Roleur

J/99 vs. J/111 for DH racing

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My wife & I currently have a J/120 that we race double-handed and sometimes 4 or 5 total crew.  The J/120 has been really good to us and we've been pleased with our race results.  That said, the overlapping 142% genoa is a bitch to tack short-handed.  We just completed the 9 leg Van Isle 360 (700ish miles) and literally tacked at least 200 times.  There were several days with 50+ tacks over a 4-5 hour period and even with 5 onboard we still lose out in tacking duels as most of the boats nowadays in our rating band don't have overlapping headsails.  We also have an interest in a boat that doesn't have such a displacement speed limit.  We finally hit 15 knots of boat speed recently, but it took 30+ knots with the big A2 to do it and the loads were quite high to say the least.  

We are now interested in focussing even more on double-handed racing and started talking about what would be a better boat than our J/120.  J/121 is obvious, but not in the budget.  The J/99 seems purpose built for our interests, so we explored that and hit a few snags.  I'm concerned about the boats light air performance.  We have plenty of that in the Salish Sea.  I saw where a well-sailed J/99 couldn't keep pace with a J/88 in light air and around here a J/88 is no light air flyer.  Our J/120 does okay upwind in light air and is quite decent downwind in light air.  My other reservation is that J/99 overall boat speed may be disappointing.  I like that our J/120 rates near the front of the fleet and we aren't a straggler hitting the dock.  Concerned that the J/99 which seems to rate somewhere in the 72-81 range for US PHRF would miss out on some opportunities faster boats get.  Really like the water ballast option on the J/99, but not certain what the PHRF rating would be for that.  I assume the 72 rating for the boat at Block Island doesn't have water ballast.    

So, in thinking about the J/99, the design, and the cost, realized that used J/111's are now available in the same price range as a new J/99.  J/111 is much faster.  Seems the like J/111 would be easier to DH than our J/120.  Blur seems to SH his J/111 quite well.  Not certain how a J/111 would perform upwind in a breeze 2-up relative to its rating compared to a J/99 with water ballast or a J/120 which doesn't seem to notice the crew weight within the range we consider, since we never sail with more than 5.  

Any thoughts on why a J/99 or J/111 might be better for our intended use?  

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what about a J/11S (though no idea if any made it to the states)?

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J/111 is a fantastic boat and although it clearly can be and has been double handed effectively it doesn't seem like it's particularly designed or best for shorthanded racing.  Seems like if you're really focusing in on a boat that will mostly be used for shorthanded racing there must be better options.  But to be honest what those other options are I'm not sure.  Lots of French boats are great for shorthanded racing (Pogo, Archambault, JPK, etc) but most of those would probably not be good light wind boats.  What about some of the older J/boats that had tillers?  Seems like the big wheel of the J/111 and similar is one of the things that makes shorthanded sailing a bit of a challenge since your mobility is somewhat limited when at the helm.  What about a J/92?

Have you picked the collective brains of the SSS guys in SF?  They may have some good suggestions.

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I think you should figure out what type of sailing you want to optimize the boat for either double handing or with a crew of 5 and what race track you want to race around. Short course with 2 is a different boat than medium course with 5. 

Once you know the course and the crew the boat will be the easy part.  The 120 are good boats, not great and any one thing but rather good at a lot.  Dh I would look at a figero or maybe a class 40. You could sail the class 40 with crew as well. 

All the best 

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I've sailed a J/120 a bunch as well as the J/111, including some doublehanding.   The J/111 is a nice platform but a bit tender in feel compared to the J/120.   As mentioned I'd also look at a vintage Class 40 as there are many under 200k now.

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Among the two choices posed by the OP, the 111 would be a great choice. As for other choices there are a lot of options, recently saw a J122 for a similar price if they want a bigger boat. An older Class 40 would be fun when it's windy but for the majority of conditions in the Pacific NW (lighter air and often upwind/downwind due to geography) a Class 40 might be a struggle. Add in that the prevalent rule is PHRF with ORC having some growth  likely factors into the decision.  Other boats like the JPK 10.80 or a Sunfast 3600 might be also worth a look. 

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ive sailed or owned j92s, j100, and j111.  the 100 and 111 were too tender for me for DH. the 92s was pretty damn good and if you can find a good one will be a palace compared to spadefoot for light money but perhaps you're over that stage. If I were you I would try and get a jpk 1010. I think the bepox 990 is still for sale on the transquadra site for 90k euros. sick boat check youtube - off-wind flyer.

