I just bought a shoal draft J 35 which was in Carlyle, IL. I used to own and race a Holder 20, crewed on a C&C 39, family owned a Spirit 28. I've captained a Hunter 37.5 and C&C 35 a few times. I'm utterly new to the J line and am both very excited and moderately intimidated. She arrives next week. I'm curious if people follow the J 35 manual for rig setup (seems like maybe not). I'm going to be sailing in Minnesota on Lake Pepin. The lake is long, somewhat narrow, no real chop but has some variable (and normally fairly strong 20-25 kt winds) that buffet off of cliffs along the lee shore.
I'd love any advice you'd offer about rig setup, tension, use of the backstay, etc.. Really, anything would be great. One thing to also know, she has 4 working winches, 2 primaries and 2 on the cabin. I assume you use the off primary for the spin sheet, the cabin tops for the guys? Do you normally use "twingers"?
As I said, any advice to this newbie is welcome. I've read some of the stuff already on the forum about trim. Some I understood, some not (for example, what do you mean by "drop the traveler"? Does that mean move to windward or leeward?).
Thanks very much - I'll post the hull number when I know it. She was an original custom build with a custom shoal and a pedestal steering wheel. I don't expect to race a lot, I do hope to be competitive while just out sailing about. I will typically have 3 or 4 people (including me) on board, probably not more than 5 total if I were racing so I'll be short handed there.