What decides the success of a sailboat, beyond the awards in the end, as in all things, is the market that decides the choice of the owners by the number of boats that the shipyard manages to sell.
Among the most famous shipyards in the world that have sold the most sailboats is certainly J/Boats, an American builder based in Newport, Rhode Island, United States of America, which boasts in 45 years of activity of having produced more than 15,000 performance oriented sailboats.
The J/24 alone, the first model built by the American shipyard, sold 5,500 units in the first twenty years of activity.
At the beginning J/Boats designed and manufactured its boats alone since 1994 it has benefited from the collaboration of J/Composites a French shipyard currently among the most expert in the world as regards the construction of sandwiches and infusions, an advanced technology of infusion of composite resin, allowing lightweight quality boats to be built with an unmatched level of perfection twice as strong as hand-laid fiberglass boats. Following this strategic collaboration, other successful projects have been implemented with numerous units produced, among the most recent being the J/99, the latest high-performance sports sailing boat designed by Alan Johnstone and built by J/Boats and J/ Composites.
The overall boat is 9.94 m (32.61 ft) long, with a wide waterline of 8.72 m (28.60 ft), while the overall maximum beam is 3.40 m (11. 15 feet), the draft is 2.00/2.10 m (6.56/6.88 feet), the displacement 3,800 kg (8,377 lb), total sail area 53 m2, engine power 20 hp, water tank 100 liters (26 gallons).
Three years after the launch of the first J/99, the hundredth is already under construction and another 20 units have already been ordered and for three years 10 people have been dedicated full time to its production.
The reasons for the success of this model is that it manages to perfectly combine great navigation performance and stability without neglecting the comfort below deck, moreover it is safe, comfortable, easy to manage and has been specially designed to meet the needs of owners who wish to navigate with a small crew in fact the boat can be driven with one or two people.
The J/99 is the final result of all the experience accumulated over the years by the American shipyard in the design of high performance sailboats and this model incorporates all the latest developments tested on the award-winning J/121 and the new sailing world champion offshore J/112 boats that used in the navigation of offshore races have won an impressive number of victories in the most important regattas such as the Middle Sea Race, the most important in the Mediterranean which starts from Malta, and completes the tour of Sicily in the counterclockwise, it passes by the Aeolian Islands, leaving Stromboli on the left, by the Egadi, before rounding Lampedusa and Pantelleria and returning to Malta; the Fastent Race which takes place off the coast of Great Britain. It is considered one of the classic offshore. It is contested every two years and is 608 nautical miles long; the Mackinac Race an annual 333-mile yacht race starting in Lake Michigan off Chicago, Illinois and finishing in Lake Huron off Mackinac Island, Michigan; Armen Race a sailing regatta open to all boaters. Held annually, 300 to 360 miles in length, the race takes place in doubles or crewed.
The J/99 was designed precisely with the aim of attracting sailors to participate in these suggestive sailing competitions of great charm and full of events where all the performance of the boat are tested starting from the speed, the handling of the sails and much more. again and offer them a boat that excels in these regattas.
The hull and deck were built by J/Composites using the composite resin infusion molding process which guarantees exceptional and lasting constructive solidity obtained above all in an ecological way.
An innovative hull integrates perfectly into the modern shape of the hull with elegant lines and a very accurate sporty finish with minimal wetted surface.
The J/99 low VGC (vertical center of gravity) ratio keel is high tech bi-metal consisting of a cast iron part and a lead bottom end, the option of having a full lead long keel is offered, all fixed to the hull with through studs and finished with gelcoat.
The same construction method as the J/112e and J/121 was used to make it. This special keel provides great stability to the J/99.
The layout of the deck and the sail plan are optimized for easy handling and offer a pleasant driving sensation with the reactivity typical of a sports boat with all the main maneuvers manageable by whoever is at the helm with 2 primary two-speed winches mounted on the coaming in the cockpit and 2 two-speed halyard winches mounted on the deckhouse aft on either side of the entry companionway below deck.
The J/99 has been designed with a simplified sail plan that uses only four sails but covers a wide range of uses: mainsail, jib, mainsail, spinnaker. It is also offered with two different rudder systems, in a version with one or two rudder blades, to optimize the boat according to the chosen sailing discipline.
The rudder offered on the J/99 is a tiller, the other steering systems can be chosen as an option.
The deck layout features a deckhouse with side windows, a large cockpit, an extruded aluminum mast, a fixed carbon bowsprit. The extruded aluminum mast with built-in rail has been designed to rest in the keel area on a special adjustable base.
The removable fixed bowsprit guarantees performance and practicality both in port and at sea.
Below deck, the interiors offer a nice atmosphere with comfort and space where you need it. The layout includes two cabins, a saloon, a galley, a bathroom and a sail locker.
Aft are the two identical symmetrical and separate cabins, with spacious berths, each with mattresses, courtesy light, shelves for objects with space available under the berths.
At the bow we find the bathroom illuminated by the hatch with marine toilet connected to the collection tank with manual pump for drainage and the space for the sails on the starboard side towards the extreme bow.
The descent below deck takes place via a staircase with curved steps which is accessed from a sliding hatch located aft of the mast.
The L-shaped kitchen is the room closest to the entrance and develops on the left side, well equipped where nothing is missing, including an insulated icebox with opening from the worktop, stainless steel tilting stove with two burners, stainless steel sink with tap, drain outside board, pressurized water system, side lockers, waste bin under the sink, lockers under the stove.
On the opposite starboard side we find a chart table facing forward with seat and opening shelf, drawer for charts, container for instruments, switchboard panel at side, shelves for objects in the chart table and space still available under the chart table.
Further forward towards the bow we discover a beautiful living room with head height and natural light thanks to fixed hatches on deck and on the right and left sides two opposite seats (I also use berths) with mattresses and backrests with central table with folding wings
J/99 is a very versatile boat that can adapt not only to long offshore races as a couple or with crew but also to pleasure cruises to be shared with the family.
The boat can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people.
The J/99 was immediately much appreciated by operators in the sector and by the entire world nautical press as a really fun fast boat and there was no lack of recognition.
Another point in favor of the J/99 of no less importance is the cost its base price is 114,900 euros + VAT + accessories which is not bad for a boat that offers performance and comfort what you need because the J/99 does not it was mainly designed for pleasant cruising but what it can do better than other cruising yachts of its size is to sail well and go fast and even if the interior finishes are not of the highest quality, the attention to detail on deck is really very good and what you lose in comfort, you gain in enjoyment by sailing fast and easy in a boat less than 10 meters ideal for satisfying the ambition of offshore racers.