J/160

J/160

J/160 fulfills the dream. J/Boats bring you an investment-grade sailing yacht that promises you a greater sense of joy and satisfaction at the end of a day’s cruise than is possible on any other yacht.

Advanced composite construction, an easily driven hull shape and a very low center of gravity results in noticeable differences in how J/160 performs compared to any other boat you may have sailed. Less sail is needed, winch loads are reduced, and the constant sail-changing of heavier displacement cruisers is avoided. The need for extra crew to run the yacht is no longer a requirement. J/160 is as easy to handle and sail as a traditional 42 footer. This is a boat which 2-3 people can manage without reliance on powerful and heavy electro-mechanical devices.

In terms of speed, J/160 is in the 60-70 foot spectrum. Consider VMG (Velocity Made Good, either directly into the wind or directly downwind regardless of tacking or jibing angles). A J/160 sailing to windward at 8 knots has a VMG of 6.3 knots straight into the wind. Of course on a reach in moderate wind you’ll see over 10 most of the day – faster and quieter than trawlers with no rolling about or extreme fuel bills.

Features

Performance Cruising Design Parameters

The Design
The J/160 is unique among all yachts over fifty feet in providing exceptional sailing performance, upwind and down, with ease of handling normally associated with yachts under 45 feet. Unique also is the J/160’s combination of a comfortable sea-going cruising interior, sturdy ABS-approved construction, and the safest and most stable yacht that modern technology can provide. The hull, keel, rudder, and sail plan interact to achieve the speed, balance and sailing comfort that knowledgeable offshore sailors expect in a modern, high performance design.

Fast, Seagoing Hull
The J/160 is designed primarily for comfortable and fast ocean-going cruising for a short-handed crew. Deep “V” forward sections and gently curved bilges amidships provide easy motion through waves and short chop. The combination of a narrow waterplane, fine entry, and low wetted surface optimizes comfort, speed, steering performance, and smooth motion in a seaway. Moderate flare in the topsides results in less spray on the windward deck. The aft sections show progressively tighter bilges toward a moderately wide stern, and very straight diagonals aft for optimum high-end speed on all points of sail.

The hull underbody profile displays ample fore-and-aft “rocker,” characteristic of all J/Boats. This minimizes wetted surface and maximizes acceleration in light air. High freeboard and generous reserve buoyancy in the bow combined with low freeboard aft are designed to keep the bow up on high speed reaches, and handle the rigors of high-speed downwind sailing in large ocean waves. A low (but not too low) Displacement/Length ratio of 130 (in sailing trim) assures high top-end speed in heavy conditions, and allows enough displacement to achieve high stability for excellent upwind performance and safety offshore.

The J/160 becomes narrower through the water with progressively less wetted surface as it heels up to angles of 22 degrees. This accounts for the yacht’s incredible speed and easy handling qualities upwind and reaching. In storm conditions the stable hull allows optimum steering control, and a smooth, slow, forward motion. Many yachts this size, including the J/160, are comfortable at the dock, but what distinguishes the J/160 is comfort at sea.

Advanced Keel Design
Two other important ingredients which enhance performance are proper keel and rudder size, shape and location. The J/160 fin keel design with long wedge-shaped tip places keel volume and vertical center of gravity (VCG) of the lead ballast very low. This shape distributes volume fore-and-aft to increase lift and reduce drag. Unlike conventional fin keels or a fin keel with bulb, lift is increased by placing a higher proportion of the effective lifting surface further away from the hull turbulence, caused by water flow around the hull and by pitching of the hull in waves.

The size of the keel and rudder depend on a yacht’s displacement, beam, and height of Vertical Center of Gravity (VCG). A heavier, beamier, or less stable yacht requires a larger, deeper rudder and keel. This increases drag. If drag increases then the sail plan must be increased to maintain reasonable sailing performance. Because J/160 is narrow and relatively light, the keel and rudder are optimized for efficiency.

Superior Tracking and Control
With the keel located amidships, and airfoil-shaped rudder located near the aft end of the waterplane. The J/160 provides the best possible steering control. Her directional stability is unmatched by other configurations whether beating to windward in a following sea, “laying to” in storm conditions, or simply maneuvering around the dock. The easy cross-flow of water under the hull at low forward speeds, and the large distance between its keel and rudder, allow the helmsman to control steering, speed, leeway, and heel angle to achieve maximum comfort with minimal sail area . Similar control is nearly impossible with traditional heavy full-keel designs with an attached rudder.

The J/160 rudder is a deep, high-aspect, balanced spade with molded fiberglass shaft designed to rebound after deflection from striking underwater objects. This rudder configuration has survived groundings of the worst kind without rudder post failure in all larger J/Boats designs. The rudder and keel are both designed with enough leading edge sweepback to shed pot warps, and most forms of weed and kelp.

Stability
The J/160 is designed and built to optimize a low VCG. The deck and topsides are built strong and light using TPI’s advanced resin-infusion SCRIMP molding technology. Lower VCG means greater stability, which results in less heeling and a more efficient keel. This also allows for a moderate draft choice of 7.2 feet (standard) or 8.8 feet (optional). The designed limit of positive stability of J/160 is approximately 140 degrees, plus or minus three degrees depending on the loading. IMS calculated LPS (does not include deck) is approximately 125 degrees.

Short-handed Manageable Sail Plan
The triple-spreader masthead-rigged sail plan is moderate in size and height, and features a comparatively small high-aspect ratio forward triangle and large low aspect ratio mainsail. This rig configuration provides maximum sail area for the least possible rig height, and excellent sailing performance when cruising with main and roller furling #3 jib. The J/160 will perform well with this sail combination even in very light air.

This performance is the benefit of a high Sail Area /Displacement Ratio (22.0 for the J/160). Most cruising boats have SA/DSPL ratios of less than 20.0 which inevitably requires an inventory of at least two or more headsails to achieve acceptable performance in a variety of conditions. For offshore cruising a main and roller furling #3 is the perfect combination. A foam luff jib can be rolled to storm jib size. No need to change headsails or constantly reef while cruising on this yacht. In fact, the J/160 can carry the same main and #3 jib combination in winds from 5-20 knots without need for reefing or changing sails. This is a key example of where new design and technology combine to produce an easier to handle yacht.

The versatility of the large low-aspect mainsail and small headsail configuration is proven repeatedly in racing, cruising and ocean sailing. Whether you tack up a narrow channel under mainsail alone, race downwind with asymmetrical spinnaker this sail plan design allows for speed under great control. And unlike the cutter rig found on many yachts this size, the J/160 sloop configuration requires fewer and smaller headsails which cover a wider range of wind conditions.

The Asymmetric Spinnaker: Fast, Safe and Easy
Setting a spinnaker on a yacht this size is now practical and easy thanks to the asymmetric spinnaker flown from the retractable carbon fiber bow sprit. By using a cockpit operated snuffer no one must go forward on deck when the spinnaker is deployed, jibed or doused. To jibe, simply ease one sheet and pull in the other.

