J109

   
Dimensions ft/lb m/kg
LOA 35.25 10.75
LWL 30.50 9.30
Beam 11.50 3.51
Standard Draft 7.00 2.10
Standard Ballast 3,900 1,769
Displacement 10,900 4,944
Engine 28 hp 28 hp
100% SA 644 59.80
I 46.50 14.17
ISP 49.60 15.11
J 13.30 4.05
P 43.25 13.18
E 15.50 4.72
SA/Dspl 21 21
Dspl/L 172 172
   
   

Hull & Deck Construction

  • Baltek Contourkore end grained balsa composite construction using biaxal and unidirectional glass with vinylester resin on the outer hull layer for 10 year warranty against hull blisters.
  • Patented “SCRIMP” resin infusion system moulding process for optimum laminate strength.
  • Off-white deck with a high traction non-skid.
  • White hull. Single tapered gel coat integrated double boot stripe.
  • Foredeck and helmsman moulded toe rails.
  • Large bow locker with laminated watertight forward collision bulkhead.
  • Large cockpit storage locker on starboard.
  • Propane bottle storage.
  • Moulded stern platform with removable swimming ladder.
  • Moulded spray shield with dodger storage and companionway instrument pod.
  • GRP moulded structural bulkhead bonded to hull and deck.
  • All intermediate bulkheads glassed to hull and deck for stiffness.
  • Heavy-duty fibreglass floor stringer grid infused into hull, including mast and chain plate structure.

Keel & Rudder

  • Low VCG Keel of cast lead with antimony bolted and bonded to deep molded stub with sump.
  • Balanced high aspect spade rudder construction using biaxal and unidirectional glass and large diameter anodised aluminium stock mounted in self-aligning bearings.
  • Aluminium wheel with natural leather grip on custom moulded pedestal with compass, brake and stainless guard.
  • Emergency tiller.

Spars & Rigging

 

  • Tapered aluminium mast with double airfoil spreader clear anodised.
  • Continuous Rod rigging (Nitronic 50).
  • Integral hydraulic backstay adjuster.
  • Boom with internal outhaul 8:1 purchase system, mainsail reef line sheaves, main sheet and rigid vang tangs.
  • Headsail furling system.
  • Retractable carbon fiber bowsprit with seal.
  • Solid boom vang with cascade purchase system.
  • Complete running rigging package

 

Deck Hardware

  • Self-tailing primary winches.
  • Self-tailing halyard winches.
  • lock-in winch handles.
  • 2 PVC handle holders.
  • Mainsheet purchase with fine tune.
  • Adjustable mainsheet traveller with 4:1 purchase led to a cleat on both sides.
  • Adjustable genoa and jib tracks with 4:1 car controls led to cleats by coach roof.
  • Cockpit foot blocks for genoa sheets.
  • Spinnaker sheet blocks on U-bolts.
  • Tack block on pad-eye at bowsprit end.
  • 5 halyard/reef turning blocks.
  • Halyards lead aft through 2 quadruple organizers and 4 rope clutches on each side of companionway.
  • Tack line led aft to rope clutch on starboard side of coach roof.
  • Bowsprit control line leading to a cam cleat on aft of coach roof bulkhead.
  • 2 bow mooring cleats.
  • 2 stern mooring cleats.
  • Stem head fitting.
  • Custom s/s stem plate with tack fitting, removable anchor roller.
  • S/S chain plates for shrouds and backstay.
  • Foredeck opening hatch (500 x 500) with vent.
  • Opening hatch (450 x 320) over main saloon.
  • 4 fixed ports (630 x 170) on saloon coach roof sides.
  • 2 opening ports (304 x 155) for aft cabin and toilet compartment.
  • 1 opening port (350 x 170) in cockpit (aft cabin).
  • 1 vent above head area.
  • 3 line bags.
  • 2 s/s handrails on coach roof.
  • S/S pushpit and pulpit .
  • Double s/s lifelines, 8 stainless stanchions, 4 with reinforcing leg.
  • Plexi-glass companionway washboards with lock and ventilation grid.
  • Door storage rack in cockpit locker.
  • Flag staff holder.

