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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking about a sailboat purchase (used or new) for over a year now and I keep coming back to the J/80. Now I need some opinions about whether this boat is appropriate for my needs.

It will be sailed in LI Sound, but I do not want to be limited to the Sound. The boat will be kept in the water for the season (either slip or mooring) and I do not intend to trailer it. The sailboat must be easy to single-handle. I need a boat that can be daysailed and is child-friendly. The boat must be FUN to sail! I would love to go fast yet I have no intention of racing. Ideally, the boat should not be high-maintenance. The boat should be less than 30 feet. I do not want luxuries in the cabin like a sink, stove, or shower.

My positives on this model are that it looks good, it is supposedly well built, and it is fast. The HUGE negative is the price, both on used and new boats.

Any ideas on this model would be truly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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I have never been a fan of the J-80. IMHO , of all of the ''sprit series'' the J-80 has seemed to be the least well conceived and designed. I know that they have a following but I have never enjoyed sailing the J-80.

I would like to suggest a couple alternatives here. First of all, I would suggest a J-27. These are substantially less expensive than the the J-80. J-27''s can often be found under $15,000 where as the J-80''s typically sell for over $25,000 on up. The J-27 is rated a little slower than the J-80. I raced on a J-27 for a number of years and we generally finished ahead of the J-80''s whose one design fleet started with the MORC fleet that we raced in. Sailed with a non-overlapping jib like the J-80 uses the J-27 would be a nice daysailor. That said, I would say that neither boat is really children friendly. Both boats are a real handful when things pick up.

Another similar but slightly slower boat is the Colgate 26. These were designed for use at sailing schools and are a little bit more manageable.

A boat that I am very familiar with (I have owned mine for the past 13 years. She is currently for sale) is the Laser 28. While you are not looking for as much accomodations as you might find on the Laser these are well constructed and fast boats (somewhere between the speed of a J-80 and a Colgate 26). Price wise the Laser falls closer in price to the J-27 than the J-80 or Colgate. Of the bunch the Laser is probably the most child friendly and more suited to the kind of day outings that we used to take when I was growing up as a kid on Long Island Sound. I frequently single-hand my Laser 28 and find that they are great for that purpose. Please don''t get me wrong here. As much as I would love to sell my Laser 28, that is not the reason that I have included the Laser 28 in this list.)

I think that it is wonderful that you are introducing your kids to sailing at a young age.Good luck in your search.

Regards
Jeff
 

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I had the same criteria as you when I was looking for a boat. I am primarily a daysailor and have small children. I sail on Lake Michigan, so I wanted a safe boat that my wife and children would be comfortable on. I looked at the J80. It is a nice boat, and fast, but it is very expensive (over $40k new) and it does not have a very comfortable cockpit for cruising.
The boat I chose is the Colgate 26. It is great for daysailing. The cockpit is about 13'' long. There is a ton of room if you just want to stretch out or take out 7 or 8 people. It has alot of nice saftey features: Positive flotation. One was recently hit broadside by a 40'' motorboat going at a high rate of speed. The boat was nearly split in two, but still did not sink. It has an open transom, which at first my wife did not like, but the forward part of the cockpit is somewhat separated from the last 3-4'' of cockpit by the main travler. The open transom is a nice saftey feature: if someone should fall overboard, it is easy to get them back in.
The cabin is very small, but does have a large v-berth and 2 large quarterberths. There is not alot of headroom. There is space for a portapottie. Like you, a large cabin was not my priority.
The boat is fast. Jeff is under the impression that the J80 is faster. Not true unless you count the J80''s large assymetrical spiniker. If you just sail the two boats with main and jib, the Colgate will keep up and frequently beat the J80. I have confirmed this with the Naval Accadamy--they bought a bunch of Colgates, and occasionally sail against J80s. I am amazed everytime I go out sailing how many boats I fly past. It is a real treat since my last boat was a big slow tub.
The Colgate is a great looking boat. When I first got it some people thought it was a J80--they look similar. They are about the same size and displacement.
Now for the price. Big difference between the J80 and Colgate. Starting price is about $27k. That includes almost everything (sails--including spiniker, electrical system--battery, solar charger, Harken roller furling, winch handles etc etc etc). All that you need to buy is sailcover, cushions, anchor and outboard. I got a trailer also.
If you have any questions about the boat email me at [email protected]
There is a comprehensive web site at www.colgate26.com All the pricing and equipment list is there. I''m sure that Steve Colgate would talk to you about the boat.
It really is a nice boat and I''m having alot of fun with it.
Rob
~~~~_/)~~~~
 

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I noticed on www.boats.com that there is a used Colgate 26 (listed as Precision Boat Works Colgate 26) listed for $16,500 in Connecticut. Broker is Brewer Yacht Sales,
1 860 399 6213
Rob
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Jeez, that seems like the boat did not hold its value very well. I wonder what the story is on that.
Jeff
 

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According to the info its a 1996 which I believe is the first year the Colgate was made. Their original price back then was closer to about $20k.
Rob
~~~~_/)~~~~
 

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Jeff,
More info:
Go to http://www.sailingworld.com/ssbk/colgat26.htm
This is the March ''97 Cruising World article in which the Colgate 26 was voted the Pocket Cruiser Boat of the Year. The quoted price in the article is $17995.
I bet that if you were selling a J80 bought new in 1996 you would losing a lot more than a couple thousand dollars!!!
Rob
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There is one in our fleet at the Setauket Yacht Club on the LI Sound. He is passed by the non spinnaker boats prior to the finish of each race. He has a five minute head start on those boats, and owes all but one significant time on ratings. He has yet to beat the local Pearson 30 boat for boat in his own division. It does seem like a very easy boat to sail, but maybe not to race to its numbers.
Jim
 

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There is one in our fleet at the Setauket Yacht Club on the LI Sound. He is passed by the non spinnaker boats prior to the finish of each race. He has a five minute head start on those boats, and owes all but one significant time on ratings. He has yet to beat the local Pearson 30 boat for boat in his own division. It does seem like a very easy boat to sail, but maybe not to race to its numbers.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rob,

When I posted my original message, I puposely did not mention my short list of boats. I wanted opinions that would not be biased by my list.

