For many years, J Boats has only offered new models in the large yacht segment. However, the long wait for the new "baby" paid off. The J / 70 lifting keel was a great success for American yacht designers.
Is that really what the new J-Series model will be? How will she move? For several months, her images flashed in the pages of magazines and in videos on the Internet sites, and now, finally, a copy was made for the German market, which is sent across the Atlantic Ocean. The cargo ship arrives on time, but its cargo gets stuck in the customs net.
In mid-August, the first yacht of the series J / 70 arrived at a German dealer in Kappeln, and its owners were already so tired of waiting that they immediately launch it into the water and set up rigging. For starters, you can skip fine-tuning your gear and additional equipment to keep you comfortable while sailing. The main thing now is just to sail.
Test conditions: 3-4 points on the Beaufort scale, few waves, no gennaker
Yacht type: monotype - planing sailing dinghy
Price: from 41650 euros, the set includes a mainsail, a staysail, a gennaker, a carbon fiber spar
To the delight of numerous spectators on the shore (they spend a hot Saturday afternoon watching 18 old-style dinghies, similar to Megin, which with a two-point westerly wind compete for the title of champion) the first voyage of the yacht takes place next to the regatta route. On this day, I also see the new Model J for the first time.
The yacht glides gracefully into a steep sidewind along the bay Go and attracts everyone's attention. She looks wonderful. Its elongated, flat hull with a short, low wheelhouse speaks of the yacht's dynamics, in which there is nothing superfluous at the same time, and the high-rise mast with a narrow staysail and a proportional mainsail gives the impression of an optimally equipped boat. The overall picture is impressive in its harmony.
Anyone who sees off the yacht would love to go on it. We have this opportunity two days later. When we arrived at the shipyard in the morning Mittelmann's, J / 70 is still standing after cleaning in his box. A good opportunity to take a closer look at its contours. And we like what we see. When viewed from above, its oval body looks very slim. Not surprising, because at its widest point its width is 2.25 m. The cockpit has an elongated shape, the stern gradually narrows. A harmonious look that, thanks to the straight stem and open backing, looks modern but without extremes.
Entering from the bridge to the bow of the yacht, we are pleased to note that J / 70 almost does not swing. The way past the shrouds is not difficult, since the shrouds are attached to the outside of the hull, and the spreaders, arrow-shaped towards the stern, are as wide as the deck. With a very flat underwater, pronounced U-shaped stern and keel ballast, the J / 70 remains pleasantly stable, even when stepping onto the wide side deck. They decided to leave the cheekbones of the yacht sharp. And this is even better, as it maintains its similarity to the classic planing dinghy. This is exactly what the model wants to be: a modern planing sailing dinghy with the reliability of a keel yacht. The keel can be raised, which simplifies transportation and makes it possible to launch the yacht into the water. The J / 70 is generally the first of the J series that can be lowered directly from a trailer. Lowering into the water and raising the keel is done using a special hoist. If necessary, she hides in the opening behind the keel well. It is located outside the cabin, so there is enough space when working with the hoist.
In the lower position of the keel J / 70 has a draft of 1.50 m, and with the keel raised - 0.45 m. During the course, the draft cannot be changed. According to the rules for this class of yachts, film sails are not allowed to be used. The sails on the boat we are testing are sewn by Quantum and made of Dacron. The shipyard that produces the J-series initially conceived its new product as a mono design and thus strives to avoid unnecessary material costs. The J / 70 should be available to most regatta competitors, even boaters on a budget.
Every sail to be used in a regatta must be certified by an official body. Even the design of the rigging and hull elements is subject to strict rules. Such elements are only allowed if they are manufactured according to the requirements of licensed firms.
Three permitted sails are enough: we have a staysail with three short vertical battens that can be untwisted using a recessed twist. The mainsail with two full battens is used with a loose luff. There are no reefs on it as no reefing is done. At least during regattas. If the wind gets too strong, the mainsail is removed or the staysail is rolled. However, there are outlets, blocks and stops for the rifstaff, but they are only used during recreational sailing.
Traveling together is quite possible, as there is a triangular berth in the bow of the yacht. However, in order to spend the night there, you need to be not very tall and get along with a colleague on the bed. Seats to the left and right of the companionway make the small sailing dinghy cozy. Actually, the cabin is so low that you won't be able to sit up straight, so the seats are more suitable for quick cleaning of the gennaker than for resting. If you pull the awning in the cockpit, then the living area of the yacht can be more than doubled.
Instruments are not visible. They could be placed on the bulkheads of the cabin, and the battery, for example, could be installed under the companionway step. According to the instructions, electricity is not provided on board.
The third permitted sail is a gennaker attached to the top of the mast. Its area is 45 m2, it can be attached to various spars. If not used, the gennaker rolls up and hides under the deck. The spars and rigging on the test yacht from Southern Spars, of course carbon.
With a carbon fiber mast and careful hull and deck treatments to optimize the yacht's weight, the J / 70 weighs just under 800kg. Thus, a seven-meter high-speed sailing dinghy (as it is classified by the shipyard) is very light in weight!
The sails are fastened quickly. As in all sailing dinghies, the jib is hooked into the hoist and pulled. No motor is provided to facilitate mooring. The transom outboard motor mount supplied with the yacht was left unused on the day the boat was tested. With a few movements we move the yacht aft forward between the boulders, set the sails and set a course for the fairway.