Auxiliary Power

  • Volvo D1-30 diesel 30 HP with Saildrive, 115 AH alternator, with double diode and fresh water-cooling with heat exchanger.
  • Engine panel recessed in the cockpit with plexi-glass protection including rev. counter, hour meter and alarms for oil pressure, low voltage and water temperature.
  • 85 litres (18.5 gallons) fuel tank under aft cabin berth.
  • Sound insulated engine compartment, ventilation pipes to the transom.
  • 2 bladed folding propeller
Systems
  • Manual bilge pump in cockpit.
  • Automatic/manual electric bilge pump with float switch.
  • Pressurized water system.
  • 1 water tank (96 litres) under starboard berth in saloon.
  • Ice box drain
  • Marine toilet
  • 80 AH house battery and 70 AH engine start battery with switches and double diode/circuit breaker.
  • 12V electric panel with fuel gauge and voltmeter.
  • Halogen lights on ceilings and swivelling tulip lights in cabins.
  • Ceiling light in head
  • Light in cockpit locker
  • Navigation lights on pushpit and pulpit, steaming light and mooring light.
  • Rig grounded for protection against lightning.
Interior
  • Interior built using wood, laminated or solid. All wooden parts are varnished or laminated with white Formica. Cabin sole in plywood laminated with wood effect Formica.
  • Vinyl lined ceilings throughout, but main saloon which has moulded slats on hull sides.

FORWARD CABIN

  • Large hanging locker on port side, storage on starboard.
  • Forward large double v-berth with storage underneath.
  • Shelve above berth on port side.
  • Access door to saloon.

MAIN SALOON

  • Settee/berths to starboard and port side with lift up pilot berths both sides.
  • Water tank under starboard berth.
  • Table with drop leafs and bottle storage in the centerline.
  • Large storage lockers behind backrests.
  • S/s hand rail on ceiling.

GALLEY (on port side)

  • Gimballed Propane stove with oven and 2 burners.
  • S/S double sink.
  • Pressurized cold water.
  • Large 90 litres moulded icebox/fridge with 12 volt compressor.
  • Full length locker outboard of galley countertop.
  • Cold moulded fiddles around the edge of the countertop.
  • Storage under sink with shelf and space for trash bin.
  • Drawers

CHART TABLE (on starboard side)

  • Large chart table facing forward with:
  • Charts storage under table lid
  • Locker under chart table
  • Shelf
  • Vinyl Nav. Seat cushion with backrest
  • Large hinged instruments panel, outboard, with electrical panel.

AFT CABIN (on port side)

  • Access door to saloon
  • Large hanging locker
  • Changing seat
  • Double berth
  • Access panel to engine
  • Fuel tank under berth

AFT HEAD (on starboard side)

  • Access door to saloon
  • Integral 2nd moulding for easy maintenance with integral shower tray, sink, access to valves and toilet support shelf.
  • Pressurised cold water
  • Marine toilet
  • Mirror, toilet roll holder and towel rail
  • Vanity unit
  • Shower grating
  • Access door to cockpit storage
  • Holding Tank

COMPANIONWAY

  • White Formica finish for better wear resistance.
  • Steps with angled treads between bulkheads.
  • Handrails integrated in bulkheads.
  • Main engine access through lifting panel.
  • Open locker
Options
  • Electric windlass
  • Removable Dock Box
  • Two Tone Deck
  • Four bookshelves and cupboards in lieu of hinged backrests.
  • Cushion
  • Opening ports in the aft face of coach roof
  • Opening ports in the main cabin
  • Pull out berth in the main cabin
  • Wood main bulkhead and wood hull linings in front cabin
  • 5.75’ Shoal Draft Keel
  • Additional capacity service battery for a total of 150 AH
  • Boot stripe in color other than grey
  • Cushion color other than standard grey
Notice