This system is safer than conventional spinnakers because one corner of the sail is always secured to the bowsprit, eliminating wild oscillations. The bowsprit extends and places the sail’s low center of effort further forward. So a gust of wind tends to lift the bow and propel the yacht forward with “finger-tip” helm balance.

The shape of the asymmetric chute results in an efficient reaching sail in all conditions. When running downwind, deep sailing angles (down to 170 degree true wind angle) are achieved in over ten knots of breeze. The luff rotates out to windward as the sheet is eased, looking very much like a conventional chute pulled back by a pole.

Articles & Reviews

Performance Cruising Design

The Design…..
The J/160 is unique among all yachts over fifty feet in providing exceptional sailing performance, upwind and down, with ease of handling normally associated with yachts under 45 feet. Unique also is the J/160’s combination of a comfortable sea-going cruising interior, sturdy ABS-approved construction, and the safest and most stable yacht that modern technology can provide. The hull, keel, rudder, and sail plan interact to achieve the speed, balance and sailing comfort that knowledgeable offshore sailors expect in a modern, high performance design.

Fast, Seagoing Hull
The J/160 is designed primarily for comfortable and fast ocean-going cruising for a short-handed crew. Deep “V” forward sections and gently curved bilges amidships provide easy motion through waves and short chop. The combination of a narrow waterplane, fine entry, and low wetted surface optimizes comfort, speed, steering performance, and smooth motion in a seaway. Moderate flare in the topsides results in less spray on the windward deck. The aft sections show progressively tighter bilges toward a moderately wide stern, and very straight diagonals aft for optimum high-end speed on all points of sail.

The hull underbody profile displays ample fore-and-aft “rocker,” characteristic of all J/Boats. This minimizes wetted surface and maximizes acceleration in light air. High freeboard and generous reserve buoyancy in the bow combined with low freeboard aft are designed to keep the bow up on high speed reaches, and handle the rigors of high-speed downwind sailing in large ocean waves. A low (but not too low) Displacement/Length ratio of 130 (in sailing trim) assures high top-end speed in heavy conditions, and allows enough displacement to achieve high stability for excellent upwind performance and safety offshore.

The J/160 becomes narrower through the water with progressively less wetted surface as it heels up to angles of 22 degrees. This accounts for the yacht’s incredible speed and easy handling qualities upwind and reaching. In storm conditions the stable hull allows optimum steering control, and a smooth, slow, forward motion. Many yachts this size, including the J/160, are comfortable at the dock, but what distinguishes the J/160 is comfort at sea.

Advanced Keel Design
Two other important ingredients which enhance performance are proper keel and rudder size, shape and location. The J/160 fin keel design with long wedge-shaped tip places keel volume and vertical center of gravity (VCG) of the lead ballast very low. This shape distributes volume fore-and-aft to increase lift and reduce drag. Unlike conventional fin keels or a fin keel with bulb, lift is increased by placing a higher proportion of the effective lifting surface further away from the hull turbulence, caused by water flow around the hull and by pitching of the hull in waves.

The size of the keel and rudder depend on a yacht’s displacement, beam, and height of Vertical Center of Gravity (VCG). A heavier, beamier, or less stable yacht requires a larger, deeper rudder and keel. This increases drag. If drag increases then the sail plan must be increased to maintain reasonable sailing performance. Because J/160 is narrow and relatively light, the keel and rudder are optimized for efficiency.

Superior Tracking and Control
With the keel located amidships, and airfoil-shaped rudder located near the aft end of the waterplane. The J/160 provides the best possible steering control. Her directional stability is unmatched by other configurations whether beating to windward in a following sea, “laying to” in storm conditions, or simply maneuvering around the dock. The easy cross-flow of water under the hull at low forward speeds, and the large distance between its keel and rudder, allow the helmsman to control steering, speed, leeway, and heel angle to achieve maximum comfort with minimal sail area . Similar control is nearly impossible with traditional heavy full-keel designs with an attached rudder.

The J/160 rudder is a deep, high-aspect, balanced spade with molded fiberglass shaft designed to rebound after deflection from striking underwater objects. This rudder configuration has survived groundings of the worst kind without rudder post failure in all larger J/Boats designs. The rudder and keel are both designed with enough leading edge sweepback to shed pot warps, and most forms of weed and kelp.

Stability
The J/160 is designed and built to optimize a low VCG. The deck and topsides are built strong and light using TPI’s advanced resin-infusion SCRIMP� molding technology. Lower VCG means greater stability, which results in less heeling and a more efficient keel. This also allows for a moderate draft choice of 7.2 feet (standard) or 8.8 feet (optional). The designed limit of positive stability of J/160 is approximately 140 degrees, plus or minus three degrees depending on the loading. IMS calculated LPS (does not include deck) is approximately 125 degrees.

Short-handed Manageable Sail Plan
The triple-spreader masthead-rigged sail plan is moderate in size and height, and features a comparatively small high-aspect ratio forward triangle and large low aspect ratio mainsail. This rig configuration provides maximum sail area for the least possible rig height, and excellent sailing performance when cruising with main and roller furling #3 jib. The J/160 will perform well with this sail combination even in very light air.

This performance is the benefit of a high Sail Area /Displacement Ratio (22.0 for the J/160). Most cruising boats have SA/DSPL ratios of less than 20.0 which inevitably requires an inventory of at least two or more headsails to achieve acceptable performance in a variety of conditions. For offshore cruising a main and roller furling #3 is the perfect combination. A foam luff jib can be rolled to storm jib size. No need to change headsails or constantly reef while cruising on this yacht. In fact, the J/160 can carry the same main and #3 jib combination in winds from 5-20 knots without need for reefing or changing sails. This is a key example of where new design and technology combine to produce an easier to handle yacht.

The versatility of the large low-aspect mainsail and small headsail configuration is proven repeatedly in racing, cruising and ocean sailing. Whether you tack up a narrow channel under mainsail alone, race downwind with asymmetrical spinnaker this sail plan design allows for speed under great control. And unlike the cutter rig found on many yachts this size, the J/160 sloop configuration requires fewer and smaller headsails which cover a wider range of wind conditions.

The Asymmetric Spinnaker: Fast, Safe and Easy
Setting a spinnaker on a yacht this size is now practical and easy thanks to the asymmetric spinnaker flown from the retractable carbon fiber bow sprit. By using a cockpit operated snuffer no one must go forward on deck when the spinnaker is deployed, jibed or doused. To jibe, simply ease one sheet and pull in the other.

This system is safer than conventional spinnakers because one corner of the sail is always secured to the bowsprit, eliminating wild oscillations. The bowsprit extends and places the sail’s low center of effort further forward. So a gust of wind tends to lift the bow and propel the yacht forward with “finger-tip” helm balance.

The shape of the asymmetric chute results in an efficient reaching sail in all conditions. When running downwind, deep sailing angles (down to 170 degree true wind angle) are achieved in over ten knots of breeze. The luff rotates out to windward as the sheet is eased, looking very much like a conventional chute pulled back by a pole.

