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  #11  
Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

If you do get a J24 just make sure you close up the companionway and latch the cockpit lockers closed in any rough conditions: The Sinking of 12
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Maybe five years before the sinking of MYC-12, a J/24 went down in Raritan Bay for the same reasons. Crew ignored squal warnings, broached, filled, sank. And that was very well known in the NYC J/24 community, because prior to the Raritan Bay sinking, everyone had that "oh, you can't" response to the issue.

Although some of us just quietly got out the duct tape at times. :-)

They're fine boats, but the J brothers would be the first ones to remind folks, they were intentionally built LIGHT for RACING, and forty years of "rode hard and put away wet" can take their toll on any boat. Even the gooseneck fitting to the boom can be worn out on a J/24 with that many years on it. And the original halyards, with no chafe plates, can chew long slots in the last.

Of course lightening the boat that way doesn't violate any class racing rules, and it does make the boat lighter and faster...
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Since we are throwing gasoline on the fire, they sank another J24 last July near Ellis Island: Scuttlebutt News: Capsize on the Hudson River
Granted, it was a rough squall that came through but ...
close those companionway and cockpit hatches.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Thanks everyone for your input - it's a big help to get somebody elses perspective.

J/24's propensity for capsizing when broached (with the hatches and lazarretes open) still gives me pause. I'm wondering though if these incidents appear to be more frequent given the (higher) number of J/24 being raced (and therefore scrutinised) compared to other boats.

In any case, if I get the boat, I'll seal the lazarretes and keep sime duct tape handy for the companionway hatch


Later,
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

farscape?

"J/24's propensity for capsizing when broached "

HTF do you get to that assumption? Given the numbers of hours on those boats, and the gung-ho nature of their usual skippers, and often an inexperience level with anything besides flat water and good wx, how do you blame the boat?

A J/24 is a very nicely made very well behaved boat. It is relatively stable (I don't know the numbers, only the feel of the boat) and has no propensity to capsize.

Any idiot can capsize any keelboat, if they do something careless like keep up too much sail or broach it with a companionway open. If the J/24 has any extra vulnerability, it would only be due to the lazerettes draining into the bilge rather than being sealed off--but that's pretty common and easily remedied.

Squalls don't come out of thin air. Or, well, maybe they sorta do, but you can ALWAYS see if a squall is coming, and folks who decide to ignore that, for a race or whatever, won't be saved by a "better" boat. Folks who haven't learned to respect Aeolus or Thor or you pick your own favorite, as much as they respect the sea, can sink any boat.

I've had a J out, shorthanded, in deteriorating wx (as per forecast, no surprise) that got so bad a chase boat came out to find us. I chewed out the driver for not bringing hot cocoa because we were soaked to the bone, but had no complaints or problems aside from the cocoa shortage.

OTOH I think every J/24 sailor will tell you, there's no such thing as a flat place to lie or sit on the boat. There's something tripping you, bumping you, or crowding you, or finding ways to stub your toes, everywhere. Except down below, where of course you can't stand up and the portapottie goes under the minimal nav shelf. Which is really just a portapottie cover.

Horses for courses, and all that fine stuff.

Last edited by hellosailor; 09-19-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Now that we've dumped plenty of fuel on the fire I'll break out the extinguisher as well.

I have limited experience sailing on a J24 but I can say that it is a fine pedigree racing boat. You will not find much else in that size that offers the speed and responsiveness a J24 offers. It does not take much wind to make that sucker go.

J24's are a one design (OD) fleet and as such are almost exclusively raced which means that the crews tend to push them to the max. I'd bet that many J24's do not even carry a reefing point in their main sails, as reefing while racing just seems wrong to the racing mindset.

If you look carefully at the pictures in the link I posted of the J24 sinking in NY Harbor last July, 2011 you will see that there were several other J24's out there and they did not capsize or sink. They got their sails down or mostly down. There were gusts to 45 knots or so that day and the crew that sank were either foolish or unlucky or both. There was also ample warning that a squall was coming, however fast it approached.

Something else to keep in mind is that all (3 or 4) of these NY Harbor sinkings were boats owned by a club that teaches sailing/racing so it is logical to assume that there were some sailors with not much experience involved.

If you own your own J24 you would take efforts to make sure that your hatches can be closed and be relatively water tight. I'm not convinced that a sailing club would be quite as vigilant - although you might think they ought to.

I wasn't really trying to scare you out of getting a J24. Having duct tape aboard is always a good idea though.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

For the record my Capri 22, and Capri 25 have the exact same hatch problem. It's easy to note, because the lazarette lockers open to the entire below, and only a bulkhead (unsealed) to the cabin. Just put a lock on it, or zip tie, problem solved.

If you are on the edge of a blow, and pushing it close the sliding hatch, with hatchboards in.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Don't forget to sound the bottom, the entire hull is balsa cored and there are quite a few around with rotten core in the bottom.
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Keel is worth about $1 a pound at the scrap yard.
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Obviously I never sailed a J/24 yet so I read as much as I could from the net and inevitably I came across the capsizing incidents - there are some technical details which I won't get into (93 deg, etc.) and the technical note from J/boats on how to prepare the boat to avoid such problems (including plugging the sink's drain), but in the end, I didn't give up on the boat because, I think most of the hype around them is brought on by folks who are not fans of the boat.

Nevermind, I still appreciate the input and I think I'll get the boat

Where can I find rigging instructions/manual for the J/24?

Thanks much,

Last edited by farscape; 09-20-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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