Specifications are subject to change prior to delivery due to deletions, additions or revisions in quantities, brand or design at the sole discretion of J/Boats, Inc. Newport,  RI

J/109 Sailing News

RORC Morgan Cup Becomes Drift-A-Thon!
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- Although light winds were predicted for the race, the fleet experienced the remnants of a westerly sea breeze for the Squadron Line start, lasting long enough for a twilight exit from the Solent. Calms and complex local effects during the night, made observation and experience of light airs racing paramount. As night fell, the breeze dropped significantly resulting in somewhat of a park up off Portland Bill, giving an advantage to the higher rated IRC boats that had made the tidal gate. However, close to Midsummer the night...
Read more...
J’s Dominate Round the Island Race
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- As usual, it was another challenging 60nm offshore adventure for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.Over one thousand boats began starting at 0630 hrs.  First off was the IRC Zero class, followed by over two-dozen more classes sailing across the glorious Royal Yacht Squadron line in the beautiful morning light.  On Saturday, the High pressure system produced a light NE breeze to start, veering SE-SW during the afternoon depending where you were. It...
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Offshore World Championship Preview
(The Hague, The Netherlands)- The Hague Offshore Sailing World Championship is in final preparation for the fleet of 90 yachts from 15 nations to start the event. The fleet represents a diverse cross section of teams from around the world comprised of seasoned champions, newcomers and older production cruiser/racers, as well as brand new custom racing designs being sailed by professional crews and Corinthian amateurs.“It’s this rich diversity that makes this a truly World Championship that appeals to all offshore sailors,” said Bruno Finzi, a member of the International Jury for the...
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NYYC Race Week Preview : 15-Jul-2018 2pm
NYYC Race Week Preview
(Newport, RI)- The New York YC Race Week will be taking place from July 16th to 21st, 2018 on the waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for a fleet of thirty-five modern keelboats, of which eleven (33% of the fleet) are J’s. The J/109s will be sailing as a one-design class and the other J/crews will be participating in the IRC and PHRF Navigator classes. The half-dozen boat J/109 class includes some of the best East Coast boats on the summer regatta circuits.  Those teams include Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG from Lakewood...
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Bayview-Mackinac Race Preview
(Port Huron, MI)- One hundred ninety teams are confirmed for the 2018 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, scheduled for July 14.  With 93 years of tradition behind it, this unique distance race, with two courses (204 or 259 nm) that start on lower Lake Huron and finish at Mackinac Island, has a knack for bringing back regulars and reeling in newcomers, each year weaving new interesting stories into its tapestry of racing fun.  One of the largest brand contingents happens to be J/sailors from across the Great Lakes- thirty-three crews in total.Division I-...
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Round the Island Race Preview
(Cowes, Isle of Wight, England)- If it's the first weekend in July, it must be time for the world-famous “Round Island Race” in the United Kingdom, hosted by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.  The challenging 60nm race that goes around the Isle of Wight is by far the most popular race on any sailor’s social calendar all year long in the U.K.; particularly for those that love to get thrashed and challenged by the intricacies of the Solent. As has been the case for over a decade, over a thousand boats will begin starting at 0630 hrs. ...
Read more...
J109_spin05

"Sleeper from Across the Pond"

The J/109 is turning heads on race courses and in cruising destinations

SAILING WORLD Review- By Tony Bessinger

Are you tired of losing races and having lousy cruises with your not-so-dual-purpose boat? Worried about being the first (and last) buyer of a “promising” class that doesn’t quite pan out? Take the fear out of commitment and look at the J/109, a 35-footer that joins the short list of accomplished production-built racer/cruisers.   

