Passage-making downwind under spinnaker - with only 2 people on a 40 footer - is now so easy, you'll have fun doing it every time you go sailing. Exceptional performance and construction earned J/120 the distinction of being CRUISING WORLD magazine's OVERALL BOAT OF THE YEAR and the BEST VALUE in a full-sized cruising boat.
Downwind, it's a whole new world with an asymmetric spinnaker she'll do 7.2 knots at 150 degrees true wind angle in 10 knots of wind with a VMG of 6.3. Other cruisers might keep up if they used an engine. Flying one of an asymmetrical is a one person job. Snuffer controls lead back to the cockpit. No one goes on deck when deploying, jibing, or dousing the spinnaker. To jibe, simply let off one sheet and pull in the other. It's safer. One comer of the spinnaker (the "tack") is always secure to t e bowsprit, eliminating wild oscillations. The center-of-effort is located further forward and lower. Meaning balanced, "finger-tip" control rather than "white knuckled" round-up broaches. The asymmetric's greater power drives the apparent wind 30-50 degrees forward of the true wind angle. In light air and lumpy seas, the sail's greater area acts as a stabilizer. Deep sailing angles (165 degrees True Wind Angle) can be achieved by easing the sheet to project the luff to windward - as if it were pulled aft by a spinnaker pole.
A Few Thoughts on Comfort...
Comfort... is a sense of well-being. More a mind-set than a settee. More spiritual than material. Faith in yourself, designer, builder and boat to come through no matter what the weather. A boat and rig that will hold together. It's ease of operation and the absence of overwhelming forces. It is freedom from anxieties!
Comfort... is a predictable, stable motion in seas that builds a healthy outdoor appetite. Not the pitch and roll that discourages it. What good is a beautifully appointed galley if no one wants to go below and cook, let alone eat?
Comfort... is getting off the mooring in 3 minutes with people who've never sailed before - and showing them how easy it is. It's sailing with mainsail alone with plenty of visibility and control in crowded harbors.
Comfort... is protection under a well-designed dodger with side curtains. Cockpit seat-backs angled outward for sailing comfort to windward as well as lounging in harbor. It is flared topsides that slap waves down instead of bouncing them up onto the deck. A dry boat that creates sunny dispositions even on gray days.
Comfort... is straight as an arrow tracing of the long, narrow hull when running before seas. A balanced, not wedged, hull shape with enough reserve buoyancy forward to lift the bow easily over waves when surfing off the wind.
Comfort... is a responsive, large diameter, leather-covered wheel for one-hand steering from either side deck or from behind the wheel. Sail controls within easy reach for trimming mainsail and genoa (or asymmetric spinnaker) on long coastal passages - without leaving the wheel or relocating a safety harness.
Comfort... is not having to turn on the engine so often. It's two people being able to fly the asymmetrical to steady the boat and sail fast enough to make port in time for a walk ashore.
A Perfect First Offshore Sailboat--- "Extraordinary" you may say. One family chose the J/120 instead of an airplane, because with this sailboat everyone could be involved in its operation. Another had just owned dinghies. Two friends in their late 20's combined to form a cruising syndicate for their new families. Maybe these first-time keelboat owners were dedicated readers of Cruising World Magazine when J/120 was made the Overall Boat of the Year and Best Value in a large cruising boat. Or is Southern California that much ahead of the world in appreciating the high-tech contribution of SCRIMP construction to performance? Does the retractable carbon fiber bowsprit and asymmetrical spinnaker offer the distinctive innovation to set them apart from staid traditionalists? Maybe sailing 14 knots with only 2 people aboard makes the blood run faster. Or, is it the fact there's no teak on deck to maintain, leaving more quality sailing time for friends and family?
On the other hand, there's life in the marinas and raft-ups at Catalina Island to consider. So the joiner work below and comfortable cruising appointments could have been decisive.
Raft-up parties also mean good-natured camaraderie and friendly competition. When all the boats are alike, or "one-design" and are easy to sail, fingers aren't pointed at friends having an unfair advantage. After all, any race to be fun, is just part of the broader festivities that bring friends together. The J/120 gives up very little speed to stripped-out race boats, but comes out way ahead in terms of its recreational return on investment. Key to this success is versatility and ease of handling by fewer people. There's greater chance of regional one-design when more people get enthused about owning one.
The VMG Difference- VMG is the measure of sailboat design: Velocity Made Good straight into the wind or away from the wind, regardless of tacking or jibing angles. A J/120 sailing at 7.2 knots, 38 degrees off the true wind (25 degrees apparent wind angle), makes good a velocity (VMG) of 5.7 knots straight into the wind. This is 15% faster than a boat doing 7 knots at a 45 degree true wind angle.
J/120's performance is a function of low center of gravity, a narrow waterline, 7.0' draft and a powerful sail area to displacement ratio. A key contributor is high quality SCRIMP balsa-core laminate construction with 65-70% glass content. And, owners can go one step further by selecting the Hall Spars carbon-fiber mast rather than aluminum. The 120 lbs. saved up high is the equivalent of having two 200 lb. crew hiking out on the rail when sailing to windward.
Reaching at 9+ knots becomes almost a daily occurrence on a J/120. Two people can safely fly the asymmetrical spinnaker on its 7.0 foot retractable carbon-fiber J/Sprit. No one has to go on deck when the spinnaker is deployed. It's contained in a snuffer sock operated from the cockpit. jibing is as easy as letting go the old sheet and pulling in the new one.
Sailing downwind, the spinnaker projects out to windward of the mainsail, allowing one to sail as low as 150 degrees apparent. J/120 needs half the crew of other 40 footers, allowing you to sail with who you want to, not who you have to.
Join over 230+ J/120 owners who know the huge difference this "J" makes in their enjoyment of daysailing, cruising or racing.
Introduced: 2000 Built to: Hull #230 Last Model Year: 2006