Skip to main content

J/100

As first impressions go, J/100 hull number two stood out in fine company moored off the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court facility in Newport, Rhode Island. From shore I sized up the boat lying still at her mooring—plumb bow, clean and simple deck, wide-open cockpit, narrow blue hull, and rakish lines. But how would this new daysailer go? The boat's prime harbor
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
J100

As first impressions go, J/100 hull number two stood out in fine company moored off the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court facility in Newport, Rhode Island. From shore I sized up the boat lying still at her mooring—plumb bow, clean and simple deck, wide-open cockpit, narrow blue hull, and rakish lines. But how would this new daysailer go? The boat's prime harbor environs, a somewhat crowded mooring field, would provide an excellent test of its maneuverability under sail.

Jim Johnstone, of family-run J/Boats, and I went straight to work in the early traces of a sea breeze. Up went the lightweight mainsail, a smooth operation aided by Harken's new Slider Battcars, which have no ball bearings. Jim unfurled the blade jib, and I steered as we reached away.

Of last year's high-profile class of luxury daysailers—including the Morris 36, Hinckley DS42, and Friendship 40—the J/100 is the only performance boat in the group and arguably its only true daysailer. A few things make this boat a joy to sail. Under main and jib alone—478 square feet of sail—the 6,500-pound boat has ample horsepower. A Hall carbon-fiber mast keeps weight low, where it belongs, and I liked that the aluminum boom (here the weight saved doesn't justify carbon's cost) is positioned high to maximize visibility. The boat comes about in a snap—even with a crew of one—with its self-tacking jib, and after each tack we quickly reached speed. If you desire precision sail trimming, the main’s double 4:1 controls (gross and fine-tune) will keep you busy tweaking.

A lot of thought went into the large cockpit. The seatbacks are tall, rounded at the edges, and angled back for comfort; while seated to windward I could comfortably brace my feet on the leeward seat and handle the tiller. Or you can sit outboard and steer with the tiller extension. There are no lifelines—a nice look—though each boat is built with backing for stanchions.

This boat shines off the wind. The forestay is offset from the bow stem by 18 inches, leaving room for a stainless-steel ring where you can tack a 581-square-foot furling spinnaker. The lightweight nylon kite I flew with Johnstone was a flat sail, a shape that helps the furling process go more smoothly. It gave us a generous boost in speed in 6 knots of wind and was easy to handle with one person trimming. After furling the sail, I stowed it below through a deck hatch—the only time I had to go forward of the winches.

Other details focus on ease of sailing. The control bar for the hydraulic backstay is positioned underneath and in line with the tiller, allowing you to handle the tiller with one hand while adding backstay tension with the other. "You don't lose leverage on the tiller or control of the boat while pumping the backstay," said Johnstone. "It's a safety and control issue." This space also includes a VHF and a mesh bag for small items.

You could overnight on this boat, but don’t expect creature comforts below—there's a simple head, two pilot berths, and a 15-horsepower Yanmar diesel underneath the companionway steps, and that's about it. There's a point to the boat's spartan interior—sail it, don't sleep on it. I got the message loud and clear.
Josh Adams

Builder: J/Boats, 401-846-8410, www.jboats.com

Price

$135,000 (base, FOB Newport, RI)

LOA

32'10"

LWL

29'

Beam

9'3"

Draft

5'9"

Displ.

6,000 lbs

Sail area

478 sq ft

Power

15-hp Yanmar diesel

Related

Ulysse Nardin promo photo

The Ocean Race Names Official Timekeeper

With just under one year before the start of The 2022-23 Ocean Race, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has been named the official timekeeper of the race. The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race, announced ...read more

Arthur Daniel_RORC Maserati - RORC Transatlantic 2022 - Jan 15th -Social Media-4

Fast Finishes for the RORC Leaders

Over the weekend, the first finishers of the 2022 RORC Transat made landfall in Grenada, led by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which was awarded line honors with a corrected time of six days, 18 hours and 51 minutes. Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 ...read more

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more