If you haven’t actually seen the J/109 yet, you’re probably wondering how it stacks up with a stablemate that’s nearly the same length, the J/105. “The two boats appeal to different people,” says designer Alan Johnstone. “The 109 is 12 years newer, faster, and is more comfortable for cruising. The 105 is for people who live close to where they keep their boat.” Compared to the 105, the 109 has overlapping headsails and more interior volume, the result of the larger boat’s initial target market. “This boat was originally designed for the European market,” says Jeff Johnstone of J Boats. “The demand there is for a boat that sails well, can comfortably handle a crew living aboard for weekend regattas, and does reasonably well under IRC and IMS.” Reasonably well might be an understatement; the 109 has scored big in Europe since its introduction in 1999, winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race and Cowes Week.

The J/109 is a tad over 35 feet long, and weighs 10,900 pounds empty. It has a purposeful, racy style, with an almost vertical bow above a waterline-kissing knuckle, and an open stern. The deckhouse is low and long and helps give the boat an overall pleasing look. A carbon sprit housed in a self-draining tube peeks out of the hull just below deckline on the starboard side. The aluminum rig is tall without being freakish, and sports a sailplan that carries a 155-percent jib and an asymmetric runner that, at 1,291 square feet, shouldn’t scare you half to death in a breeze. For windier days, J Boats suggests a flatter, 968-square-foot reaching spinnaker. Total sail area upwind is a healthy 644 square feet.

The J/109 is built with J Boat’s standard construction method, the SCRIMP (Seemann Composites Resin Infusion Molding Process), which J Boats says, “produces the strongest and most durable production laminates available.” The hull, cored with Baltek’s CK-57-grade balsa and coated with a vinylester barrier beneath the gel coat, is built well enough to pass the American Bureau of Shipping’s scantlings for offshore yachts, and to support a transferable 10-year hull blister warranty. For structural strength there’s a SCRIMP-molded ring frame that shoulders the shroud loads by way of stainless steel tie rods, and a primary bulkhead forward of the mast. A SCRIMP-molded structural grid supports the keel, which is available in shoal- draft or race versions. Both carry an aft-swept, wedge-shaped bulb.

The cockpit is a crew’s delight, with plenty of room and well-placed sail controls. Part of the feeling of spaciousness comes from the easy removal of the stern locker, a box aft of the helm which doubles as a storage box to be left on the dock during races. Because the traveler is immediately forward of the large Edson wheel, the main trimmer sits close to the driver—a key ingredient to better performance, and nice for shorthanded deliveries.

All halyards lead back from the mast to clutches and winches on either side of the cabin top. This setup works for shorthanded sailing, too—you can perform most sail-handling duties right from the cockpit. The shrouds and adjustable jib tracks are mounted close to the deckhouse,

 

which gives the crew an unobstructed deck from cockpit to bow, nice for butts, bare feet, and moving sails. Familiar names grace all the gear: Harken winches, roller-furler gear, traveler, and adjustable jib tracks. Wichard and Spinlock are also well represented.

One of the big differences between the J/109 and its like-sized relatives, the J/35 and the J/105, is the interior, a space that’s as well conceived as the rest of the boat, with standing headroom throughout the saloon. With two enclosed staterooms and an aft head that’s separate, several of the seven or eight in the race crew can live aboard during weekend regattas, and deliveries will be comfortable.

There’s plenty of room for sails on the cabin sole once the table is folded down. Settees on either side of the table convert to bunks, and with lee cloths, will be the best bunks in the house for high-side sleeping during distance races. The head is aft of the starboard side nav station and will make a great spot for hanging wet gear. Although the navigator may sometimes wish the head were forward, the placement aft works well for weight distribution and allows the forward cabin spaciousness and privacy. The nav station has an instrument panel that should easily accommodate even the most compulsive instrument junkie; installation and removal of electronics will be easily accomplished.

The engine, a Yanmar 3 GM30 rated at 27 horsepower, is freshwater cooled via a heat exchanger, has a 100-amp alternator, and is linked to a saildrive unit turning a two-bladed Flex-O-Fold folding prop. The engine’s filters are easily accessible and there’s a fuel gauge in the cockpit; other engine instruments on deck are a tachometer, and alarms for oil, batteries, and engine temperature. The J/109 motors along nicely at 6 knots or so, and isn’t intrusively noisy.