Living a Pipedream- Transpac

LIVING A PIPE DREAM IN TRANSPAC 2003

LONG BEACH, Calif. June 2003 – It was convenient how Transpacific Yacht Club scheduled its 42nd biennial race from Los Angeles to Hawaii this summer because it fit right into Scott Piper’s plans.

“This is part of the third circumnavigation,” he said.

Piper’s Pipe Dream IX from Coral Gables, Fla. is one of three J/160s and eight J Boats overall. All will start in Divisions 3 and 4 on the Fourth of July, following the Cal 40 and Aloha fleets on July 1 and preceding Divisions 1 and 2 on July 6.

The other J/160s are Peter Johnson’s Maitri and Myron Lyon’s Innocent Merriment, both from San Diego. There also are a J/145, two J/125s and two J/120s. There is even another boat named Pipe Dream: John Davis’ Choate/Feo 37 from Long Beach. But it’s a good bet that among the race’s 59 entries none has as much mileage under its keel as Pipe Dream IX.

Piper, 64, has sailed the 53-foot boat 79,341 nautical miles since he bought it in 1996. That’s more than 35 Transpacs, at 2,225 miles each. In the past seven years the Florida orthopedic surgeon has been around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, through the Suez Canal and through the Panama Canal four times, including on this tour.

“We left Miami on Feb. 22,” Piper said. “Hawaii’s on the way, which is why we’re doing the Transpac. We’ll go from there to the Marshall Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Borneo . . . I do most of my racing in an Etchells and use the big boat to cruise, but whenever a race presents itself, I do it.”

That includes the Sydney-Hobart race on circumnavigation No. 2 and a course record in the Annapolis-Bermuda race in ’96 on what he calls a “shakedown cruise.”

Most of those miles have been in comfort. “Of the three J/160s going, we are by far the most in a cruising mode,” Piper said. “I have everything on that boat you can imagine.”

Maitri and Innocent Merriment reported enjoying “extensive wine cellars [and] fresh showers every day” when they finished 1-2 overall in last year’s San Diego-to-Puerto Vallarta race. Piper said his amenities include a fridge and freezer, washer-dryer, three air conditioners, a large transformer, three extra fuel tanks, a big-screen TV—“You name it,” Piper said, “we have it.”

He launched his current lifestyle 10 years ago, alternating a couple of months of work with portions of his circumnavigations, flying between Florida and his stopovers. “It’s been a successful formula for me,” he said. “Though not as lucrative, the practice held together.”

His wife Gillette will join him after Transpac for a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands before he sets out for the Marshalls in October. “I met her as a blind date after a Newport-Bermuda race when I was 21 and she was 19,” Piper said. “She named the first boat.”

They’ll celebrate their 40th anniversary before he starts Transpac.

J/160s Finish 1-2 in PV

J/160s Finish 1-2 in Comfort in Puerto Vallarta Race
March 8, 2002

Usually the last thing on anyones mind when contemplating a 1000-mile ocean race is the notion of crew comfort underway. Reading the daily logs from the Volvo Race around the planet makes one think weve made no progress since explorer Ernest Shackleton ran his famous (and surprisingly effective) classified ad in the London Times in early 1900:

Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, Honor and recognition in case of success.

Most sailors, as Gary Jobson humorously puts it, would love to be airlifted onto a Volvo 60 surfing at 30 knots in the Southern Ocean, only to be plucked off two hours later before things got too uncomfortable. The ongoing living conditions are just too extreme for any but the most hard core of sailors to thrive in.

So where does that leave the rest of us who want the thrill without the misery, who want the memorable real-life experience that goes way beyond the vicarious but shallow satisfaction of armchair sailing? In our opinion, its hard to get any better than the recent experience by two J/160s (STARK RAVING MAD & INNOCENT MERRIMENT) who finished 1st and 2nd Overall in the 1000 mile San Diego to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race.

Reports from both crews boasted of extensive wine cellars, gourmet prepared food, music, DVDs, fresh showers every day, crew rotations with more time off-watch than on; not to mention the thrill factor of sailing head to head for 6 days with Jim Maddens STARK RAVING MAD edging out Myron Lyons INNOCENT MERRIMENT by only 51 seconds to earn top honors in class and fleet.

While most of the fun was found in sailing against each other, the J/160s couldnt forget about the other excellent boats in their PHRF B class, including 3 Santa Cruz 50s, 2 SC 52s, a Sprint 50, Andrews 56 and Dennis Conners STARS & STRIPES (Ex Morning Glory RP-50). The general pre-race strategy was to stay within touch of the faster rated boats, and when in doubt, stay as far from land as possible. The western Mexico coastline is mountainous, making coastal sailing a risky proposition, if youre looking for wind.

The race starts off San Diego and then heads south, down the western Baja coast, passing near by western points of Isla Cedros, Cabo San Lazaro and finally Cabo San Lucas, before sailing about 270 miles across the California Gulf to Puerto Vallarta, on the Mexican mainland.

PHRF B started at noon in a light westerly with boats quickly splitting to all sides of the Coronado Islands. The early gains were away from land and boats like M Project (Sprint 50), STARS & STRIPES and LENA (SC 50) jumped to an early lead. After the initially squirrelly conditions dissipated, the breeze finally settled in, and boats logged good time through the night surfing down waves in the 15-20 knot conditions.

The first night highlight onboard INNOCENT MERRIMENT came while converging on opposite jibes at about midnight with STARK RAVING MAD. Rather than cross behind, IM executed a beautiful jibe on top of SRM and both boats sailed for several miles together on starboard.

The J/160 crews settled easily into a comfortable onboard routine of 3 hours on-watch, followed by 4 hours off-watch. This continued round the clock, except when extra hands were needed for changing sails. By rotating one person on and off deck every hour, everyone had a chance to sail with each other. Most of the race, only 2-3 people were sailing the boat at any given time, even in the windier conditions.

Top speed hit on IM was 15.8 knots with the oz Code 2 running spinnaker in about 20 knots of wind. Slowest speed much later in the race was 0.5 knots (no elaboration needed).

For the first half of the race, the J/160s were alternating between 5th and 6th in class with the SC 50 LINA not only winning (as the slower rated boat) but also ahead boat-for-boat, having been faster in the moderate downwind surfing conditions of the prior days. The key that would later set both J/160s for big gains, came about 500 miles into the race, when with the wind oscillating between NNW and NW, both boats twice took jibes to starboard (away from shore) in an effort to get into better breeze and more on LINAs line. There was a period of about 48 hours when both 160s and LINA were always within site of each other.

As it turns out several of the faster boats that were ahead ended up getting lifted into the coast near Cabo San Lucas, a parking lot if there ever was one. The J/160s converged with LINA and STEALTH CHICKEN about 20 miles off of Cabo San Lucas. In very light winds, INNOCENT MERRIMENT finally jibed away and picked up a breeze line that propelled them into an 8-10 mile advantage over SRM that would stand for most of the rest of the race.

