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Old 17-07-2016, 19:23   #16
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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Originally Posted by pontoon View Post
Thanks for the info! I did look at the J 40 a little bit. It seems like the J Boats aren't as spacious for a given length compared to some others I'm looking at, but it's on my radar as an option.

Here's more info on what the J44 owner said: "She is easy to singlehand with her Dutchman system, roller furling headsail, electric halyard winch and all sail controls leading aft to the cockpit."
I'm ditching the Dutchman system on my boat (it came with it), I've never liked them, I've used them on new and old boats across the spectrum and found they always worked kind of OK, but not well enough for my liking. My new mainsail is coming and I'm going back to a lazy jack setup, much less hassle, much simpler.
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Old 19-07-2016, 14:44   #17
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
We have an older racing boat with quite complicated rig... 3/4 fractional, with running backstays and checkstays as well as a masthead backstay. It was designed to be raced with a crew of 9 or 10...

We can sail it as a couple for extended periods (i.e. multi-day non stop), but only really since we got a short hoist mainsail that only goes up to just below the hounds, so that we can tack and jibe inside the running backstays. With a decent autopilot, and a fufling headsail a single person can tack and jibe the boat while the other is asleep, even in 25+ knots of wind.

I have a same kind of boat, racer/ cruiser with check stays and running back stay but 33'.
Maybe you have to put more attention for this kind of boat but enjoying singlehanded sailing or short handed all the time. Depends on how much you wanna work.
For me it's perfect if I had a tiller pilot!!


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Old 19-07-2016, 15:37   #18
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

for me as a current j-boat owner, i would love a 44 as a cruiser, to me it would be perfect. I currently have a 37 and single hand all the time.

Every time these threads come up it is the same BS. If you want complicated come out with me on the TP52, thats complicated, hydro mast jack, hrydo headstay ram, twin mast head backstays for the square top, jib cars that adjust on a 4 way axis.

A j/44 all and all is pretty simple to sail short handed if you take the time to properly outfit and rig her. And as Paul said, you don't need as large a sail to drive a better designed boat.

Now get out there and sail and get away from the computer.
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Old 22-07-2016, 20:44   #19
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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I cruised a J37 for a few years. One thing about cruising J's with short handed crews is that they need very little sail to get decent boat speed. Little sail means lower loads which are much easier to handle.
I don't buy the fears of an electric winch or two. It only means that you can more easily do a task like raise the main. Since it is easy and the boat sails so well, that's what you -- sail when most are motoring. If the electric motor breaks then you use it like a normal winch just slower.
The J's point high. This means that you can crack off when beating to weather to get nice speed and some comfort while still pointing higher than the typical cruising boat. The J's tend to have relatively small tankage. There was typically a factory option for additional water tankage.
I think of the J 40,42,44 and 46. The 44 is least cruiser friendly. It has a really low PHRF rating for a 44 ft boat, a big stick and needs a skilled sailor to sail it. Many were raced hard and will be showing the wear.
You have to get a really good survey on the 40 to 46 foot j-boats. I was in the market for one until I saw some rumors at Sailing Anarchy of spongy decks and wet hulls. I then did some research and found three examples on boat yard web sites where there was severe hull delamination damage. The worst one needed to have the laminate replaced in about 1/3 of the total hull area. This was due to water ingress at the exhaust port. The other examples were due to various owners adding or changing hardware on deck. One used boat for sale listed all of the hull/deck repairs completed.
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Old 22-07-2016, 21:19   #20
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

I had friends who nearly circumnavigated their J-44. They abandoned the boat 800 miles short of their goal when the rudder fell off. The stock J-44 rudder was so unbalanced that they were burning out autopilots, so they picked up a more balanced rudder in Australia.

Double handing the boat was not a problem as long as it had a rudder.
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Old 23-07-2016, 06:15   #21
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

I know of a great J42 that its owner configured for cruising. He has done the ARC1500 many times and wintered in BVI area. He moved on to a larger boat so this one is for sale in Annapolis. It is ready to go and I know he wants it sold. Here is the yachtworld link, you should talk to the owner.

1996 J Boat J/42 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 23-07-2016, 11:55   #22
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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I had friends who nearly circumnavigated their J-44. They abandoned the boat 800 miles short of their goal when the rudder fell off. The stock J-44 rudder was so unbalanced that they were burning out autopilots, so they picked up a more balanced rudder in Australia.

Double handing the boat was not a problem as long as it had a rudder.
That's the first time I've heard that the rudder was changed in Australia before the failure. Do you have any details?
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Old 23-07-2016, 21:22   #23
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

What it comes down to is, "who's the cruising couple?" Your level of comfort will determine what boat is right. When I was younger and more energetic a performance cruiser was great, I still have one, but it's definitely not a lightweight, need a little more comfort, but still has a big rig and running back stays so it's still a somewhat physical boat bit not quite j44 level.

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Old 25-07-2016, 01:17   #24
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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That's the first time I've heard that the rudder was changed in Australia before the failure. Do you have any details?
Not a lot of details, but had a talk with a mutual friend who confirmed that the original rudder on First Light was too unbalanced and was changed out in Sydney. They bought a used second-generation rudder from a J44 which had changed to a third-generation design.

The owner of First Light also mentioned to my friend that they had some incident which may have weakened their rudder prior to its failure on the Atlantic crossing, but I don't have any more details.
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Old 25-07-2016, 03:22   #25
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

Not mentioned so far. The machine space. If systems are crammed into a small space the time for a repair increases as you dismantle unbroken things to get at the problem.
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:50   #26
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

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Not mentioned so far. The machine space. If systems are crammed into a small space the time for a repair increases as you dismantle unbroken things to get at the problem.
Are you saying this with J's in mind? My J37 had the best engine access of any boat I've owned. Also, as boats in general go over 40 ft the space for mechanicals gets easier to design in.
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Old 26-07-2016, 00:41   #27
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

general thoughts after 3 rtw:
in-line spreader cum running back/checkstays: on the tradewind-route (weeks & weeks of broad reaching/running!) that means
you can really square away the main 90 (a big plusover swep-back spreader!)
good mast support, no pumping
if they are a hassle than only when short tacking

I strongly question the approach "so&so did a rtw in that&that design-boat therefore I can do it!" There is a very valid german saying "taste & slaps differ!" i.e. likings & abilities vary widely!
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Old 08-10-2016, 16:49   #28
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Re: Singlehanding a J44

The check stays on the J44 are for sail tune only. The stick is a single extrusion - swept back spreaders with a pretty aggressive pre-bend (rake). It's a sexy rig.
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