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Does anyone have any thoughts or experience sailing a J105 short handed? I sailed on a J105 once and keep thinking about buying one, however I worry it might not be the best to sail alone (well occasionally with my wife and kid, but basically single handed as far as the sailing goes). I don't have any real interest in racing. I've been looking for a well built boat that performs on the SF bay with a big cockpit and keep coming back to the J105. I'm currently chartering a beneteau 31 with a single helm and standard main. I find it pretty easy to sail by myself,  but we only go day sailing and don't use anything down below aside from the head. The J105 seems to check all the boxes and is within the budget. My biggest concern is the winches seem pretty far forward from the wheel even if there is an autopilot. Are there any modifications people have made that make sailing the J105 short handed easier or maybe there are better options out there? Thanks

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Maybe try to find one with a tiller?

j/100 or J/92s might work as well if you don’t need one design and don’t care about accommodation. 

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I wouldn't hesitate. Bulletproof boats, well-proven and likes some breeze (the only time I advise against the J/105, would be in light wind areas).

A decent autopilot and a good jib, and you're good to go. 
I wouldn't worry about the winches. Works great standing in front of the wheel, and with a jib you'll be able to get most of it in without tailing.

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I've been short-handed and single-handed racing and cruising a J/109 on SF Bay for a while now, and it's quite doable and comfortable to cruise with the #3 up to ~16kts no reef, and ~30kts single-reefed with the rig set to heavy weather and minding the backstay. When racing with the #2 single-handed, add a few knots to each of those figures.

While there are 109-105 differences, I think they all tend to favor the 105 in our typical spring-summer-fall conditions. I'd find a high-clewed #3 for cruising and the days where it's really honking. Also, I'd consider your mooring carefully- a slip with a lot of cross wind or cross current could make single-handed docking in a fairly light boat a bit more exciting than you'd prefer after a day of tearing around the central bay. I have an upwind slip that's parallel light to light currents. Helps a lot when those 30+kt 3pm August gusts come crashing down the Sausalito hills.

 

 

 

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Hi jackhammer, your situation sounds very similar to mine though I’m not able to do any sailing any time soon (recovering from knee surgery until this summer).  I noticed that someone is selling a J105 with the slip if that is your need as well at SF Marina.  I don’t know what condition it is in and the transfer rules mean you’d be paying a premium over the boat to get the slip.  Read the rules and process carefully.  

If you don’t need or want a slip in SF, Sailcal has two for sale right now, but I’m sure you already know that.

 

SF Marina

https://sfrecpark.org/1228/Marina-Yacht-Harbor 

Click waitlist and scroll down to the bottom.

 

Sail Cal

http://www.sailcal.com/boats-for-sale/Used/J+Boats-J%7B105/1/ 

 

 

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I have raced my J105 double and single handed a lot. Double handed, you're better off not using the AP and just working out a way to run the boat with 2. Single handers need to be able to lock-in a course while taking care of sails - especially kite launches and douses - so having a working AP is really nice.

1-up or 2 up, without a kite, it's easy and fun. If you bring the kite into the mix it's really physically challenging and I'm usually wiped-out after a day on the water. 

Don't worry about the winch locations. Shorthanded you'll find yourself using the cabintops for halyards only - everything else uses the mains, which are easy to manage while driving.

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Voador,Juliette, Fluke and Diablo J have done extremely well offshore short-handed on our side of the pond, so I'd say yes.

If you're doing coastal & day races, A J/92 would tick all the boxes while being easier to manage and more nimble.

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On 1/23/2021 at 12:21 AM, jackhammer said:

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience sailing a J105 short handed? I sailed on a J105 once and keep thinking about buying one, however I worry it might not be the best to sail alone (well occasionally with my wife and kid, but basically single handed as far as the sailing goes). I don't have any real interest in racing. I've been looking for a well built boat that performs on the SF bay with a big cockpit and keep coming back to the J105. I'm currently chartering a beneteau 31 with a single helm and standard main. I find it pretty easy to sail by myself,  but we only go day sailing and don't use anything down below aside from the head. The J105 seems to check all the boxes and is within the budget. My biggest concern is the winches seem pretty far forward from the wheel even if there is an autopilot. Are there any modifications people have made that make sailing the J105 short handed easier or maybe there are better options out there? Thanks

i would often take our 105 when we had it out alone.  It has a real powerful hydraulic AP attached below that I would use when tacking. then turn it off and continue sailing.  

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  • 6 months later...

I mainly race my J/105 one-design, though I also enjoy day sailing and camping-cruising weekends solo as well as with my young kids.

The J/105 is very manageable. You can control the wheel/tiller and mainsheet simultaneously, just like in a dinghy.

When short-handed, the jib sheets lead well to the primaries, which are also in reach while steering. 

My wife hates sailing and that's another story.

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On 1/22/2021 at 9:21 PM, jackhammer said:

or maybe there are better options out there?

Briefly, since this is the J/Forum, the Olson 25 is fun to short hand on the SF Bay. SA/D and D/L are effectively identical to J/105. The Olson is proportionally wider at 2.7' of LOA per foot of beam vs the J/105's 3.1' of LOA per foot of beam. I've exceeded hull speed reaching with white sails in the winter.

They regularly appear on the used market, and one design racing is going strong.

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  • 1 month later...

If anyone can share some photos of that their under deck hydraulic setup, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've climbed around in my lazarette a couple times now but I don't see how there's a clean line to the quadrant as I've got hoses that intersect the parallel to the quadrant.

In particular looking for the correct mounting location (hull or hanging from under cockpit sole?) and if you tie in directly to the quadrant, or I guess they sell an autopilot specific arm you can bolt around the rudder post. I don't see where there's room to add an extra arm to the rudder post. I am hull 431 if that matters, I'm sure some changes were made over the years.

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