The race organizers time the PV Race to correspond to a full moon, and the sailors, if not blessed with steady wind, at least could enjoy the several clear moonlit evenings with spectacular sun and moon sets. A flashlight was only needed for the hour or so, after the moon set and before the dawn broke. When you couple this with the warming temperatures, mountainous coastline and abundant marine life, its no wonder the PV Race is a west coast favorite.

After averaging over 200 miles per day for the first four days of racing, and feeling as if the weather gods had been thwarted from their dire light air forecast; the J/160s and the rest of the fleet had to finally deal with winds shutting down across the California Gulf. Fickle 3-7 knot zephyrs that were shifting as much as 40-50 degrees in the space of minutes tested the resolve of all the crews, more so the ones with $300 rooms reserved in PV. Both SRM and IM, with matching North inventories, had a chance to play with an assortment of light air weapons to coax the most out their cruising equipped boats. Inventories included a drifter, LM #1 genoa, Code 1 oz reacher, and Code 2 oz runner. With the winds so light, all the sails stayed on deck ready to change in an instant.

Of particular help on spinnaker changes was the addition of spinnaker snakes; something Keith Lorrance from San Diego came up with. Here, the spinnakers are zipped into long snuffer like tubes, enabling the sail to be hoisted in control in a tube, and then when ready, the crew pulls the bottom tabs apart and the zipped seam breaks apart and the sail fills. The old spinnaker is then tripped at the tack shackle by using a fid on extension pole (Eric Rogers invention), and the spinnaker pulled in by the lazy sheet, over the boom (and under the loose footed main), through the companionway.

The amazing thing was that, even with carrying heavy optional equipment like a generator, watermaker, large inverter, and enough food and wine to last two weeks, the target boat speed in 4-7 knots of wind was EQUAL to the true wind speed. So in 6 knots of wind, the J/160 was sailing at 6 knots. With an easy rotation schedule that allowed maximum concentration from the helmsmen and trimmers, not to mention the incentive of beating the other J/160, both IM and SRM managed to hold their good positions through the light stuff.

After a few days of the doldrums, where in one 12 hour period IM only managed 40 miles, the breeze finally filled in pre-dawn on Day 7 with only 20 miles to the finish. IM and SRM had been out of sight of each other for two days and the previous days 0830 position had SRM about 20 miles further offshore and 10 miles back. Sailing at 8.5 knots with the LM #1 genoa sheeted to the rail on a course for the finish, the IM crew was feeling upbeat. At 8 miles to the finish, IM made the mandatory VHF call to alert the committee. Upon hearing the call, and calculating they were only an hour and 10 minutes from finishing, the SRM crew dropped breakfast and started hiking hard. Thirty minutes later, just as the sun was rising, both boats converged from opposite sides of the Gulf, with SRM crossing IM with a 10-length advantage. After sailing 996 miles, mostly reaching or running, the final burst was going to be upwind in 10-12 knots of wind.

With 3 miles to go, IM and SRM began a tacking dual that would last 20 minutes before both boats settled in to the final close reach into the finish. The final result was a 51 second difference after 1000 (probably closer to 1200) miles of sailing, or the equivalent of only a second difference for every 10 miles sailed! To top it off, Chuck Johnsons beautiful new J/160, cruising in the PV area, served as the official finishing boat. And with the wind shutting down just as quickly as it had built up, the J/160s cemented their 1-2 finish, and the crews enjoyed two days of shore leave before the final awards ceremony.

Around The World With Dr. Piper

J/160 Around The World with Dr. Scott Piper

Jeff Johnstone recently caught up with Dr. Scott Piper “in between” his trips around the world. Dr. Piper took delivery of his new J/160 PIPE DREAM in April of 1996 and has since logged 35,000 miles. PIPE DREAM recently finished the South Africa-to-Brazil leg of the Expo 98 Round the World Rally.

JJ – Why did you enter the World Rally?
SP – I always wanted to sail around the world like a lot of sailors, and when I was coming back from my trans-Atlantic cruise with the J/40, I stopped into the Canary Islands. The second Round the World Rally was just getting ready to come through. I had never heard of it until then. I was having such a good time cruising on the J/40, the Rally just made great sense to me. I figured the J/40 could have handled it but was just a little small. Thats when I began to look for a larger boat, the same time the J/160 was on the drawing board.

JJ – How did you balance work and play on this trip?
SP – I had a captain aboard so I could come and go. He would stay with the boat at all times, so it worked very well. Airfares these days are relatively cheap and somewhat reliable, so Im able to fly back and forth, while the captain handles all maintenance, provisioning and other footwork. When I arrive, the boats ready to go, and I dont have to spend 3 days preparing. It allowed me to sail for 3-4 weeks, then come home and work for 2-3. Over the past twelve months, Ive logged about 40% office time and 60% sailing. I sailed all but three legs. The big leg I missed was from Capetown to Brazil, but it allowed me to work for a month straight at home. The schedule did allow me to balance work and play. When we hit Australia, we had a four week layover to wait for the monsoon season to end in the Indian Ocean. So I used those four weeks to come home. We also had 6 weeks in South Africa.

JJ – What was your favorite leg of the Rally?
SP – My favorite area had to French Polynesia. It was absolutely gorgeous and a lot of fun. The biggest surprise was Vanuatu, roughly 1,200 miles before Australia. Its on the edge of the Coral Sea. Its volcanic, very black, very primitive. There was great diving and active volcanoes you could walk right to the rim of. Really interesting people and customs.

JJ – How many crewmembers were usually aboard and how did you organize the watches aboard?
SP – Most of our legs were done with five people. We started out feeling that the boat needed more. So we began with eight, then gradually filtered down to five. Five became ideal, although we did do two legs with four. Im very proud of our watch system. Ive never seen it anywhere else and it works perfectly. Its a five man watch system. Each person is on for 8 hours out of 20. So youre on 4, off 4, on 4, off 8. That allows each person to be on watch with two others. And it means that the two people who are the most experienced are not on a watch together. Conversely the people who are least experienced are not on a watch together. Because its a 20 hour watch system and not 24, you dont need to “dog” the watches.

Daugh & Gill Piper enjoy a Pacific Ocean sunsetJJ – How many miles have you logged on PIPE DREAM?
SP – Almost exactly 35,000. We logged about 5,000 before going around the world. That was going from Miami up to the Chesapeake, doing the Annapolis-Bermuda Race which we set the course record in. Then going through the Bahamas and doing Abaco Race Week. I also did the Miami Key West Race and Palm Beach Race, all before we went around the world.

JJ – What was your best 24 hour run?
SP – That actually disappointed me, because we had the boat so frequently up in the 18 knot speed range. I kept anticipating a 300 mile day. 270 miles was our longest day run, and we regularly with any breeze would do 230-240 miles per day. In fact, we had three separate occasions where we did 1,000 miles in four days, averaging 250 miles per day.

JJ – Can you remember any boatspeed polars?
SP – In winds less than 8 knots, going downwind, our target boatspeed is to be at or better than true wind speed. JJ – Can you remember any boatspeed polars?

