Boats

J/111 Page 2

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Narrow beam and a deep, high-aspect rudder make the boat easy to control, even when it’s on its ear. A bulb keel drawing 7ft 2in provides the righting moment to control the 751ft2 of working sail and 1,410-ft2 spinnaker. Tacking, even in the chop off Newport Neck, was effortless, with precision helm control throughout and never a doubt about making it onto the other tack. In the puffs, the boat accelerated like flicking a switch.

This is a boat that looks impressive just sitting at the dock. The stem is plumb, so much so that in profile it almost looks as though there is a hint of tumblehome. The stern is also nearly vertical, with minimal overhang, in the interest of maximizing sailing length.

Comparisons with the celebrated J/105—the one-design phenomenon that introduced the world to the advantages of bowsprits and asymmetric spinnaker—are inevitable, and the one area in which the J/111 clearly wins out is in the expansive, open-transom cockpit. On the one hand, there is plenty of room for a racing crew to do its stuff. On the other, seats are sized and angled so that the boat will be equally comfortable when daysailing. Strategically placed foot cleats and a well proportioned helm position making driving this boat a pleasure.

Closer inspection reveals a number of useful features, like a new low-profile, FlatDeck headsail furler from Facnor Furling Systems; rod rigging; Harken Radial winches; and a Hall carbon fiber mast that uses cutting-edge nanotube technology to increase stiffness and reduce weight without dramatically increasing cost.

Belowdecks the boat offers standing headroom and a simple, but comfortable layout, with four good sea berths for coastal cruising and racing offshore. Interior finish is another area in which this boat wins out over the J/105—simple and elegant, far from Spartan.

The hull is vacuum infused from e-glass and vinylester. Displacement is 8,900lb, providing a displacement-to-length ratio of just 114. The sail-area-to-displacement ratio is a whopping 28, compared to the J/105’s 24.

This boat has been generating a good deal of buzz in recent months, and having seen the boat firsthand, I can say the buzz is definitely warranted. According to Alan, J/Boats already has 34 orders on the books. It will be interesting to see how this boat does on the racecourse. My money says it’s a winner.

SPECS LOA: 36ft 5in LWL: 32ft 7in DRAFT: 7ft 2in SAIL AREA: 663 sq ft ENGINE: 20 hp DESIGNER: Alan Johnstone BUILDER: J/Boats

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