J/97

J/97

Dual Purpose Fun & IRC Winner in 31′

The J/97E is one of the J/Boats’ “E” Series of versatile performance sailing yachts. The “E” is for elegance and evolution in performance cruising design. Why settle for anything less than sailing where and when you want to in comfort, style and speed? This may be your perfect 31 footer!

Introduced in 2009, the J/97E’s sisterships attained spectacular performances in major European regattas, winning class in Spi Ouest, Cowes Week, Hamble Winter Series, Sailing World NOOD Chicago and Warsash Springs Series, to name a few. And, the original J/97 was named 2011 IRC Boat of the Year in France (see more results below).

J/97E is the first J in over two decades under 32’ to combine headroom and family cruising accommodations in a high performance, easily driven hull. With the handling ease of an asymmetric spinnaker and non-overlapping headsails, the J/97E promises to be J Boats’ most versatile design yet under 35’ to fit the needs of today’s sailing families, both young and old alike– the ultimate combination of sailing performance and creature comforts for all!

The key to creating a versatile sailboat is staying focused on the quality of the sailing experience, a trait shared by all J designs. Boats that are easily driven, easily handled, and genuinely fun to sail provide greater long-term “sailing value” to their owners than designs driven by the latest rating rule or designs that are over-compromised to meet the latest styling trends. Form follows function in good sailboat design, the J/97E is no exception.

The NEW J/97E cockpit is similar to the award-winning cockpit found on the J/111. It features full length seats with back rests, wheel or tiller steering, and an open transom. All sailing controls are within reach of the helmsperson to make the boat very easy to manage. A retractable bow sprit with masthead asymmetric spinnaker allows great all-around performance without the need for numerous skilled crew. The low VCG keel provides exceptional upwind stability while being cruising friendly with swept back leading edge and moderate draft.

The J/97E’s new interior layout conveys a feeling of extraordinary of a wide, spacious living room with windows looking out to the sea. With large overhead hatches, enormous cabin windows and large portligths over the settees, it feels like you’re outdoors! It’s ideal for one couple cruising with room for more. The enormous main cabin has two settees, galley, forward-facing navigation station; plus an enclosed aft head, V-berth, and aft owner’s cabin. Cruising stowage includes a large “garage” aft of the head (accessed through the cockpit seat locker).

Features

Versatility + Sailing Performance = European Boat of the Year

The prize of “IRC Boat of the Year” in France is awarded to the builder of a series production boat that has distinguished itself in international IRC competitions throughout Europe. It is presented annually during the “Evening of Ocean Racing” held in conjunction with the Salon Nautique de Paris (Paris Sailboat Show). The 2012 winner was the J/97E’s sistership, the J/97, built by JB Composites in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

Didier LeMoal, CEO of JB Composites commented, “The J/97 ultimately demonstrated its pedigree and potential performance in 2011 with several strong campaigns in France and England. J/97 was winner of the Trophy Atlantic UNCL IRC 4 with victories in Spi Ouest France-Intermarché and Grand Prix Crouesty, and a second place in Brest and the Course of Three Islands. Internationally, the J/97 won 2010 Cowes Week in IRC Class and won the 2011 Garmin Hamble Winter Series by a huge margin in IRC 3 Class against stiff competition.”

The jury presiding over the election of the IRC boat of the year was made up of four elected members of the UNCL: its President, Marc de Saint Denis; Edouard Baetz its general secretary; Jean Michel Carpentier (Racing Commission); and Jean Claude Merlivat ( Commission IRC). They were assisted by four prominent yachting journalists: Olivier Le Carré (BATEAUX), Pierre-Marie Bourguinat (VOILES & VOILIER), Bernard Rubinstein (VOILE Magazine) and Patrice Carpentier (SEAHORSE INTERNATIONAL Racing).

The selection criteria were: 1) sailing results in France and in Europe; 2) the boat-handling and sailing qualities; 3) the ability to both race and cruise; 4) overall aesthetics; 5) a minimum of 10 boats built in the last year; and 6) have sailed at least 5 races in the IRC in the past year.

The boats selected by the UNCL were an impressive line-up of many winners in IRC events this past year in European waters. The competitive sailboats included: Elan 350, Beneteau First 30, Beneteau First 40, Grand Soleil 43 B&C, J/97, Jeanneau Sun Fast 1010 and Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200.