JJ – What was your top speed?
SP – 18.6 knots. Like any easily driven boat, you get to a point where more horsepower doesnt make a lot of difference. When were seeing 18 knots on the surges, which means 12-12.5 steady, then we take the spinnaker down and sail wing and wing with the jib and go just as fast.

JJ – What were the toughest conditions you encountered?
SP – There is no second to this. There was only one place that truly awe-inspired the whole crew. That was off the coast of South Africa in the area they call the Cape of Storms. We were warned in all the guide books that this area was very hazardous, and it was. We ran into four 55 knot storms in the space of two weeks. The locals would say you just cant be out in it, its like being in a Northerly in the Gulf Stream. The Agulhas Current goes around the Cape of Good Hope at 3-4 knots and when you put the wind against it, the seas are just awful. They crack freighters in half. There are only a couple of spots in the world where theyve recorded 100 foot seas, and this is one of them.
JJ – Were you sailing during these storms?
SP – Unfortunately once. We were heading down to Port Elizabeth and we could see that the system was coming. The barometer was falling like a brick. We were making about 13-14 knots over the bottom, 11-12 through the water plus the current. We had just a little ways to go and the question was could we get there before the system hit. We called the local weather forecaster, and he said “no problem,” it wont be here until 2pm tomorrow.

I figured, great, well be in port by 8am. Well at 5-6 in the morning it came through. We had 55 knots on the nose. The seas initially were very flat, because the wind had been behind (with the current), but then they did a 180. The sea tended to equate itself in the first hour, which was the saving grace. But by the end, the seas were building very rapidly.

JJ – What did you have up for sail?
SP – Main only with a reef. Even at that I was feathering it, with the engine on. We were sailing it about 10 degrees apparent, right into the sea. The sea hadnt built enough so we could do it. We were making 7-8 knots. Ive been through winds like that twice before. Neither time could my previous boats handle sailing into the wind with that much wind and sea. It was just too much. The seas would tend to knock the bow off. If you had enough sail area to keep the boat going, she was either overburdened or she wouldnt harden up. Most boats become unhandleable in that kind of wind, whereas the J/160 was easily handleable. It gave me a great deal of confidence in the boat.

JJ – How would you describe to another sailor what its like to sail a J/160 around the world?
SP – I had about 50 different people sail aboard PIPE DREAM during the various legs of the race. There were usually two new crewmembers every leg. I had some real old-time veteran sailors aboard with lots of miles who just couldnt believe it. Theyd say Ive never been on a boat like this in my entire life. When youre surfing with a chute up on the J/160, you can take your hands off the wheel. She tracks wonderfully. The boat doesnt tend to round up like other boats. Also the motion below is amazingly good. All the hype you guys do in terms of sea-kindliness is really true.

Pipe Dream resting in a lagoon near Bora Bora.

JJ – What was your comparative performance vs. other large sailboats in the Rally?
SP – The only boat that was really close to us in terms of performance, was the Swan 65. They were professionally crewed, and everyone on it was paid. They are making a documentary and they had TV crews, so they pushed the boat hard. The Swan 65 was almost never faster than us. In very heavy air, going downwind, it got to be that her overall longer waterline length could make up for the fact that we could plane. On most of the legs, we beat her boat for boat, but generally, she was only a matter of hours behind. She will win the European division, and we have a big lead in the American division. There was a Nelson-Marek ultra-light sled in our class. Not only was she 70 feet, but she weighs the same or less than Pipe Dream. She would take off, in the predominately downwind conditions we had. On the other hand, her rating was such that we always beat her. And she will not go to weather. Anytime we went to weather, which wasnt much, we could usually beat her boat for boat.

JJ – What sail inventory did you carry?
SP – First of all, no one should ever go distance cruising without having Spectra sails. All the BOC and Whitbread boats use them. Its very simple: they hold their shape, theyre light, and theyre durable as hell. Im sailing with my original main, after 35,000 miles of hard pushing. I cant believe how good it still looks. I also have the original jib (a 135% genoa). Its at the end of its life. But I have never had to repair it other than occasional re-stitching. It never chafed or tore so that I had to take it down. I also carried a #3 jib, a #4 jib which I called our large storm jib, a storm tri-sail which I never used, and three spinnakers.

JJ – Did you use an inner forestay?
SP – I dont have one. I would not recommend it to anyone. Its just not needed.

JJ – When you motored, what was your average speed and RPM?
SP – 3,400 is about max RPM. Ive been pulling it back more and more. I found if I pulled it back to 2,800, we had tremendously better fuel consumption, and only lost a fraction of a knot. Speed was about 8.5 knots at 2,800 RPMs

JJ – Whats next for PIPE DREAM and Scott Piper?
SP – Were going around the world again! This time on our own without the Rally. Like a lot of other American boats in the Rally, were not finishing up in Newport. Were going to leave Brazil in March, go to the Azores, then Portugal, and into the Mediterranean Sea, where well spend an entire summer cruising the Dalmation Islands, the Greek coast and Turkey. Well end up in Cyprus by the end of the year. By next winter, well go through the Suez Canal, through the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean to Maldives. Then to Sri Lanka, Puket Thailand, Singapore, Bali, then Borneo, into the Solomon Islands, then back to Vanuatu. Then well either go north to keep out of the typhoon season or go south to New Zealand for the Americas Cup. Ultimately I want to go around Cape Horn on the way home, so I can say Ive been around both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and through both the Suez and Panama Canals.

Performance Cruising Parameters

Performance Cruising Parameters
by – Rodney S. Johnstone

What is a performance-cruising sailboat? Positive responses to each of the following questions define the answer. (1) Is the boat seakindly- or does it have an easy motion in a seaway? (2) Can one person or a couple handle the boat and achieve good performance without the weight of a lot of crew on the rail? (3) Does the boat perform well enough so that its crew will prefer to sail rather than power or motor-sail?

In my admittedly subjective view, for my wife Lucia, and me, sailing aboard Pipe Dream IX on the three-day Ecuador-to-Galapagos leg of the EXPO 98 Round-the-World Rally, the answers to the above were in the affirmative. Lucia and I were together on watches, 3,000-square-foot spinnaker and all, and off-watch we slept in comfort in the double berth in the forward owners stateroom, air-conditioning and all. Pipe Dream, loaded with necessities and spares to last to Australia and beyond, crossed the finish line second in the seven-boat non-motoring division, corrected out to third, and won the American section of the cruising division , which allows powering with a time penalty. Sailing upwind in the prevailing light air, most of the boats in the rally had to crank up their diesels to keep up with us.

When considering any performance-cruising boat, its worth asking two questions: Will I feel safe and comfortable going to sea in this boat? Am I going to have fun sailing this boat in the cruising mode? Speed is desirable when cruising, simply because going from point A to B under sail is what its all about. If you tack up a shoreline at the same speed as those plodding under “iron genoa” into the wind, waves, and current offshore, then you have a performance cruiser. If you enjoy the serenity of broad-reaching down the coast at nearly the same speed as boats that are motor-sailing, then you are on a performance cruiser. But if you have to crank up the engine, even when there is breeze, to make a decent days run, you are on a slow powerboat that happens to have sails-in my opinion.

