so they looked very slow but its all relative. link for the polar chart dosent work on my end btw.

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I owned and raced one for years, if there is a local fleet they are a blast. Solid built for a small boat but look for wet spots with soft core, if you want a project fine if not there are about 7000 other boats to choose from. Try to find one that has been raced, they are kept in better condition and tend to have updated rigging. You don't have to get crazy about the sails, there are plenty of good used ones on the market. Of all the boats I have owned my J/24 is the one I miss. We had tons of fun racing that boat.

The drawback is probably finding and retaining enough crew to be competitive, often the J/24 crew was picked off by the bigger boats because they developed skills. Every big boat I have ever sailed on had a former J/24 sailor calling the tactics and trim. great learning platform.

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1 hour ago, FRENZY said:

I owned and raced one for years, if there is a local fleet they are a blast. Solid built for a small boat but look for wet spots with soft core, if you want a project fine if not there are about 7000 other boats to choose from. Try to find one that has been raced, they are kept in better condition and tend to have updated rigging. You don't have to get crazy about the sails, there are plenty of good used ones on the market. Of all the boats I have owned my J/24 is the one I miss. We had tons of fun racing that boat.

The drawback is probably finding and retaining enough crew to be competitive, often the J/24 crew was picked off by the bigger boats because they developed skills. Every big boat I have ever sailed on had a former J/24 sailor calling the tactics and trim. great learning platform.

I concur regarding the crew. It's tough to race competitively these boats with a crew of 5. Always training new people. Also, if racing is your thing, although the entry price is relatively low (i.e. initial boat purchase) the upkeep and sail turnover is bloody expensive. A genoa is around $2500 usd. It competitive life is around 25 hours. For all sorts of reasons, I believe you get better bang for your buck with the J22, and it's a much better design.

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j22s are not very popular in my neck of the woods, so no one design racing. also no life lines which would not allow me to race in many races around here. around these parts for 1D keelboats the choices are T-10 or J24. I love traveling and racing my F18, but local one design seems fun as well. you know- race what everyone else races

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I don't think a new genoa every 25hrs will be necessary for local club one design racing. don't plan on doing nationals unless they are in my back yard because I have the F18 for a travel boat, tows easier and requires less crew. the J24 would be just for local 1D racing when there are no catamaran regattas to go to.

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For the $ i think so.  I only race with my boys and we have a blast.  

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People who have sailed on certain other boats might find a J-24 less fun. 

on the other hand, almost nobody on the planet (by percentage) has ever even been for a ride on anything as zippy as a J-24

Certainly they  are fun. There were over 5000 built for good reason 

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I sail a different J and an F18. The Js are still lots of fun, just as the F18 is still fun even when kitefoilers go faster. And you're probably right about not needing a new genoa at club level.

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On 6/30/2017 at 0:52 PM, f-bomb said:

j22s are not very popular in my neck of the woods, so no one design racing. also no life lines which would not allow me to race in many races around here. around these parts for 1D keelboats the choices are T-10 or J24. I love traveling and racing my F18, but local one design seems fun as well. you know- race what everyone else races

T-10s are fun too. The opposite of a J-24 in some ways: small jib and huge cockpit.

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Trust me that boat crossed my mind as well. I think I would have a hard time finding a well maintained boat that would not require much work to get racing on the cheap. Less expensive examples do exist but are usually neglected with wet core and no trailer. T10s are great boats for the Midwest, ive had loads of fun crewing on one and the cost is low for a 33ft racing  boat . Furthermore I wouldn't be able to dry sail it at my club as our lift is only a 2.5 or 3 ton capacity, id rather not have to pay for a well to keep her in the water or deal with wet sailed boat issues.  

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2013 Down the Bay Race...from Annapolis to Hampton VA.  120nm along the rumbline.  Blew from the NW, 20-30+ the entire way.  Did the race on a cruising class (main and jib) boat.  A Jeanneau 42i Performance Edition.  We finished in 12hrs 41mins.  Top speed (surfing) was 18+ knots.  Averaged 9.4 knots SOG along rumb.  We rated 81.  A J-24 (rated 171) finished 1 hr and 12 minutes later! Means his SOG was 8.6 knots along rumbline, so faster in reality...

Fun?  Yeah I'd say a J-24 is fun...

