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T sailor

J-120 Questions

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So I just bought a 120 and have a couple questions as I am planning some of the work:

1.  Storm trysail track:  the boat will eventually do a Bermuda race so need to sort out a trysail track.  I want to do it now as I the rig is out of the boat and we are doing a mast refit.  I am leaning towards a dedicated track.  What have others done?  Track type?  Attachment to the carbon mast?  I am talking to a rigger as well but wanted to get other opinions.

2.  Can you fit group 31 batteries in the box forward of the engine?   Looks tight but they may fit?  I would hate to buy the batteries and learn they can't quite squeeze in there.  

I am sure I'll have more questions as I progress down the worklist but these are the first 2.  Thanks,

T

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With regards to the mast question, I would be asking the spar builder what others have done. They may have recommendations on what to do (and also probably things NOT to do). Even if you get some good answers here from those who have sailed a lot on or owned 120's, having a discussion with the people who did the engineering on the rig (esp carbon) would be a smart move. If you have a professional rigger working for you, I'd expect that they would have a similar suggestion.

 

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Reach out to @Roleur, he owns a J/120, has done a bunch of offshore work with it, and posts here often...

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4 hours ago, T sailor said:

So I just bought a 120 and have a couple questions as I am planning some of the work:

1.  Storm trysail track:  the boat will eventually do a Bermuda race so need to sort out a trysail track.  I want to do it now as I the rig is out of the boat and we are doing a mast refit.  I am leaning towards a dedicated track.  What have others done?  Track type?  Attachment to the carbon mast?  I am talking to a rigger as well but wanted to get other opinions.

2.  Can you fit group 31 batteries in the box forward of the engine?   Looks tight but they may fit?  I would hate to buy the batteries and learn they can't quite squeeze in there.  

I am sure I'll have more questions as I progress down the worklist but these are the first 2.  Thanks,

T

Are you planning on single or double-handing?  If you are fully crewed generally you would have enough hands to drop the main and put the trysail up without going to a  separate mounted track.  Another option is to put a gate into the track above the stowed mainsail headboard where you can insert the trysail into the track above the lowered main. Sure a separate mounted track is best and  a luxury.      

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THanks.  The rigger is suggesting using a dyneema stay or going whole hog and doing a track (they have an engineer to design the track/attachment). I like the idea of just dropping the main and putting the trysail on the existing track although the boat has an antal track so not sure how to best do that.  That Harken switch track looks pretty slick now.   Right now the plan is to be fully crewed.  For shorthanded the sailmakers are suggesting a third reef as they feel it will be much easier to reef then set a tri.  

I am really just curious if any of the 120's put a separate track on or if they all are doing the dyneema thing, or something else.  

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37 minutes ago, T sailor said:

The rigger is suggesting using a dyneema stay

has anyone here ever actually used a storm trysail in appropriate conditions, that was rigged that way?

it will pass the inspection - or so i am told.., but i have trouble imagining it works all that well.

where/how do you fix the top of the dynema?

does the sail have hanks?

 

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also - the bermuda race, which you mentioned, requires a trysail even if you have 3 reefs - sure, you might not use it, but you still have to be able to demonstrate that you can set it.

personally,  i think 3 reefs is a good idea, and could provide a competitive advantage for almost no cost- the added weight is minimal. the only issue might be if you are using the same main for inshore racing too

the 3rd reef can be bigger than your trysail, and if it delays or obviates the need to go to the trysail, you might still be racing safely, when others are either way overpowered and breaking stuff, or screwing around with the trysail.

there hasn't been a bermuda race recently where 2 reefs didn't suffice, but i see boats racing with what are basically inshore mains, and the 2 reefs might not suffice if it really blows. sure - we might not get a race where you would need 3 reefs.., but if we do.., that's  the one you want to win.

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I like the idea of doing 3 reefs and then the dyneema stay for the try.  I would like to hear if anyone has actually used that system successfully.  

