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-   -   J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/89866-j24-sf-bay-first-sailboat.html)

twerges 07-18-2012 05:47 PM

J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
I'm buying my first sailboat and would really appreciate some advice from forum members.

I'm considering buying a sailboat and keeping it on the San Francisco Bay. Basically, I'm looking for a fast and fun daysailor (22'-25'), which can be single-handed easily on the bay. I want something fast and responsive. I do not need (or want) any cruising amenities, as I will rarely or never sleep on the boat. I may want to start racing informally (beer can) in the future. I would prefer something less than $15k. I want something where I can learn to sail better (I've been sailing a lot for about a year now). Usually I sail single-handed, but sometimes I bring one or two adventurous friends along who are not usually sailors.

I was thinking of buying a J24. I think it meets my criteria fairly well. It's fun, fast, not a cruiser, can fit a few adventurous friends, and can be easily had for $10k or so.

My big question is this. Could the J24 be single-handed easily on the San Francisco bay? I've sailed on J24s a bunch of times, but always with other people. I''ve never sailed one single-handed. I thought these boats might be a little inconvenient to single-hand, but perhaps they could be rigged for single-handed sailing to make it easier? Also, the San Fran bay is very windy, sometimes 20+ kts. Is the keel too light on these boats for single-handed sailing in those winds?

I really appreciate any help or advice.
-tw

night0wl 07-19-2012 10:43 AM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
Fast and fun these boats are...but they're also beastly to handle and will punish you dearly when you screw up. A lot of people avoid racing these J/24s in Miami because they're known to eat up crew and spit 'em out on regular occasion.

WDS123 07-19-2012 11:04 AM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
Get a Santana 22 - perfect for bay conditions. Active local Fleet - inexpensive used boats.

I won't repeat the old saw about "where do you find a J/24 fleet in SF Bay ?"

Jeff_H 07-19-2012 11:53 AM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WDS123 (Post 898498)
I won't repeat the old saw about "where do you find a J/24 fleet in SF Bay ?"

Where do you find a J/24 fleet in SF Bay ? Here: J24 District 20, Fleet 17

But frankly I have always had a love-hate relationship with J-24's. They sail great and are quite fast for that era. If things get ugly you can sail them home under main alone. They are a very known quantity so there is a vast amount of literature on how to sail these boats. One design sails (new or used) are competively priced. They are still very competitive under PHRF is you wanted to Beer Can race them. They are actually moderately easy to single hand and make nice but not great daysailers. There is a huge amount to like.

But the cockpit is uncomfortable, they are not as forgiving as many of the designs which followed them, they need some remedial work to the cockpit (which often has already been done by a prior owner) so you don't swamp them. They often have core rot. They have this strange helm which always feels a little soggy. Like I said, love-hate.

The nice thing about San Francisco Bay is that there appears to be a lot of active one design fleets of varying designs. I agree with the manufacturer of the Santana 22 that you should have a lot of other choices besides the J-24. I would suggest that if you have your doubts about the J-24, I would talk to some of fleets of the other similar length one designs and the Santana 22 is not a bad alternative. (FWIW I personnaly really like the J-22 better than the J-24's but they do not appear to be popular out there, and they are not at their best in 20 knots of wind.)

Jeff

SlowButSteady 07-19-2012 01:52 PM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
I've always thought of the J/24 as a bit of a squirrelly boat. They can be fast and fun, if you are experienced. But they are definitely not something I would recommend as a first boat. Additionally, many (most?) J/24s you find will have been raced hard for many years. So they are likely to have structural issues you may not want to deal with in a first boat (or course, this can be true for many other designs as well). A Santana 22 would be a far better choice. But so would a Cal 25, Cal 2-25, or Cal 24, as well a as a dozen or so other designs common to the West Coast. IMHO your first boat should be a bit forgiving, particularly if you plan to do a lot of singlehanded sailing. No matter how many times you've crewed on someone else's boat, or how many lessons you've taken, you'll find that sailing and maintaining your own boat is a very different experience. Do yourself a favor and ease into boat ownership. If you get bored with a more sedate boat, in this size range you can always "trade up" later on without losing a huge wad of cash.

svHyLyte 07-19-2012 03:21 PM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by twerges (Post 898216)
I'm buying my first sailboat and would really appreciate some advice from forum members.