The Colgate is on my short list. I first saw it at the Annapolis show last year and I thought it was a J/80. It is definitely a better value than the J/80, but then again most boats are.

By the way, Colgate is currently offering free shipping to any destination in the eastern U.S. on new boats.

John
 

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John,
Unfortunately I''m in the midwest and had to pay for shipping. But I do love my Colgate. Its really a pleasure to sail.
What other boats are on your short list? There are not many other similar boats. The Sonar 23 is similar, but I did not like it as much. Most other boats with a large cockpit are smaller with almost no cabin at all. We were out sailing with 2 other couples on Sat nite (6 people total) and there was room to spare in the cockpit. We sailed by one boat which was at least 35'' that had about the same number of people on board and they were all bunched together with one sitting on top of the cabin. I''m sure it had a fantastic cabin, but thats not where I spend my time when I sail!!
I''m sure Steve Colgate will be at the Annapolis show coming up--say hi to him for me if you check out the Colgate 26 again.
Rob Hall
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rob,

I totally agree with you on cockpit size. Most of the boats on my short list have relatively large ones:

New or Used:
Alerion Express 28 - It is very beautiful and very expensive classic-looking boat, the one boat on the list that my wife would love.
Colgate 26 - The price is reasonable and it looks good.
J/80 - Still top of my list except for the damned price.
Sonar 23 - I learned to sail in this boat, not sexy but it is a good boat and it is fun to sail.

Used (I found two through this message string):
J/27 - For my needs and price range, this is the only other J that fits the bill.
Laser 28 - From what I can tell this boat is very similar to the J/27.
Unknown - A fractional sloop of approximately 25 feet. The huge cockpit has wood seats and a wood floor. There seems to be room underneath only for storage. It is doubtful that they are still made. A marina near my house has two of them docked. But I haven''t been able to get an I.D. on them.

John
 

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John,
I looked at the Alerion--beautiful boat but there were a number of negatives: too much wood to take care of, no lifelines, and cost. Also, I hear they are fairly tender...but a beautiful boat.
J27-did not look at it.
Laser 28-know nothing about it, but I''m sure JeffH would love to sell you his.
Colgate-if you want a nice daysailer that''s low maintainance, fast, fun to sail, safe and affordable, I don''t think you can beat the Colgate. Only negatives on the Colgate: no ports or forward hatch (but that means there are fewer areas that can leak). I really like the solid rails along the cockpit on the Colgate and I like the cockpit better that the J80. Would you use the retracting bow sprit and assymetrical spinaker on the J80? I also like having a solid fiberglass hull as opposed to a cored hull.
Good luck with you choice.
Rob
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Old thread - but totally relevant question today.

j80s are:
- much cheaper now
- still have some one design
- can transport (Charleston Race Week looks fun)

Whats not to like?

Jeff? Your comments page one did not have much specifics, although most everything I have read from you is quite detailed on why you have views on particular boats so I like your opinions.

What is lacking? I thought the J80 from a design spec is one of the better J boats - light almost uldb, planeable etc. Less tubby bow section (more or less j27 hull)

I know that is not everyones thing and makes it more of a handful but whats not to like?

Sit on deck, big cockpit - good things for racing maybe not so good for cruising ..

Please provide more feedback.

I understand there have been a couple suspect keel separation and the need for a serious survey in this area.

Also anyone chime in on production run differences.

Thanks.
 

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Well

To keep the competitive in this area out of OD racing they had to do a LOT of battles with the PHRF board :) on both the 80 and 105
 

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yeah, I can see that being the case - the little I saw of the j80 in phrf action was that it was hard as heck in normal conditions in the Ches Bay for it to sail to its rating.

BUT, I think that was complicated by it sailing its own sprit race AND not going with 155.

I can handle a dubious rating, but I want a fun boat without any really bad quirks or tendencies. Don't mind the sit on deck and it can't be wilder than the Olson 30.;)
 

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I'd point out that many of the things make it a good racing boat are things that make it poorly suited for use as a cruising boat, especially if you are short-handed.
 

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I'd point out that many of the things make it a good racing boat are things that make it poorly suited for use as a cruising boat, especially if you are short-handed.
Yes, I realize that is often the case. However, some race features are nice for family day sailing
1) open transom for kids to go in and out of water,
2) open/big cockpit for lounging
3) less sharp corners
4) I find cockpit 'seats' a hazard for small kids

the tenderness can be dealt with to some extent
and leading lines aft or not is always a choice depending on crew

Slugs vs bolt rope,
anchor location,
engine in vs out,
furling vs non - gotta choose one or the other :(

Anyways it would be for wed races, a couple longer ones and day sailing

I am finally accepting that I need something bigger/slower for cruising/overnighting.
 

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Yes, I realize that is often the case. However, some race features are nice for family day sailing
1) open transom for kids to go in and out of water,
2) open/big cockpit for lounging
3) less sharp corners
4) I find cockpit 'seats' a hazard for small kids

the tenderness can be dealt with to some extent
and leading lines aft or not is always a choice depending on crew

Slugs vs bolt rope,
anchor location,
engine in vs out,
furling vs non - gotta choose one or the other :(

Anyways it would be for wed races, a couple longer ones and day sailing

I am finally accepting that I need something bigger/slower for cruising/overnighting.
Message Deleted: Selling a boat with an inadequate number of posts in violation of Forum rules
 
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