Monday, January 11, 2021

J/9 Daysailer Update!

 J/9 daysailer hull plug

(Newport, RI)- If the huge buzz of J/9 activity is any indication, the demand for modern, comfortable daysailers is back! Not since the daysailer boom of 2003-2008 have we seen such strong interest. The J/9 announcement has generated more inquiries in three weeks than even the J/70 in 2011!

J/9 Tooling Update

The beautifully faired and finished J/9 hull plug was recently completed at Symmetrix Composite Tooling, and the hull mold is well underway and on target to complete at CCF Composites. Hull #1 is on schedule to mold in January. The deck plug is in the final fairing and finishing stage at Symmetrix and is due for final nonskid application in early January.

J/9 deck tooling plug
Both Al and Jeff Johnstone of J/Boats and members of the Symmetrix Team (ranging in height from 5’4” – 6’2”) tested out the cockpit seating and walk-through transom. The forward corner seats offer J/122E-like protection behind the cabin. With the tiller extension, you can steer the boat from the front of the cockpit, under the dodger, and reach all the controls – perfect if having to sail in adverse weather. The aft corner seats are equally as comfy, and the cockpit coamings are the perfect height for arm rests. The addition of dedicated cockpit drains enables the main cockpit floor to be lower to provide more comfortable, deeper seating and better bracing while standing and steering.

Fun J/9 FAQs

Following are some follow-up questions that have come in since the J/9 announcement.

Can I add an auto-pilot to the J/9? 
Yes, either an above deck or below decks auto pilot can be installed aftermarket.

Why are the jib tracks on the cabin top and not the side deck? 
We learned from the J/99 that the optimal upwind jib lead sheeting angles are generally between 8 and 9 degrees depending on the wind strength and sea state. But to do that on the J/99 (and most other boats) one must rig in-haulers. The J/9 gets rid of all that clutter with jib tracks installed on an 8.5 degree sheeting angle with easy trimming right to the cabin top winches. Tacking between cabin top winches is much easier than primary winches (no scrambling across the cockpit needed). This one, small change significantly cleans up the side decks.

How does the mainsheet system work? 
This is the first J with the primary mainsheet purchase at the end of the boom and the sheet tail coming out mid-boom into the cockpit near the tiller. Instead of a bulky traveler with cars, blocks, purchase, control lines, etc. the J/9 will have a mainsheet purchase that floats on a double Dyneema strop. For 90% of one’s daysailing needs, the double strop attaches to a centerline pad-eye aft of the tiller (much like leaving a traditional traveler centered). Then for the occasional times one wants to optimize centerline boom sheeting, each strop can be quickly moved outboard to a pad-eye (P&S) to create a triangle bridle – similar to the set-up seen on the Olympic 470 and 49er. This is another solution that visually reduces clutter, simplifies sailing, and doesn’t give away performance.

What size outboard do you recommend? 
The ideal outboard for the J/9 will be a 6HP. A 5HP could be sufficient in protected waters without strong tides. The final design for the outboard bracket is in process and will include a tilt-up position so the outboard can remain on the transom while sailing.

Can you tell us more about the electric inboard option? 
We’re reviewing several electric options including a new product coming online in 2021 from our long-time diesel engine supplier Mack-Boring. We’re not able to share specifics yet, but are planning to test out a system on hull #1, before signing off on the final option.

Will there be a bow sprit option? 
The J/9 is designed for main-only or main & jib-only sailing, but we will be offering a sprit option for those wanting to fly an overlapping A-Sail. We are finalizing the design for a 2-3’ fixed carbon sprit option that matches the bow profile of the boat (similar to the J/99) and that will be packaged with all the necessary rigging and blocks. This option will be available to add aftermarket.  For more J/9 daysailer sailing information