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Assume you mean the masthead outboard 29? Light air and chop, the 27 fares a lot better being much narrower and lighter. For same reason 27 accelerates faster in gusts and slows faster in lulls. We raced 29's for many seasons, the 27 is a much more tweaky boat demanding good sails, especially genoa and spins, and rig adjustments for differing conditions. 

In heavy air the 27 will win, especially offwind. 

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Thanks for the input Blackadder. Actually, I had a frac inboard. And in windy Long Beach, on most days, we felt our smaller jib gave us an advantage over the MH boats. 

So, you're saying the 27 is better in chop and light air. How about 15 kts? and minimal chop (more typical LB conditions)?

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The 27 is out matched by a MHOB in pretty much every condition.  Probably the only conditions where they could win is downwind in breeze and waves, but if they had to go back uphill then no.

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On 8/2/2021 at 2:51 PM, Pokey uh da LBC said:

Thanks for the input Blackadder. Actually, I had a frac inboard. And in windy Long Beach, on most days, we felt our smaller jib gave us an advantage over the MH boats. 

So, you're saying the 27 is better in chop and light air. How about 15 kts? and minimal chop (more typical LB conditions)?

Definitely easier to handle and better in 15 knots and minimal chop, you'll be reaching at 9 knots...27 is a beast on a reach. Upwind with a #2 or big blade you'll be outpointing everything, including the 29's. Downwind will be easy and fun. Nothing against the 29, a great boat, the 27 is misunderstood and suffers from lack of effective rig tune and sail type.

I had a 27 for yes 27 years, did everything with it. Great boat the deck is at least 20% carbon now :-)

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4 hours ago, Blackadder said:

the 27 is misunderstood and suffers from lack of effective rig tune and sail type.

This is certainly true.  There were 50% more J-29s built than J-27s...We had one J-27 in our local fleet that never did that well.  Owner bought new sails, but did no better.  Local North guy came out with him for a couple of races, and cleaned all our clocks, including the well raced J-29 in the fleet.  The 27 can be a weapon, esp in either light or breezy conditions. 

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:58 AM, Crash said:

This is certainly true.  There were 50% more J-29s built than J-27s...We had one J-27 in our local fleet that never did that well.  Owner bought new sails, but did no better.  Local North guy came out with him for a couple of races, and cleaned all our clocks, including the well raced J-29 in the fleet.  The 27 can be a weapon, esp in either light or breezy conditions. 

:-) I developed the sail shapes with North for my boat, and they used them for all J27's. Main, Genny and Spinnaker, including the weapon the squaretop main, which cures a lot of things. North loft had several rejections from me.....

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On 8/2/2021 at 7:35 PM, sailman said:

The 27 is out matched by a MHOB in pretty much every condition.  Probably the only conditions where they could win is downwind in breeze and waves, but if they had to go back uphill then no.

^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^ Anybody who says otherwise hasn't raced a well sailed MH. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Blackadder knows what he is talking about. I got his sail design from North and my 27 was a weapon in PHRF. Never had the opportunity to race against a 29 during my ownership. 

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On 8/10/2021 at 5:20 AM, Squalamax said:

^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^ Anybody who says otherwise hasn't raced a well sailed MH. 

I'd bet there are a ton more well sailed J-29s out there then there are J-27s, so my guess is actually the exact opposite of what you said.  We've all sailed against a well sailed J-29.  Very few of us have sailed against a well sailed J-27.  Meet up with one, and prepare to have your eye's opened some...

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OK, but to make it fair, you gotta give me the best 2 J-29 crews, and a year to get them up to speed on a J-27.  I'll give you the best 2 J-27 crews and a year to get up to speed on a J-29.  Then we'll have them race.  It the J-29 wins under those conditions, I'll admit your right ;)...

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On 8/31/2021 at 8:39 PM, crashtestdummy said:

Bring your best sailed J27 to buzzards bay or western Long Island and you will see first hand the better PHRF boat

I got my clocked cleaned by a 27 in KWRW so know they are fantastic boats but not close to a 29 

I think that same J27 is the same one that kicked our ass in Key West as well. 

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On 8/31/2021 at 1:41 AM, Crash said:

I'd bet there are a ton more well sailed J-29s out there then there are J-27s, so my guess is actually the exact opposite of what you said.  We've all sailed against a well sailed J-29.  Very few of us have sailed against a well sailed J-27.  Meet up with one, and prepare to have your eye's opened some...

