Wednesday, July 7, 2010

J/42 PAX Cruising Pacific Islands

We recently got news from Ted Denny, cruising his J/42 PAX seemingly all over the world.  Ted's J/42 recently completed a double-handed 2,275 mile, 15 day 20 hour 15 minute crossing from Nawiliwili harbor on Kauai to the west end of Santa Catalina Island in Southern California.  PAX has been in Hawaii for several years where Ted single handed all through the islands and as far away as Palmyra and Fanning Islands. As Ted described it:

"We left Kauai on Monday June 14th at 9:45 PM and stayed on starboard tack for 1,150 miles which might be a record for a J/Boat on a single tack. We then tacked onto port for the remaining 1,125 miles. No, this was not a lay line call, we were simply following the weather options that were being offered and thought we were fast enough to get under the North Pacific High. The usual route is over the high which adds 5 or 6 days to the trip.

The J/42 is an awesome passage maker. We were on the wind for the whole trip and sailed 98% of the way. We only used 23 gallons of diesel mostly to charge the batteries and keep the fridge cold. Pax is a fully loaded cruising boat with 85 gallons of diesel, 110 gallons of water etc. We averaged nearly 6 knots for the whole trip with winds on the nose of 15-21 for the first 1,000 miles. Our worst day was 101 miles when the North Pacific High dropped down on us. The sky that day was the brightest blue you have ever seen with waves of about a foot and this is 1,000 miles offshore. The only thing positive that day is that we saw a green flash at sunset and took that as a positive omen. We headed south to escape the high, tacked and sailed back into an approaching low to catch the breeze and stayed in the low for the next 1,125 miles. Our best day was 3 days out of our "finish line" when the wind was blowing a constant 24-26 with gusts in the low 30s. We were close and beam reaching with a reefed main and the No.3 up and did 191 miles VMG. Not bad for a cruising boat. PAX is fast and stable and a lot of fun to sail.

I cannot think of many cruising boats capable of that kind of comfortable performance with all the amenities that a J/42 offers."

According to PAX crew member, Bob Musor, "Just a great trip. Kudos to Ted for having his well prepared boat ready to go.  We are claiming the unofficial J Boat record from Nawiliwili, Kauai to Lands End on Santa Catalina Island. It would be fun to know if others have made this trip that quickly."  NOTE- Bob is skipper/owner of the J/130 SCEPTRE!