J/111 Polars & tuning guides

For some reason I get many requests for the J/111 polars…

It’s no secret that I think they are useful to get the most out of a boat. First as a a baseline for performance on a new boat and racing in handicap fleets. But also for routing purposes. And the J/111 have some pretty special characteristics where it’s important to find (and stick to) your sweet spots downwind.

Below are the generic one-design polars from the ORC VPP.

This is a good starting point. But you need to update them to match your own sail inventory and style of sailing. On the J/111 you need to get the planing speeds and angles right and if you carry a code sail, this will create a “bump” in the performance curve as well.

Here’s some tests with our code 0 (the small dots on the chart) and me trying to drag the curve to match the actual performance.

The only way to do it is to go out and sail, getting samples and updating your own polars. It isn’t rocket science and there’s several tools to help out. We use Expedition. It’s important to calibrate the instruments and be methodical in your approach. Take notes of your runs, either during races or 100% focused (eveyone hikes, helmsman & trimmers are concentrated etc) to be sure that you get quality data. Run each sail in 10 degrees intervals and in different conditions. It takes time, but after your first season you should have something really useful.

The additional bonus is that the whole crew is up to date with sail selection, sweet spots, cross overs etc that will lead to better performance.

Here’s the sail selection module in Expedition. All sails are mapped to TWA and TWS which allows Expedition to suggest the correct sail for the next leg.

Here’s some tuning guides from the big sailmakers. I also have some useful information from J/Boats and skippers that I’ll try to summarize in the near future.

J111 ORC Certs
Other ways to get a feel for performance is to analyze rating certificates. Above are the ORC ones that can be found on ORC Sailor Services.

In IRC there’s many more boats, with ratings ranging from 1.088 (IRC optimized, smaller spin, heavier) to 1.103 for some of the US boats. Below is short selection. For individual boats, go to ircrating.org.

GBR111N Jazzband 1.088
NED9111 Xcentric Ripper 1.087
FRA38221 Alphalink 1.090
BEL11111 Djinn 1.090
GBR8711R Icarus 1.090
GBR5811R Jeez Louise 1.090
AUS111 Jake 1.091
GBR7511R Munkenbeck 1.091
FRA62 J Lance 7 1.092
GBR7111L J-Dream 1.094
GBR2949L Oje 1.094
USA16 Partnership 1.095
GBR7611R Shmokin’ Joe 1.095
IRL7111 Wow 1.096
FRA38225 Le Jouet T 1.097
GBR8911R Manic 1.097
ITA4465 J Storm 1.098
USA11 Kontiki V 1.103

For a more complete list go to Le Jouet, run by Stéphane Blanchard. A good reference for J/111 information.