J/95 Sailing Test & Report
When the J/95 was first launched, the designer Rodney Johnstone took the J/95 out on her maiden voyage. Here's his report:
"The J/95 passes the performance test with flying colors. We exited New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, RI at 6.5 knots under power (2800rpm) and goosed it up to 7.2 knots at 3,200rpm before we hoisted the sails (Main and 105% jib.) I did not floor it the first time out, but we were not maxed out on the rpm, so I suspect we could hit 7.5 knots in smooth water, and we confirmed this later.
We sailed upwind in a 10-12 knot NE wind with occasional higher puffs and lower lulls on the upper bay - starting out with the centerboard all the way up. The boat felt lively and the helm was balanced. We tacked through about 80 to 90 degrees, and did not seem to make any noticeable leeway. The boat sails better than most keel boats upwind despite the the board being up, so it passes the fun-to-sail-anywhere-in-3.5'-of-water test. When we lowered the board you could feel the whole boat hook in and want to climb into the wind more. So the boat is definitely more close-winded and makes less leeway with the board down. 6.5 knots seemed to be our average upwind speed. We used the onboard GPS, and we were out at slack tide beginning to ebb, so we are confident in the accuracy of our observed speed and sailing angles.
Steering control with twin rudders is great when the boat heels over. We were able to bear off sharply and quickly from a heeled 6.5 knot upwind course to downwind without easing the sails - an instantaneous downwind stop-the-boat move which may be a unique capability of this boat. The rudders and the Edson wheel steering system provide total control without sacrificing the light helm feel that we all cherish, and make for effortless steering.
Acceleration out of tacks and maneuverability are excellent. Stability to handle the sail horsepower seems just right. The boat does not need a genoa in 10 knots of breeze. We had only four of us on the boat - Craig Crossley, Skip Mattos, Al and myself.
We set the 82 square meter chute and were going between 7 and 8 knots at true wind angles averaging about 135 degrees. The highest speed of 7.9 was when we heated it up for the photographer (Jeff).
The 6:1 rope tackle hoisting system for the centerboard works easily and quickly, even under a full side load."
J/95: A Mini Review
The J/95 was named CRUSING WORLD'S 2010 "Domestic Boat of the Year" and the "Best Weekender."
>Carol Vernon reviews this new centerboard cruiser for the Cruising World 2010 Sailboat Show held in Annapolis, Maryland. "Hold onto your hats, J-Boats is now entering the centerboard world with a sleek offering that is bound to be fast. Built to ISO standards for boat crossing oceans in up to Force 10 winds, this boat can also skim across bays in just 3' of water. Twin rudders provide control at all depth and a bronze centerboard adds performance in deeper waters.
More than a day sailer, below are 4 bunks, an enclosed head, and a Yanmar diesel, making short cruises realistic. The rig and deck layout are clean and simple but all the gear is in place for racing. Carbon mast and retractable bow sprit are optional."
Governor of Rhode Island Attends
"Boat of the Year" Awards Ceremony
Boat of the Year trophies from both Cruising World and Sailing World were presented to J/Boats.
Commented Cruising World's Bill Springer, "The dignitaries attending the festitivities and Awards Ceremony included George Brengle, CW/SW's director of marketing, Dave Reed, SW's editor, Mark Pillsbury, CW's editor, Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri, J/Boat designers Rod and Alan Johnstone, J/Boats President Jeff Johnstone, and Sally Helme, CW/SW's publisher.
The production floor of the CCF Composites shop where the J/95 (and other J's are currently built) was recently turned over to a long list of sailing and political dignitaries who were on hand celebrate the J/95 being named CW's Domestic Boat of the Year and Best Weekender. In addition to the Governor, members of the Rhode Island State Legislature and other local officials were also present. J/Boats President Jeff Johnstone accepted the awards and trophies from CW editor Mark Pillsbury and SW editor Dave Reed."