A top three was reached during the first round of selection: Elan 350, J/97 and Jeanneau Sun Fast 1010. After a thorough comparison of all the information, the Jury’s final selection was the J/97.

As a versatile cruising boat with a racing pedigree that is so dear to the IRC, the J/97, with 45 boats built to date, is a boat that is well-designed and well-built, benefiting from the professionalism and experience of JB Composites. Whether sailing nationally (France) or internationally, the winning record of the J/97 is eloquent and prophetic:

– In France: the J/97 was the winner of the Trophy Atlantic UNCL IRC 4 with victories in Spi Ouest France-Intermarché and Crouesty Grand Prix, and a second place in Brest and the Course of Three Islands. A remarkable record considering the extremely tough competition from other factory teams.

– International: the J/97 was the winner of 2010 Cowes Week in IRC Class and won the “Garmin Hamble Winter Series 2011″ by a huge margin in IRC 3 Class against stiff competition from other top teams.

The prize of “IRC Boat of the Year” was awarded to Didier LeMoal, CEO of JB Composites at the “Gala Evening of Ocean Racing”, the annual awards banquet of UNCL held at the Ecole Militaire, Paris VII, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011.

Sailing Photo credits- Paul Wyeth- http://www.pwpictures.com

Why J/97E

Sailing + Cruising Performance = Pure Joy

The J/97E is a pure sailing boat. Fast, easy to sail, and comfortable. With a family crew, J/97E can cruise anywhere with unparalleled ease in sumptuous accommodations. That is a given. What is not is the fact that underneath that exotic, sinfully luxurious interior you see above is a pure thoroughbred– the unbridled, raw power of a Ferrari 12-cylinder engine rumbling to a roar to blast you around the track while you relax in Rolls-Royce Ultra-Leather comfort and relish Jaguar-like silkeness in the S-turns– a rare combination, indeed.

Below is a report from Paul Heys that explains how this exotic animal can breath life into your casual evening beer can races or weekend jaunts offshore. As Paul explains,

“The annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, is one of the most popular fixtures on the Solent racing calendar. Competitors come from Europe and the USA, as well as all over the UK, to race the 50 mile course round the Isle of Wight. This year the event attracted 1779 entrants (and no that’s not a typo!) with J/80, J/105 & J/109 classes and many larger J’s. The team from J/UK brought out the new J/97 ‘Jenga’ for her debut regatta in the 55 boat IRC Division 3A. By race end, the J/97 had finished second on elapsed and corrected time in class and was the top J/Boat overall on IRC corrected time.

We had a crew of sevent: MC (Heys) on the tiller, myself, Emma on mainsheet, Kirsty the owner of the J109 J Dream on pit, (Kirsty’s husband Dave was sailing J Dream with charter guests). Toby from the J Dream crew on jib, Lance one of our big boat owners on mast and Pietro on bow. Our sail wardrobe included 3 sails: Elvstrom, main, Code 2 jib on hanks with battens, and Code 2 spinnaker.

The forecast was 6-8 knots rising to 12-14 by the time we reached the halfway mark at St Catherines point on the South side of the island. We were in a class of 55 boats in a larger group of perhaps 300 boats all of whom started together. Whilst we were nearly the highest rated, there were quite a lot of longer older boats that could have blanketed us on the fetch if we did not manage to get clear air. From a tidal and shortest distance point of view the island (leeward) end is always favored, from a clear wind point of view with this wind direction, the pin was favored. We opted for the pin and with little difficulty we were able to nail the pin end start. We were initially fetching in 5-6 knots of wind and were pleased to slowly work away from the closest boat which was an MG 335 and all of the pack that had started well at our end. The leg from the start line to the Needles is about 11 miles and the tide was now building to 2 knots in the deep channel, as the tide built the wind backed and we became close hauled. We were comfortable with our speed and within 10 minutes of starting we were in the back of the previous class that had started 10 minutes earlier. On the way down to the Needles we did not see any of our fleet and were working our way through the earlier starters.

Tactically we found the Solent difficult, as the breeze was localized, so twice we swapped sides which we normally don’t like to do, however the extra pressure appeared to be worth the chase. We discovered that we had not made a perfect job of this, as when we arrived at the Needles, we found ourselves in the company of a Sigma 33 and a Hunter Impala, two slower boats that had started at the same time.