Where does performance come from? Length is most important. Average speed in knots for the typical sailboat is roughly equivalent to the square root of its waterline length. Hence a boat with a 36-foot waterline length should sail at about 6 knots under “cruising canvas”; a performance-cruiser should be able to exceed this pace in all but very light winds.

True performance-cruisers most often have fin keels and spade rudders. This underbody configuration provides many performance advantages, including less wetted surface (and thus reduced drag), greater efficiency sailing to windward (in the form of better pointing), and greater steering control and maneuverability. Reduced drag means the boat does not need as much sail or as large a rig to achieve speed under sail, and upwind efficiency means faster passages.

Traditional heavy-displacement cruisers with full-length keels can overcome their speed disadvantage only with a much larger sail plan. More sail requires heavier deck hardware for the higher rig loads and more hands on deck in heavy weather-just what cruisers dont want. A sail plan that can be handled by one or two people in any conditions is crucial not only to passage-making performance but to crew comfort-otherwise sailing can become an unwanted chore. On most performance-cruising boats under 60 feet in length, a sail area-to-displacement ratio of 16 to 22 can usually provide the required power and an easy to handle sail plan.

A cruising sailboats performance also depends on stability, or “stiffness”-the ability of the boat to resist the heeling force of the sails.

Good all-around speed is possible only if the boat is stiff; a stiff boat can carry more sail and heel less in a breeze than a tender boat. Stiffness can be achieved through a wide beam at the waterline or through a low vertical center of gravity (VCG). If stiffness comes from a wide waterline beam, the boats motion tends to be bouncy and abrupt in waves; as soon as this type of boat heels, it usually exhibits excessive weather helm and may be difficult to steer. Because such a boat tends to have a high center of gravity, good speed can be achieved only by placing crew weight or movable ballast, such as water, to windward to reduce heel.

The most important characteristic of a performance cruiser is that its stiffness be derived from a low center of gravity. This is indicated by a simple ratio of righting moment (RM) at 1 degree of heel to the cube of the greatest beam at the waterline (B). The RM/B^3 ratio indicates whether the boat derives its stability more from its low VCG (RM) or from its large beam, or waterplane inertia (B^3). The greater the number yielded by this ratio, the greater the stability, seakindliness, sail-carrying ability, and potential performance of the boat. Boats with a high RM/B^3 tend to be longer, narrower, and faster than boats with a lower RM/B^3. Based on a sample of 219 different IMS-rated cruising boats in the United States from 22 to 81 feet in length, the median value of RB/B^3 for the stiffest 50 boats is 1.7. The median value of RM/B^3 for the most tender 50 boat is .89. The average length/beam (LWL/B) ratio for the top group is 3.82, and only 2.96 for the bottom group.

A high or low rating on this index is independent of a boats displacement/length (D/L) ratio. The 50 boats highest on the RM/B^3 scale have a D/L ratio ranging from 55 (light) to 339 (heavy). (In modern terms, a D/L ratio of less than 180 is light, 180-280 is moderate, and above 280 is heavy.) Thus, 16 of the top 50 boats on the RB/B^3 scale are heavy, 16 are moderate, and 18 are light. At the bottom of the scale half of the bottom 50 are heavy, 19 are moderate, and only 6 are light.

The preponderance of heavy-displacement boats at the low end of the scale reflects a modern trend in cruising sailboats toward increased accommodations and decreased ballast/displacement ratios-a trend that has raised the height of the center of gravity of this type of boat. Forty-two of the 50 stiffest boats on the RM/B^3 scale, (but only 22 of the less-stiff boats), have sail area-to-displacement ratios of over 16-what I consider to be a minimum for performance cruising speed under sail.

Finally, the RM/B^3 ratio is an excellent predictor of “big-boat feel” and motion in any size boat- the quality is just harder to achieve in a smaller lighter boat. Whether light or heavy, a narrow boat with a low center of gravity will have a rock solid feel, an easy motion, and positive control-the unmistakable aura of power, stability, and passage-making speed.

The J/160 Sailing Experience

The first sensation upon leaving the dock aboard the J/160 is that the motor is very quiet barely audible from the helm station. The boat moves easily up to 8.5 knots under power. Maneuvering is no problem in forward or reverse. Docking and turning is not difficult even with cross-flow from wind or current. The J/160 can circle in her own length. A 22 prop delivers almost 9 knots at top speed.

The main goes up easily, especially with the help of an electric winch. Then, just like a dinghy, the boat sails easily out of irons (from a dead stop) under mainsail only. It feels like a J as it responds immediately to the helm with almost no way on. Then it sails like a J as it accelerates up to seven knots in about twelve knots of wind. The J/160 not only sails well with just the main, but feels good in cruising mode with main and jib, even in light wind. The mainsheet is a two-part, double-ended system leading to a self tailing winch on each side, permitting rapid trimming and easing of the mainsail. The ultimate test of maneuverability (a test that few other 53 footers can perform with such ease, if at all) is the sail-in-a-tight-circle-and-keep-going routine under mainsail only J/160 does it with ease.

The self-tailing electric primary winches take all the effort out of headsail trimming and hoisting sails. Tacking the boat is actually fun, because trimming the jib is as simple as pushing the button. The three-speed electric winch automatically switches from fast to slow as the load increases, so no need for gorillas in the cockpit, whether its for trimming, hoisting or reefing.

What distinguishes the J/160 from the fleet is its ability to sail well with a single non-overlapping furling headsail. Other 53 cruising boats require larger, more awkward, overlapping genoas to achieve equivalent performance. Electric winches do not work so well with large genoas, because there is too much take-up on the sheet for it to be trimmed quickly enough; and with coordinated timing being everything with a large genoa, one has to resort to rapid trimming by hand in order to execute a proper tack. The J/160 has the ideal cruising rig, because one never needs to change headsails or add staysails to get good performance and balance.

Upwind performance usually exceeds IMS speed predictions using a 100% jib. Upwind boat speed averages about 6.4 knots in 8 knots of true wind at a 45 degree true wind angle. This translates to a velocity made good directly into the wind (VMG) of 4.5 knots. When the wind increases to 16 knots, upwind speed is 7.8 knots, and VMG increases to 6.2 knots at a 37 degree true wind angle. The upwind performance is very forgiving of helming ability at 16 knots true wind, because the boat speed jumps up over 8 knots quickly when the boat is cracked off 5 degrees, still keeping the VMG over 6 knots.

This is excellent performance for a 53 footer whose keel only draws a shade over seven feet. When the wind blows over 25 knots true and the jib is rolled up, the boat can sustain a true wind angle of 40 degrees and a boat speed of 6.8 knots. With the carbon mast, the single spectra checkstay (stowed alongside the mast) is only used when beating to windward in heavy seas.

