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  #1  
Old 06-20-2005
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To buy a J109?

I am considering the purchase of a lightly used or new J109. Any info or feedback on the 109 would be appreciated. I am particularly interested in feedback on build quality and fit out. Also, performance in heavier air, particularly short handed. I am not a racer, but I admire the concept of design from a practical standpoint. I sailed on it once and was most impressed, the problem was we had light air. As such, any additional input would be appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2005
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To buy a J109?

I have been very impressed with these boats. They seem to offer a very nice balance between light and heavy air performance. Build quality seems to be typical J-boat, which is well above average in most respects but not as richly finished as many of the more luxury oriented companies. I have not sailed on one, and have only seen them oioy there racing so I really do know how they are to short-hand. Most dual purpose boats, like the J-109, spread out the control lines so that there is room for a race crew to work. This means moving about the cockpit a little more than is perfectly ideal for single-handing. On the other hand, J-boats tend to use very high quality hardware carefully sellected for the chores at hand, making adjustments easy. They also tend to run everything back to the cockpit which I consider to be a minimum standard for short-handed sailing. And frankly, these days most cruising boats and performance cruisers are still very poorly laid out for short-handed sail handling functions when compared to a boat like the J-109.

Jeff
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Old 06-21-2005
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To buy a J109?

I sailed on a J 109 last fall and came away with the feeling that this is one of the great mid sized boats out there. It seemed to do everything well. The cockpit transom locker being removable for racing was a really nice feature. The boat was very "Purposful", meaning that there were really no un-needed frills. Handled well, reacted positively to the helm, and this was in about 18 - 20 kts. A fairly dry boat as well.

The only issue that the owner had, was the bow sprit would ship water into the boat in rougher conditions. A solid tube sleeve with a proper drain would solve this. I even think it''s available from the factory.

In this size range, it is a bit on the pricey side. And at that price, I would take a long hard look at the Seaquest 36. If you are looking for round the bouy performance, with light weekending duties, the Seaquest is a more performance oriented design, with outstanding workmanship. If you were looking more for a good sailing boat, with nice accomodations, and the flexibility to hit the race course now and then, the J 109 would be a better choice.

Also on the list would be the Cape Fear 38. You can go stripped out racing, or build up a custom fast cruiser.

Each of these boats are really close to the best example of the modern interpretation of a cruiser/racer, and are designed by some of the leading minds in sailboat design today: Reichel-Pugh for the Seaquest, Bruce Marek for the Cape Fear, and the team at J Boats are well regarded for their no nonsense approach to yacht design.


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Old 06-21-2005
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To buy a J109?

I would also place the Beneteau First 36.7 on that list as well.

Jeff
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