When we tested the boat, we had a light breeze. We sailed a shoal-draft version of the boat with a 105-percent genoa and felt the boat sailed nicely: the helm was light, the boat showed good speed, and everything in the cockpit came easily to hand. We made a serious attempt to make the boat spin out while sailing on a tight spinnaker reach, but it was nearly impossible. The well-behaved 109 will give its drivers a great deal of confidence on starting lines and mark roundings.

As mentioned earlier, the J/109 has done well in handicap fleets in Europe, and in the United States (see box), but that doesn’t rule out future one-design racing. With 42 boats sold in the United States at press time, the likelihood of a class forming is high. J Boats plan on taking the one-design class route slowly and carefully, listening to owners before making the rules. PHRF numbers are 72; IMS, 628 GPH with a conventional spinnaker, 611 with asymmetric. The Americap numbers were unavailable.

A new owner could get a 109 to the racecourse for around $200,000 to $225,000, which is about $50,000 more than a race-ready J/105. With a 109, however, you get a 35-footer designed and built to do everything from beer can to offshore races, to overnight adventures and extended cruises. On top of that, there’s the J Boat family and a boat that will retain its resale value for many years.

J109_spin01

Sailing Anarchy Review

By Scot Tempesta

Many have tried; most have failed in the quest to build a right and proper racer/cruiser. While there are a few bright exceptions, most fall disappointingly short in one category or the other. Of course, the category where most of them fail is as a racer. The main culprits can often be narrowed down to these unfortunate characteristics: Too heavy, poor layout, small cockpits, and weak sail plans.

I had the chance to test sail one of the latest entrants into the R/C arena, the new J-109, courtesy of Jeff Trask and the So Cal J-Boat Dealer, Sail California (www.sailcal.com). In typical fashion, J-Boats have done a good job, through their national advertising, in presenting this boat as a very attractive product, so I must admit I already liked the boat, at least in pictures, before I had actually seen it. I guess that advertising stuff really works.

We sailed out of Newport Beach, and upon first seeing the boat, my initial thought was that it is a handsome, well-proportioned, modern-looking boat. Stylistically, while still clearly a J-Boat, the 109 exhibits a slightly more progressive look than previous efforts. It is worth noting that this design was a collaboration of Rod Johnstone and son Alan, with Alan assuming the lead chair. At a touch over 35', the first impression is that it is a big boat, with a good sized cockpit, long but low cabin house, big rig, sprit, almost plumb bow, and enough freeboard to tell you there is going to be plenty of room below. While the stern section is not substantially different from, for example, the J-120, it is not quite as squatty and did not seem to drag like some (all) J-Boats do. A subtle difference. The cockpit had a pretty slick removable "dockbox" locker just aft of the helmsman - a pretty neat way to quickly go from cruise to race, at least a little bit. The 109 has plenty of high-quality standard equipment; (including Harken winches, adjustable genoa tracks, and RF unit), folding prop. Just in case you forget that it is a racer/cruiser, it even comes with a dodger!

More...

 

Sailing World Magazine Review

By Tony Bessinger

Are you tired of losing races and having lousy cruises with your not-so-dual-purpose boat? Worried about being the first (and last) buyer of a “promising” class that doesn’t quite pan out? Take the fear out of commitment and look at the J/109, a 35-footer that joins the short list of accomplished production-built racer/cruisers. 

If you haven’t actually seen the J/109 yet, you’re probably wondering how it stacks up with a stablemate that’s nearly the same length, the J/105. “The two boats appeal to different people,” says designer Alan Johnstone. “The 109 is 12 years newer, faster, and is more comfortable for cruising. The 105 is for people who live close to where they keep their boat.” Compared to the 105, the 109 has overlapping headsails and more interior volume, the result of the larger boat’s initial target market. “This boat was originally designed for the European market,” says Jeff Johnstone of J Boats. “The demand there is for a boat that sails well, can comfortably handle a crew living aboard for weekend regattas, and does reasonably well under IRC and IMS.” Reasonably well might be an understatement; the 109 has scored big in Europe since its introduction in 1999, winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race and Cowes Week.