Sailing the J/160 with the asymmetric spinnaker is mesmerizing, exciting, and easy. The key to hoisting and lowering the sail is to do things in sequence using snuffer controls and snuffer sock. Because only one task must be performed at a time, one person can do it. It takes longer with one person than with a full crew, but is just as manageable. It is as simple as hoisting the sail, unsnuffing the spinnaker and trimming the sheet. When you are done you cast off the sheet and pull the sock over the sail. Then let the sail down on the deck inside the sock. The light air reaching performance is exhilarating. Optimum reaching speed under spinnaker in less than 8 knots true wind is the same or greater than true wind speed. Broad reaching speed in 15-20 knots true wind is about 10.5-11 knots steady with speeds over 12 knots in puffs and on waves.

The J/160 exhibits those elusive qualities of good feel, responsiveness, speed, and control – which combine to put a smile on the face of anyone who takes the helm.

A Movable Feast- Ensenada

After a shaky start, Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s (NOSA) 53rd Newport to Ensenada Race turned out to be a pleasant and relatively quick trip. The 441 boat fleet didn’t threaten the all time record (675 boats in 1983), nor was the old Pyewacket 1998 monohull course record of I I hours, 54 minutes ever remotely in danger, of being broken. But as Ensenada Races go and some of them have been pretty grim this was certainly one of the better ones.

With a weather forecast calling for 15 20 knots from the northwest, hopes were high for another year like ’98 In an effort to get all 27 classes underway quickly beginning at noon on Friday, April 28, the race committee endeavored to set three simultaneous end to end starting lines for the first time (instead of the usual dual lines). Unfortunately, some of their marks wouldn’t stay set in the bouncy conditions, resulting in a one hour, 20 minute delay. The crowd milled around with increasing impatience, watching the wind evaporate as the RC played with the starting line. Some sailors had obviously started partying a bit early, as they vented their frustrations on the VHF radio not a pretty thing to hear.

Eventually, the fleet headed south under hazy skies and in an 8-10 knot westerly. As the afternoon wore on, the wind came aft and most boats had kites up as darkness approached. As always, the question was how far offshore to sail in search of better wind – rhumbline or great circle route? Inside or outside the Coronados? And, more importantly, what’s for dinner? For some reason, this race lends itself to gluttony – and most boats pull out all the stops at mealtime for this relatively short 125 mile ‘moveable feast’.

We had the pleasure of sailing aboard Jim and Heather Madden’s new J/ 160 Stark Raving Mad, the scratch boat in PHRF A. The mood on board was optimistic, as the race conditions allowed us to make good use of our long waterline and gigantic asymmetrical kites. The ‘new’ Santana album and other CDs played on the deck speakers, cold beer flowed, we were going 9 -10 knots straight towards our waypoint five miles off the Coronados life couldn’t get much better. A dinner of lobster tails, steak, and all the trimmings – including a seemingly endless supply of primo wines – completed our happiness.
In the dark, everyone took their best guess as to the optimal route. The evening was warm, dry and not particularly windy – a nice night at sea. When the fleet converged in Todos Santos Bay the next morning, Roy Disney’s R/P 75 Pyewacket was still leading. Doug Baker’s Andrews 70+ Magnitude was just behind, and caught a shift that got them around Pyewacket in the final moments of the race.

Magnitude’s time on the course was 15 hours, 57 minutes four minutes ahead of Pyewacket. Adding insult to injury, Don Hughes’ R/P 70 Taxi Dancer snuck across the finish line half a boatlength ahead of Pyewacket as well.

Remarkably, Ron Kuntz’s 1990 Andrews 53 Cantata, finished just 32 minutes after Magnitude to claim overall honors by a huge margin almost an hour over the next boat. Kuntz’s ‘slingshot’ strategy worked perfectly, as Cantana revelled in 20 knot winds that most boats never saw. “The weather forecast called for gale force winds offshore,” said Kuntz, an Oceanside service station operator. ‘We stayed about seven miles outside Coronados, and resisted the temptation to head in toward Ensenada too early. We had a game plan and stuck to it.”

The sea ‘glassed off as day broke, and Stark Raving Mad took several agonizing hours to crawl the last five miles to the finish. We saved our time on all the boats in our class except Dennis Conner’s new (and subsequently sold) J/ 120 Stars & Stripes, which beat us by 11 minutes after the handicaps were applied. Conner won PHRF overall, and we were pleased to be second. DC chose to sail in PHRF rather than the 11 boat J/ 120 class, as he had a non class Code 0 and more MIRs – including ’99 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Eric Doyle – than the rules allow. Ironically, Scott Bimberg’s Indigo beat DC to Ensenada, having started at the same time one starting line to leeward and using their ‘B’ sails. Needless to say, Indigo crushed the other 120s.

Boats dribbled into Ensenada for the next 24 hours, some right up until the Sunday noon cutoff. About 75 of the smaller boats took DNFs, victims of light winds that worsened as the weekend went on. But eventually everyone who wanted to get to Ensenada made it down most under sail, some under power, and some in cars. The weekend long party culminated in the Sunday afternoon awards ceremony, where truckloads of trophies were presented. Dana Point YC distinguished itself in three categories: most boats, most trophies and last boat to finish (the Catalina 30 Bon Vivant).

The Ensenada Race generates a million more stories each year, but it’s virtually impossible to cover this event coherently. Our advice? Check it out yourself some time love it or hate it, this is one race that every sailor should experience at least once!

CATHEXIS At First Sight

CATHEXIS AT FIRST SIGHT
By Steve Blecher, J160 Hull #14

It was a hectic Monday in September of 1997 when Bob Miller, my partner, came into the office and dropped a glossy four-color folio on my desk with the comment, “This is one you should look at.” He knew I had been helping a friend look for the ideal large, offshore, performance cruiser and had just returned from the Newport Boat Show with his wife, Maryann. Evidently the Millers had spent the better part of the afternoon talking to one particular broker about one particular boat and Bob had that all knowing look in his eye.

Having been sailing on other people’s boats (including Bob’s Mason 44) for over 40 years, I had developed some distinct ideas about how I would use a boat and compromises I would make in buying one. My ideas were largely shaped by the ease with which Etchels, Sonars and Deerfoots are handled and make a good turn of speed with only a 100% jib. As I flipped through the folio, I focused on my friend’s requirements and desires for his future boat with little thought of my own. However, as I read the specifications and design philosophy, I perceived a boat that fit my ideas to a “T.” I looked up at Bob and said, “I’d buy this boat; leave it with me.”

Following a conversation with my friend, we determined that he was not interested in a boat of this magnitude at that time. However, my interest had been piqued. Lingering in the back of my mind was a promise I had made to my wife, Amy, at her request before our marriage almost 30 years ago: “There would be no boat.” She knew what boats entailed. I had abided by this promise all these years and had satisfied my interest in sailing by crewing for friends and chartering. But I hoped that she might now be willing to reconsider.