 

archambault a31 is a great great boat - not as fast as 1010 but very good upwind.  they are readly available in europe for 70k.  spend 30k on sails and autopilot if nec and that is a winner. If I were you I would try and get a jpk 1010. I think jeanneau has outdesigned the j99 with the 3300 and for the 99 cash i would prefer a used 3200 with lots left over. I think the 111 is similarly tender to spadefoot - not quite, but similar.

If you are thinking more racing to Hawaii really check out the bepox.

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On 6/21/2019 at 4:00 PM, Roleur said:

Not certain how a J/111 would perform upwind in a breeze 2-up relative to its rating compared to a J/99 with water ballast or a J/120 which doesn't seem to notice the crew weight within the range we consider, since we never sail with more than 5.

having competed against them.., i think the 111 suffers a bit upwind when waves get to say 6ft - even with crew on the rail. of course, it is very fast in more favorable conditions/points of sail.., so like everything, it's a compromise... 

for DH.., i wonder if you could  get a 111 and add a water ballast system - you are probably still under the price of a new 99

 

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Ah, so many choices :lol:

For me, it comes down to where you race, and what races you intend to do. And also how much fun you want,

I choose the J/111 specifically for the light Scandinavian summer conditions, where many races are decided at night in the archipelago. And that combined with planing in the typical 18 knots sea breeze sealed the deal for me.

Tougher to sail than a SunFast, JPK or typical doublehand designs, as you need to manage power at all times. But super rewarding both in sailing faster than the wind in anything below 6 knots and regularly doing 20+ knots.

If I raced in Holland, France or the UK both the J/99 (with the possibility of Transquadra) and the J/122 (like Ajeto, sailed by John Van Der Starre and Robin Verhoef) would be better options. Both for winning races, but also for comfort. The J/111 in 20+ knots offshore is a grueling boat :o 

 

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On 6/21/2019 at 6:00 PM, bloodshot said:

what about a J/11S (though no idea if any made it to the states)?

this boat is available for charter in the carib and they will sell it.

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I'd certainly be looking at Sunfast 3600s, 3200s, 3300s, and also JPK options. Mostly European boats but by far the top performing double handed boats in this category at the moment, and should be within budget if you look carefully.

 

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The 11s is a good option and I would choose one over a 99 or 111. The boat in the Caribbean called Sleeper is most likely for sale and I think is one of only 2 11S’s built (could be wrong) but has been converted to use a single rudder instead of the designed twin rudders. I sailed the boat when it first arrived in the UK and was pretty impressed by it. It still heels a lot and ultimately lacks form stability as every J boat does but it does carry a little more mass for punching upwind. With all that considered i’d take a Sunfast 3600 :D 

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Thanks for all the replies.  Here are more of my thoughts:

  • Really not interested in any non-J Boat.  I know that is hard for some people to get, but it is what is.  J Boats work for some people.  Our J/120 is an amazing boat for our needs, so I will stick with what works.  Nevermind that from someone that likes the lines of a J Boat, some of other recommendations are so ugly I would be ashamed to own them.  With aesthetics, it only matters what I think.
  • There is definitely something to be said for the right boat for the location.  Many of the recommendations (apparently) do very well in heavy conditions which we almost never see.  In the last 1.5 years of racing quite a bit we've only used our #3 jib twice and only wished our J/120 would go faster downwind one time, and that was still super fun.  We crossed the line ahead of the J/111.  I'm referring to the Sunfast 3600 in particular.  We have one here locally.  It rates faster than our J/120 and so far I haven't noticed we were actually racing in the same race.  That's not an endorsement for the 3600, in case you were confused.  Maybe it shines elsewhere, but around here, it would need a 20 sec/mile correction to be competitive.
  • 11s is too rare to seriously consider.  The J/99 is all but out of the running.  I was waiting to see the BIRW results.  First day results are in and the 99 looks to be DOA in the US.  A J/122 might be the best choice of all.  It is mostly a J/120 with non-overlapping headsails.  It doesn't excite me though.  Too similar to justify the change and so far we've had good luck competing against them.  The J/111 still has a lot of appeal.  If we make a change, that will likely be our next boat.
  • All that to say, we will stick with the J/120 for now.  It is nearly perfect and the devil we know.  We've learned a ton about how to sail the boat well over the last 8 years and there are still a lot of little fun optimizations we can make.  So, we'll keep tweaking what we have and what is working pretty well and see how far we can go.  
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3 hours ago, Roleur said:

All that to say, we will stick with the J/120 for now.  It is nearly perfect and the devil we know.  We've learned a ton about how to sail the boat well over the last 8 years and there are still a lot of little fun optimizations we can make.  So, we'll keep tweaking what we have and what is working pretty well and see how far w

 
 

But think of all the frustration of learning a new boat and the regrets you have when you realize it will take you three seasons to get up to speed. :lol:

Also: 

 

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J111 it is then....sounds like your conditions are similar to Blur's...

