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mikieg 12-24-2011 10:49 PM

santana 30 or j30?
i was wondering what others thought of the santana 30 versus the j30. thoughts on construction, cruisability, racing, bluewater cruising etc. and comparison in general.

Faster 12-25-2011 01:08 AM

Very different boats... Either would make a decent coastal cruiser, neither would be considered 'blue water' boats..

The Santana is more of an IOR influenced masthead rig design with a high aspect main and larger jibs, genoas and spinnakers. The J is a fractional rig boat with more power in the main and smaller headsails. The Santana might be 'cruisier' from a living aboard perspective but the J will likely be a bit more fun to sail and will be better behaved overall. The smaller headsails will make the boat more manageable esp for a couple.

Both are decent boats... try to get on board each and see which one 'speaks' to you. Either will need close inspections/survey with a view to identifying any issues with delamination and wet core in the decks, and I believe the J has a (at least partially) cored hull too. Not a bad thing unless things have gone badly from undetected leaks here and there.

Good luck... Lake sailing, I presume?.. I'd probably lean toward the J if it's a good one.. but I'm partial to fractional rigs...

WDS123 12-25-2011 02:41 AM

Note - this post has been heavily edited by Jeff H. ; anyone can read the sailing world links about the respective boats and judge for themselves.....WDS

Note- That is correct, this post was edited to correct grossly misleading statements made by WDSchock in violation of forum rules. Those edits have been noted. Jeff_H

The S30 will not (J_H) sail better in light airs. The S-30 rates about 30 seconds a mile (slower J_H) than the J/30 (144 vs 174 in most regions, with a bigger spread in light air regions like the Chesapeake and Long Island Sound J_H). The J-30 is also a stable boat in heavy breeze, and will surf easily. The S30 hull is solid fiberglass, so no core issues there (except for notorious deck problems on the Santanas of this era J_H). Ask Newport Newbie about his S30. He posts here quite a bit. Or check this review

The J30 was built by a contract manufacturer called TPI (which is still in business after a name change which occured due to the retirement/death of one of the partners, and which is still highly regarded as one of the higher quality contract composite fabricators for a company which is also still in business and still uses this same contract fabricator J_H). This review (does not J_H) imply that the J/30 a pig in light and medium winds - but does say that it is excellent in heavy breeze.

So - depends on the prevailing conditions in your location.

mikieg 12-25-2011 12:21 PM

as some of you know, i have a santana 525 hull #227. i love the boat. i love w.d. schock and their products. there are people here that consider their designs to be cheap and flimsy for racing and protected waters only.
i do not consider myself expert on design and construction of boats, but if given the chance, i would jump at the opportunity to build schock boats!
it is generaly believed that the j30 is over built this is why they were able to be single handed during the famous fastnet race without any damages.
i am looking for a 30 footer for cruising and all that goes with that. and the s30 and j30 are within my affordability.
i feel any boat will work as long as it is deployed durring an appropriate weather window for that boat.
for that matter, my 525 could be employed to great extent if used durring environmental conditions that are within the envelope of boats capability.
i just am looking at these 30 footers for their creature comforts as opposed to my beloved 525.

Sabreman 12-25-2011 01:52 PM

No way the J could be considered a cruiser in any sense, regardless of the marketing. Flat deck, lots of water on deck and in the cockpit makes for a relatively wet boat. And the mast running through the center of the head is humorous. I can only imaging maneuvering around it in a seaway. And the curtain into the V berth is a compromise due to the presence of the mast and lack of clearance.

If you are looking for an offshore cruiser, there are better choices. if you are looking for a club racer, this is a nice boat, IMO.

JimsCAL 12-25-2011 08:39 PM

I regularly sail on a friend's J30. It's one of the later ones with a real cockpit (no sitting on the deck like a J24) and a pretty decent interior. I would have not problem going coastal cruising in it with my wife.

anthemj24 12-31-2011 10:20 AM

I have always been partial to J Boats, and would go with the J30 given those choices. It is true that two of those boats made it through the storm that wiped out the fastnet fleet, one of them singlehanded. Neither of the boats you mentioned are cruising boats in the traditional sense, but I am sure you already know that. The J 30 certainly can be cruised. For how long and with how many people really depends on your needs and wants more than the boat.

If you do decide to go with the J, one thing to watch for is a soggy bottom and transom. The diesel exhaust had a habit of leaking water into the core, and if not corrected early enough it would spread from the transom to the bottom. It is repairable, but at this point you should be able to find a boat that has already been corrected and is dry. Again, you may already know about this, but I feel I would be remiss in not pointing it out.

NewportNewbie 12-31-2011 10:28 AM

I have a S30 and love it. I singlehanded all the time and the boat is a dream to sail. It's quite responsive and built like a tank! Had it out of the water for inspection and bottom paint and in all this time there was NO damage to the hull. No blistering or anything of that nature. I am sure the boat you get depends on the wind and conditions in your area. Here in the pacific the S30 is perfect for my needs. It also has a very nice and roomy layout below. If you are ever in SoCal I'll take you out on mine. Fun boat!

WDS123 12-31-2011 10:33 AM

The S30 has a solid hand laid up hull - no core in the hull to get soggy or wet.

anthemj24 12-31-2011 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by WDSchock (Post 812000)
The S30 has a solid hand laid up hull - no core in the hull to get soggy or wet.

Yes, you already pointed that out. Of course it does have a cored deck which is fully capable of becoming soggy.

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