Arriving home that evening, I simply said to Amy, “A man has to have a boat his own age.” She seemed to immediately understand the drift of my comment and, surprisingly, did not fight it. I handed her the folio, and she casually looked at the pictures. She made some snide remark about my mental state, since I had always espoused a philosophy about the brilliance of not being a boat owner, just a fun loving crew. But, I was of sound mind, and a J-160 was that ideal boat.

A few days later she shocked me by suggesting that we go to the Norwalk Boat Show to see if J Boats was exhibiting, for she too, had been thumbing through the folio. As it turned out, they did not exhibit, but we did look over several cruising boats in the 40-foot range, and Amy began to formulate her own list of what accommodations she wanted on a boat. The accommodations on the J-160 began to look better and better.

For the next few weeks, I studied the J Boats website which contains extensive information about the entire brand. In fact, I can almost say that the information available on the website made a major contribution to my decision to make such a major investment. Then Amy admonished me that I could not place an order for a boat that I had never sailed. Returning to the office, I had Bob Miller contact Tim Mariner, the broker from McMichael in Mamaroneck, New York, the man with whom he had spent so much time in Newport.
Tim arranged for a test sail on another owner’s boat in Newport in late October. The Millers came along, as did Jim and Priscilla Fulton, on whose Pearson 40 I had cruised for a decade. Come that fateful October day, Jeff Johnstone and Tim took the group on a tour of the TPI plant in Warren, Rhode Island, so that we could understand the process by which J Boats were molded and built. Then we drove down to Newport to sail aboard BROUHAHA. All the appropriate critics got to try the helm and were amazed at how effortlessly she performed. We went upwind and then popped the chute for the ride back to the mooring. On the mooring, we crawled all over the boat and its cabins to get a better understanding of how she was outfitted and equipped. All of my critics came back to the navstation where I was sitting with “thumbs up.” We were very impressed with the thought which had gone into the design of this yacht- Amy decided that cruising on this boat would not constitute “camping out.” We were making progress.

I drifted out to the cockpit to talk with Jeff and Tim about what is involved with acquiring one of these products of modern engineering. Bob said later that he thought I was whipping out my checkbook. Not quite, but we worked out a timetable, and Tim Mariner went to work over the next week to make it happen.

Actually, Tim assumed the role of “project manager” and had as much excitement and enthusiasm for the project as anyone. In a series of meetings at my house and his office, we went over lists of optional equipment, what other owners had done the commissioning process, sails, and electronics. And he supplied Amy with the necessary fabric samples. The order took shape, and we got in the queue to be hull #14.

This then became the rallying point for my family to work on a name and spinnaker colors. After settling on JAVELIN (because she is long, sleek and fast) and many colors of the rainbow for the chute, Amy and my two “20-something” sons were engaged in the project. The older is a medical student at Tufts, and the younger was commodore of the Dartmouth Sailing Team.

The hull was molded in mid-January, 1998. Tim orchestrated a family visit with Jeff Johnstone to see the layup in the mold. This was the first of a series of monthly visits to inspect the progress. Meantime, Tim and I would have weekly conversations about all the details of the boat. During these, he guided me into adjusting some of the options I had picked or omitted, keeping in mind the various uses the boat would engage in over its lifetime; day-sailor, cruiser, and distance racer. Tim’s input, based upon his extensive experience as a sailor, racer, and broker, was invaluable during this process.

Amy’s perspective on the boat took shape during this time. First of all, she became resigned to the fact that it was happening. Second, she asked whether the boat was going to “take over” our summers. I indicated that I really wanted the boat for the shoulder seasons of May/June and September/October when the winds on Long Island Sound are the best. Except for maybe a cruise to Maine in early August, I was not going to monopolize her summer weekends with the boat. Thirdly, she began to understand that the boat was an activity, which the whole family could enjoy together as a team, with each family member contributing to the experience in accordance with their abilities and desires.

Being the buyer of a new boat, especially as a person who had never previously owned a large boat, opens up a whole new dimension of sailing. There are so many decisions to be made, and each decision is a trade-off or a compromise. Some of the most significant decisions involve selecting the professionals and organizations to work with you on the project. This is where an experienced broker like Tim Mariner can be particularly helpful. Tim provided recommendations and introductions to people who would get the job done correctly and who could provide the required expertise. Tim also became the consummate sounding board as we examined each compromise and trade-off. In the end, it was always important to keep in mind how the boat was actually going to be used, so that the compromises resulted in the most enjoyment for the crew.

All through the spring, Tim and his staff at McMichael’s coordinated the various components of the project. Tim led a trip to meet with Hall Spars and Brewer’s Cove Haven Yacht Yard, which was to commission the vessel, during which we worked out various other details. For a sailor, awaiting the completion of your boat is agonizing, and I can only assume it is similar to a mother awaiting the birth of a child. But the calendar finally rolled around to August lst and TPI rolled out hull #14 in Bristol condition. Tim arranged to have the boat trucked to Cove Haven where she was given a coat of bottom paint, gently lowered into the water, christened, and rigged. Cove Haven added some improvements we had decided upon and Custom Navigation installed the electronics. Sail bags arrived, and we took a couple of afternoon shakedown cruises to identify the bugs. The staff at TPI and Cove Haven quickly addressed these, and by mid-August we were ready to sail her away.

Tim arrived in Cove Haven on a rising tide equipped with champagne. Tim, Jim Fulton, CJ Salustro of Quantum Sails, my son Jeff and his friend Joe Levin, joined me for a late afternoon departure down Naragansett Bay. At sunset, we rendezvoused with my brother, Tony, who was aboard a chartered boat off Wickford, Rhode Island, and he took a series of photos as we sailed off into the night for the run to Pilot’s Point in Westbrook, Connecticut. Arriving there at 3 a.m. gave us some time to catch a nap before Amy drove in soon after dawn to welcome JAVELIN.

We have now completed our fall season of sailing in a variety of ways. We have day sailed and taken weekend cruises. We took a weeklong trip to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and got to enjoy all the special features of the boat. She has turned out to be everything she was supposed to be: a comfortable and fast performance cruiser which can be easily handled by two knowledgeable people and enjoyed by a fun crew. Guests have marveled at the combination of fun and fast sailing with full and spacious accommodations. As I review the project with numerous knowledgeable friends, my appreciation grows for the contributions of each member of the construction team and the smooth manner in which a competent and knowledgeable broker brought them all together for an integrated successful result.

Tech Specs

Tech Specs

  •   ft/lb m/kg
  • LOA 52.70 16.06
  • LWL 47.50 14.48
  • Beam 14.50 4.42
  • Standard Draft 7.20 2.19
  • Standard Keel Weight 12,000 5,443
  • Optional Deep Draft 8.80 2.68
  • Optional Keel Weight 11,000 4,990
  • Light Displacement 31,200 14,152
  • Diesel Aux. Engine 88 hp 88 hp
  • 100% SA 1,375 127.73
  • I 66.50 20.27
  • J 18.83 5.74
  • P 62.00 18.90
  • E 24.16 7.36
  • SA/Dspl 22 22
  • Dspl/L 130 130

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