Boats

2011 Best Boats Deck and Cockpit: J/111

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There’s a lot to like about the new J/111—an aggressive rig, racy good looks, a hull form that loves to be driven—and tying it all together is one of the best production-boat cockpits we’ve seen. J/Boats has had decades to improve on the simple trench it carved out of the aft deck of the J/24, and it hit the ball out of the park on this one.

The primary winches are well placed for tending the jib, and the secondaries and stoppers on the cabintop are carefully arranged for whoever is doing pit. The mainsheet, complete with gross and fine adjustments, runs to a traveler on the cockpit sole immediately in front of the helm, right where it belongs. The 6-part tackle on the Harken towable genoa cars makes headsail trim a cinch.

The ergonomics of the cockpit seats and helm station are superb. With its narrow waterline beam and a sail-area-to-displacement ratio of 28, the J/111 can be a bit tender initially. But the helm station is configured so that you feel secure, no matter what the angle of heel. A great detail is the angled steering pedestal’s nonskid surface. We found this to be an excellent place to brace your feet when beating into a gusty northeasterly. Well-placed cleats on the cockpit sole made for equally sturdy footing when it came time to fall off onto a reach.

To those lucky sailors who will have the opportunity to crew aboard a J/111 in the years to come: have fun, and make sure you get a chance to drive this beauty. It’s an experience not to be missed. For more information, visit jboats.com

SPECS

LOA: 36ft 5in
LWL: 32ft 7in
Beam: 25ft 2in
Draft: 10ft 10in
Displacement: 8,900lb
Sail Area: 663 sq ft

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