Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

I'm looking for a boat I can race in PHRF on San Francisco bay. I will be sailing short- or single-handed a lot, but I would like something that can do well with a full crew as well.

I spend a lot of nights on the boat, so it needs to be reasonably civilized down below. Not a live-aboard cruiser, but I am planning to do some long range cruising as well. Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska...
I have owned large heavy cruisers and I know I don't need as much as those type of boats can offer, and what you give up trying to club race a boat like that. What I want is a do it all fast boat around 35 Feet.

Please discuss
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

I've always liked the Express 34 and 37.. locally we have a 37 that is frequently sailed solo.. Not sure all J-36s have Vberths. A Santana 35/Schock 35 might also be on your list, with the Santana's again not likely to have a real V berth but having an easier-to-handle fractional rig (Which, if primarily shorthanded would be on my 'dealbreaker' list)

Depending on version, the various Js may or may not have what would be considered a good cruising cockpit (seats/backrests etc)

Some of the late 80s/early 90s Beneteau Firsts had fractional rigs and are quite quick AND nicely appointed. I know of a B 35s5 that's done the Mexico run and back more than once. Same with similar vintage Hunter 'Legends'.. 35.5, 37.5.

Ron

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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

I actually prefer the masthead rig for its versatility, so fractional isn't a selling point for me. If I were leaving for a very long trip, I would likely ditch the foul and use a conventional head stay and use hank-on headsails. Also, the seat backs and so on are not priority. I like the clean cockpit feel and access to winches that a more racer-like arrangement give, and I don't mind sitting on the cockpit floor. For the same reason I like a tiller to steer. It keeps it simple and does the job fast. I kinda feel like the same functionality that serves a racer also serves a cruiser.
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

When owned by a very good sailor, a local J-36 used to win every regatta it raced in. The new owner still hits the podiums regularly but is using high school kids as crew. The ratings seem to really favor that boat. I raced on it once and couldn't believe it's windward abilities! Set up right, like just about any boat, it could be single handed. The one I was on needed crew for sure.

Last edited by FarCry; 11-04-2013 at 02:45 PM.
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

Try a J34C, you wont be disappointed. A very nice sailing boat with a high quality interior comparable to the best. And a single-handing dream, the best mainsheet setup I've ever seen in a production boat.

J/34c Performance Offshore Cruising Sailboat
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

In San Francisco I think you would have to really have a reason not to buy a J-105 if you plan to race at all. The 105 has a huge fleet there, year round OD racing, lots of guys willing to help you, and a lot of corporate support.

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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

Hey, Farcry Where are you racing and what's the local rating for the J/36?
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

I'd consider the J/35 as well. I've been eying a few locally... pipe dreaming mostly. But I agree that the Shock 35 should also be on your list.

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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

I had almost the exact same requirement. My short list was J35c, J35c and Express 35 (Goman). I bought an Express 35. I've only sailed it twice and so far I'm not disappointed at all.

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post #10 of 16 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Short list: J-36, express 34, or...? Please discuss

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Originally Posted by Lutarious View Post
Hey, Farcry Where are you racing and what's the local rating for the J/36?
Around here in the Virgin Islands. Most regattas around here have been using CSA ratings for years. I spent a few minutes trying to find a rating and I saw .853 with a double head sail. I don't think I've ever seen her raced in that configuration. If you google Cayenitta Grande, you should find lots of hits from all the successful races that boat and Tony has won. After being sold the boat was renamed Paladin.
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