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The truth is the boats don't really matter, it's whats going on locally. If the active fleet in your area is a 4 knot shit box get one. The more one design racing you do the better a tactician and trimmer you become. You have to remember Kenny Reed and John Kostecki both started in J/24's during the fleets golden years. Most of us remember them having a 6 second advantage per mile just be them stepping on the boat. It came from their commitment to speed, tactics and prep. The boat didn't matter. Naturally all the boats these guys raced had the up-most of prep and everything was MAX to the rules. They could have been racing anything during those days but the 24 had the numbers at clubs and regional regattas.

That said the 2016 J/24 Midwinters at Davies Island had 25 boats! The 24 fleet is in decline due the the pressers of other more modern designs, I remember when we would get 40 boats for that event. Talk about fun! My point is the boat is a great boat in all weather conditions. It's not the boat if there are no other boats to play with. I did this in Chicago when the CYC J/24 fleet broke up, I spent 3 years trying to get the fleet back together and failed. Now that's not fun. Spent the next 15 years in PHRF Hell...

 

FRENZY

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Sounds like another guy that could use a T-10.

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theres a t-10 for sale in kalamazoo on craigslist on the cheap. been for sale a while so probably open to negotiations. pics show her sitting on a trailer. not sure the real condition or the story but its worth a look. also saw one for sale in chicago on jack stands for $3k.....

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18 hours ago, fucket said:

Sounds like another guy that could use a T-10.

Thanks but no thanks! Even their numbers are dwindling. I have been on trampolines with less flex...

Crew; "Hey the prop is out of the water". T-10 Skipper; "Release the backstay"!

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Are fat chicks still fun?

mopeds?

of course a j24 is still fun. Just don't be seen on one!

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A J24 can be a pretty decent PHRF boat as well. Add a 6" toggle to the forestay for max rake and go clean up in your division.

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3 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Are fat chicks still fun?

mopeds?

of course a j24 is still fun. Just don't be seen on one!

well said sir !

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Had a junior sailor ask me of all the boats I have sailed, which is the most fun.  I have never had someone ask me that.  I had to think about it.  The answer, J24.  

So, yeah, they are still fun.

 

(and yes, I have sailed just about everything, I even own a NACRA)

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2 hours ago, Bash24 said:

Had a junior sailor ask me of all the boats I have sailed, which is the most fun.  I have never had someone ask me that.  I had to think about it.  The answer, J24.  

So, yeah, they are still fun.

 

(and yes, I have sailed just about everything, I even own a NACRA)

As a skippy they could be fun. As a crew, they are absolutely painful...

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If you have a good fleet to sail in,  then yes.

A good fleet defined as:  one that understands that One Design racing isn't about developing a fleet-killing over-dog of a boat,  where the bulk of the skippers are mature enough to appreciate that we do this for FUN and don't get the knives out for every possible protest situation,  a fleet that has good fair racing and enough organization to hold the kind of events that make sailing fun.  ( race series that fit together to enhance the participation,  mix of events to avoid burnout, etc )

If that is the case then YES - but to be fair,  if that is the case then just about ANY One Design is Fun.

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Did a guest appearance in the J24s a couple of weeks ago, my first time class racing in J24s for over 30 years. Still fun, great racing as always and with a friendly bunch of guys n gals but somehow, the boats seem to have got smaller?

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On 7/6/2017 at 9:34 PM, f-bomb said:

theres a t-10 for sale in kalamazoo on craigslist on the cheap. been for sale a while so probably open to negotiations. pics show her sitting on a trailer. not sure the real condition or the story but its worth a look. also saw one for sale in chicago on jack stands for $3k.....

having owned a 24 and sailed on a couple T10s I think if I had a choice between the two, I'd take the T10.

sails a bit more spendy, but I think in general they will last longer. it's been years since any involvement with 24 class so don't know

what changes, if any they've made to class rules about sails etc...  but they had more or less put a stop to arms race thru sail inventory in the mid 90's.

the T10 at least has a couple almost comfortable spots for driver and cockpit crew to sit LOL

the J24 is a total painbox for anyone over 5'6"

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Still looks pretty fun to me!!!!

 

And thats even with UK weather!

 

 

 

 

 

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I would say hell yeah they are, but be ready to put in a good amount of time and money.

