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About amFast

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  1. Ah, that makes sense. Thank you. My race experience has been limited to a J/105, which only had one spin halyard.
  2. I have a new-to-me J/97. One oddity is that the starboard spin halyard (as it exits the top of the mast) exits the bottom of the mast on the port side and is run to the port side clutches. Likewise, the port spin halyard (as it exits the top of the mast) exits the bottom of the mast on the starboard side. Beyond being unintuitive, I would think that this would cause chafe at the point that the halyards cross over in the mast. I plan to rerun the halyards so that they enter and exit on the same side, but before I do that is there something that I may be missing (i.e., should I leave it alo
  3. Thanks steele. The one I bought is an older one (a non-e version), which I believe was only available as a tiller. The cockpit seats in it stretch further aft than in the e-version, which I think would be in the way of a wheel. Thanks for the heads up on the rudder bearings. The survey didn't report any play in the rudder, but the rudder stuck gaiter needs to be replaced, so I'll have the bearings checked when the rudder gets dropped.
  4. Thanks Arcas, that's helpful. I did a bottom up estimate and came to around $30K a year all in (e.g., dockage, winter storage, and maintenance). Figuring the cost of a new J/97 would be $200K+, I'm somewhere south of 15% of new. So, hopefully my experience will be similar to yours with a number closer to 10%. I've applied for a slip in the Chicago harbor system. We will see what is available, but based on the directional availability they provide, it seems unlikely that I'll end up in Monroe.
  5. Thanks for helping me feel good about my decision. It sounds like you were able to do a lot with a similar boat. The maintaining it properly bit was a big part of the equation. There doesn't seem to be a lot out there on what it costs to maintain a boat. When the question gets asked, the answer seems to invariably be "it depends," which while likely true, is not terribly helpful. That said, from what I could piece together, it seemed like there is a meaningful difference even from a low-30s footer to a mid-30s footer. In any case, I’m looking forward to spring.
  6. Thanks @George Dewey. You're right about price being a nontrivial consideration. Both purchase price and ongoing costs have a way of forcing you to be pragmatic about your choices. Technically, I don't even own the boat yet--still waiting to close. After I do, it will be headed to winter storage, so I won't have any real basis for an opinion until next year. That said, I think it’s going to work out well and I hope will serve me well until I'm in a position to by that TP52--or maybe I'll find a stepping stone or two in between.
  7. The answer may come as a disappointment to many. I ended up buying a J/97. It ticked enough of the right boxes, I liked the idea of going smaller, and the price was right. Only time will tell if it was a good decision.
  8. I think whatever I end up with I'll be getting spit out the back for a bit, even if I'm sailing in a PHRF JAM fleet. But, it would be nice to work my way towards the front of the fleet and there is no room in the budget to buy talent to do it. Boat owners on your side of the pond seem to have figured it out. Table stakes here seem to be all the operating costs are paid by the boat owner, which I have admittedly enjoyed for the last many years as crew and I am now prepared to pick those costs up as an owner. But, I think your point is that given time fun boats attract good
  9. Hey amFast, my caution regarding the J/111 is based on my own experience moving from a J29 to a Mumm 30 some 15 years ago. My J29 program was tops on the West Coast for a couple of years. We won most of the main OD races and eventually wanted something faster and more challenging.  I looked at faster J boats (J35, 105, and 109) but concluded that they were just too similar to the J29. In the end my overblown ego pointed me to the Farr (Mumm) 30 class. What I didn't count on was just how much better the guys in that class were. Most owners were very experienced racers and with budgets to load their boats with at least one paid pro. As a result, we were rarely competitive and finished more than one regatta not knowing what we did wrong. The other issue with the Mumm, and I suspect you'd have a similar issue with a 111, is that while the boat was a blast to sail with a good crew, taking another non-sailing couple out was much less fun, quite a bit of work, and could get downright hairy pretty quickly. Again, you can do it, but don't expect a casual wine and cheese experience.

    1. amFast


      Hi Pokey, Thanks for sharing your experience.  I think its notable that you were building from an already successful program and still ran up against those challenges.  In contrast, I will be building from scratch, so I'm sure the challenges will be even more acute.

      Of course, the point of racing to begin with is for the challenge, but I don't want to end up in a situation like you describe where everyone else is playing a different game and my budget makes it so I can't compete.

  10. The loads are something I've thought about. The two boats I know best are the J/105 and 40.7. I realize a J/109 and J/111 are very different boats from a J/105, but I was always struck by how much bigger the loads were going from the 35' J/105 to the 40' 40.7. I suppose that is the right next step. It's a good reminder not to be penny wise and pound foolish. The other thing behind my desire for local is to avoid travel during the pandemic. But as they say, this too will pass, and I should learn some patience. Agreed, and thank you to everyone fo
  11. I've certainly thought about it, but the J/105 and J/92 are not boats I want to cruise. I may have come off more uncertain that I am. In broad brush strokes, I do know the things I want to do—I want to day sail, I want to cruise, and I want to race. What I'm less certain of is for which of those activities I want to optimize and to what degree. And, I think the only way I'm going to find that out is through experience. Thanks for the decision matrix. The one-design fleets for both the J/109 and J/111 are certainly factors. I like the option of one-design (if can pull toget
  12. In many ways that is the rub. I've belonged to boat clubs; I've chartered boats; I've raced on other people’s boats. I think I know how the boat will get used, but this will be my first boat (non-dinghy). And, the reality is, it's going to be a learning process to figure out how the boat gets used. That’s several more votes to keep the J/120 in contention, so perhaps I should pay attention. From a pragmatic standpoint, it looks like I would have to expand my search area beyond my local region. (Home is Chicago.) I may be being too restrictive geogra
  13. Thanks for confirming. For my purposes, I wouldn't count insurance or the mooring as pat of the purchase price, but regardless that definitely puts it out of my comfort zone.
  14. Thank you for correcting me Gary. PM responded to.
  15. I can definitely appreciate avoiding mucking around with the head and holding tank. However, I'm pretty sure the mere presence of a piss bucket would be strongly frowned upon. Also, once the head is getting used by one person, I'm not sure what the utility is in someone else avoiding it. I know ZeeZee mentioned sleeping in the V-berth, but I could imagine using it for storage while at anchor / dock and sleeping in the quarter berths or saloon, which is where I prefer to sleep on most boats. That way there is a private head compartment. Of course I say that as someone that's never been
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