The J/109 is a tad over 35 feet long, and weighs 10,900 pounds empty. It has a purposeful, racy style, with an almost vertical bow above a waterline-kissing knuckle, and an open stern. The deckhouse is low and long and helps give the boat an overall pleasing look. A carbon sprit housed in a self-draining tube peeks out of the hull just below deckline on the starboard side. The aluminum rig is tall without being freakish, and sports a sailplan that carries a 155-percent jib and an asymmetric runner that, at 1,291 square feet, shouldn’t scare you half to death in a breeze. For windier days, J Boats suggests a flatter, 968-square-foot reaching spinnaker. Total sail area upwind is a healthy 644 square feet.

More...

J109 upwind08

J/109- A Right & Proper Racer-Cruiser?

SAILING ANARCHY Review- By Scot Tempesta

Many have tried; most have failed in the quest to build a right and proper racer/cruiser.

While there are a few bright exceptions, most fall disappointingly short in one category or the other. Of course, the category where most of them fail is as a racer. The main culprits can often be narrowed down to these unfortunate characteristics: Too heavy, poor layout, small cockpits, and weak sail plans.

I had the chance to test sail one of the latest entrants into the R/C arena, the new J-109, courtesy of Jeff Trask and the So Cal J-Boat Dealer, Sail California (www.sailcal.com). In typical fashion, J-Boats have done a good job, through their national advertising, in presenting this boat as a very attractive product, so I must admit I already liked the boat, at least in pictures, before I had actually seen it. I guess that advertising stuff really works.

We sailed out of Newport Beach, and upon first seeing the boat, my initial thought was that it is a handsome, well-proportioned, modern-looking boat. Stylistically, while still clearly a J-Boat, the 109 exhibits a slightly more progressive look than previous efforts. It is worth noting that this design was a collaboration of Rod Johnstone and son Alan, with Alan assuming the lead chair. At a touch over 35', the first impression is that it is a big boat, with a good sized cockpit, long but low cabin house, big rig, sprit, almost plumb bow, and enough freeboard to tell you there is going to be plenty of room below. While the stern section is not substantially different from, for example, the J-120, it is not quite as squatty and did not seem to drag like some (all) J-Boats do. A subtle difference. The cockpit had a pretty slick removable "dockbox" locker just aft of the helmsman - a pretty neat way to quickly go from cruise to race, at least a little bit. The 109 has plenty of high-quality standard equipment; (including Harken winches, adjustable genoa tracks, and RF unit), folding prop. Just in case you forget that it is a racer/cruiser, it even comes with a dodger!

There is however, one thing that stands out in a pretty undesirable way, and that is the wheel. It is big, which is good, but it is not recessed into the cockpit floor! So the thing stands up high, looking goofy without being sunk down like it should. Couple that with a huge pedestal and the look is out of place given the sleekness of the overall appearance. It might not be a big deal to most, and I know that they don't normally put wheels in wells, but I expect more out of J Boats, especially at the price. More on that later.

I then ventured down below, because I wanted to get a quick first impression after the largely favorable topside one, and here the boat does not disappoint either. While not overwhelming from any perspective, i.e., luxury, size, ergonomics or finish, it is very well done. There are two staterooms, one forward, and one aft, port side; with the head not where you expect it to be - it is aft instead of forward. Traditionalists will likely take some time getting used to this. The nav station, galley and main salon area are about as you would expect - nice, and functional. Fit and finish of the woodwork (varnished cherry wood), headliner, floors, doors, and systems all looked to be of high quality. Not Swan quality, but this isn't a Swan, nor is it meant to be. Overall it appeared to be a very livable interior, designed and executed for some very comfortable weekending. Hard to imagine the boat not succeeding in this task, at the very least.

