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Looking for opinions on the J/32.

 Other than the cored hull, they seem to be ideal for Brenda and I. The advantages are the reported Air Draft of less than 50 feet, a requirement for sailing into and out of Choctawhatchee Bay, the craft is set up for couples and they are reasonably fast.  We have always sailed performance boats.  Going back to a heavy cruising boat that tacks poorly and cannot sail in light wind is quite a concern.  The J/32 seems to meet our requirements

Our questions are

1,  can set be easily handled by two aging sailors?

2.  Are there problems with the cored hull?

3.  Are there any other mechanical issues?

Thanks for the help



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I have a J/32.  I'm retired (64 yo) and my wife stiil works so I take the boat out by myself all the time.  The sail controls are close to the helm so it's pretty easy.  The jib is small (fractional rig, J=11') and the winches are somewhat oversized (Lewmar ST44). 

Random thoughts:

The forward cabin is fairly large especially for a 32 foot boat.  The v berth is about an inch higher than the main cabin settees so the gymnastics involved in getting in or out of the v berth are minimal.  While the v berth has no cutout, the floor (area between the v berth and main bulkhead) is over 2 feet so there is plenty of room to stand up.

The galley is larger than on most boats its size.  The refrigerator is a fairly good size at around 6 cubic feet.

While the chart table is a stand up affair it is large enough that the large chart books fit.

There is a very large wet locker area in the head compartment.

There are 8 opening ports (including 2 in the forward cabin), 3 hatches, companionway, and two dorade vents - so the ventilation is excellent.

Most of the J/32s have two 50 gallon water tanks.  100 gallons is huge for a 32 foot boat.

The cockpit is fairly typical J-Boat.  The backrests in the forward part of the cockpit are higher than on most J boats - around 15 inches.

I bought my boat around two years ago and the survey (by a well regarded surveyor) gave the hull a clean bill of health.

I haven't found any mechanical issues.  Engine and stuffing box access is very good. 


My wife really wanted me to get a boat in the 37 to 38 foot range.   Now I think she would kill me if I ever got rid of this boat.  :lol:


Another boat to look at would be a Tartan 33 (like Ajax's). 

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I would describe the J-32 as a boat that appeals to the experienced/smart sailor.  They didn't try to cram a 36 or 40 foot interior into a 32 foot boat, so the result is that for a couple, the boat is very comfortable, with good storage, easy handling, and great performance.  Its a boat that a sailor who likes to sail will enjoy.   Because of the fractional rig and relatively short J dimension, the jib/genny is a reasonable size to tack, etc.  It does mean a smaller downwind chute size, and so with an asym tacked to the stem, sailing angles downwind to not blanket the chute with the main, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

While there is always the potential for water to get into a cored hull, it's not that likely on a boat that's been well maintained, and something a good surveyor would find.

Most all the rest of the components/mechanicals are well tested and tried across the rest of the J-Boats lineup, so as far as I know, there are no unique or unusual mechanical issues.

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I've surveyed three different J-32's.  One of my favourite small cruisers. I would think this boat should be perfect for a couple to handle, irrespective of age!

Several things I noted.

Lower rudder bearings worn. This is, I'm sure a wear and tear item.

Hulls are laid up with Vinylester in the skin coat and polyester for the remainder, so should be pretty clear of blistering.  All three I sounded returned good feedback with no signs of suspect dis-bonding.

The decks showed fracturing around stanchion bases in all three. I think the backing plates are undersized.

One showed stress fracturing around one chain plate interface in line with the bulkhead. A GRP 33 moisture meter returned high readings.  This was later successfully repaired. I would pay close attention to these areas in any J-32 I looked at.

I'm not overly keen on the battery installation, under the nav table, but with so many so-called maintenance free batteries this may not be a big deal to many.

All in all I really like this boat and the lay out.

Doug Johnstone, NAMS-CMS.

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I've owned a 32 for over 12 years have solo sailed it from Newport to Grenada and back. Speed, Have sailed it from Newport to St Thomas in 9, one time I could have done it in less but had to heave to for 30 hours...I lived on Courage for two years while cruising the caribbean had plenty of room for everything including all my dive gear. J/32's suffers pretty much what all j boats do that crazing but doesn't seem to be a problem. the only issue they all have is the anchor locker (leaky) but that is easily cured. If you get one contact me I can help you with that.



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