J/30

J/30

J/30 Sailing Review

Finding a sailboat to motivate and sustain participation by the entire family is no easy task. Research shows that active sailing families divide 76 days/yr. on the water equally between daysailing, cruising and racing. The ideal boat will be good for all these activities, while crewed by people of all age and experience levels.

Too large a boat can be intimidating. A slow boat will eventually turn off the young. A racing boat may not be suitable for serving a nice meal or curling up with a good book. It seems the ads claim every boat to be a “racer-cruiser.” Few really are. Even fewer would get the vote of each family member. We know there’s only one that will and has for nearly two decades: The J/30.

At least that’s the opinion of the three families who designed and built it… combining 102 years of cruising and racing experience in everything from 8 to 46 feet. And, you’d receive another 545 endorsements from current owners.

Speed Is Important. The key ingredient to sustaining enthusiasm of all ages is very often missing in cruising boats: speed. A J/30 sails the speed of 35 to 40 footers and will be ahead of the average 30-foot cruiser by the length of a football field after a mile of sailing. Such performance means that 40 to 50 mile daily runs are easy. Speed in light air and pointing ability also mean less engine time and more sailing.

Easier, More Fun to Sail. A key to making fast boats easier to sail than slow boats is the “fractional rig”. By making the mainsail larger and jibs smaller, a 12-year-old can lift, hoist, and trim the #1 genoa of a J/30. In fact the jibs on a J/30 are smaller than those on a C&C 26, Sabre 28, Pearson 28, Cal 27, Newport 28 or Hunter 27. Then, because the tapered racing mast can be bent aft easily with a pull of the backstay adjuster, the mainsail shape is flattened and depowered so the jib that’s up can be used over a wider range of wind velocities … meaning less need to reef the main or change jibs… and fewer jibs to buy and store below.

The J/30 performs under mainsail alone better than most 30-foot cruisers under full sail. This “no problem” alternative comes in handy getting through storms or crowded harbors or for relaxed picnic sails. There are few boats that will surf downwind in strong winds under spinnaker with better control.

Dry and Stable. The J/30 hull is designed with plenty of flair and reserve buoyancy forward to keep spray off the decks when sailing upwind and to prevent the bow from submarining when running before the wind in high seas. She is stiff in a blow with good sail carrying power.

Cruising Comfort. When the owner of a classic 40-foot Concordia yawl switches to a J/30 for a family cruiser, you know something is right. The beautiful, handcrafted interior has become a standard for design excellence among boatbuilders. The new L-shaped galley with optional propane oven and the new cruising cockpit that seats 3-4 on a side make it even more attractive.

Storage space includes 29 enclosed cabinets and lockers and 16 open shelves and compartments. The icebox holds ice for 11 days. The 15-hp diesel auxiliary powers J/30 along at 6.3 knots. The enclosed head has a full length mirror and fresh water shower. And, the main settee cushions are 5-½” thick.

Built to Last, Not to a Price. There’s no excuse for not using the best hardware and construction available in the world on a family sailboat. That’s why the J/30 bull and deck are made with Lloyd’s approved Contourkore and fiberglass laminate. The mast is stepped on the keel and supported by stainless rigging one size larger than necessary. Chainplates are anchored into a full structural fiberglass bulkhead. The hull-to-deck joint is bonded then bolted, then bolted again with a teak toerail cap. Complete genoa and spinnaker gear as well as Barient winches (25s, 21s, 10s), Harken mainsheet & vang tackles, Headfoil jibstay system and Kenyon spars are standard. A J/30 was the top stock production boat with a 3rd and 4th overall in fleet during the rough 1979 SORC… 1000 miles of hard racing! Two J/30s survived the Fastnet Storm one singlehanded.

One-Design Benefits. To believe, all one has to do is see the fun that J/30 owners have sailing together as a Class for the past twenty years. It’s a whole new group of friends dedicated to fun racing on a great sailboat. The J/30 Class Association publishes strict Class Rules and an excellent J/30 journal to keep everyone informed. Be sure to visit the J/30 Web Site for more on the association. J WORLD sailing school is also a great resource and can help you sharpen your racing skills.

Introduced: 1979
Built to: Hull #546
Last Model Year: 1987
Builder: Tillotson Pearson, Inc.

Articles & Reviews

J/30 Sailing Review

By Dale Mead

“Anyone who’s had even the briefest exposure to sailboat racing has heard of J/Boats. Ask a racer to list the hottest production racers active today, and they’re sure to Include J/24s and J/35s. Begun in 1977, J/Boats Incorporated, has defied the yacht sales slump with an ever-changing line that threatens to run out of numbers – 18 models through 1991, ranging from 22 to 44 feet.

For 1992, they’ve come out with a J/105 and J/92 (metric measurements equal to 34.5 and 30 feet respectively, opening the door to the European market), both of which have been pushed aggressively as fast, family oriented and very simple to sail. In addition, the J/130, a 42-footer, will debut in October, and a J/60 (feet) is in the advanced planning stage. Is there a length they’ve missed?

Surviving The Fastnet Storm

The story of two J/30’s caught in the middle of yachting’s worst disaster as reported by phone to Bob Johnstone.

“J/30 hull number 10 was shipped to Westerly Marine to serve as a model as they began production in the U.K.. She was named JUGGERNAUT and entered in the Fastnet Race skippered by Andy Cassel and crewed by Tim Levett, project manager from Westerly.

J/30 number 29 was purchased by Bill Wallace from Houston, Texas. She was commissioned in Rhode Island, sailed single handed from Bermuda across to England where she was caught entering the channel during the storm. Bill plans to enter the OSTAR singlehanded trans-Atlantic race next June.

Fitting Out for Extended J/30 Cruising

By Thomas Mitchell

Years ago in a Chicago bar over our last call drinks, my friend suggested we spend the following cold season sailing the Caribbean. Hoots of bitter derision naturally followed, and then quiet. Was it possible? Well, yes … all we needed was a boat.

I don’t have to tell you she was a J/30. Most people down the Ditch who heard our float plan took one look at the boat and said – you guys are crazy. Well, sure. Connecticut to the Yucatan to the Virgin Islands and up 6,000 miles the wrong way around. Now my tan’s slowly being replaced with freckles of Blue Streak, and the guys at the yard have a kinder view of my sanity. And a pretty solid respect for the strength of J-boats.

Tech Specs

Tech Specs

  •   ft/lb m/kg
  • LOA 29.80 9.09
  • LWL 25.00 7.62
  • Beam 11.18 3.41
  • Standard Draft 5.30 1.60
  • Standard Ballast 2,100 953
  • Displacement 7,000 3,175
  • Diesel Aux. Engine 15 hp 15 hp
  • 100% SA 444 41.21
  • I 34.19 10.42
  • J 11.50 3.51
  • P 38.00 11.58
  • E 13.00 3.51
  • SA/Dspl 19 1
  • Dspl/L 200200
71 Varney Point Road Gilford, NH 03249 - (603) 293-8000