You're on the wrong coast. You have no idea what a really well sailed 29 is capable of. And yes, I've sailed against a multi national champion 27(which was the boat Crashtestdummy is referring to in KW. 

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1 minute ago, Squalamax said:

You're on the wrong coast. You have no idea what a really well sailed 29 is capable of. And yes, I've sailed against a multi national champion 27(which was the boat Crashtestdummy is referring to in KW. 

You know what they say about assumptions...

I sailed on the Chesapeake Bay (and up and down the East Coast) from 1979 to 2014.  Been beaten with regularity by just plain good J-29s.  I do indeed know what a well sailed J-29 can do.  And there is a good chance you are right.  All I've been trying to say, is that, it seems to me that for a large variety of reasons, the J-27 was never raced as much, as hard, as often, in as many places, etc, etc, etc as the J-29 was.  Maybe that's cause the J-29 was a better boat.  Maybe cause there was little difference, at the time, in price.  Maybe cause if you we're going to race OD back then, you went to the J-24, and then jump over the J-27 to the J-29.  Whatever the reason, you see alot more J-29s being actively campaigned then you do J-27s these days.

But this is kinda a pointless arguement.  As I said, you are likely right.  I just think the 27 is "underappreciated" for how well it can sail by the vast majority of us PHRF wankers.  I yield the battlefield :P

Crash

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I am endeavoring to sail a J27 well in PHRF.  No racing background before I bought the J27, but had messed around in boats a lot and have 8000 offshore miles, 3000 of them singlehanded, in a Morris Justine.  I cannot seem to get the mast right.  I am currently having the problem that I cannot get the mast straight enuf so that as soon as I put on a little backstay the sail turns inside-out with a huge overland fold. 

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13 hours ago, CaptiveHeart said:

I am endeavoring to sail a J27 well in PHRF.  No racing background before I bought the J27, but had messed around in boats a lot and have 8000 offshore miles, 3000 of them singlehanded, in a Morris Justine.  I cannot seem to get the mast right.  I am currently having the problem that I cannot get the mast straight enuf so that as soon as I put on a little backstay the sail turns inside-out with a huge overland fold. 

We had that issue on a J27 main many years ago. The sail was cut wrong, not enough luff curve. You can't keep a mast very straight with swept back spreaders. We tried mast butt forward, lot of tension on the lowers. Nothing worked well and we quit pulling on the backstay.

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13 hours ago, CaptiveHeart said:

I am endeavoring to sail a J27 well in PHRF.  No racing background before I bought the J27, but had messed around in boats a lot and have 8000 offshore miles, 3000 of them singlehanded, in a Morris Justine.  I cannot seem to get the mast right.  I am currently having the problem that I cannot get the mast straight enuf so that as soon as I put on a little backstay the sail turns inside-out with a huge overland fold. 

Are you using a tuning guide?  What sailmaker?  The problem you are having sounds like your lowers need to be tighter.

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On 9/2/2021 at 5:08 PM, CaptiveHeart said:

I am endeavoring to sail a J27 well in PHRF.  No racing background before I bought the J27, but had messed around in boats a lot and have 8000 offshore miles, 3000 of them singlehanded, in a Morris Justine.  I cannot seem to get the mast right.  I am currently having the problem that I cannot get the mast straight enuf so that as soon as I put on a little backstay the sail turns inside-out with a huge overland fold. 

Its pretty easy to fix actually. The mast sounds set up for way too much luff curve. Matching that to the mast is critical for main shape and boat speed. Clearly you have a very small luff curve on the main, which by the way was always my preferred main shape. The answer is to move the mast forward so its about 9.0'-9.5" from middle bulkhead aft of mast (you may need to drill some more holes in the butt I beam to do this). Set the mast at that location, ensure the headstay pin to pin length is around 31'-6" (may need to add a toggle at bottom of headstay to do this). At this time you should check if the mast position athwartships is centered before drilling the holes.

Now tighten up the uppers and lowers shrouds to be EQUAL  #850, with intermediates hand tight and maybe slight adjustment for mast wiggle. As you tighten keep checking mast straightness.

Go sailing and check the main, also main halyard should be fully hoisted but not too tight on luff. Good luck!

