J105 keywest2005 04-336

Why J/105? A SAIL Magazine Review

"Maximum Speed-to-Cost Ratio"

It's a two person one-design sport cruiser that will keep up with a fully crewed racing boat. In the J/105 (10.5 meters LOA) designer Rod Johnstone has gone for high end power and an interior that is as simple as possible to provide the maximum speed-to-cost ratio.

The boat has low freeboard for minimal wind resistance, a low center of gravity, and the look of speed that Johnstone likes. Although the overall beam is not extreme, there is a lot of flare in the topsides, and the waterline is quite narrow. There is also very little below the waterline, so wetted surface is minimal. The keel is a bulb to enhance stability. And with a very simple and light interior, the 105's displacement is a lean and hungry 8,500 pounds. Most striking of all the J/105's features, though, is the retractable bowsprit and the big asymmetric spinnaker it sets. A crew of two can manage it, and one can gybe it.

I sailed the 105 in light conditions and found the asymmetric sail fun to set and trim. It was more docile than a conventional chute and got us up to wind speed at 90 degrees apparent-faster when we turned farther downwind.

Upwind, the boat is pure J: finger light on the helm, easily balanced, with an instant response to helm inputs. A tiller is standard; the optional Edson wheel is generously sized (48 inch diameter) and attached to a sturdy fiberglass pedestal that's great for bracing your feet.
Other standard equipment includes Navtec rod rigging, a Sailtec hydraulic backstay adjuster, a Hall Spars Quikvang, and a dodger.

The dodger covers a rather large companionway opening, the only place with standing headroom below deck. Designer Johnstone's figuring goes like this: With a sailing couple, only the woman is apt to be concerned with the interior, the average woman is 5 feet, 7 inches. Subtracting 2 inches makes for manageable headroom for her, and voila, a 5-foot, 5-inch interior. There's the logic of a very experienced performance sailor!

Of the off-white vinyl trimmed interior itself there's not much to say. There's a roomy V-berth forward and 6-foot, 5-inch settees amidships. There's also a Raritan head with holding tank, a carry-on cooler, a galley sink with a 5-gallon collapsible water tank, and room for a two-burner stove.

The total package is a very roomy daysailer or adequate weekender that will take you places faster than just about any other monohull of its size. As J/Boats go, that makes for a very favorable speed-to-cost ratio.