Sailing + Cruising Performance = Pure Joy
The J/97E is a pure sailing boat. Fast, easy to sail, and comfortable. With a family crew, J/97E can cruise anywhere with unparalleled ease in sumptuous accommodations. That is a given. What is not is the fact that underneath that exotic, sinfully luxurious interior you see above is a pure thoroughbred-- the unbridled, raw power of a Ferrari 12-cylinder engine rumbling to a roar to blast you around the track while you relax in Rolls-Royce Ultra-Leather comfort and relish Jaguar-like silkeness in the S-turns-- a rare combination, indeed.
Below is a report from Paul Heys that explains how this exotic animal can breath life into your casual evening beer can races or weekend jaunts offshore. As Paul explains,
"The annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, is one of the most popular fixtures on the Solent racing calendar. Competitors come from Europe and the USA, as well as all over the UK, to race the 50 mile course round the Isle of Wight. This year the event attracted 1779 entrants (and no that's not a typo!) with J/80, J/105 & J/109 classes and many larger J's. The team from J/UK brought out the new J/97 'Jenga' for her debut regatta in the 55 boat IRC Division 3A. By race end, the J/97 had finished second on elapsed and corrected time in class and was the top J/Boat overall on IRC corrected time.
Tactically we found the Solent difficult, as the breeze was localized, so twice we swapped sides which we normally don't like to do, however the extra pressure appeared to be worth the chase. We discovered that we had not made a perfect job of this, as when we arrived at the Needles, we found ourselves in the company of a Sigma 33 and a Hunter Impala, two slower boats that had started at the same time.
Rounding the Needles we hoisted the code 2 and immediately goosewinged to punch straight into the tide, which would now be against us for the full 25 miles of the run. The wind tends to follow the coast when in this direction so there was at no point, any bow up spinnaker reaching, instead we ran deep the whole way, we used a mixture of goose winging and normal 165 true sailing trying not to gybe out into the stronger foul tide and utilizing the inshore back eddies. The breeze was between 10 and 18 knots. We passed many boats on the run and only a couple passed us. The Leeward mark at Bembridge was a massive park up of over 500 boats as two opposing winds cancelled each other out. We could see 122's and 133's in front of us and saw lots of boats we had passed piling in behind us, so it became a major restart.
|Dimensions||Foot/ Lbs||Meter/ Kg|
|Engine||20 hp||20 hp|
|J/97E Specifications- June 1st, 2017|
|Hull & Deck Construction||
Baltek Contourkore end grained balsa composite construction using biaxal and unidirectional glass with vinylester resin on the outer hull layer for 10 year warranty against hull blisters.
Patented “SCRIMP” resin infusion system molding process for optimum laminate strength with 65-70% glass content in structural skins.
Off-white deck with a high traction non-skid.
White hull with double boot stripe in choice of gray or navy. (Lower stripe is gelcoat and upper stripe is in vinyl.
Foredeck molded toe rail.
Large cockpit storage locker to starboard.
Gas bottle storage locker.
Structural bulkhead bonded to hull & deck with large access to the V-berth area.
All intermediate bulkheads glassed to hull and deck for stiffness.
Integral floor stringer grid.
|Keel & Rudder||
Low VCG keel with SS 316 SS structural fin & cast lead bulb
Keel is bolted & sealed to hull.
High aspect ratio composite rudder constructed using biaxial and unidirectional glass and stainless steel stock mounted in JP3 self-aligning bearings.
Laminated wood tiller with adjustable tiller extension.
|Spars & Rigging||
Tapered clear anodized aluminum racing mast with double airfoil spreaders.
Pre-molded mast wedge.
Dyform shroud rigging with rod headstay.
Backstay with split bottom portion, adjustment tackle led to either side of cockpit.
Boom with internal outhaul purchase system, mainsail reef line sheaves, main sheet and boom vang tangs.
Carbon bowsprit controlled from cockpit, retracting into a watertight box.
Solid boom vang with cascade purchase system.
Harken Unit 1 headsail furling system.
Complete running rigging package.
Two 40:1 self-tailing primary winches.
Two 35:1 self-tailing halyard winches.
Two aluminum lock-in winch handles.
PVC handle holders.
Mainsheet and fine tune purchase.
