Yes, I am a newbie so throw whatever shit you are supposed throw at me! After that, I have a question that might also elicit some "colorful feedback" from dedicated J boat owners.

I live in South Florida and do local club races and some regional events. Mostly all day racing. Draft is a big issue for me and I love J-boats. It seems the J-95 solves my draft issue and with the double rudders it should not suffer from the short rudder (because of a shoal draft keel) tendency to round up when the boat is heeled over hard.  It also seems like a perfect, striped down, day racer. That said, this boat has just not taken hold and is basically ignored in the racing world and market place. Can anyone chime in on what they think the specific reason/sailing attribute is as to why this boat has not gotten any traction? Thank you in advance for any information and going gentle on me.   



Super Anarchist
I did a bit of day sailing and racing on the J95 in the UK when it first arrived and it’s a boat I love. It came out at roughly the same time as the J97 and for irc racing the 97 was faster on almost all points even if it was nowhere near as nice to sail as the 95. 

at 3000kg it needed quite a bit of wind to get up and go downwind but you have to be wary of the bowsprit which is prone to breaking under load.

if you race in light airs I would consider a 135% overlapping Genoa if you plan on using a forestay furler. Use hanks or a foil and have proper non overlappers with battens if not. The boat felt a bit undercanvassed and the rig a bit short 

the boat always felt a bit stern heavy in the light airs too. Made me wonder if the wheel was an afterthought (I know the US market loves a steering wheel) I would race the boat as light as possible and make sure to keep the weight forward in the light wind.

one of the prettiest J boats they built (imho)

Thank you for your response. With only your one comment it unfortunately reinforces the lack of excitement this boat generates. It sounds so perfect for my needs so I am a little disappointed. That said, every choice of boats has it's compromises.  



Super Anarchist
Wait, you are going to rip out the inboard or leave it in and hope that 3 or 6 sec will make a difference?

Sail Safe!



Super Anarchist
Boston, MA
I raced against hull number 1 when it came out. I was racing an Elliott 770, and Rod Johnstone did a nice job of beating me pretty well. Rod let me take a tour, and I was impressed with the interior for a small boat. They've done a great job with the elliptical bronze board, and I was a little disappointed they didn't make more of them. Don't be scared off - I think you'd find the boat is a very nice florida boat and the performance is above average, especially for a boat with a centerboard.


Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
Eastern NC
Thank you for your response. With only your one comment it unfortunately reinforces the lack of excitement this boat generates. It sounds so perfect for my needs so I am a little disappointed. That said, every choice of boats has it's compromises.  
For a centerboard boat, it's a home run. Think of it as a more practical J-105. Definitely not a sport boat, but handsome practical and fun to sail.

I would love to get one but they are a bit above my budget. I crewed on one here a dozen or so times, and I think more could be gotten out of it in light air than what we saw. Once the wind is 8+ it's a joy.

FB- Doug



In 2008 I approached a J dealer and said I was interested in a shoal draft J/100, he replied you should  wait for the J/95.  What does it look like,  don't know "plans aren't finalized yet".  No thanks.

J Boats was actually promoting the J/95 as the perfect boat for our area:  New Jersey's back bays.  (Three showed up in our area a couple of years later)

I then went to McMichael's one of the top J dealers, they took me on a j/100 test sail that day, and I put my order in.  McMichael's doesn't care for marketing, just sales. 

When I went up to see my boat being assembled in RI the head of the company took me into the next room to show me the deck mold for the J/95 which they were just finishing.  I would have had to wait a least a year for the 95.

Boat ownership is all about know your needs, while I like to club race, I single hand day sail a lot.  The tiller with an autopilot is a much better than the J/95 with a wheel for single handing.  (My previous boat had a wheel, so I have have a background in both).

My first time head to head with the J/95, which was off shore and the 95 had my North Sail rep on board; the 95 could not stay with us, boat for boat and corrected.

There is another shoal draft J/100 at our club and he has gone up against a different J/95 several times and always come out ahead.  They are just not that quick.

This summer my wife and I chose to double hand in our Wednesday evening series and we won our class beating the other J/100 that sailed with a crew of four plus the owner is twenty years younger than me.

I have been extremely happy with our J/100 and felt we made the correct choice.  It best fits our style of sailing.

The shoal draft J100 is 4'5". 

If you want a wheel and more room down below, if you don't want to worry about a rudder that is only 2 inches shorter than your keel, than the J/95 might well be the answer, plus shoal draft J/100s have been hard to find.

I don't think J can build a bad boat.  It is just a matter of finding the right match.  Good luck, hope this helped.

 Yea, I fly the spinnaker single handed also.  The lack of a sprit makes it easy.

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J88 Alchemy

New member
Hi Crosswinds,

I sailed a lot on the J95; It's a terrific boat.  The centerboard lifting system works really well and the boat tracks upwind beautifully with a very neutral helm.  It's not as fast as an 88, but it's an excellent boat that handles well.  It probably hasn't gotten too much traction in the racing world because the short keel is a racing compromise (pointing ability, etc.) but I would highly recommend the boat as long as you are not a total speed freak and just want a boat that sails really well and is fun to sail.  It checks off all the boxes in terms of a shallow water performance boat.  


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