I'm considering buying a sailboat and keeping it on the San Francisco Bay. Basically, I'm looking for a fast and fun daysailor (22'-25'), which can be single-handed easily on the bay. I want something fast and responsive. I do not need (or want) any cruising amenities, as I will rarely or never sleep on the boat. I may want to start racing informally (beer can) in the future. I would prefer something less than $15k. I want something where I can learn to sail better (I've been sailing a lot for about a year now). Usually I sail single-handed, but sometimes I bring one or two adventurous friends along who are not usually sailors.

I was thinking of buying a J24. I think it meets my criteria fairly well. It's fun, fast, not a cruiser, can fit a few adventurous friends, and can be easily had for $10k or so.

My big question is this. Could the J24 be single-handed easily on the San Francisco bay? I've sailed on J24s a bunch of times, but always with other people. I''ve never sailed one single-handed. I thought these boats might be a little inconvenient to single-hand, but perhaps they could be rigged for single-handed sailing to make it easier? Also, the San Fran bay is very windy, sometimes 20+ kts. Is the keel too light on these boats for single-handed sailing in those winds?

I really appreciate any help or advice.
-tw

A J24 is not a boat for a Novice and particularly not on SF Bay. Do yourself a favor and look at some of the boats advertised in Latitude 38 in the size range you're interested in. (Click on Latitude 38 - Classy Classifieds Categories). Once you've got some experience, then consider a J-boat.

FWIW...

twerges 07-20-2012 07:42 PM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
Hey thanks for the advice everyone.

If a J24 is too hard, would a Ranger 23 be better? I've noticed that those boats are common on the SF bay, and they have a much higher ballast/disp ratio than the J24.

A few people here suggested the Santana 22. I've noticed that those boats are very common on the SF bay, and many sell for less than $2000. I'm a bit concerned by their high PHRF rating. I was looking for something fairly spirited to sail.

Are there any other boats which might be more forgiving or more appropriate for me than the J24? I've sailed a Soling single-handed frequently for about a year now (although the owner has installed a self-tacking jib which obviously makes it easier) so I'm not a complete novice at this. Is there any other boat which you think is appropriate to my level of experience, which can be single-handed, and which is at least somewhat fast and responsive? Again, I don't care about cruising amenities.

Thanks again for your help and advice.

WDS123 07-20-2012 08:47 PM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
You will going plenty fast enough on the bay to not be concerned with PHRF ratings. You want a boat that is stable in heavy airs. A boat that was designed expressly for SF Bay.


Jeff_H 07-20-2012 09:14 PM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
I don't know if there is a one design class of Ranger 23's but this is one of my favorite boats of that era. Mull really nailed that design.I spent a lot of time on those boats in a wide range of conditions and they were truly impressive for when they were designed. If one design was not important, there was a Farr 727 for sale out there that looked like a great boat. It may be sold by now.

Jeff

CalebD 07-21-2012 12:55 AM

Re: J24 for SF Bay? First sailboat
 
I'd bet that the Ranger 23' could handle the winds on SF Bay if you can. The Ranger 23' might be easier to single hand then a Sonar (also 23') or similar fast dinghy like sail boat.

People have found ways of sinking J 24's in NY Harbor: The Sinking of 12
The formula for sinking a J 24 seems to be simple: do not close companionway and do not latch lazarettes in cockpit closed, then get knocked down.

I doubt that a Ranger 23' would plane like a J 24 (or at all) but for single handing I'd rather have some serious weight below like the R 23 has. We race against one in PHRF beer can races and the R 23 can be a spoiler for my Tartan 27'. We race in the 'high' PHRF division (>186).

Are there any Tanzer 22's in the SF Bay area?


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