Join Date: Mar 2007
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Lyle's take on the J105 is very balanced. I 've only been aboard them a few times at boat shows, and for one relatively brief test sail. I like the way they sail (fast), and I like the retractable sprit with the asym spinnaker, but I would not want to cruise with my family or a few friends on one. And that is my big complaint about them. The 105 is a fairly large boat (34 feet +/-) with a cabin that is less accommodating than our previous 24 footer. As long as you recognize the purpose of this design - PHRF club and one-design racing with enough accommodation to serve as a crash pad - it is perfect for exactly that. But I sort of think of it as being a lot like the NY36 as far as cruisability (albeit with a much simpler rig).
It sounds like you are looking for a boat that would be a fun daysailor, performance cruiser, and that is suitable for maybe some club racing too. In the same vein as the 105, would you consider a somewhat smaller J-boat? One of their designs that has always appealed to me is the J32. The cabin is much more accomodating than the 105, but the hull form still has a performance edge. It lacks the retractable sprit, but you can still fly an asym spin from a pole or even the pulpit. This model might be too small for your purposes, but I thought I'd mention it since you are already considering the 105 and other J models are being tossed into the mix.