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Old 30-07-2021, 08:08   #1
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J/24 for camper cruiser

So we live in Guadeloupe in the French West INdies, pretty calm seas and always blowing. Our instructor is selling his j24 and we are thinking to buy it to improve our sailing and make weekend trips to neighboring islands within 10-15 miles

We figure its much more reasonable to buy this and learn/improve than jump into a 40k yacht with all the various systems to maintain.

No outboard here just a sculling oar for the turns in marinas or what have you.

Anyone have any experience using it as a weekender?

We got about 4/1 in pros/cons making it look like a good idea.

SO reaching out to you to tell me it's not fit for that and to keep looking.
(Best thing about the boat is we can be using it tomorrow)

Also maybe any tips for making it more comfy/safe if at all possible.

Cheers,
Rich
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Old 30-07-2021, 08:44   #2
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

We have done quite a bit of weekending in a smaller boat, so a 24' boat should be fine for that.

Pluses:
  • less expensive to buy and maintain
  • fun to sail
  • you'll sail more
  • easier to sell (or walk away from)
Negatives:
  • a smaller boat is more "rolly" in open ocean conditions
  • less than luxurious for life aboard or trips of more than a week or two
... but in your flip-flops I would go for the J24. And I would definitely put a reliable outboard on it, dependable VHF with a masthead antenna, compass obviously, and a small chartplotter or tablet with GPS and chart app. And the right safety equipment for those waters, of course.
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Old 30-07-2021, 08:46   #3
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

The J24 was designed to be a racer you could sleep on overnight during regattas. If it has enough space for you overnight, do it.
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Old 30-07-2021, 09:02   #4
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

The J24 is a great little boat. If the accommodation works for you... why not? The only thing is; you must have moorage, it's not a "launch when you use it " boat.
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Old 30-07-2021, 11:43   #5
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

@Cheechako We are lucky enough to live just near a great protected mooring field inside a small island/reef which is a 10 minute swim from our house.

We have an inflatable canoe so will probably use that. Saves on the car trips as well.

@Lake-effect so I figure a mooring is easier to sail into anyway as it's not super crowded and we have practiced enough with our instructor, even he figures it's a good idea..

Really prefer not to have a motor at this moment, fuel is even more expensive here than USA and there is literally always wind. Also might lose the chart plotter and stick with paper charts for practice.

Thanks for the replies and happy weekend. Look forward to reading more.
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Old 30-07-2021, 12:00   #6
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

The J/24 is a good weekender, though it wasn't designed as such. Learning to sail on a small boat is a very good idea; you wouldn't be overwhelmed by sail size, etc.


Personally, I'd rather not have an outboard since they are cantankerous, smelly and one needs to carry gas for them. However, they are a safety item. If one gets too far from shore or sculls against a tide, you could save a lot of trouble by having a small outboard. Suzuki sells the smallest outboard with a clutch I know of and a gallon of gas would go a long way. One can tuck it away below when its not in use, though in that size boat, leaving it on the mount saves storage space. Always drain the carb after use.


Boris
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Old 30-07-2021, 13:03   #7
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

Boris, you raise good points but our 1foot tides here surely shouldn't be difficult to scull against if need be. Also my understanding is that the j24 truely only needs a couple knots of wind to move so I don't really see when we would be in harm's way. Also storing the motor inside surely will stink it up.
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Old 31-07-2021, 13:18   #8
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

We are now entering our 11th year on our Beneteau F235, which is only 23.5' long . It is.set.up.for cruising and we spend up to a week at.a time on it with no problem. I use to crew on a J24 and they would be fine for a couple. We power lights, VHF radio, phone charging and presurrized water with a 40watt solar panel which is only out while not sailing and we have lots of power. Get yourself a nice light coloured boom tent and a front hatch wind scoop and you'll be set to handle the sun and cabin heat issues. I like your no motor approach and it will make you a better sailor. We have a 6hp sailpro Tohatsu, which has worked perfectly once we got rid of the enviro valve in the tank, motor on our boat because our marina slip would be virtually impossible to access without one. Go without a motor since you can always get one later. We cruise because I like to sail and as you said a small light boat gets up and going with very little wind while.larger boats are motoring. Get the boat and enjoy. Remember what Mark Twain said...To paraphrase...20years from now you'll only regret the things you didn't do!
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:27   #9
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

I have a J24 and sailed on another one; they are great sailing boats. I would do what you are contemplating in a New York minute if I did not have the other boat. A 3.5 hp outboard works fine, but is another item to maintain. The only issues can see are light and ventilation down below on rainy days. Sounds like fun to me!
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:41   #10
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

You could leave a small outboard mounted on the stern with a lock if necessary. 3hp can have integral tanks to keep it simple. Or go electric but then you may have more invested in the motor than the boat.
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Old 07-08-2021, 10:17   #11
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

Pull the trigger Bud.

"Go small, go simple, and go now"
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:33   #12
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

Maybe offer your instructor some bucks to rent it for a weekend or two while it's for sale.
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Old 08-08-2021, 17:54   #13
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indefatiguable View Post
Pull the trigger Bud.

"Go small, go simple, and go now"
These are our top priorities, but we musn't allow "now" to distort our position on what might be best for us. Maybe we wait 1 more month and find a more seaworthy boat that's maybe more forgiveable
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Old 11-08-2021, 22:14   #14
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

To paraphrase, the perfect is the enemy of the good enough
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Old 11-08-2021, 23:19   #15
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Re: J/24 for camper cruiser

I'd do it. I might add a Crazy Creek chair to sit in while sailing or just sitting around so you have a backrest. Those things will sail with a breath of wind so the sculling oar would probably be fine, or buy two long whitewater oars and mount oarlocks on the rail! You and a friend rowing that thing oughta get you anywhere you want to go pretty fast! A tarp over the boom will make her a very liveable abode too. Bring a couple thermarest mattresses or air matresses and you can sleep out on deck too if it is too stuffy below and the anchorage is calm.
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