Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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More J/Boat Questions
The J-30 was the second design produced by J-boats but I would be very skeptical that a J-30 competed in the 1978 Fastnet as I believe that the J-30 was actually introduced about the time of the Fastnet disaster in the States. J-30s are a mixed bag. They are certainly more of a cruiser than many of the J-boats that followed the J-30. J-Boats started out building small simple MORC class boats. They appeared on the scene at a time when the IOR rating rule was heavily inversely influencing what a perfromance looked like.
Boats that came out of MORC were going a different route and the brilliance of the J-24 was that Johnstone understood that direction and came up with a very simple boat that was economical to build, that also really took advantage of that direction.
More or less the J-30 and J29 took that concept and put it in a copier and blew it up 6 feet. The J36 and later J35 stretched and refined this set of ideas even further.
Next comes the narrow series, J-27 and J33, which were outand out racers compared to the J30 or J36.
Then J-boats produced a cruising series which are all pretty neat compromises between good cruisers and good performance boats. They were never really intended as race boats. This series included the J28, J34c, J35c, J37c and J40.
About that time J-boats produced two IOR oriented boats, the J 3/4 ton (or J-37) and the J One ton (or J41).
In the late 1980''s J began producing what were intended to be ''IMS'' oriented boats the J44 and the J39. The J-44 is one of my favorite J-Boats of all time.
By the 1990''s J began building the ''sprit series'' which were intended to go back to J-boats roots building simplified one design racers that could also be minimally cruised. The sprit series is designated by a metic length J-80, J-92, J-105, J120, J125, J130, J145. J-boats also builds a 53 foot J-160 which is an extremely neat, sprit series, luxury performance cruiser that I have spent a lot of time onboard.
Back to your question about the J-30 vs J28. The J-28 was specifically intended as a crusier and so the amenities and cockpit were laid out to be comfortable for cruising. The J-30 was specifically designed for racing so it is laid out to empahsize ease of sail trim and speed with a big crew on the rail rather than cruising comfort. Certainly J-30''s can be cruised. At least one was raced in the Ostar trans-Atlantic race, but they were not purpose built for cruising and so are something of a compromise. The other thing is that the J-30 is still raced as a one design and so they have maintained a pretty high price when they are in good shape. When you see a cheap J-30 they will often have a number of expensive problems. For example these were very early balsa cored hulls and so will often have delamination problems. As much as I am a fan of cored hulls, TPI (the company that actually built the J-boats as well as Freedoms, and a number of other brands), in the early days did,not have the best track record with regard to delam problems.