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J/45 Crowned SAILING WORLD Boat Of The Year- Best Performance Crossover

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J/Boats.com | Article excerpts from Sailing World Magazine 

(Newport, RI)- The exceptional J/45 delivers an equally exceptional sailing experience in a luxury crossover racer.

The Johnstone family and their builders take their time to get it right. It’s what makes J/Boats synonymous with proper and purposeful sailing boats, which now includes the J/45. For the many legacy J Boat owners, this sailboat is for you.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve come out with a boat this size,” says designer Alan Johnstone. “A lot of different trends have come along, and we’ve been paying attention and applying them in the sportboat range and in some of our smaller racer-cruisers.”

A good current-model comparison, says Jeff Johnstone, would be the company’s J/121, which has been very successful on the offshore racing scene. “The J/45 has over a 40 percent ballast ratio, so that’s pretty substantial,” he says. “That means we can get away with a pretty sizable rig. Our markets are San Diego, Chicago and New England, where it doesn’t blow so hard, so we wanted to be able to actually sail in 5 knots of wind. With sails that work across the wind range, we have a more powerful hull that allows you to carry more sail area.”

The J/45 is a nod to J Boats’ raison d’être, Jeff explains. It’s a boat that is offshore-capable, and easy to campaign with friends and family in the club beer-can series and overnight races. “Look at the events that are prospering,” he says, “pursuit races and cruises—events you don’t need to have a pro crew on board.”

The boat is intended for shorthanded sailing, so there’s a traditional and simple approach to the deck layout, with everything leading to the pit, through-jammers to Harken cabin-top winches (one electrified), one set of coaming primaries, and a pair of winches for the split mainsheet that runs below deck and exits from a nicely sculpted deck fitting. With twin pedestals, the carbon wheels are high and angled outboard for excellent visibility.

“When I first saw it at the dock, I thought, This is a pretty cool race boat,” Powlison says. “When you step back and look at it, it has great-looking lines. When we got on, I immediately noted the sightline from the wheel. I could see across the entire boat all the way to the bow. It’s all really clean and has the attributes you’d expect to see on a proper race boat. When we went below, I was like, wow, it really is a boat I could live on for a while.”

The owner of the boat that was test-sailed has a young family of teens and uses the boat extensively for club racing and cruising in New England. So, the boat was laden with cruising extras, plus a retractable bow thruster, a hydraulic mast jack and an upgraded Hall carbon rig. A custom addition by the owner was the carbon furling boom, which was a project collaboration between North Sails and Hall. The owner is extremely happy with the furler, especially not having to make the family flake and stack 1,152 square feet of race-worthy sails on the family cruise.  Read the rest of the article here on the J/45 Best Crossover Boat of the Year  For more J/45 offshore performance cruising yacht information

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