Adjustable mainsheet traveler with 4:1 purchase.
Jib tracks with 4:1 car controls led to cleats on coach roof.
Aluminum bullseye fairleads for jib sheets.
Spinnaker sheet blocks on U-bolts.
Low friction ring at bowsprit end
Mast base halyard/reef turning blocks.
Halyard organizers and rope clutches on each side of companionway.
Tack line led aft to stopper on top of the coach roof.
Bowsprit control line leading to a cam cleat on top of the coach roof.
4 SS mooring cleats (bow and stern).
Custom SS Stemplate with tack fitting, SS chainplates for shrouds and backstay.
Foredeck opening hatch (450 x 450).
2 opening ports on salon coach roof sides.
2 opening ports for aft cabin and head compartment.
3 rope bags.
2 SS handrails on coach roof.
SS bow and stern pulpits with double rails; double SS lifelines, 4 stainless stanchions with reinforcing leg and 2 single stanchions. Wide opening gates (P&S)
Acrylic companionway washboard with lock and ventilation grid.
Door storage rack in cockpit locker
Volvo D1-20 18 HP diesel motor with saildrive, 115 AH alternator, with double diode and fresh water-cooling with heat exchanger.
Engine panel recessed in the cockpit with acrylic protection including rev. counter, hour meter and alarms for oil pressure, low voltage and water temperature.
13 gal. fuel tank under aft cabin berth.
Sound insulated engine compartment, air ventilation hoses to the transom.
2 blade folding propeller.
Manual bilge pump in cockpit.
Automatic/manual electric bilge pump with float switch.
Pressurized water system.
1 water tank (total 26 gal.) under V-berth.
Ice box drain.
Marine toilet with Y-valve, holding tank and manual pump-out system.
1 AGM 75AH house battery and 1 70 AH engine battery with switches and double diode/circuit breakers.
12 V electric panel / 12 functions
LED lights on ceilings and swiveling tulip reading lights in cabins.
Ceiling light in head
LED navigation lights on pushpit and pulpit, and mooring light.
Rig grounded for protection against lightning.
Interior built using laminated and/or solid wood. All wooden parts are varnished or laminated with white laminate finish. Floors are in plywood laminated with wood effect.
Vinyl lined hull sides and overhead throughout.
Forward Stateroom includes a large hanging locker on starboard side with side pocket, large double V-berth with storage underneath and direct access to main salon.
Main salon incudes settee/berths to port and starboard, drop leaf table with centerline bottle storage, large storage areas behind backrests with shelves above & hand rails to port and starboard.
Galley is equipped with gimballed gas stove with 2 burners, oven and storage under, stainless steel sink, pressurized cold water system, large 90 liter molded icebox with 12V fridge unit, full length triple lockers outboard of galley countertop, storage under sink with a shelf and space for a trash bin.
Sit down forward facing navigation station includes a large chart table, chart storage under hinged table lid, double lockers, large hinged instrument panel outboard with electrical panel and a navigator's seat with storage below.
Aft cabin is built with privacy door to salon, large hanging locker with side pocket, changing seat, double berth, access panel to engine.
Private aft head includes privacy door to salon, integral shower tray, sink, access cabinet door to seacocks, toilet support shelf, pressurized cold water, marine toilet with holding tank, mirror, toilet roll holder, vanity unit, shower grating and wet storage locker.
Companionway steps with angled treads between bulkheads.
Stainless steel grab rails fitted on bulkheads.
Main engine access through lifting panel with gas spring.
Awlgrip Boot stripe in lieu of std.
Two Tone Deck (grey)
Two fixed hull ports
Wheel steering system
Cruising Package – Battery Charger, 110VAC Shore Power, Hot Water System, extra 150amp battery, bow roller with anchor
Cockpit Opening Ports (3)
Cushion color other than standard
Thurston Dodger with side curtains
Retractable and removable swim ladder
Shoal draft keel (1.65m)
Removable molded transom bridge
Retractable Mooring Cleats (4) in lieu of standard.
