J/65 Sea Trails- San Diego, California

San Diego, CA…After a two-week round-the-clock effort, J/65 Hull #1 launched in San Diego under the watchful eyes of David Lake, J/65 Program Manager, and Jeff Brown of Sail California San Diego. Designers Rod and Al Johnstone joined David and Jeff as well as representatives from Hall Spars, Lewmar, and North Sails to put the J/65 through its initial paces. Following is a report from Rod:

“The new J/65 meets my highest expectations, from its lively performance and beautiful exterior finish to its luxurious interior. Initial sea trials for Hull #1 (“MAITRI”), were conducted in San Diego last weekend (9-10-05). The feel of the boat under sail is the best yet for a J/Boat. MAITRI has the “powered-up” feel of the J/145 and J/133, and is a lot stiffer. MAITRI sits square on her lines at anticipated displacement with tanks full, and balances perfectly under main and 135% genoa upwind. We reached at 10 knots in 10 knots of true wind flying a small cruising Asymmetric spinnaker. The feel on the helm was feather light and the steering effortless, even in the quartering swells off of San Diego.”

“The J/65 is incredibly maneuverable, and accelerates to puffs like much smaller J Boats, but heels more slowly and to a lesser degree. The nine foot draft seems plenty deep for all around stability, and for good windward performance.

It has the feel of a boat with a much deeper keel accelerating out of tacks and in down-speed maneuvers. To this end, we performed a full speed “fly-by” and 180 degree turn under full sail in front of the San Diego Yacht Club in a space between docks where smaller boats typically have difficulty maneuvering under sail.“

“The hydraulic controls on MAITRI for the halyard, jib sheet, and main sheet winches, and traveler make rapid sail trimming possible. This puts the J/65 in the realm of easy single-handed, push-button sailing. The mainsail drops neatly into the large carbon fiber Hall “V” boom between lazy jacks. Under power MAITRI’s maneuverability in and out of the slip is exceptional, even without use of its bow thruster, which enables it to park quite precisely in the tightest quarters.”

“Down below, MAITRI has the feel of being on a small cruise ship. It is palatial and beautifully finished, and lacks nothing in comfort for long-distance cruising and living aboard. Everything about this boat puts a big smile on my face. I am proud to be one of the many contributors who helped make this perhaps the best of all J/Boats.”