Many have asked whether it was possible to combine the expansive cruising capabilities of shoal-draft cruising boats with legendary J/Boats offshore performance. Why not have it all if modern technology permits one to design a boat that can cruise the Bahamas Banks, the shoals of the Keys and the long, beautiful estuaries of the Chesapeake or the eastern/western shores of England or secluded coves around the world where deep draft boats don’t dare tread.

The new J/108 offers everything one could want in a shoal water capable, 35′ performance cruising yacht – a full cruising interior, standing headroom, simplified sail handling, large cockpit, and legendary J performance. The J/108 opens up a new world for sailors who previously thought that sea-kindly, high performing yachts were only possible in deep draft configurations. With only 4′ draft with board up, the J/108 draws the same as a J/24 and can take you many more places in style and comfort.

J/108 builds on the success of the award winning J/95 and has evolved from the combined experience and knowledge of the J network of dealers, builders and nearly 370 J/109 owners who have short-handed, cruised, and raced their boats around the globe. The J/109 has been one of the most successful performance cruiser-racers in the world. Using the sea-kindly hull shape of her predecessor, J/108 benefits from recent developments in keel and rudder design, simplified handling systems, and the knowledge-base of the J/95.

While the concept of “shoal draft performance” may seem ambitious, the delicate balance of hull design, windward performance, off-the-wind speed, and cruising comfort are achievable in a shoal-draft sailboat. The first of J’s “Shoal Performance” designs, the J/95, has been widely acclaimed by knowledgeable yachting magazine experts as a “breakthrough” in shoal-draft performance. The J/95 was the sailing industry’s first “Triple Crown” Winner– garnering SAIL Magazine’s “Performance” Boat Award, SAILING WORLD Magazine’s “Performance” Boat Award and CRUISING WORLD Magazine’s “Day Sailing” Boat Award.

J/108 Highlights:
• High performance sailing with minimal draft.
• Offshore-capable 35 foot cruising yacht you can moor/dock in front of your home.
• Keel/centerboard system providing both shallow and deep water performance.
• The unique ability to sail upwind in minimal draft configuration (with board up).
• Twin Rudders with responsive wheel steering – fingertip control.
• Fixed sprit for 2nd furling headsail and integral anchor roller for easy anchoring.
• Large, ergonomic cockpit with floor mounted traveler and open transom – with optional cockpit shower, dock box, everything for coastal living.
• Single-handed ease of operation with primary sail controls within reach of the wheel.


Underlying J/108’s leap in shoal-draft performance is a uniquely designed fixed keel with integral pivoting centerboard system. As with the J/95, the centerboard system controls are cockpit led and designed for easy raising and lowering by one person. The fixed keel design, combined with twin rudders and an efficient hull shape and sailplan will allow the J/108 to sail within a few degrees of leeway of its sister J/109 upwind while retaining the stability essential for a comfortable ride. Finger-tip steering with near “hockey stop” turning power in any wind provides both exceptional balance and confidence.

Simplifying one’s life flying both the asymmetric spinnaker and storing the anchor are prime considerations when performance cruising. A fixed composite sprit with stainless rod support provides you the best of both worlds– the ability to fly your spinnaker or Code Zero/One free of the bow pulpit, while the integral anchor roller system with windlass over the chain/anchor line locker permits you to simply push a button and deploy or store the anchor.

What is J Cruising?
It’s all about having fun, enjoying sailing with family and friends and having a beautiful, easy-to-handle sailboat that inspires confidence and joy. It’s about having the ability to fulfill those childhood dreams of cruising faraway lands, getting there in a timely, safe fashion and not being hindered by the inability of your boat to sail well in all weather conditions. The world’s not a mill-pond and you must have the confidence not just in yourself, but your boat to get you there.

J’s have cruised the world’s seven seas, logging 100’s of thousands of miles. In dynamic, challenging weather conditions, there’s nothing easier than sailing a J. The J/108, with mainsail and non-overlapping jib, outperforms any cruiser in its size range. With the floor-mounted traveler and European mainsheet system led to two winches (P&S) one can easily steer and trim at the same time. For more horsepower, simply pull out the jib on its roller furling system and take off like a rocket.

J cruising is all about sailing, not motoring – a J sails in light winds and is stable in a blow. This wide range means you’re sailing rather than motoring 2/3rds of the time… which is better for one’s peace of mind as well as planet earth.


 US (ft)Metric (m)
Draft  (board up/down)4.0/ 6.81.25/ 2.10
Displacement11,4005,180 kg
Ballast (Fixed Keel)4,400 lbs2,000 kg
100% Sail Area603.056.0
Aux Diesel Engine 30 hp 30 hp


Quality Hardware: The best quality hardware makes sailing the J/108 easier and owning the boat more trouble-free. Standard hardware includes centerboard system, custom cast epoxy-coated iron keel with FRP centerboard, leather covered wheel and twin-rudder steering system components, aluminum spars, dyform continuous rod rigging and forestay (nitronic 50), solid boom vang, Harken headsail furling, European mainsheet system (dual winches aft by helmsman), jib winches and deck hardware, analog binnacle compass, 30 HP Volvo auxiliary engine with saildrive, glass mat battery, integral hydraulic backstay, custom SS mast collar, mainsheet base, & pedestal guard and much more.

Performance Materials: The J/108 is molded with a vinylester barrier coat applied behind the durable gelcoat finishes. This combination in the outer hull layer allows for the best hull blister protection available. The aircraft grade end-grained balsa core is sandwiched between carefully selected and placed inner and outer skins of bi-axial and triaxial e-glass fabrics and is infused under vacuum for resulting composite parts that are stiffer and lighter than hand-layup. This construction system improves sailing performance due to better strength to weight ratios in the part and improves sailing comfort by reducing weight and lowering the vertical center of gravity (VCG) of the boat.
Infusion Construction: The J/108 hull, deck and main bulkhead are built with SCRIMP resin infusion construction. Infusion is a method of introducing catalyzed resin into a pre-layout of dry material under vacuum. Dry fibers are placed in the mold, with the core material and then covered by a special flow cloth and a flexible vacuum bag, a high pressure vacuum is then applied and a series of resin tubes draw catalyzed resin into the part. The result is a high quality method of production which produces results repeatedly and consistently. This allows dimensional control and regularity of weight and unlike a pre-impregnation process, infusion does not require special materials storage conditions, nor an oven.

An economic and reproducible process, direct positioning of dry fibers is easier and more precise than in traditional hand lay-up processes. It also allows controlled placement of fiber direction, as it is not impeded by gel times etc… The perfect control of the quantity of resin infused and the dry placement cloth make it possible to obtain extremely homogeneous finished parts.

The weight variation of the hull and deck are very small (1 to 2%), a performance which is impossible to achieve with hand lamination.

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