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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-26-2008 07:40 PM
Giulietta SD is going to impale you...
09-26-2008 07:25 PM
Compass Rose J 28

Alderaan, Is your J 28, Compass Rose for sale? Today is Sep 26, 2008 and I saw a J 28 somewhere in NJ for sale.
08-05-2005 04:17 AM

I have sailed a J-28 for the last 10 years and have loved it. Prior to that, I sailed a J40, but stepped down when I had trouble finding crew. The J28 is a scaled down version of the J40 and a perfect single-hander or one couple boat. It is stiff and fast enough for club racing [phrf: 168]. Not many were sold because it was expensive compared to 30 footers. It has furniture quality finish below. Mine is currently for sale only because I want to move back to a J40. I have never had any blister, crazing or other problems. The 1988 Yanmar is still chugging like a champ. I even put reverse cycle heat/AC on mine. These are great boats, but not many first time buyers were willing to pay the tariff when they could buy a Sabre 30 or for less, a Catalina 30. I understand that''s the reason J Boats phased them out and replaced them with the J 32. You can get some good exterior and interior photos on If you are concerned about performance, look at the photo of Compass Rose under sail on about an 8-10 knot day.
07-07-2005 12:16 PM

correct was jeff said .... I wrote handfull for my J 30 as I usually race with the wife only... with two people it gets real funky above 15 knots.... more survival than style.....

I think the Laser will reach that point a little earlier with two people on board...

but as Jeff said... the trick is to reef early

( same is valif for the J 30 . however the other guys are killing me downwind than, so I rather "ride"the wild sau upwinds with a little too much )

with 4 people on the rail the J 30 will go upwind at unbelievable angles, and speed !

( At starts nobody dreams of being on my windward side anymore... . they all know that I will go straight up the pin, with no room left... )

Anyhow... I liked the Laser . but the discussion was 28 J boat ... different boat all together ... nice though .. not so fast but doesnt need railmeat either ...

07-07-2005 09:06 AM


Certainly the skipper that we sailed against was not terribly experienced at heavy air sailing, but he frequently had the boat''s former owner on board, and he was a very experienced skipper, so I can''t totally blame their poor heavy air performance on the new owner. I suspect a big part of the problem was crew weight - as you know the J/30 will go to weather like a freight train with 6 or 7 guys on the rail. The laser usually struggled to get 4 or 5 people on board for a race, so that was to their disadvantage in the heavy stuff for certain. And of course crew weight worked to our disadvantage in the light stuff, along with the fact that we owed them time.

My comment on the build quality of the boats was based (perhaps incorrectly) on 2 factors - these guys frequently broke stuff in any kind of breeze, and one other Laser which came to town for a regatta had deck gear that (IMHO) was more suited to a 22-footer. Having said that, they proceed to do a horizon job on most of the fleet in a 4-day light-air regatta, so I guess the gear was good enough for what they needed.

Thanks for the history lesson, Jeff. I didn''t mean to trash the Lasers. I was just expressing an opinion based on what I have seen and the prevailing conditions here in Nova Scotia.

YMMV (and it obviously did)

07-06-2005 09:44 AM

It sounds like you encountered a Laser 28 sailor who was not a good sailor in heavy winds. I will say that Laser 28''s do require some skill to sail well in higher windspeeds. Proper choice of sail and sail trim makes a huge difference in boatspeed on these boats in winds approaching 20 knots.

I would completely disagree with you that the Laser 28''s were built for lake sailing. It is true that were somewhat optimized to perform well at the light end of things but they were also extremely good boats in higher winds, really excelling against the local J-30''s in light air. In heavier conditions, the Lasers had a tough time sailing to their ratings upwind against the J-30''s but really had an easy time beating J-30''s in heavier going if there was a reasonable amount of reaching and down wind work. As you note being pretty much an even match with the J-30''s on corrected time in mid-range winds.