Good tuning: perfect halyards and lines, all sail tuning equipment is readily available
Simplicity: two people can even spend the night on yacht J. The main thing is that both are satisfied with these modest conditions
Workplace: from the cockpit you can conveniently and efficiently control the shoulder strap and backstay
Width: Arrow-shaped CFRP mast above the yacht's hull
A good place: the helmsman, sitting comfortably at the soft-surfaced railing, gets a good view
Space: a crew of 4 people can safely work in the cockpit
Beneficial: instructions for this class of yachts prohibit the use of film sails, which means there are no unnecessary costs
Without bending: contrary to fashion, the J / 70 has no rounded cheekbones
Elegance: the width of the J model at its widest point is 2.25 m
The west wind is still blowing, but now with greater force. Flurries of wind of three, even four points, meet us in the strait between Kappelniy and Arnis. Under a steep side-haul, little J lies on its side and starts off. During squalls, deep-seated ballast makes itself felt on the positive side. Combined with a highly efficient rudder, it allowed the J / 70 to steer its course with confidence and never once got it into the wind.
There are three of us on board. According to the regulations, for this class of yachts there is no prescribed number of crew members, but only the maximum weight of the entire crew is indicated. During races, it must not exceed 280 kg. Therefore, most often the team at the regatta consists of three or four people. The cockpit, which is 3.70 m long, offers ample room for five.
The three of us are doing well. Based on the permitted weight of the crew, we could have taken a fourth person, but there is no such need. What we really need is Cunningham's quickdraw. During the hasty setting of the sail, it was incorrectly secured. The luff folds do not spoil the pleasure of the transition, the deep sail profile carries us forward without any problems.
With a short jerk of the backstay, it is possible to effectively knock down the force of powerful gusts of wind. It is attached to a protruding bracket so that the top of the mainsail has enough space. In most cases, it is enough to simply move the shoulder strap carriage slightly to the leeward side. The tire is located in the middle of the yacht on the cockpit floor. The shoulder sheet and the backstay line parallel to it are well accessible to the captain and crew.
In the conditions of the regatta, the crew members managing the staxelcoat would now turn around, dangle their legs overboard and lean their bodies against a low railing. But we lazily lean against the railing, put our feet firmly in place, and enjoy the long turn towards Lindaunis. At each turn, we take the jib catches to the windward side of the yacht and guide it there through the winch. This ensures that no one needs to board the leeward side if the sheet has to be weeded.
At the stern, the railing is covered with soft foam. The helmsman is comfortable here. And you don't really need to do anything. While calmly holding the tiller, it is sufficient to simply make slight course adjustments from time to time. Although our J / 70 still needs to be fine-tuned, it obeys the steering wheel unquestioningly. You can just give her the opportunity to swim, because she is steadily keeping the course, from which you get sheer pleasure.
We wanted to try to go under the gennaker because the wind was 8 knots according to the polar diagram, but it turned out that the yacht was mistakenly equipped with a sail that was too big. So when we are almost close to the bridge at Lindownis, we turn around and maneuver under gulfwind and fordewind back to Kappeln. Although this path cannot be called entertaining, because we did not manage to get the yacht to planing, but we passed it absolutely calmly.
Measured and tested
Designer: Alan Johnstone
Overall length: 6.93 m
Length at the waterline: 6.24 m
Width: 2.25 m
Draft: 1.50 m
Displacement: 795 kg
Ballast: 285 kg
Sail area (steep sidewind): 21 m2
Gennaker: 45 sq.m
Mounting Hardware: Harken
Price (ready to launch): 41,650 euros
Bed dimensions: 1.90 m (length), 0.37 m (width at the feet), 1.42 m (headboard)
Cockpit length: 3.70 m
Mittelmann GmbH, Nestleweg 6, 24376 Kappeln
Tel. +49 (0) 4642/27 22
Important points when evaluating a yacht
Sail area to tonnage ratio: this parameter for a typical pleasure yacht is 4.2, for powerful racing cruisers - 5. For the J / 70 sailing dinghy, this characteristic is hardly applicable. During the test, even with gales of wind across the entire sail area, it remained manageable.
S sails 21 sq.m: 3 Displacement 0.795 t = 4.3
Ballast share: 35.8 %. The ballast share of more than a third of the displacement volume gives a high J / 70 estimate. Lead ballast on the keel ensures that the yacht does not turn to the wind during squalls, but actively continues to move.
Length-to-width ratio: 3.1: 1
The length-to-width ratio of J / 70 can be estimated as medium or even low. The yacht is narrow, but due to the deep lifting keel she has a large straightening moment. Yachts used exclusively for racing may have a ratio of 2.2: 1. Combined with the ballast ratio, this value has a large impact on the yacht's ability to carry sails and its sailing performance when out-hauled or at full backstay.
Cruising speed: 6.1 knots. Moving during the test with a full backstay and a wind force of 10-12 knots, the speed on the water was a maximum of 6 knots. Due to the absence of a gennaker, we were unable to take the yacht to planing.
2.43 x Length at the waterline 6.24 m = 6.1 knots
Test participant Silke Springer on his J / 70 swim:
"We go on board, sail, we have fun"
On the J / 70, all the fasteners are in the right place, all the lines and sheets are working correctly, the winches for the genoa are large and conveniently located, you can simply and easily twist the genoa. This yacht is very simple, its construction is thoughtful and stable, which leaves a pleasant impression. While comparatively large yachts are already dropping their sails in four winds, the J / 70 continues to sail quietly.
The strict rules for this class of yachts make this high-speed sailing dinghy interesting for sailors looking to participate in regattas, but who do not want or cannot spend a lot of money on expensive materials. The yacht's light weight makes it easy to transport. Thanks to the lifting keel, the boat can be lowered directly from the trailer without much effort and cost, its lightweight carbon fiber spars can be installed in a matter of minutes.
Along with regattas, the J / 70 can be used for one day sailing with friends and family. The cockpit of the yacht is huge, and the experience of such a trip is simply unforgettable.
Test conducted by: Silke Springer
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