Join Date: Aug 2000
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?
a couple of comments on the J-40. She is actually very comfortable (some pics at www.ditzen.com), with a nice interior, etc.. Even in rough seas, I didn''t feel any more uncomfortable than other much heavier boats I''ve been on (e.g. PacCup on a Baltic 42).
In regards to electricity: we used two 120watt adjustable kyocera panels mounted on self-designed lifeline mounts. We had no water maker, no fridge, (no liferaft ;-), a fold-a-boat, and a radar, which we hardly used (it was backstay mounted and didn''t give us much visibility), and then the nav-lights, HAM radio, etc.. The boat came with an alpha below-the-deck AP, which we mated to a nexus control (worked great). For a vane we used the sailomat. Because of the low-power requirements, we were typically fully charged by 11:00am. Only twice did we go into a second night not being fully charged, but we never had to run the engine to generate power. After a while the engine started to run rough, so I adjusted the valves and noticed a small bit of rust on the valve-stems etc.. So we started to run the engine at least once a week.
Now this might seem extremely spartan, but it really didn''t/doesn''t feel that way. I think that as in land-life, one easily falls into the trap that more stuff is better. So we read reviews, articles, and read all the stuff we ''need''. Funny thing is, that when we moved off the boat, we still found stuff we hadn''t touched in over a year.
P.S.: maybe not the right place to put this, but here''s my list of the top 5 things we had with us (in order of priority):
1) A flat cut #4 sail. Wow, what a difference it makes, so much less heel, but still great drive.
2) A shy kite, asymmetrical, flown off a pole. 840 sqf instead of 1300 sqf for our full kite. We''d have this puppy up 24 hours a day, fly it through squalls, etc.. No prob. Just square it back and run deeper, and up to 25kn the AP could handle it, with up to 35kn with handsteering. In 15kn costs you 0.5kn boatspeed, but it''s safe in a squall!
3) Dremel tool & cordless drill
4) Windspeed instruments
5) carbon fiber spinny pole (this permitted us to do sail changes, set/take-downs single-handed - great to give your partner time off to sleep).
Things that weren''t worth it:
1) Radar (esp. backstay mounted)
2) electronic charting (we had both paper and electronic for most part, and used paper always, with electronics as backup)
3) Full sized 1.5oz (heavy) kite. When it could stay full in a swell, it was too dangerous to keep up with just the two of us.