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CaptiveHeart - Below (full length) is what a really top South African J/27 sailor sent me may years ago Enjoy!

I too, have recently acquired a new mainsail trimmer. A guy called Charles Crosby. He is an engineer - in fact a fluid dynamicist to be precise - and Charles was one of the consultants on the Shosholoza AC boat build project. He understands the intricacies of sail trim so finitely, that I find myself at a loss sometimes - unable to explain why we are going fast or slow. This guy is so slick, that he in fact totally controls the boat speed from the MAINSAIL and we seldom adjust the genoa much. In my old age I am learning all about J27 pointing in a totally new style.

 

FLAT WATER/WIND BELOW 8 KNOTS: Main trim: Traveller as high as possible - No vang- light sheet tension - boom on centreline - outhaul 80%- No backstay.

Headsail: KEEP THE SLOT OPEN - WE NEVER OVERSHEET. Foot at least 1 to 2" off chainplate. If our speed drops below 5 knots, our first action is to ease the sheet a bit. Our rule of thumb is to sheet the genoa about 4 inches off the lower spreader. Of the 3 J27's in Cape Town, Pure Magic is the fastest in the light stuff. That boat is about 150 kgs lighter than SWJ. They point incredibly high, but never get to the mark ahead of us. The reason is that we have learned not to go for height first. Our first goal upwind is to get the boatspeed up to 6,2 knots steady. Only once we have attained that goal, do we start thinking about height. Height is a by-product of speed as we all know. Therefore, our rationale is that speed must take precedence over height. We are currently slaughtering the opposition even though we sail much lower than them. Although not under our topic of discussion, if one has speed, all sorts of other plusses evolve - such as getting to the shifts first, lesser current first, better breeze - as well as being able to hang in with the bigger (40 ft) boats for longer. Belief in a specific trimming style seems to work for us time and time again. GOLDEN RULE: Sheet the headsail for a low groove till goal speed is attained, then start pointing up and trim in a little. As soon as the speed drops below 6,0 knots, go back into the fat groove and keep repeating all the way up the beat.

 

MODERATE WIND 8 - 15 KNOTS: Genoa trimmed 2 " off lower spreader. Mainsail: Traveller on centreline to 2/3 up depending on how much height you want. Outhaul 60 to 85% - Some backstay near the 15 knot range - maybe 30% - about 50% vang tension over 12 knots - moderate to heavy mainsheet tension (Here the 16:1 fine tune comes into it's own.

 

Charles pretty much controls our heading/pointing by judicious mainsail trimming techniques. The moment the speed drops below target, he lowers the traveller and our speed climbs back to 6,2 to 6,7 kts. He forces me to sail lower without saying a word - it's all in the feel of the helm.  Our experience is that the boat is very happy and in a groove at 6,2 kts with a neutral helm and lift/height from the foils is automatic. It has taken us four years to unlock this little secret, but we are now able to duplicate these settings at will.

 

As we sheet conventionally (as opposed to cross sheeting), and our genoa trimmer weighs 110kg, we try and keep him on the rail most of the time. When he goes down to lee to adjust the headsail, the boat is on its ear and slow. At this stage he sits on teh windward rail with teh CAR adjuster in hand and trims for waves by opei nign /closing the leech via that tackle.

 

We are about to start experimenting with cross sheeting, but my gut feeling with any racing boat is to keep things as simple as possible. The more lines you have in the cockpit, the more the chance is of getting a tangle.

 The normal position for a headsail tell tale is about 10 to 12 " back from the luff. If you have them fitted more fwd than that, I would remove them altogether as it is going to lull you into falsely believing you are pointing higher than you used to. I find that once we are up to speed upwind, I can sail with the windward tell tales lifting most of the time.  We have two new head sails (1 & 3) both by North and we are impressed with both of them. The #1 is very good over 5 knots, but below that not so easy to set. I guess it is labelled as a Medium #1, so we shouldnt expect stellar light air performance out of it. Anyway, down here, we so seldom have breeze below 5 kts that it doesnt really matter.

 

This past season (winter) where we have had to deal frequently with light breeze and lumpy seas, we end up sailing tacking angles between 90 and 100 degrees. I know it sounds pathetic, but we are still beating the opposition comfortably. Its the old story David - Upwind or downwind in a J27 the rule is speed over height / or speed over depth.

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