The J Boat people have always looked for a different approach in an effort to stay one step ahead. The thrust of their search appears to be more speed for less effort and, of course, that translates into more efficient designs. The new J/92 follows the concept made successful by the J/105. The 92 will also fit nicely into the new Whitbread 30 rule.

A photo of the JBoats J/92 sailboat.

The J/Boats J/92.

Just as the sailor interested in the Hood 27 is after a particular look to express this style, the sailor attracted to the 92 is also lured by the look. Study the sail plan. Note the general sweep of the sheer with its low point at the transom and the accompanying lines of the brief cabintrunk. There is a Japanese term we use in karate, "zenkoutsu." This describes the stance you take when you are fully extended, back leg locked out straight, front knee bent, at the moment of maximum impact. The line of the 92 has the look of zenkoutsu to it. The sprit is thrust out to extend the line and the look is one of power and quickness. This look is further enhanced by the rake of the stem and the transom and the strong rake of the mast. It's a great look and requires subtle and careful styling to pull together.

The D/L of the 92 is 137. This makes it heavier than a ULDB but certainly well on the light side of medium. Beam is moderate at 10 feet and the transom is not very broad. If we use our beam max/beam-at-transom ratio, we get 1.67 compared with the 1.15 of the SR33 and the 1.13 of the Tripp 26. There is very little flare to the topsides aft. Note also that max beam is farther forward on this design than is currently in vogue.

The draft is 5.9 feet and the keel is a fin with bulb to get the VCG down. The midsection shows a deadrise angle of 10 degrees. The perspective drawing I have indicates none of the hollow to the entry that we are seeing on the newest IMS boats. While we see designers today pushing the rudder forward to keep it in the water at all times, the 92 has the rudder as far aft as physically possible without it protruding beyond the transom.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this design is the attack on sailhandling. The asymmetrical chute flown from a sprit means the 92 can be raced entirely from the cockpit. Jibing the chute simply requires pulling in the new sheet. The tack of the chute stays fixed to the retractable carbon fiber sprit. A snuffer sock can be pulled down over the chute to keep it under control when not flying. Halyard winches flank the companionway with double jammers port and starboard. The traveler is on the cockpit sole.

In the horsepower per pound area, the J/92 has a SA/D of 24.84. This power comes in a fractional rig with an almost-masthead chute. The 92 class restricts boats to a 100 percent jib on Harken roller furling. The sheeting angle for this jib is 11 degrees. The spar uses double spreaders slightly swept aft.

When it comes to the interior, I take exception to the brochure. This does not look like a cruising interior to me. I'm sure you could cruise this boat, but it is a long way from a Baba 35.

The true purpose of this design is to offer an exciting alternative to sailors confused and angry over unstable rating rules. There is another way, and it is called level racing or even one-design racing. The J/92 fits these formats perfectly. The J Boat people have tremendous experience establishing the class rules for their boats, and do so with the idea that you have to optimize the competitiveness of the entire fleet. Maximum crew weight on a 92 is 880 pounds. You can divide this weight up any way you like. Success in the one-design areas requires minimizing hassles and maximizing the fun factor. If I am lucky, I will get a chance to sail one of these 30-footers in my area.

Boat Specifications
Shoal Option4.9'
Displacement5300 lbs.
Ballast2275 lbs.
Sail Area472 sq. ft.
AuxiliaryYanmar 9 hp
Fuel12 gals.
Water5 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.