Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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(I am assuming that you are referring to the J-41 and not the 41 foot J-125)The J-41 was designed as a IOR one tonner. They were moderately successful winning the 1 Ton class at the SORC, back when the SORC was a world class event, and they won the One-Ton worlds held in Annapolis. This was an era when One-tonners had become strictly race boats and so there is almost no headroom or interior accomodations on these boats. IOR boats of that era required very big crews (8-10 people) to be raced successfully, or even keep the rig in the boat.
Boats like these took a lot of skill to sail, and more skill to sail well. They are tender and easily overpowered. Their rigs were fragile and needed careful playing of the checkstays to keep in column. I had looked at one that was very cheaply priced but ultimately ruled it out as being unsuitable for adaptation to a single-hander and concluded that the J-41 requiring too many people to even go out daysailing.
It hard to say what should be done with these old IOR era raceboats. They are a real bear to race under IMS where poor ratings and crew number restrictions really clobber them. They have often have great gear and sails but proportioned in a manner that makes them hard to handle and which requires a big strong crew to manhandle.
They do not do well under PHRF either. Compared to IMS designs these old IOR designs are comparatively very slow boats. This difference in speed is quite dramatic if you compare a J-41 which rates 72 to IMS boats of the same era such as the Farr 39ML which rates 18 or a Tripp 40 which rates 15.
Under PHRF, J-boats own J-35 is scratch with the J-41 (both at 72) and for a similar purchase price a J-35 can get by with smaller crew, cheaper sail inventories, has better accomodations and can sail more easily to their ratings in a wider range of windspeeds. If you have a smaller budget and want to short-hand at all, you might look at a J-36 as well.
So what do you do with a boat that can''t be raced competitively, or cruised, or even easily daysailed but which costs a whole lot to properly maintain no less compaign, (even when they are as beautiful to look at as a J-41)? I don''t have an answer although though I have wrestled with this on many an occasion. (If you feel compelled to go the old IOR One Tonner route you might look for an older Farr one tonner as they tend to be a little bit more rounded in their sailing abilities. http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_detail.jsp?currency=USD&units=Feet&checked _boats=1015473&slim=quick& )