|Notice||Specifications are subject to change prior to delivery due to deletions, additions or revisions in quantities, brand or design at the sole discretion of J/Boats, Inc.|
J/97 Finishes 2nd in Round Island Race
The annual JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organized by the Island Sailing Club, is one of the most popular fixtures on the Solent racing calendar. Competitors come from Europe and the USA, as well as all over the UK, to race the 50 mile course round the Isle of Wight. This year the event attracted 1779 entrants (and no that's not a typo!) with J/80, J/105 & J/109 classes and many larger J's. The team from J/UK brought out the new J/97 'Jenga' for her debut regatta in the 55 boat IRC Division 3A. By race end, the J/97 had finished second on elapsed and corrected time in class and was the top J/Boat overall on IRC corrected time. Paul Heys reports:
"We had a crew of 7: MC (Heys) on the tiller, myself, Emma on mainsheet, Kirsty the owner of the J109 J Dream on pit, (Kirsty's husband Dave was sailing J Dream with charter guests). Toby from the J Dream crew on jib, Lance one of our big boat owners on mast and Pietro on bow. Our sail wardrobe included 3 sails: Elvstrom, main, Code 2 jib on hanks with battens, and Code 2 spinnaker.
The forecast was 6-8 knots rising to 12-14 by the time we reached the halfway mark at St Catherines point on the South side of the island. We were in a class of 55 boats in a larger group of perhaps 300 boats all of whom started together. Whilst we were nearly the highest rated, there were quite a lot of longer older boats that could have blanketed us on the fetch if we did not manage to get clear air. From a tidal and shortest distance point of view the island (leeward) end is always favored, from a clear wind point of view with this wind direction, the pin was favored. We opted for the pin and with little difficulty we were able to nail the pin end start. We were initially fetching in 5-6 knots of wind and were pleased to slowly work away from the closest boat which was an MG 335 and all of the pack that had started well at our end. The leg from the start line to the Needles is about 11 miles and the tide was now building to 2 knots in the deep channel, as the tide built the wind backed and we became close hauled. We were comfortable with our speed and within 10 minutes of starting we were in the back of the previous class that had started 10 minutes earlier. On the way down to the Needles we did not see any of our fleet and were working our way through the earlier starters. Tactically we found the Solent difficult, as the breeze was localized, so twice we swapped sides which we normally don't like to do, however the extra pressure appeared to be worth the chase. We discovered that we had not made a perfect job of this, as when we arrived at the Needles, we found ourselves in the company of a Sigma 33 and a Hunter Impala, two slower boats that had started at the same time.
Rounding the Needles we hoisted the code 2 and immediately goosewinged to punch straight into the tide, which would now be against us for the full 25 miles of the run. The wind tends to follow the coast when in this direction so there was at no point, any bow up spinnaker reaching, instead we ran deep the whole way, we used a mixture of goose winging and normal 165 true sailing trying not to gybe out into the
stronger foul tide and utilizing the inshore back eddies. The breeze was between 10 and 18 knots. We passed many boats on the run and only a couple passed us. The Leeward mark at Bembridge was a massive park up of over 500 boats as two opposing winds cancelled each other out. We could see 122's and 133's in front of us and saw lots of boats we had passed piling in behind us, so it became a major restart. Exiting the ruck, we had no idea how we were placed as it was clear that massive losses and gains would have taken place. The old breeze prevailed and we started beating against the tide which had again changed against us, in 2-3 knots of wind. We held on to our position and slowly the breeze built and once it got over 6 knots we stepped away from a J 92 and caught and passed a few larger boats. The beat to the finish saw us in company with Prima 38, X 362, J 109's, J 105's but no smaller boats. Our speed and height was good and only the Prima and the X made small gains. We passed and moved away from the other boats.
As we approached the finish a boat that we had not previously seen, got a gun a few minutes before we got our gun, this was the Elan 333 that won our class. We think that they passed us at Bembridge, although they could have led us out of the Solent.
Upon arriving ashore we found that we had beaten all other J's on handicap. It was a small boat race with some parking lots, but the boat's performance when in contact with others was great!
We are excited by the speed of the new J/97 and her potential for racing IRC. In all, she is a versatile & comfortable boat and everyone on board enjoyed sailing her in this debut race!
J/97 Boat Reviews:
Versatility + Sailing Performance = European Boat of the Year
The prize of "IRC Boat of the Year" in France is awarded to the builder of a series production boat that has distinguished itself in international IRC competitions throughout Europe. It is presented annually during the "Evening of Ocean Racing" held in conjunction with the Salon Nautique de Paris (Paris Sailboat Show). The 2012 winner was the J/97E's sistership, the J/97, built by JB Composites in Les Sables d'Olonne, France.
