J/Boats J/121, how to handle a 40′ with 5 or fewer crew

The new J/121, on display at United States Sailboat Show is a 40’ offshore speedster that can be day raced or distance sailed by just 5 or less crew.

J/Boats J/121: handling a 40 footer with 5 or fewer crew requires a rig, sail and deck plan that simplifies sail handling. New technology developed for the Vendee Globe, Volvo Race and other extreme offshore sailing events, is trickling down faster than ever, particularly in new furling systems. 

The J/121 class sail inventory features an AP furling J1 jib, a hoistable furling J4 inside the forestay, a furling Code Zero with top-down furler flown from the bowsprit, and an all-purpose A2 asymmetric spinnaker with either top-down furler or snuffer.

Each headsail is dedicated to its own furler, meaning less hands on the foredeck and more compact sail stowage below.  Combine that with a mainsail on slides that can be quickly adjusted to three different sizes (via a double reef system) and you have a versatile, manageable sail combination across most wind/sea conditions.

A 3D jib lead system using floating trim rings allows nearly infinite placement of the jib clew (crucial for reaching) without the friction normally associated with in-hauling or out-hauling from a track-mounted jib car.

The hydraulic backstay system features a remote panel with release buttons port and starboard.  Water ballast controls are cockpit led so that the on-deck crew can easily manage the transfer or dumping of the tank(s). Electric primary and secondary winches are available (and class legal) for push button trimming ease.

When the team needs moments of respite, the J/121 interior is clean and simple but beautifully finished with a feeling of space not often found in fast offshore racers. The interior is offered in Herreshoff classic white with varnished trim accents.

For the “armchair navigator,” both onshore and offshore, there is no substitute for a comfortable nav station to house all of today’s modern electronics and entertainment systems.  The L-shaped galley features a stove, SS sink, and large icebox with storage drawers and shelves.

Amidships settees are full-length for sleeping and offered in over/under configuration.  The head is aft to starboard near the companionway, perfect for offshore sailing.  Forward of the main bulkhead is sail storage with an option for a removable V-berth.

The J/Boats J/121 hull plug construction was done by Symmetrix Composite Tooling in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Symmetrix is the most advanced precision tooling company in New England and is carving both the J/Boats J/121 hull and deck plugs using the state-of-the-art CMS Poseidon 5-axis Machining Center located within their impressive tooling facility just a few hundred yards up the road from the CCFC factory.


More on J/Boats Official Website
Sailing photo credits- Paul Todd/ Outside Images and Billy Black

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