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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-30-2010 03:25 PM
tommays The one big issue is what your racing against

There is a big differance in J24s that people kick around in and a J24 ready to sail in the worlds were every part on the boat has been changed to min class spec at great cost

One of the bigger issues in the local fleet here is 1/2 the boats drysail with a perfect gelcoat bottom and 1/2 live on moorings
08-30-2010 03:24 PM
tommays The one big issue is what your racing against

There is a big differance in J24s that people kick around in and a J24 ready to sail in the worlds were every part on the boat has been changed to min class spec at great cost

One of the bigger issues in the local fleet here is 1/2 the boats drysail with a perfect gelcoat bottom and 1/2 live on moorings
08-30-2010 11:21 AM
puddinlegs Here's a link to a series of J24 performance videos from Harken and North Sails:

YouTube - J/24 Competitive Boat Handling - Introduction

should help a good deal.
08-30-2010 09:29 AM
Ajax_MD Yeah, practice is the biggest means of improvement on the items you mention.

It took our boat weeks to become coheseive and work as a single unit, without a lot of speech. As a crew, we were all at various levels of experience, never worked together, and learning this particular boat's layout.

I'm a freak about it. I don't like huge, banging gybes because it seems needlessly rough on equipment. Bring up the traveler, and as you gybe, have the main trimmer rapidly ease the traveler, and the sheet if necessary. It's a rapid, smooth operation if done correctly. This is another instance where helm and main need to be sharing a brain to synchronize everything.

Clean launches. Make sure your "sewer" person knows how to run the tapes when packing the chute. If you're using guys, have the guy person pre-feed once the foredeck person indicated everything is connected properly. The guy and the halyard/pit person smoothly and rapidly deploy the chute. I've noticed that any hesitation on our part often results in a failed launch and twisted chute. It's ugly.

If you know all of this already, then all I can say is "practice".
Do you normally do a bear away set of the chute? That's how we do it.

My motto is: "Smooth is fast, and fast is slow". Meaning, rushing things just snags everything and slows you down, but if you're smooth and deliberate, you will automatically be fast.

My skipper really listens to crew input and does not hesitate to drill holes in his boat to add hardware if it's clearly of benefit to the crew, and speeds things up or adds to safety. Ask your crew what would make their lives easier, faster, safer.
08-30-2010 08:05 AM
j24slapshot Bubblehead, thanks for the response and to answer your question yes I race any chance i get and i just absolutely love sailing, but what I guess I was trying to ask was more like little things in rigging like the thing with the jib sheets and the line of spectra to help with tacks that's great but i was thinking there was more little things like rounding the windward mark and putting up the spin quicker and getting the jib down quickly so that the spin can fill quicker and easier. Another would be on jibes, what kind of routine should I use so that I don"t get anything tangled and I get a clean jibe with minimal loss of speed. The only other thing that is probably the biggest is the communication of all the crew and skipper, and much practice.

08-30-2010 07:48 AM
puddinlegs Try here:

International J/24 Class Association > Home

Go to the 'tricks and tips' area, enter a phrase in the search window, and you come up with great info like this:


Every sailmaker probably has a j24 tuning guide... here's one for example:

North Sails One Design

Are you racing one design or phrf? If there's a local J24 one design group, talk to the other skippers/owners about rig tune, etc... There are so many j24's out there that there's no lack of information. The class website listed above is a good start. If you have a good boat with good sails (very important... if your sails are old and blown out, you'll have a tough time) Don't worry, you won't need a radar. I doubt that one's ever been mounted to a J-24... I'm guessing you're talking about wednesday evening races....

Sail trim is mostly science and a little voodoo that one could talk volumes about. If you're inexperienced, the quickest way to get up to speed is to find and ask a fast J24 skipper/trimmer (or generally good sailor/trimmer from another type of boat... local dingy champs are the best) to come out with you and give you a primer lesson. North sails also puts out a nice sail trim guide, and North, as well as most other sail makers, will often have annual sail trim workshops offered for a fairly reasonable fee. Once boat speed is in order, then there are knowledge of rules and tactics... Stewart Walker's tactic books are a good supplement to doing as much racing as you can. Nothing beats actual experience. Again, see if you can get an experienced racer to act as 'tactician'... do a pre-race brief talking about wind, tide, favored end of the line, general tactical considerations, conditions on the coarse, practice tacks, and sail a bit of the windward leg to get your trim dialed in. Go race, and when you finish, a post race debrief is really critical. Talk about what went right and wrong including trim issues. Keep a log and write it down, particularly if your new to the locale. Draw diagrams of the race including the coarse of the boat that wins or beat you regularly. If you don't know why they went to a particular place and you find yourself following all the time, it's important to just ask them. Beer is a great informational lubricant.
In the end, racing very much like chess. Be thorough, be well prepared, study, and sail, sail, sail... on your boat and on others'. Hopping a ride once and awhile on another well sailed boat... it'll keep you fresh, and you'll learn new tricks.
08-30-2010 05:26 AM
Ajax_MD I'm not quite sure how to respond to this. Have you ever raced before at all? I can't tell from reading the question, yet you're racing a J boat which is popular for racing which would seem to indicate that you have raced.

If you have, then you know (or should know) most of the tips and tricks that I could offer.

If you haven't raced, then I could say a few things...

Sail shape for specific conditions is critical to speed. Similar to gears on a car, a flat shape is fast, and has less drag, but offers less power in choppy water.

Conversely, full bellied sails will power you through a chop, but limit your top speed because the air tends to drag over them more slowly.

Don't be afraid to reef, not just for safety but because a reefed main will be faster than dragging your rudder through the water like a brake or sailing with the main way out, spilling wind.

After tacking, don't have your main trimmer haul the traveler fully to centerline immediately, get some way on, and then bring it up as you build speed. You (helm) and the main trimmer need to be in sync so that the main's trim isn't overpowering the rudder.

Mark your helm (wheel) with the rudder centerline, and then the maximum amount of allowable weather helm on either side of that. If you find yourself steering past one of the "maximum weather helm" marks, your main is overpowering you and you're dragging the rudder. Trim accordingly.

Please understand that this is all very generic because I haven't ridden and J boats yet, and don't know their particular characteristics. Hopefully some J people will speak up.

As far as night sailing goes, have a backup GPS, designate a navigator who knows what the heck they're doing, have a functional depth finder and a radar would be nice, especially on a 40' er. You can use it to see rain or squall lines. If you're lucky, there'll be a moon by which to steer and observe the clouds and wind speed. If you're unlucky, you'll be navigating in an inky blackness, by instruments only. Post a lookout with binoculars.

Rigging: I find that large knots on the genoa really slow down tacking. Yet, if you "luggage tag" the genoa, it makes changing a head sail a real hassle unless you use multiple sets of jib sheets. You can splice eyes into the ends of your sheets, and then use a small piece of spectra/dyneema to make a "soft shackle" to join them, and it'll slide smoothly over your shrouds, improving your tacks.
08-30-2010 01:31 AM
J24 racing

I own a 1979 J24 and I want to be competitive when i race on Wednesday night racing. I was wondering if there are any tricks in rigging or in the sail trim that would give me a competitive edge.

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