Didier LeMoal, CEO of JB Composites commented, "The J/97 ultimately demonstrated its pedigree and potential performance in 2011 with several strong campaigns in France and England. J/97 was winner of the Trophy Atlantic UNCL IRC 4 with victories in Spi Ouest France-Intermarché and Grand Prix Crouesty, and a second place in Brest and the Course of Three Islands. Internationally, the J/97 won 2010 Cowes Week in IRC Class and won the 2011 Garmin Hamble Winter Series by a huge margin in IRC 3 Class against stiff competition."
The jury presiding over the election of the IRC boat of the year was made up of four elected members of the UNCL: its President, Marc de Saint Denis; Edouard Baetz its general secretary; Jean Michel Carpentier (Racing Commission); and Jean Claude Merlivat ( Commission IRC). They were assisted by four prominent yachting journalists: Olivier Le Carré (BATEAUX), Pierre-Marie Bourguinat (VOILES & VOILIER), Bernard Rubinstein (VOILE Magazine) and Patrice Carpentier (SEAHORSE INTERNATIONAL Racing).
The selection criteria were: 1) sailing results in France and in Europe; 2) the boat-handling and sailing qualities; 3) the ability to both race and cruise; 4) overall aesthetics; 5) a minimum of 10 boats built in the last year; and 6) have sailed at least 5 races in the IRC in the past year.
The boats selected by the UNCL were an impressive line-up of many winners in IRC events this past year in European waters. The competitive sailboats included: Elan 350, Beneteau First 30, Beneteau First 40, Grand Soleil 43 B&C, J/97, Jeanneau Sun Fast 1010 and Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200.
As a versatile cruising boat with a racing pedigree that is so dear to the IRC, the J/97, with 45 boats built to date, is a boat that is well-designed and well-built, benefiting from the professionalism and experience of JB Composites. Whether sailing nationally (France) or internationally, the winning record of the J/97 is eloquent and prophetic:
Dual Purpose Fun & IRC Winner in 31'
The J/97E is one of the J/Boats’ “E” Series of versatile performance sailing yachts. The “E” is for elegance and evolution in performance cruising design. Why settle for anything less than sailing where and when you want to in comfort, style and speed? This may be your perfect 31 footer!
Introduced in 2009, the J/97E's sisterships attained spectacular performances in major European regattas, winning class in Spi Ouest, Cowes Week, Hamble Winter Series, Sailing World NOOD Chicago and Warsash Springs Series, to name a few. And, the original J/97 was named 2011 IRC Boat of the Year in France (see more results below).
J/97E is the first J in over two decades under 32’ to combine headroom and family cruising accommodations in a high performance, easily driven hull. With the handling ease of an asymmetric spinnaker and non-overlapping headsails, the J/97E promises to be J Boats’ most versatile design yet under 35’ to fit the needs of today’s sailing families, both young and old alike-- the ultimate combination of sailing performance and creature comforts for all!
The key to creating a versatile sailboat is staying focused on the quality of the sailing experience, a trait shared by all J designs. Boats that are easily
driven, easily handled, and genuinely fun to sail provide greater long-term “sailing value” to their owners than designs driven by the latest rating rule or designs that are over-compromised to meet the latest styling trends. Form follows function in good sailboat design, the J/97E is no exception.
The NEW J/97E cockpit is similar to the award-winning cockpit found on the J/111. It features full length seats with back rests, wheel or tiller steering, and an open transom. All sailing controls are within reach of the helmsperson to make the boat very easy to manage. A retractable bow sprit with masthead asymmetric spinnaker allows great all-around performance without the need for numerous skilled crew. The low VCG keel provides exceptional upwind stability while being cruising friendly with swept back leading edge and moderate draft.
The J/97E's new interior layout conveys a feeling of extraordinary of a wide, spacious living room with windows looking out to the sea. With large overhead hatches, enormous cabin windows and large portligths over the settees, it feels like you're outdoors! It's ideal for one couple cruising with room for more. The enormous main cabin has two settees, galley, forward-facing navigation station; plus an enclosed aft head, V-berth, and aft owner’s cabin. Cruising stowage includes a large “garage” aft of the head (accessed through the cockpit seat locker).
