SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24 Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-21-2012 01:15 PM
Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

@Irunbird: Adding all your input to my list. The APS pictures are great and the Harken diagrams are now a lot more useful to put things in context.

@All: thanks much for your comments, they were well received. Even if some info I had already it's good to see how other people think.

"She" needs a name, I have to come with something up until next w/e when "she" will be handed over to me. I'm thinking of starting with a thorough inspection and not to launch her this year; I'd like to see her with the mast up though...

I found this link useful for rigging info:

I'll have an update once I get to spend some time with her...

09-20-2012 07:05 AM
Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

There are lots of places to get rigging information, mostly from the various sailmaker's web-sites in the form of a tuning guide. Harken used to produce a great diagram to help you figure out how to buy more boat stuff, but I think the best place now is aps- APS - J/24 Boat Photos for Reference
This has a collection of photos from two different boats showing examples of ways to do different things, anything from motor mounts to the genoa shackle. You'll want to go through the tuning guides (my favorite is the one from Quantum, here- Class Details - Quantum Sail Design Group :: Premier Sail Design and Development) and watch the various online videos taken over the years by Harken and a few others (all on youtube). I'm sure you may have stumbled on the class website- , there is a great first-time buyers page there with bunches of hints of what to look at. I'm pretty sure core rot down into the hull, while possible, is pretty rare- definitely worth taking a look at, though. By far the most likely scenario for core rot there would be if a boat got holed, and a repair didn't adequately seal off the area and water got in. Core rot is very common in most decks, but depending on where it is (and what other boats you have in a similar price range) may not be a deal breaker. I know the j24 class web site says sails don't matter, but sails aren't cheap. Obviously, the boat is a lot harder to fix, but if you are looking to race, a newer set of sails can really sweaten the deal, especially a new genoa. Capsizing and turning turtle is really tough in a J24. I've never done it, but we've broached quite a bit- always with spinnaker up (my own boat and crewing on several others). The one thing to be sure of that everybody will tell you, is never go out (in any wind) without securing the cockpit lockers with a clip that cannot accidentally open. No big deal, but you could lose your boat. It's always a good idea to keep duct tape on the boat for a few other reasons (mast boot, for example), but sealing up the hatches means that you are probably done sailing, right? How often is that going to happen??
09-20-2012 06:41 AM
Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Here is Jack Hornor's review of the J/24: Boat Reviews by Jack Hornor, N.A. - J/24

It is a great sailing boat, but be careful about what you are buying. You may be taking on some serious repair work if the balsa core in the hull or transom is wet.
09-19-2012 11:25 PM
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,
09-19-2012 11:14 PM
Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24

Keel is worth about $1 a pound at the scrap yard.
09-19-2012 10:10 PM
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.
09-19-2012 09:41 PM
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.
09-19-2012 08:57 PM
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.
09-19-2012 08:15 PM
Re: Thinking of buying a 1979 J/24


"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.
09-19-2012 05:28 PM
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

This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome