J/80 - Opinions Needed - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

I have been thinking about a sailboat purchase (used or new) for over a year now and I keep coming back to the J/80. Now I need some opinions about whether this boat is appropriate for my needs.

It will be sailed in LI Sound, but I do not want to be limited to the Sound. The boat will be kept in the water for the season (either slip or mooring) and I do not intend to trailer it. The sailboat must be easy to single-handle. I need a boat that can be daysailed and is child-friendly. The boat must be FUN to sail! I would love to go fast yet I have no intention of racing. Ideally, the boat should not be high-maintenance. The boat should be less than 30 feet. I do not want luxuries in the cabin like a sink, stove, or shower.

My positives on this model are that it looks good, it is supposedly well built, and it is fast. The HUGE negative is the price, both on used and new boats.

Any ideas on this model would be truly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

I have never been a fan of the J-80. IMHO , of all of the ''sprit series'' the J-80 has seemed to be the least well conceived and designed. I know that they have a following but I have never enjoyed sailing the J-80.

I would like to suggest a couple alternatives here. First of all, I would suggest a J-27. These are substantially less expensive than the the J-80. J-27''s can often be found under $15,000 where as the J-80''s typically sell for over $25,000 on up. The J-27 is rated a little slower than the J-80. I raced on a J-27 for a number of years and we generally finished ahead of the J-80''s whose one design fleet started with the MORC fleet that we raced in. Sailed with a non-overlapping jib like the J-80 uses the J-27 would be a nice daysailor. That said, I would say that neither boat is really children friendly. Both boats are a real handful when things pick up.

Another similar but slightly slower boat is the Colgate 26. These were designed for use at sailing schools and are a little bit more manageable.

A boat that I am very familiar with (I have owned mine for the past 13 years. She is currently for sale) is the Laser 28. While you are not looking for as much accomodations as you might find on the Laser these are well constructed and fast boats (somewhere between the speed of a J-80 and a Colgate 26). Price wise the Laser falls closer in price to the J-27 than the J-80 or Colgate. Of the bunch the Laser is probably the most child friendly and more suited to the kind of day outings that we used to take when I was growing up as a kid on Long Island Sound. I frequently single-hand my Laser 28 and find that they are great for that purpose. Please don''t get me wrong here. As much as I would love to sell my Laser 28, that is not the reason that I have included the Laser 28 in this list.)

I think that it is wonderful that you are introducing your kids to sailing at a young age.Good luck in your search.

Regards
Jeff

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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

I had the same criteria as you when I was looking for a boat. I am primarily a daysailor and have small children. I sail on Lake Michigan, so I wanted a safe boat that my wife and children would be comfortable on. I looked at the J80. It is a nice boat, and fast, but it is very expensive (over $40k new) and it does not have a very comfortable cockpit for cruising.
The boat I chose is the Colgate 26. It is great for daysailing. The cockpit is about 13'' long. There is a ton of room if you just want to stretch out or take out 7 or 8 people. It has alot of nice saftey features: Positive flotation. One was recently hit broadside by a 40'' motorboat going at a high rate of speed. The boat was nearly split in two, but still did not sink. It has an open transom, which at first my wife did not like, but the forward part of the cockpit is somewhat separated from the last 3-4'' of cockpit by the main travler. The open transom is a nice saftey feature: if someone should fall overboard, it is easy to get them back in.
The cabin is very small, but does have a large v-berth and 2 large quarterberths. There is not alot of headroom. There is space for a portapottie. Like you, a large cabin was not my priority.
The boat is fast. Jeff is under the impression that the J80 is faster. Not true unless you count the J80''s large assymetrical spiniker. If you just sail the two boats with main and jib, the Colgate will keep up and frequently beat the J80. I have confirmed this with the Naval Accadamy--they bought a bunch of Colgates, and occasionally sail against J80s. I am amazed everytime I go out sailing how many boats I fly past. It is a real treat since my last boat was a big slow tub.
The Colgate is a great looking boat. When I first got it some people thought it was a J80--they look similar. They are about the same size and displacement.
Now for the price. Big difference between the J80 and Colgate. Starting price is about $27k. That includes almost everything (sails--including spiniker, electrical system--battery, solar charger, Harken roller furling, winch handles etc etc etc). All that you need to buy is sailcover, cushions, anchor and outboard. I got a trailer also.
If you have any questions about the boat email me at rbh@execpc.com
There is a comprehensive web site at www.colgate26.com All the pricing and equipment list is there. I''m sure that Steve Colgate would talk to you about the boat.
It really is a nice boat and I''m having alot of fun with it.
Rob
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

I noticed on www.boats.com that there is a used Colgate 26 (listed as Precision Boat Works Colgate 26) listed for $16,500 in Connecticut. Broker is Brewer Yacht Sales,
1 860 399 6213
Rob
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

Jeez, that seems like the boat did not hold its value very well. I wonder what the story is on that.
Jeff
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

According to the info its a 1996 which I believe is the first year the Colgate was made. Their original price back then was closer to about $20k.
Rob
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

Jeff,
More info:
Go to http://www.sailingworld.com/ssbk/colgat26.htm
This is the March ''97 Cruising World article in which the Colgate 26 was voted the Pocket Cruiser Boat of the Year. The quoted price in the article is $17995.
I bet that if you were selling a J80 bought new in 1996 you would losing a lot more than a couple thousand dollars!!!
Rob
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

There is one in our fleet at the Setauket Yacht Club on the LI Sound. He is passed by the non spinnaker boats prior to the finish of each race. He has a five minute head start on those boats, and owes all but one significant time on ratings. He has yet to beat the local Pearson 30 boat for boat in his own division. It does seem like a very easy boat to sail, but maybe not to race to its numbers.
Jim
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Old 09-14-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

There is one in our fleet at the Setauket Yacht Club on the LI Sound. He is passed by the non spinnaker boats prior to the finish of each race. He has a five minute head start on those boats, and owes all but one significant time on ratings. He has yet to beat the local Pearson 30 boat for boat in his own division. It does seem like a very easy boat to sail, but maybe not to race to its numbers.
Jim
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Old 09-23-2001
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J/80 - Opinions Needed

Have you had a chance to check out the Colgate 26''s.
Rob
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