J/97 Regatta Results Worldwide
|Cowes Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Cass 5||1st & 2nd Class|
|RORC IRC Nationals||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 4||4th Class|
|RORC Morgan Cup Race||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 4||3rd Class|
|Around Island Race||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 2D||5th Class|
|RORC de Guingand Bowl||June||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 4||3rd Class|
|Warsash Spring Series||Mar-May||Warsash, England||IRC Class 3||2nd Class|
|SPI Ouest France||April||La Trinite sur Mer, France||IRC Class 4A||4th Class|
|SASC Super 30 Series||Dec-Apr||Sydney, Australia||AMS/ PHS Class||1st Class|
|Hamble Winter Series||Oct-Dec||Hamble, England||IRC Class 3||1st Class|
|B&G J-Cup||September||Plymouth, England||IRC Class 2||1st & 2nd Class|
|Cowes Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 6||2nd Class|
|RORC IRC Nationals||July||Portsmouth, England||IRC Class 4||1st & 5th Class|
|Semaine de Porquerolles||May||Hyeres, France||IRC Class 4||1st Class|
|Warsash Spring Series||Mar-May||Warsash, England||IRC Class 3||2nd & 3rd Class|
|InterClub Challenge Cup||April||Southampton, England||IRC Class||2nd Class|
|SASC Super 30 Series||Dec-April||Sydney, Australia||AMS/PHS Class||1st Class|
|RORC Easter Challenge||April||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 3||1st & 2nd Class|
|Warsash Spring Series||Apr-May||Warsash, England||IRC Class 3||2nd Class|
|Dolphin Brewin Scottish Series||May||Tarbert, Scotland||IRC Class 2||1st & 2nd Class|
|Round Island Race||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 2D||1st & 2nd Class|
|IRC Nationals||July||Dartmouth, England||IRC Class 3||1st Class|
|Cowes Race Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 5||1st Class|
|Garmin Hamble Winter Series||Oct-Nov||Hamble, England||IRC Class 3||2nd Class|
|SPI Ouest France||April||La Trinite sur Mer, France||IRC Class 3||1st Class|
|Warsash Spring Series||Apr-May||Warsash, England||IRC Class 3||3rd Class|
|Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series||May||Tarbert, Scotland||IRC Class 4||1st & 2nd, "Yacht of the Series"|
|Kip Regatta||June||Kip Marina, Scotland||IRC Class 2||1st Class, 1st Overall|
|Grand Prix du Crouesty||June||Crouesty, France||IRC Class 2||1st Class|
|France Altlantique Trophy||July||Les Sables d'Olonne, France||IRC Class 2||1st Class|
|Sussex Regatta||July||Sussex, England||IRC Class 2||1st Class, 1st Overall|
|Dartmouth Regatta||July||Dartmouth, England||IRC Class 2||1st Class, 1st Overall|
|Round Island Race||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 2D||1st Class|
|Cowes Race Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 4||2nd, 3rd Class|
|Garmin Hamble Winter Series||Oct-Nov||Hamble, England||IRC Class 3||1st Class, "Yacht of the Series"|
|FFV France IRC "Yacht of the Year"||December||Paris, France||Overall Winner|
|Sailing World "Boat of the Year"||January||Newport, RI||"Best Club Racer" Winner|
|Warsash Spring Series||Apr-May||Warsash, England||IRC Class 3||2nd Class|
|Round Island Race||July||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 2D||5th Class|
|Chicago-Mackinac Race||July||Chicago, IL- Mackinac Is, MI||ORR Section 8||2nd Class|
|Cowes Race Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 4||2nd Class|
|Cowes Race Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 5||2nd, 4th Class|
|Garmin Hamble Winter Series||Oct-Nov||Hamble, England||IRC Class 2||1st Class|
|J/Cup Regatta||July||Southampton, England||IRC Class 2||1st Class|
|Dartmouth Regatta||July||Dartmouth, England||IRC Class 2||1st Class, 1st Overall, "Yacht of the Series"|
|Cowes Race Week||August||Cowes, Isle of Wight, England||IRC Class 5||1st Class, 1st Black Group Overall|