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  #1  
Old 05-23-2013
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J/97

I just took a look at the new J/97. My wife has gotten into racing and wants a faster boat. I won't replace the Mariner 28 (1979) I have now, I own it and have poured too much of myself into restoring the boat.

I was impressed with the lines and aesthetics of the J/97. Roomy cockpit, and an open layout in the interior. Boat is definitely built for performance but seems comfortable as well.

My concern is construction. It's been a while since I have looked at a new boat so I am unfamiliar with present day construction techniques. For example, glueing the deck to the hull. Anyone have any experience with this? How does it last? There is an older Beneteau in the yard that used this technique. Hull is full of moisture, pegs the meter, most of the toe rail has been ripped off and its in the middle of a repair.

Also, I liked the shape of the keel of the J/97. Yet the top 1/3 is hollow. Makes the boat lighter and increases performance for sure, but how does that hold up after years of stress?

Asking price is $180k. I felt this was a reasonable price for a new modern 32 foot J boat. Just seems to me putting $180k into an older better constructed boat would make more sense.

I may just end up buying a smaller used J boat to race with. Put the money in the rigging and sails.
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: J/97

You can see it from a lot of angles but for what I know the Jboats construction on newer boats is a very good one. That story about the older boats being better built just don't ring true to me. The techniques and materials may be different but the quality is not lower.

That boat has a good cruising interior and can do both things I mean racing and cruising. Only you and your wife can decide what you want and for what. With the Jboat while cruising you will sail a lot more than with your old 28ft.
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: J/97

I should have been clearer in my original post. I don't want this discussion to turn into an older vs newer construction debate. I like the J/97 a lot and did not intend to be critical of the construction. I simply don't know enough about modern construction techniques to be critical. "Gluing the deck to the hull" seems strange to me. Perhaps if I understood the method better it would not be so strange.

I am sure over the last 30+ years construction techniques have improved. Manufacturer's driven by maintaining some level of margin and improving quality try different methods and improve upon them.

Maybe gluing the hull to the deck was tried 10-15 years ago and the present day technique is much improved upon from when the method first started. That is an example of what I am trying to learn. What was the adhesive used 10-15 years ago and what is used now?

What hull composites are the best one today (now there's a debate I am sure!). Anyone familiar with the keel construction on the J/97 what are your thoughts? Seems weak to me where it joins the hull. 10 Steel bolts into lead at the bottom the keel, but what about the strength at that hollow space? I am sure J boats tested and re-tested and wouldn't put it on the market unless it was proven.

And by the way my old 28ft sails just fine.....just doesn't win many races
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: J/97

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewoliv View Post
...
And by the way my old 28ft sails just fine.....just doesn't win many races
Wait till you sail a J97...and I guess you will change of opinion. By the way a nice things would be a test sail on the boat.

For answering your doubts and questions I think this is the best place:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fro...orum/j92owners

This is not the same boat but I am sure they know all about Jboats.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 05-23-2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: J/97

I've competed against a J/97and it appears to be sleek and weatherly. I'm getting a little long of tooth or I'd be considering one myself. For nearly 30 years my wife and had a J/30, an earlier iteration of the J/97. We competed one-design and PHRF, day sailed and cruised. The systems were simple, effective, and rugged; definitely a cut above most competitors.

For more than 30 years J Boats has been gluing the deck to the an inward turning flange the deck to the hull -- in the past they additionally bolted through the toe rail also. Weroutine maintained the stanchions bases but no leaks.

The hollow keel stub lowers the vertical center of gravity, thereby, making the boat stiffer. The draft is 6" 3". Two J/80's lost their keels at the keel stub in 2008 or so. I would think the design team has been chastened by those failures but it's certainly something I'd look into.


I think your assumption that an older boat is better constructed boat is not necessarily supported by fact. If your wife gets an opportunity to crew on a J/97, you're likely to own one. I'd guess if you get a J/97 the increased performance and decrease in maintenance will have you quickly forget the Mariner 28.
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Re: J/97

Thanks for the warning! I'll have to keep her away from the J/97 for a while. I do not assume older construction is better I am simply more familiar with the older techniques. Thank you for explaining the keel.
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Old 05-23-2013
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Re: J/97

Many older designs also have hollow keel stubs, they are just made of fiberglass and part of the hull and form the bilge.

I like it and think my Pearson could benefit from a lower VCG. The high aspect bolt on fin keel is nice, but without a bulb most of the weight is up high, not down low where it belongs.
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Re: J/97

I have a friend who has a Cape Dory 28 with a full keel. The top is hollow as you say and the bilge is deeper. The J/97 had a very shallow bilge and the hollow keel was not used for a sump. The lower center of gravity is certainly an advantage.

BTW Alex you've got a nice boat!

Last edited by andrewoliv; 05-23-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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