Here's somewhat of an off-topic question: Whats the standard diameter & length for genoa sheets / what do yall prefer to use? We recently had a pretty rushed de-rig and long story short I owe my skipper a new set...

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Genoa sheets Maffiolli DSK Race PC cover or PK cover (if you have worn winch drums, the PK cover gives better grip), 8mm diameter, 42 feet.  I used the Race PC option from the 2012-2014 J24 Worlds, and for the last year have been experimenting on various boats with the Racing PK cover.  Basically the PK cover lets you do everything with 1 less wrap, regardless of the winch condition.

If you don't want to pay for the gucci sheets, 8mm New England Poly Tec would also be an alternative, but I don't have any personal experience with that option.

Whatever line you pick, don't use more than 8mm diameter, don't use longer than 42'

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Might have a bit of a mid life crisis thing going on , not into sports cars.  So I bought one from an auction 2year s ago in StMichaels. I could tell it was well updated over the years. Hull 1796. Did a total restoration some new sails I figure I have less than 5k in the boat and have a crew of 50 somethings. It more fun than a barrel of monkeys  although when it blows over 15 our recovery takes a few days longer. We did the ECC last year 30 boats and are looking forward to it this year. 

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They are not the most comfortable boats on earth and a little tricky to get your pointing/upwind boat speed dialed in, but they are great boats and very fun to sail one design. Sold my boat when our local one design fleet dried up. Glad to hear there are growing numbers in your area. A road worthy trailer helps keep winter marina storage fees down if you can keep the boat in your driveway like i did. it will also expand your options for one design racing. great value for the money.

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Heck yes. 

But you first have to get past the idea that fast is the only criteria to have fun. J24 is an awesome all-arounder 24 foot sailboat. If speed is all you want, buy a Donzi.

If it turns you on, go for it. If you have doubts, find something that turns you on. 

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I agree 100% that they are pain boxes. I'm a bowman who has done about a dozen events on a J/24. After each event, my arms would be numb from that crazy arm pit hiking they do.

Part of the problem with that class is the difference between the blade and the genoa size. Being on a boat with a crew that insists on carrying the #1 into the upper teens is no fun.

As boats have evolved, there are two aspects that I do not miss at all about "the old days":

1. overlapping head sails

2. repacking kites going upwind and not launching out of a hatch.

I remember reading that a fleet in "El Carib" did away with the lifelines and the over lapping headsails. If the J/24 adopted the J/70 style hiking strap and limit to 2 crew hiking, I'd love it

 

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https://rochester.craigslist.org/boa/d/j24-sailboat/6264284956.html Here ya go. A short trip up I-90 from Erie. Forget about all us armchair, keyboard sailors telling you its hard to sail, uncomfortable, or trying to compare it to their obscure left coast boat. Fact is there are 5,500 of these things out there sailing around and you'll have a blast sailing one design. I have no connection to the boat for sale, just looks like a great deal for a boat in your area that appears to be ready to splash and race one design.

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On 2017-06-30 at 9:01 AM, Plumber said:

It competitive life is around 25 hours.

Oh yeah, this is it for sure.... no decent J24 program would risk their sponsor contracts by running a suit for more than a couple of regattas....

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The J24 is a good sailing boat, but the sail requirement is the problem as I see it.  Here is my idea of what should be done to (for) the J24.

1.  Install a sprit.  Doesn't have to be 6 feet, but 3 feet should do it.  It can be fixed, removable, and/or adjustable.

2.  Have a 100% (can be on a furler), a main (can be flat top) and an A sail or two, which can be on furlers.  Flickers are allowed.

I look at the Melges 24 and one of the great aspects of the boat is that everything happens in the cockpit.  Going to the bow for sail changes, etc. doesn't happen often.  So, this J24 set up can be raced one design (all boats have the same set up) or PHRF.   There are a lot of J24's out there and going in this direction could be an alternative for having a pretty good boat at a reasonable cost.

Just Thinin'

 

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Still having fun in the downunder fleets! 

We have an active fleet of around 20 J/24's at Sandringham Yacht Club. These guys were seen not having much fun at all on their J/24 in the Opening Day sail-past last weekend.59dc0f6b184f9_TwoDogs.thumb.jpg.37ea575276bd98a54f860f74fc661eba.jpg

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On 10/7/2017 at 8:42 AM, akeeley4834 said:

The J24 is a good sailing boat, but the sail requirement is the problem as I see it.  Here is my idea of what should be done to (for) the J24.