We fired up the 27 h.p Yanmar Diesel (with sail drive) and shoved off. The engine could not have been any quieter, and the boat accelerates quickly under motor. Also, the turning radius of the boat is remarkably small, and backing up under power was a breeze. Hell, we put the throttle down while coming back to the slip, and I'm sure we were doing 6.5 knots - going backwards! It seemed exceptionally maneuverable - a consideration for those who will choose to anchor out and harbor hop.

It was a run out of Newport Harbor, so we stuck the main up - an easy task with slides - pulled the 5'5" carbon sprit out and hoisted a 105 sq. meter J-105 asymmetrical spinnaker up in breeze anywhere from 6 to 12 knots. This boat, hull #32, was not yet fully commissioned (hence the borrowed 105 kite), so we had no instruments to verify any numbers. Better wait for the big-buck glossy magazines to tell you that stuff. But I can tell you that jibing down the bay, the boat felt remarkably lively and responsive. You could square in the puffs, and the boat did not die. This boat is not sluggish, and does not feel anything like the typical J-Boat - a good thing, in our estimation. With a displacement of just under 11,000 pounds, and a SA/DSPL ratio of 21, the boat should be in the zone for good performance. It went through the water cleanly, and really felt very nice. Dare I say it felt quick, given the parameters of what it is? Time and the racecourse will indeed tell the ultimate story.

The three of us, myself, Trask and Bill Matchett, jibed probably 15 times or so, and it is, as are most all sprited, asso, no runners-type boats, a snap to jibe. I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would build a boat like this (or any, for that matter) without a sprit. Frankly, this feature alone, because the boat becomes so much easier to use for a small crew or family to sail than a standard pole and gear, makes it much more desirable than some of it's competition, notably the Beneteau 36.7 and C&C 99. More on that, too.

We had a 155% genoa on the furler, so we dropped the kite, unfurled the sail and beat back to windward. The sails on this boat were Ullman; Kevlar genoa, Dacron main, and they looked quite nice. This is not an endorsement but if they were mine, I'd be pleased. Take a look at the picture of the genoa, and you'll see what I mean.

Upwind the boat steered like an absolute dream - very light touch, very little helm, and very responsive. This is the kind of boat that you want to steer because it feels so nice. The boat seemed to have plenty of power, and even when we had breeze at around 10-12 true, with no one on the rail, the boat didn't heel excessively, in fact seemed to go quite well. A 7' draft and about 4,000 pounds (with a squished bulb at the bottom) in the keel didn't hurt here, I reckon.

Right about then, I'm thinking that I really like this thing, but there must be something I don't like! Honestly, if there was something that was out of place, I didn't see it. I found it well thought-out, well executed, and well built. I liked the looks of the boat, I liked the way it sailed, I liked down below. No new ground is broken here, nor would we expect there to be: J-Boats produce a conservative product. Rather, the 109 would appear to be one where the sum of its parts does indeed equal a greater whole. Granted, I was on the boat a total of a couple of hours, but first impressions are usually correct. And my impression of this boat is that it is a significant total package for a serious racer cruiser.

Now here's what I alluded to earlier, and it is what I don't like: the price. A full up, out the door J-109 will set one back just over $200,000. That is an amazing amount of money for a 35', and significantly more than the most immediate competitor, the Beneteau 36.7. According to Trask, about 50 grand more. I'll grant you the 109 is a SCRIMP, fully cored boat with a carbon sprit, and the 36.7 is not, but 50 grand is 50 grand. That is a new Porsche Boxster. If the 109 had a carbon rig, I think the price difference would completely justified, but as it is, it is a sizable price difference.

Is this boat worth it? A reasonable analogy could be BMW - their cars always seem to carry a price premium over some of their competitors, and it is sometimes hard to see why, yet in the end, they almost always seem worth it.

Is the 109 in that league? The marketplace will ultimately decide, but I suspect that the buyer who can truly afford this type of investment in a boat of this size and purpose will likely decide that it offers more than the competitors and despite the price premium, will chose the 109. Isn't that why they buy BMW's?