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post #4344 of Old 05-13-2013
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Re: Interesting Sailboats

As we know, historically speaking, the J 105 with a bit better cruising interior was the J 109, which has proven very popular in Europe, though somewhat less so in the United States.

I've had the opportunity to do some sailing on a J 109, up around the Cape Cod area, and there's a lot to like about it. For one, it sports a higher freeboard than the J 105, which means it's not as wet, and the coach roof has been raised to provide standing headroom below. All the necessary cruising comforts are present, from the functional galley and dedicated nav table, to the relatively spacious heads located in the starboard aft quarter.

But, by contemporary standards, the boat feels small for a 35-footer, possibly due to its comparatively narrow beam. With the aft cockpit locker in place, the cockpit feels cramped with the "destoyer" wheel steering, though things feel better when you remove it to open up the back of the boat. I also found the forepeak cabin to be surprisingly snug, particularly considering the head is located aft.

Having said all that, if I was going to sail mostly singlehanded I would definitely consider the J 109, albeit with a tiller option if available. But for extended offshore cruising as a couple, I would probably look for a boat with more interior space and a larger cockpit with tiller or twin wheels. And, given that the J 109 sells in the US. for over $200K, I would only buy one used.

We deal in lead, friend.
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