Rounding the Needles we hoisted the code 2 and immediately goosewinged to punch straight into the tide, which would now be against us for the full 25 miles of the run. The wind tends to follow the coast when in this direction so there was at no point, any bow up spinnaker reaching, instead we ran deep the whole way, we used a mixture of goose winging and normal 165 true sailing trying not to gybe out into the stronger foul tide and utilizing the inshore back eddies. The breeze was between 10 and 18 knots. We passed many boats on the run and only a couple passed us. The Leeward mark at Bembridge was a massive park up of over 500 boats as two opposing winds cancelled each other out. We could see 122’s and 133’s in front of us and saw lots of boats we had passed piling in behind us, so it became a major restart.

Exiting the ruck, we had no idea how we were placed as it was clear that massive losses and gains would have taken place. The old breeze prevailed and we started beating against the tide which had again changed against us, in 2-3 knots of wind. We held on to our position and slowly the breeze built and once it got over 6 knots we stepped away from a J 92 and caught and passed a few larger boats. The beat to the finish saw us in company with Prima 38, X 362, J 109’s, J 105’s but no smaller boats. Our speed and height was good and only the Prima and the X made small gains. We passed and moved away from the other boats.

As we approached the finish a boat that we had not previously seen, got a gun a few minutes before we got our gun, this was the Elan 333 that won our class. We think that they passed us at Bembridge, although they could have led us out of the Solent.

Upon arriving ashore we found that we had beaten all other J’s on handicap. It was a small boat race with some parking lots, but the boat’s performance when in contact with others was great!

To summarize: • A code 1 jib and some softer rig settings will help optimize performance in under 6 knots and next time we will try moving crew weight a bit further forward. • In over 6 knots we are very happy with speed and height of the boat. • Running, very good in all conditions and we can get down to 180 with our Elvstrom kite. • Spinnaker reaching we have not raced in this mode yet, but on demo sails the boat seems very manageable. • Max downwind speed we recorded in the race was 10 knots.

We are excited by the speed of the J/97 and her potential for racing IRC. In all, she is a versatile & comfortable boat and everyone on board enjoyed sailing her in this debut race!”

Articles & Reviews

J/97 Finishes 2nd in Round Island Race

The annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, is one of the most popular fixtures on the Solent racing calendar. Competitors come from Europe and the USA, as well as all over the UK, to race the 50 mile course round the Isle of Wight. This year the event attracted 1779 entrants (and no that’s not a typo!) with J/80, J/105 & J/109 classes and many larger J’s. The team from J/UK brought out the new J/97 ‘Jenga’ for her debut regatta in the 55 boat IRC Division 3A. By race end, the J/97 had finished second on elapsed and corrected time in class and was the top J/Boat overall on IRC corrected time. Paul Heys reports:

“We had a crew of 7: MC (Heys) on the tiller, myself, Emma on mainsheet, Kirsty the owner of the J109 J Dream on pit, (Kirsty’s husband Dave was sailing J Dream with charter guests). Toby from the J Dream crew on jib, Lance one of our big boat owners on mast and Pietro on bow. Our sail wardrobe included 3 sails: Elvstrom, main, Code 2 jib on hanks with battens, and Code 2 spinnaker.

The forecast was 6-8 knots rising to 12-14 by the time we reached the halfway mark at St Catherines point on the South side of the island. We were in a class of 55 boats in a larger group of perhaps 300 boats all of whom started together. Whilst we were nearly the highest rated, there were quite a lot of longer older boats that could have blanketed us on the fetch if we did not manage to get clear air. From a tidal and shortest distance point of view the island (leeward) end is always favored, from a clear wind point of view with this wind direction, the pin was favored. We opted for the pin and with little difficulty we were able to nail the pin end start. We were initially fetching in 5-6 knots of wind and were pleased to slowly work away from the closest boat which was an MG 335 and all of the pack that had started well at our end. The leg from the start line to the Needles is about 11 miles and the tide was now building to 2 knots in the deep channel, as the tide built the wind backed and we became close hauled. We were comfortable with our speed and within 10 minutes of starting we were in the back of the previous class that had started 10 minutes earlier. On the way down to the Needles we did not see any of our fleet and were working our way through the earlier starters. Tactically we found the Solent difficult, as the breeze was localized, so twice we swapped sides which we normally don’t like to do, however the extra pressure appeared to be worth the chase. We discovered that we had not made a perfect job of this, as when we arrived at the Needles, we found ourselves in the company of a Sigma 33 and a Hunter Impala, two slower boats that had started at the same time.

