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Old 10-23-2010
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The J120 at our club raced to Bermuda for, I think, it's fifth time this past June. That would seem to indicate pretty solid construction. Her results also indicate a fast boat; they win a good bit of silver most seasons

The kind of sailing you describe wanting to do is one of the reasons J/109's are popular. I crewed on one at Block Island Race Week in June, and the owner cruised there again with his wife at the end of July. There are three at our club now, after one member replaced his J/92 with one. J/boat construction seems to be pretty good overall. Older is also a possible way to go. Our '81 J/36 is still holding up well, and holding our own against the newer boats. We got a third and a second in series racing this summer, in a fleet that includes the aforementioned J/109's, a J/105, a Beneteau 36.7, some C&C's and an SC37. We're thinking a new set of sails (our main is 8 years old) may help bump us up a notch.
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Old 10-23-2010
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I've raced inshore and offshore on J109s, J120s and Farr395s over past 4 years so have a fairly good feel for each. Firstly all are good boats so I don't think you can go wrong. They are however not like for like comparisons. The J109 is great for a couple since it is less powerful. It will be cheaper to maintain (sails & berthing) and probably newer. Being smaller it does not have the room of the bigger boats for cruising or crew accomm if you plan to race offshore.

The J120 is very popular so you won't have diffculty finding advice/benchmarks on how best to set yourself up. It's solid and fast upwind and down. Being bigger than the J109 you'll also feel more comfortable in less than ideal conditions and of course get their faster.
The Farr395 is less popular due to something like only 40 or so being built. I prefer the interior to the J120 but this is personal. It is lighter yet carries more sail upwind than a J120. If you plan to race you will be seeing more King 40s, J133s, X41s etc than J120s in your division.

For a given race crew the Farr395 will be faster than a J120 will be faster than a J109. If you have a full crew and want to push hard - go with the Farr395 it hauls on the course but is comfortable for the BBQ afterwards. If you want to cruise/race shorthanded I'd say J109. A bit of both with a mixed crew the J120 sits nicely in between.

Re: build quality. I've not seen anything of lingering major concern on any of them. Yep there were some problems - they were addressed but perhaps just as importantly the problem was admitted and warnings issues. Better the devil you know.

As I said earlier - all good boats an you'd be a proud owner of any of them.

My vote given I like to race first and cruise second. I like to go offshore. I usually race in a crew of 7 or 8 but sometimes we get 12. I like to finish sooner so I can get a good berth and get home sooner. In a blow I like to be on a bigger faster boat - to get home sooner, stay drier and feel safer. I like a boat that sleeps 10 if it really has to. I like to hit 20kts (but not for too long). So for me I'd chose the Farr395.

Last edited by timeandtide; 10-23-2010 at 03:43 PM. Reason: accidently submitted first time when incomplete
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Old 10-23-2010
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This one could be an option: Very good racing results in Europe. It is an offshore boat with a great cruising interior:

2006 Salona Yachts Salona 37 Sail Boat For Sale - www.pnb.yachtworld.com


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Old 10-24-2010
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Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
THe J's IMHO would be the better offshore boat. There are a few local ones that have done the Vic-Maui. THere is a local ie salish sea/puget/sound 109 on its way around the globe. I believe there is a blog clickable on the local -boat dealers web site.

We also have a F395 local. Very pretty boat. and fast! It would be on a short list for me if I was looking for a 40' boat. THere are also some Farr 39's local, different creature than the 395. More like a M32 on steroids. The 395 is more like a J120 but with a few less interior niceties.

Frankly, a Farr 39 or 395 should be able to spank a T4100! I would say the T had a better crew in some way shape or form. The F395 recently spanked a few F39's in a local race at my YC.

A Tartan 4100 will be much slower than all the boats the OP mentioned...

There are at least three or four versions of the Farr 39 around. For dual purpose, the Cookson version might be a consideration... all rate around 18 phrf. A Farr 39 M/L is not a boat you'd want to cruise. All have pretty big sail bills to stay competitive. (Marty, all of the local 39's wished they were a M-32 on steroids... The Farrs owe them 6 seconds a mile, and they're nearly impossible to beat boat for boat. )

395, the key is to find one that's had the typical Carrol Marine issues addressed. If I recall, the 395's had a number of them, but once they're sorted out, you're good to go.

What about a Sydney or an Aerodyne 38? Maybe out of budget?

And the Henderson... it's a sport boat. If one were going that route, why not a Farr 30? Probably more around and a chance to race OD.
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Old 10-24-2010
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Re the T4100 thought, you have to read CD's 2nd post in this thread, where he mentions a T4100 out ran an F39! altho it may have been the crew too! So yes, a T4100 should get spanked by F39's!

Then as you point out, I probably should have used an M/F30 as the boat on steroids per say. Then again, maybe not speed wise, but the boats interior etc is on steroids.

Looks like you are doing ok at the GP this weekend on VC. Hopefully you can stay ahead of shrek and catch tachyon. The other boats I know are not doing well, ie kiwi is getting spanked, Shoot the moon is not doing as well as they have been at WBRW and PSSC a few weeks back.

off to a ski intructor dryland clinic.............booooooooring!
She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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Old 10-24-2010
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Not to hijack, but I have to talk to you about the skiing thing... I'll PM when I have a moment.
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