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In practice, you can never get the halyard tension tight enough on the stay and it needs to be permanently rigged so it sits there and slaps against the side of the mast any time you're going upwind. Also it's anchored using the roots of the first spreader and that's a decision you have to make about chafe and potential damage. 

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Two Gp 31 batts will fit. you may have to move one of the cleats a bit. A gp 27 eng start batt can live happily just aft of the engine compartment next to the muffler.

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Thanks Longy,

I thought they would fit (with a shoe horn) but wasn't quite sure and the boat is 400 miles away.  

I think the trysail can be run on the existing track with Antal slides.  I didn't realize that the slides where not that big of a deal to drop from the track and allow the trysail to be inserted.   I was envisioning ball bearings going everywhere.  Guess I was over thinking it...

I"m sure i'll have other questions as I get into things more.  thanks.

T

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11 hours ago, T sailor said:

I didn't realize that the slides where not that big of a deal to drop from the track and allow the trysail to be inserted.

i've never had to do it.., but for sure.., when you need to do it, it is going to be  lot harder than doing it at the dock.

i don't think any solution is as good or as simple as a separate track  - you can feed the sail on down low , without anyone climbing up to the boom and fiddling with with cars.

but, i think it is reasonable to ask what is the likelihood you will ever need it, and go with something simpler.., that's what most people do

 

 

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On a J120 in storm trysail conditions you will be so busy bailing water out of the cabin you will not give a shit if you have a separate track or not. Save your money for something better. 

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1 hour ago, Cristoforo said:

On a J120 in storm trysail conditions you will be so busy bailing water out of the cabin you will not give a shit if you have a separate track or not. Save your money for something better. 

I hear this all the time and have to wonder.  We've had our boat for 8 years, more than 10,000nm offshore including across the Atlantic and to Hawaii and back.  We've never had any water down below.  Where does this water come from on other boats?  The companionway?  Keep it closed with hatchboards in place and/or a sunbrella flap over the hatchboards.  We've gone upwind in close to 40 knots with a double reef and a #4.   

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Early J/109s could leak  water in by the lower rudder bearing if it was not adjusted properly...maybe some J/120's had the same Edson rudder bearings?

Maybe he sailed on one that has a bad set of sprit seals, so took water in that way each time the bow buried?

Mostly sorta sound like the typical throw away disparaging comment some folks like to make about J/Boats.  I think it's mostly 'cause they're jealous.  ;)

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15 hours ago, Cristoforo said:

Sprit seals and shallow bilges. 

I don't understand this either.  Our sprit tube has a 3" hole in the bottom of it, inside the anchor locker.  Water, in any notable quantity isn't getting beyond the anchor locker, even if there was no sprit seal.  Nevermind that a good seal isn't hard.  

Shallow bilges?  The keel sump is over 1 foot deep.  Most race boats don't have a keel sump at all.  Is there a way to make a light boat with a deep bilge, besides a keel sump?

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3 hours ago, Roleur said:

I don't understand this either.  Our sprit tube has a 3" hole in the bottom of it, inside the anchor locker.  Water, in any notable quantity isn't getting beyond the anchor locker, even if there was no sprit seal.  Nevermind that a good seal isn't hard.  

Shallow bilges?  The keel sump is over 1 foot deep.  Most race boats don't have a keel sump at all.  Is there a way to make a light boat with a deep bilge, besides a keel sump?

Yes if retrofits have been done, fine. Otherwise More like UBoats 

Light boats? Race boats? They are 25 year old - nice boats. sturdy and heavy. 

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Yes, race boats. As in one of only two OD classes in the last Newport Bermuda. The other being the older J/44.

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If the sprit seals are leaking, then that's a maintenance failure/issue, not an inherent boat failure.  Would love to know which light, fast race boat that you have seen that has deep bilges...shallow bilges are a general result of the movement away from "wineglass" sections and full keeled yachts.

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