Enjoy Sailing!

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20 hours ago, Roleur said:

The J/99 is all but out of the running.  I was waiting to see the BIRW results.  First day results are in and the 99 looks to be DOA in the US.

I'm in no way, shape, or form a J boat fanboy, but the 99 is right next to us in block and I went to take a look at it. A few observations: 

- the fit and finish down below is pretty good. It has a dedicated sail locker up forward, a functional galley, reasonable berths. this one does NOT have water ballast.

- they've had pretty good success with this boat in distance races, but the boat rated 75 or 78 in those races. They feel they are overly penalized at 72.

- they were 4th in yesterday's RTI which was a challenging affair with a SE flow that started at 14 and built to 20+ and essentially adverse current the entire way around the island. In a 3 hour race kites were up for only around 40 minutes.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the way the boat is put together. The team is stacked of course, but I think they're still working out some bugs. Today's an enforced lay day and tomorrow looks light and could be another lay day, so we'll see how they do when the weather gets light again.

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3 hours ago, Snowden said:

^^ love the synchronised broach at the end :-)

Hate the call "when they broach, we broach to - hold on" :lol:

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I'd like to suggest that one of the reasons that you do quite well in light air is your large, overlapping headsails.   We sail a J/110 on Lake Champlain and get our fair share of light winds.  We have had J/109s and a J/122 in our Wednesday night PHRF fleet.   While those boats are faster almost all of the time, when the wind is 2-5 knots if we have our 155%  light #1 up, we are faster upwind than the J/109 and J/122 upwind with their class jibs.  Once around the windward mark, they will pass us with their big chutes.  But for light air work, a light #1 is hard to beat.  It requires crew to tack smoothly, however, and no matter how you slice it, tacking a lot in light air is slow, tacking a big sail is just slower (and more effort) than tacking a small one.   If you do a lot of long-distance light air races, the power of the large #1 will likely outweigh. the hassles of tacking it.   If you are on a short course and tacking often, the opposite will be true.  

We have a J/111 on the lake as well.  It doesn't sail Wednesday nights with us, but we have sailed against it on longer weekend races.  I don't have the side by side comparison that I have with the 109 and 122.  The J/111 seems quite fast in most conditions, and I know the owner and crew really enjoy sailing it.   

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ever thought about a slightly smaller headsail? be a lot cheaper than a new boat, no?

 

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We currently have a smaller headsail. It's a 142%LP vs the typical 150-155%. We get a 3 second credit for that and O R C counts it too. Definitely worth it for us sailing short-handed and in over 15 we are faster with a slower rating. It's still a big sail and requires lots of grinding plus skirting about half the time. Not to mention we are giving up something upwind in under 10. 

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The Aerodyne 38 would be a great boat for you guys..

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On 7/11/2019 at 12:12 AM, ASP said:

The Aerodyne 38 would be a great boat for you guys..

When we bought our J/120 I thought we were going to buy an Aerodyne. We looked at a few and test sailed one. We ended up buying the J/120 because it was less money, in better condition, and the only thing we could see better about the Aerodyne was the small difference in speed.  Now the non-overlapping headsail seem nice too.  We’ve had mixed results against the local Aerodynes. Usually faster upwind , even when shorttacking double-handed and slower downwind.  So far, we've only lost to an A38 one time when sailing with the same crew (full vs DH). That said, I like the A38, but we won't be trading to that. I guess part of my motivation is to get a newer boat that doesn't need a lot of maintenance. Just priced painting Shearwater's topsides and deck.  That alone would cover the cost of anything under $200k after selling Shearwarer. 

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Roleur,

It'd be interesting to see how much credit you'd get by going all the way down to a non-overlapping jib, instead of a overlapping genoa like your 142.  On the J/109, the class jib and class chute rate 6 secs slower than the 155 genny and PHRF chute.  And are just as fast in anything over 8 knots.  I'd bet that if you went with a light air non-lapper, and a code zero, you'd do pretty darn good in light air, and kill folks in med/heavy air with a med non-lapper and a number 3 you alredly likely have, and never have to tack the big genny...The cost of a couple sails is likely smaller than the cost of selling Shearwater and buying a J/111...

Crash

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