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J /36
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 8798 Tue July 15, 2008
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $53,000.00 8.0

Description: J /36
Keywords: J /36


Senior Member

Registered: June 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Posts: 2845
Review Date: Sat April 17, 2004 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


The J/36 was built before the popular J/35, and while they share somewhat similar hulls, there are some interesting differences. The most noticeable is that the J/36 is a fractional sloop, its 56' tall mast rigged with jumper struts. The large main is easy to 'jiffy reef' in a blow without having to go forward to change, furl or strike the jib. Below, the J/36 is very 'woody'. The ash veneered bulkheads and doors are set off with mahoghany trim, and the hull ceiling is also ash stips, making for a warm and inviting interior, without being dark. The engine is located midships where its weight will provide the most racing benefit. It is enclosed by the drop-leaf table, which opens to provide 360 degree access to the engine, the batteries and the stuffing box. This also leaves room aft for two huge quarterberths, with stowage underneath and between them.
Despite these creature comforts, (and others, like the stove, oven, sink, icebox, head with shower, and nav station), the J/36 rates 84 PHRF on Long Island Sound, and so is able to sail happily in the frequent light air here, when others are powering. When the breeze picks up, the boat surges forward and takes off! The large spade rudder and wheel provide excellent control in all conditions, and the fractional rig means sails that are easily managed, even when cruising short-handed. The lead keel, just a bit deeper than the J/35's, keeps the boat well on her feet. This combination of quick and comfortable has enabled us to win our club championship and do very well in some local overnight races against some 'hot' newer competition, such as J/120's, Farr 41's and Express 37's.
Like most of Tillotson Pearson's boats, J/36s seem well put together. We have reached for hours in 25 knots of wind with the full main, spinnaker, and #1 jib all pulling a complete racing crew at better than 11 knots, have been out shorthanded in a 50 knot squall, and have thrashed entire days to windward into 5'seas and 30 knots of breeze. On one windy day (Laguardia airport was closed...) we hit 12.5 knots under just the single reefed main. Despite close inspection after each of these events, the boat only needs a fresh water rinse to be ready for more, and seems to eagerly tug at her mooring to go out. We are happy to oblige.

It is now (2009) twelve years since we first acquired our J/36. This summer we finally got to Maine, threading upwind past schooners in some of Penobscot Bay's narrow channels, and exploring the coast from Northeast Harbor to Harpswell over three weeks. Perhaps the most exciting part of the trip was our return from Harpswell ME to Southport CT. We covered 254 miles in less than 48 hours, in good part under a reefed delivery main, with dolphins jumping in the full moon's beams off to port. Entering the Cape Cod Canal we caught a wave and surfed down the channel at 10.4 knots. We shook out the reef after that, but were too lazy to set the spinnaker. The week after, we raced against 10 other boats (J/46, SC37, FT10, J/109,J/109, J/109, B36.7...) overnight, beating 34 miles upwind into 6' waves, rain, and 35 knot winds for about 10 hours before turning the mark and running back for home. We tore the main (reefed again) from leech to luff at the second batten, and ended up second to a J/109. We're leaving her in the water until the end of October. You can tell why.
Please contact me at PSK125@optonline.net for more info about our class association.
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Review Date: Fri March 24, 2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $53,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Agree that the J36 sails like a dream. Wonderful fast sailboat.
Cons: Delamination of hull

I agree with the previous reviewer with regard to sailing characteristics. This boat is fast, responsive and well mannered. It is if anything over canvassed unless you have the full racing crew on board as rail meat. Reef early and you'll go faster, more comfortably when shorthanded.

It is an OK coastal cruiser as well and I used mine in that mode frequently. The J36 is a bare bones cruiser with no hot water or similar amenities (as expected given its race boat beginnings) but it has plenty of room to sleep six or eight crew.

I "lost" my boat to delamination of the hull. This clearly must have progressed over a matter of years but it was not picked up by the yard on annual inspections until it was an extensive and very expensive repair. No reason for why the hull delaminated was found. Jboats and TPI were not helpful and denied this ever happened to any other J36 or J35 but I think that is a lie.

In summary, it is a great boat but be extra cautious about delamination issues.
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Junior Member

Registered: July 2008
Review Date: Tue July 15, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


All JBoats of this era - and I believe prior to SCRIMP - were balsa cored. Used boats have to be carefully inspected, especially anywhere the hull has been pierced i.e. through hulls added or replaced, grounding damage etc. I have heard many descriptions of through hulls being wiggly to the touch in this era J. It's possible that water entered and migrated, causing the delamination.
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