Rounding the Needles we hoisted the code 2 and immediately goosewinged to punch straight into the tide, which would now be against us for the full 25 miles of the run. The wind tends to follow the coast when in this direction so there was at no point, any bow up spinnaker reaching, instead we ran deep the whole way, we used a mixture of goose winging and normal 165 true sailing trying not to gybe out into the stronger foul tide and utilizing the inshore back eddies. The breeze was between 10 and 18 knots. We passed many boats on the run and only a couple passed us. The Leeward mark at Bembridge was a massive park up of over 500 boats as two opposing winds cancelled each other out. We could see 122’s and 133’s in front of us and saw lots of boats we had passed piling in behind us, so it became a major restart. Exiting the ruck, we had no idea how we were placed as it was clear that massive losses and gains would have taken place. The old breeze prevailed and we started beating against the tide which had again changed against us, in 2-3 knots of wind. We held on to our position and slowly the breeze built and once it got over 6 knots we stepped away from a J 92 and caught and passed a few larger boats. The beat to the finish saw us in company with Prima 38, X 362, J 109’s, J 105’s but no smaller boats. Our speed and height was good and only the Prima and the X made small gains. We passed and moved away from the other boats.

As we approached the finish a boat that we had not previously seen, got a gun a few minutes before we got our gun, this was the Elan 333 that won our class. We think that they passed us at Bembridge, although they could have led us out of the Solent.

Upon arriving ashore we found that we had beaten all other J’s on handicap. It was a small boat race with some parking lots, but the boat’s performance when in contact with others was great!

To summarize:

A code 1 jib and some softer rig settings will help optimize performance in under 6 knots and next time we will try moving crew weight a bit further forward.
In over 6 knots we are very happy with speed and height of the boat.
Running, very good in all conditions and we can get down to 180 with our Elvstrom kite.
Spinnaker reaching we have not raced in this mode yet, but on demo sails the boat seems very manageable.
Max downwind speed we recorded in the race was 10 knots.
We are excited by the speed of the new J/97 and her potential for racing IRC. In all, she is a versatile & comfortable boat and everyone on board enjoyed sailing her in this debut race!

J/97 Boat Reviews:

VOILES Magazine J/97 Review
BATEAUX Magazine J/97 Review
YACHT Magazine J/97 Review

Tech Specs

Tech Specs

  •   ft/lb m/kg
  • LOA 31.53 9.61
  • LWL 26.60 8.11
  • Beam 11.00 3.35
  • Standard Draft 6.30 1.92
  • Standard Ballast 2,900 1,316
  • Displacement 8,600 3,900
  • Engine 20 hp 20 hp
  • 100% SA 498 46.29
  • I 41.25 12.57
  • ISP 45.00 13.72
  • J 11.71 3.57
  • P 39.50 12.04
  • E 13.00 3.96
  • STL 16.64 5.08
  • SA/Dspl 19 19
  • Dspl/L 204 204

Hull & Deck Construction

Baltek Contourkore end grained balsa composite construction using biaxal and unidirectional glass with vinylester resin on the outer hull layer for 10 year warranty against hull blisters.
Patented “SCRIMP” resin infusion system molding process for optimum laminate strength with 65-70% glass content in structural skins.
Off-white deck with a high traction non-skid.
White hull (other colors optional) with grey single boot stripe.
Foredeck molded toe rail.
Large cockpit storage locker on starboard.
Gas bottle storage locker.
Structural bulkhead bonded to hull & deck with large access to the V-berth area.
All intermediate bulkheads glassed to hull and deck for stiffness.
Integral floor stringer grid.

Keel & Rudder

Low VCG keel with SS 316 SS structural fin & cast lead bulb
Keel is bolted & bonded to hull.
High aspect ratio composite rudder constructed using biaxial and unidirectional glass and stainless steel stock mounted in self-aligning bearings.
Laminated wood tiller with adjustable tiller extension.

Spars & Rigging

Tapered clear anodized aluminum racing mast with double airfoil spreaders.
Pre-molded mast wedge.
Dyform shroud rigging with rod headstay.
Backstay with split bottom portion, adjustment tackle led to either side of cockpit.
Boom with internal outhaul purchase system, mainsail reef line sheaves, main sheet and boom vang tangs.
Carbon bowsprit controlled from cockpit, retracting into a watertight box.
Solid boom vang with cascade purchase system.
Headsail furling system.
Complete running rigging package.