I owned a Laser 28 for nearly 14 years, and raced on several sisterships (as well as J-30''s during that period). Having sailed my Laser 28 in winds that pegged the anomometer aboard a near by boat at 65 knots, I thought that these were surprisingly good heavy air boats. I would not have wanted to spend days at sea in that stuff but I was able to get her to go where I wanted her to go in those heavy conditions. I have done a lot of single-and short handed cruising in my Laser 28 and was very impressed with how she handled winds well into the low 30 knot range (albeit double reefed and rigged with a small heavy fabric 90% jib).

I was amazed at how robust the Laser 28 was. These were beautifully engineered boats, albeit a bit unusual in their construction, expecially for thier day.

You may have heard it said more than once that " Laser 28 was the reason Laser weren''t bulding boats any more" but who ever said it would be incorrect. The Laser 28 was developed independently of the company that built the smaller Lasers by Ian Bruce during the period that he did not own Performance, the company that built the smaller Lasers during that era. When Ian Bruce reacquired Performance, the Laser 28 was added to the Laser line up, but was actually still built by a separate company from the company building the smaller Lasers. That separate company continued building Laser 28''s for several years after Performance had gone belly up. In other words the fortunes of the Laser 28 really had no bearing on the separate company building the small Lasers. What ultimately killed the Laser 28 after a production run world wide reportedly of just under 400 boats was the recession of the late 1980/early 1990''s, the rapid increase in boat building materials in this period (the Laser 28 went from a price of $27,000 fully equipped, in the water, and ready to sail with a trailer in 1985 to $54,000 not fully equipped in 1990) and, perhaps more significantly, the rethinking in racing that lead to single-purpose one- design keel boats such as the Tripp 26, Mumm 30, Melges 24/30 and the J-92 and J-105.

Those who were closer to the company have always said that Performance got into trouble at the start of the 1989 recession by trying to over-diversify too quickly coming out with two different Laser like boats, a new two man trapeze boat based on the Australian skiffs (the name escapes me on this and the two Laser varients), the Laser shell, pulling boat, power skiff, and a variety of still born projects in the same short period.

Both the Laser 28 and a J-30 were good boats for their day. To me the choice between a Laser 28 and a J-30 is one of personal preference rather some universal inherent advantage that one has over the other.

07-05-2005 07:06 PM
e-27 sailor

I''m sure Jeff_H will have some comments concerning the Laser 28. As far a "vary light boats, and vary lightly built", there are a lot of truely outstanding boats that embrace both of these concepts, and keep structrual engeneers gainfully employed.
07-05-2005 04:10 PM

Thor, if you think your J/30 is a handfull when it blows, you should thank your lucky start you didn''t buy the Laser.

The lasers are very light boats, and very lightly built as well. The boats are built for the Lakes (i.e. not much wind)

We raced our J/30 against a Laser frequently - below 10 knots he beat us consistently, 10-15 it was back and forth, but in anything over 15 knots he might as well stay at the dock.

I heard it said more than once (for what it is worth) that the Laser 28 was the reason Laser weren''t bulding boats any more.
06-22-2005 08:59 AM

i have a j 30 which is a different animal than the j 28....

I would have boughbt a j 28 but the asking price was double of my j 30 ...

I really like my boat, its a little handfull when it blows, but you can depower easily ( twist, than reef ) or wht I do actually quite often sail with main alone ( beat a lot of boats upwind very relaxed )

I was also lookin at the laser, which is a better all around phrf boat to race ( especially in light winds ) but I didnt like the looks as much as the J and the wife didnt like the plastic/orange interieur compared to the wood of the j 30

But the J 28 is somewhat a milder race boat and a better cruiser than the j 30 ... just that i didnt have the dough ...

Meanwhile I can get at lkeast 5000 bucks more for my boat than i have spend ,, try to find that with older boats ....
Dont have any wet core, but I also check and rebedd things quite othen...

go for it, you wont be dissapointed

06-18-2005 01:40 AM

Thanks Jeff.
I was a little concerned about the short production run (only 2 years) on the J-28. I know the mid-eighties was a tough time to introduce a new boat.
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