SAIL's Best Boats 2017: J/112e

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Best Performance Boat over 30ft

The third in J/Boats’s “E” series, in which the “E” stands for elegance and evolution, you’d think the J/112e would know how to behave with a little more dignity. During this past summer’s stormy Chicago to Mackinac race, though, hull #1 regularly clocked boatspeeds of 16-plus knots under spinnaker on its way to a second-place finish in its class. Now is that any way for a self-respecting “family” sailboat, as J/Boats calls the J/112e, to be carrying on? In all seriousness, though, J/Boats knows that good all-around race boats are also good to their crews. And the J/112e is very good to its crews, indeed, thanks to its easily driven hull, high-aspect underwater appendages, low center of gravity, long waterline and trademark ergonomically friendly cockpit. The boat is equally slippery in light air, and thanks to its well-balanced rig is perfectly happy sailing under main alone when, say, maneuvering through a crowded mooring field. Belowdecks, the J/112e is well-laid-out, with settees that double as excellent sea berths, plenty of storage, a seagoing L-shaped galley and a little extra joinerywork to make the saloon that much more warm and inviting. There’s even a pair of hull windows to admit some additional ambient light. Topsides, the boat features a springy sheer that, in addition to helping keep the foredeck a bit drier, makes it a real looker. Don’t be fooled though. When this “looker” is in the mood, she goes like a bat out of hell.

December 2016


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