Deck Hardware

Two 46:1 self-tailing primary winches.
Two 35:1 self-tailing halyard winches.
Two aluminum lock-in winch handles.
PVC handle holders.
Mainsheet and fine tune purchase.
Adjustable mainsheet traveler with 4:1 purchase.
Jib tracks with 5:1 car controls led to cleats on coach roof.
Aluminum bullseye fairleads for jib sheets.
Spinnaker sheet blocks on U-bolts.
Tackline block on padeye at bowsprit endMast base halyard/reef turning blocks.
Halyard organizers and rope clutches on each side of companionway.
Tack line led aft to stopper on top of the coach roof.
Bowsprit control line leading to a cam cleat on top of the coach roof.
4 SS mooring cleats (bow and stern).
Custom SS Stemplate with tack fitting, SS chainplates for shrouds and backstay.
Foredeck opening hatch (450 x 450).
2 opening ports on salon coach roof sides.
2 opening ports for aft cabin and head compartment.
1 opening port in cockpit (aft cabin).
4 rope bags.
2 SS handrails on coach roof.
SS bow and stern pulpits with double rails; double SS lifelines, 4 stainless stanchions with reinforcing leg and 2 single stanchions.
Acrylic companionway washboard with lock and ventilation grid.
Transom swim ladder.
Flag holder.

Auxiliary Power

Volvo D1-20 18 HP diesel motor ith saildrive, 115 AH alternator, with double diode and fresh water-cooling with heat exchanger.
Engine panel recessed in the cockpit with acrylic protection including rev. counter, hour meter and alarms for oil pressure, low voltage and water temperature.
13 gal. fuel tank under aft cabin berth.
Sound insulated engine compartment, air ventilation hoses to the transom.
2 blade Volvo folding propeller.

Systems

Manual bilge pump in cockpit.
Automatic/manual electric bilge pump with float switch.
Pressurized water system.
1 water tank (total 26 gal.) under V-berth.
Ice box drain.
Marine toilet.
150 AH house battery and 60 AH engine battery with switches and double diode/circuit breakers.
12 V electric panel / 12 functions
Halogen lights on ceilings and swiveling tulip reading lights in cabins.
Ceiling light in head
LED navigation lights on pushpit and pulpit, and mooring light.
Rig grounded for protection against lightning.

Interior

Interior built using laminated and/or solid wood. All wooden parts are varnished or laminated with white laminate finish. Floors are in plywood laminated with wood effect. Vinyl lined hull sides and overhead throughout.
Forward Stateroom includes a large hanging locker on starboard side with side pocket/shelf, large double V-berth with storage underneath and direct access to main salon.
Main salon incudes settee/berths to port and starboard, drop leaf table with centerline bottle storage, large storage areas behind backrests with shelves above & stainless steel hand rails to port and starboard.
Galley is equipped with gimballed gas stove with 2 burners, oven and storage under, stainless steel sink, pressurized cold water system, large 60 liter molded icebox/fridge, full length triple lockers outboard of galley countertop, storage under sink with a shelf and space for a trash bin.
Sit down forward facing navigation station includes a large chart table, chart storage under hinged table lid, double lockers, large hinged instrument panel outboard with electrical panel and a navigator’s seat with storage below.
Aft cabin is built with privacy door to salon, large hanging locker, changing seat, double berth, access panel to engine.
Private aft head includes privacy door to salon, integral shower tray, sink, access cabinet door to seacocks, toilet support shelf, pressurized cold water, marine toilet with holding tank, mirror, toilet roll holder, vanity unit, shower grating and wet storage locker.
Companionway steps with angled treads between bulkheads.
Stainless steel grab rails fitted on bulkheads.
Main engine access through lifting panel with gas spring.

Options

Awlgrip Boot stripe in lieu of std.
Two Tone Deck (grey)
System Package – Battery Charger, 110VAC Shore Power, Hot Water System.
Cockpit Opening Ports on aft face of cabin (2)
Cushion color other than standard
Additional Battery
Thurston Dodger with side curtains
Removable bow roller
Additional Battery

Notice

Specifications are subject to change prior to delivery due to deletions, additions or revisions in quantities, brand or design at the sole discretion of J/Boats, Inc.

71 Varney Point Road Gilford, NH 03249 - (603) 293-8000