1.  Install a sprit.  Doesn't have to be 6 feet, but 3 feet should do it.  It can be fixed, removable, and/or adjustable.

2.  Have a 100% (can be on a furler), a main (can be flat top) and an A sail or two, which can be on furlers.  Flickers are allowed.

I look at the Melges 24 and one of the great aspects of the boat is that everything happens in the cockpit.  Going to the bow for sail changes, etc. doesn't happen often.  So, this J24 set up can be raced one design (all boats have the same set up) or PHRF.   There are a lot of J24's out there and going in this direction could be an alternative for having a pretty good boat at a reasonable cost.

Just Thinin'

 

As an experiment I got permission from the fleet to change the top two battens of my main to full length.  That alone made a HUGE difference in upwind speed, and sail longivitity at least for the main.  Akeeley is spot on WRT getting rid of the genoa, installing a larger flat top main, and an asym spinnaker, (assuming the rig could take a masthead asym).  The boat needs to be simplified, and made more powerful.

 

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On 12/3/2017 at 2:55 PM, sailon said:

As an experiment I got permission from the fleet to change the top two battens of my main to full length.  That alone made a HUGE difference in upwind speed, and sail longivitity at least for the main.  Akeeley is spot on WRT getting rid of the genoa, installing a larger flat top main, and an asym spinnaker, (assuming the rig could take a masthead asym).  The boat needs to be simplified, and made more powerful.

 

As mentioned on another thread...lipstick on a pig. You can't fix the J24. It's a bad design, with horrible class rules. If you're into PHRF, there's a lot of better boats out there. The J24 is going the way of the Shark. Regional niche class. The only pros still racing them are the sailmakers who benefit from the bad class rules that encourage constantly buying new sails to be able to perform. 

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on a side note someone managed to sink(!) a J/24 in a Frostbite regatta in Norway last weekend when they broached under spinnaker. 5 sailors in the water, but they had luck on their side and were swiftly picked up from the ice cold water by an (even) slower boat who was right behind them

https://www.seilmagasinet.no/innhold/havner-og-farvann/?article_id=49724

 141623-fb12509a0a6c08888c2df10db4755c32.

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On 7/7/2017 at 7:46 AM, Squalamax said:

A J24 can be a pretty decent PHRF boat as well. Add a 6" toggle to the forestay for max rake and go clean up in your division.

6" I like it..we tried 4" with only the jib no genoa. What mast butt position did you use? Thx

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On 12/3/2017 at 11:55 AM, sailon said:

As an experiment I got permission from the fleet to change the top two battens of my main to full length.  That alone made a HUGE difference in upwind speed, and sail longivitity at least for the main.  Akeeley is spot on WRT getting rid of the genoa, installing a larger flat top main, and an asym spinnaker, (assuming the rig could take a masthead asym).  The boat needs to be simplified, and made more powerful.

 

Did you add roach in the upper leach and how much?

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After five years sailing sport-boats handicap and in the occasional 5 boat OD fleet locally I threw in the towel and purchased a J22, - i'm having fun getting whipped up on.   Follow the herd.  If your local herd races J24's get on and you will have fun.   J24 will also give you some options for traveling to large OD regattas where the level of competition is still humbling.  You'll be amazed at how difficult it is to drive a J24 after driving a higher-performance boat.  You'll also be surprised at how much better you are at racing the high performance boat after you spend some sailing the J24

J70 sailors think J24's are slow

Viper and VX sailors think J70s are slow

Cat sailors think vipers and VX one's are slow

moth sailors think everything except moths are slow

folks who own motor boats think all sailors are crazy for working so hard to go so slow

 

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Got a dead J 24 fleet? Try a eX 24 see Sailing anarchy thread no Genoa, less crew and more fun.

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Our local fleet is still going strong after forty years. Nobody pays any of them to spend their free time on J-24s. 

Certainly they are still fun. Certainly some people enjoy certain boats more than others. 

Note to the small minded:

Just because you hate something doesn’t mean everybody else shares your view. 

Why not revel in the fun others have Sailing Catalina 22, Finns, and the Mac 26??  Good for them!!

 

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