J37... and the J34
Okay, I am posting under a new name for privacy. I am *considering* the purchase of 2 different J boats through private parties and would like to keep things sorta quiet. I like the J37 (not a "C" model) and also like the J34. Before I get too far along in this process and tie up my time and the owner('s) time I would like to hear from others regarding the pluses/minuses and things to look out for. Have always like the looks of the J boats. If you can find them a J36 is kinda neat too if anyone has an opinion on these. I have found the SAILNETters to be a great source of info!
AFA me... experienced sailor on all kinds of boats; would be looking for decent light air performance but ability to hold up to blue water sailing. MAY do some short handed/singlehanded racing but would definitely want to do some extended cruising w/ the Admiral. ;)
We've been sailing our J/36 for twelve seasons. We do a bit of racing, and have had her moving up to 13 knots, with the full main, 150 genoa and spinnaker all up, at night. We were trying to catch a J/125, and thought we had him when his spinnaker blew out, but he put up his heavier one. We've beaten in the rain for 10 hour stretches into 30 knot wind and 6' waves - ending up second to a J/109 about twenty years newer. Next year we'll try again. We've also been able to cruise extensively from New York City, through Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, Narragansett Bay, and on to Gloucester and Maine. Most of Penobscot Bay we cruised for two weeks with just the two of us. Coming back (with more crew) we went from Harpswell to Southport CT in less than 48 hours, mostly under a reefed mainsail. We surfed into the Cape Cod Canal at better than 10 knots. Fast is fun. The J/36 has a nicer interior than the 35 and seems to hold up well. The J/34 is more of a cruising design, with less sail area and power. There may be more storage space because of the cruising orientation. If you're in a light-air area you may find you'd like more sail. A friend who had one enjoyed it quite a bit, however. I believe the J/37 is more of an IOR-focused design: big jibs, small main, pinched ends - though I may be mistaken, and it may be hard to sail to its rating. The tall rig may mean you need crew to keep her flat if there's more than 8 knots of breeze.
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