Monday, October 14, 2013

J/88 SAIL Boat Review

J/88 SAIL magazine review- Adam Cort(Boston, MA)- Recently, Adam Cort from SAIL Magazine in Boston, MA had a chance to complete an in-depth review of the new J/88 family speedster.  Sailing off Newport in a moderate breeze on a spectacular day between the famous Fort Adams, Clingstone House and Castle Hill Inn on the Eastern Passage of Narragansett Bay, Adam and crew had the perfect opportunity to evaluate the pro's and con's of this fun offshore sailboat.  Adam's commentary follows:

"Years ago, I spoke with a young naval architect who was critical of J/Boats, because of the fact that all their boats tended to look the same. The only way to tell them apart, he said, was by counting the port-lights in the cabin trunk.

Fair enough: there’s no denying a strong family resemblance among the many models currently making up the company’s product line. However, this criticism completely misses the point that they are all still very different boats—- not to mention, damn good looking!

Take the case of the new J/88, which comes hard on the heels of the J/70 and J/111. Although the newest of these three boats shares very similar lines—- including a plumb, or nearly plumb stem and stern; minimal sheer; a truncated but purposeful-looking cabin trunk; a large open-transom cockpit; and, of course, a trademark J/Boats retractable sprit—- the boat still has its own, distinct personality.

For example, whereas the J/111 is beginning to venture up into “big boat” range with its 9,300 lbs DSPL, 36.5 ft LOA and 663 ft2 of SA, the J/88 remains refreshingly nimble with its 4,990 lbs DSPL, 439 ft2 SA and LOA of just over 29 ft.

Similarly, while the 22.09 ft J/70 is almost dinghy-like, with its lifting keel and minimal cuddy cabin, the J/88 feels dramatically more substantial, with 6ft 4in settees in the saloon, a fixed head, an inboard 14hp auxiliary, and a kind of “micro nav station” to starboard just after of the forepeak.

The result, like the J/29 that preceded it, is a boat that is as versatile as it fun, a seaworthy little sloop that is as comfortable muscling its way through a seaway when it’s blowing stink as it is taking the kids out for a sunny daysail."   Watch the J/88 SAIL Magazine test video here.   Please read the rest of Adam's SAIL Magazine review here