Some interesting questions from a shorthanded sailor that’s upgrading from a J/105 to a J/109.
Hopefully this will help somewhat.
Thanks for taking some time to respond on my questions.
As said, I just bought a J/109.
In my search for a new boat where also on the shortlist a Dehler 36sq, X-37 and Grand Soleil 37. My J/105 did a marvellous job, and i liked it very much. So why change brand. I sail 40% solo and 40% duo. The J/109 has also a good name sailing shorthanded.
In the shorthanded class I saild with the J/105 we have a couple of J/109 competing. And I have seen some speed difference in different conditions. Your experience?
But the questions I would like to ask:
On the 105 during up wind I could helm and do mainsail. Second man on the rail. Now I read that on a J/109 it pays to put the 2nd man on the main sheet and work it?
Is she sensitive for traveller?
The 105 had a full size door as a rudder and would steer almost always. Did you find the 109 with some heel, ‘tricky’?When put a reef in the main? And how soon you put in a reef in your jib or host a #4.
We use ORC as a handicap format here, I will calculate how many sec it will cost me to measure a #G2.
Did u use shorthanded a overlapping sail? Or to much work?
About hosting gennaker, on the J/105 I use to do this from the bag that I placed just aft of the shrouds. And sometimes from the cabin? What was your favourite spot? And the worst?
Backstay. On the Internet you read that it needs to be shorten, to get the right amount of tension. Do you agree?
If you would comment on this, I am sure it would be very fun to read, as all the other articles, during the holidays ;-)
Many thanks and again Merry Christmas.
First off, the J/105 and J/109 are quite different animals.
The J/105, like the J/111, is primarily an offshore boat that does great on a reach. It needs some wind to get moving, and it’s can be hard to point upwind. Lots of stability makes it a great shorthanded racer that can be pushed really hard.
The J/109 is designed more with windward/leeward racing in mind. Excellent boat upwind, but a bit tender compared to the J/105. Will be faster in anything below 10 knots, and may struggle with stability when the wind is up.
Steering, backstay & mainsail? As said, the J/109 has less stability, and a bigger mainsail, so it’s more demanding upwind when you’re powered up.
It definitely pays off to work the mainsheet, and in puffy conditions it’s great to be two. At least in the beginning. After a while you learn the boat and it’s ok to both drive and trim the main. We usually tried to work the sheet to get twist while still keeping the boom in to be able to point.
Compared to the 105, you’ll have more modes upwind. Poining is realtively easy, but keep your eyes on the target speeds. Achieve them first before trying to go high. It may take a season or two to get there, but then you’ll be able to do wonders on the upwind legs.
We didn’t have any issues with the backstay, but keep in mind that hard = fast. You need to get the main really flat while keeping the headstay straight in 16.-20 knots. And it’s often more backstay than you thought from the beginning.
Below are our numbers. Shorthanded with jib and no weight on the rail, 150% genoa is with max one-design weigh on the rail. In a few years you’ll learn to do +6.80 upwind with 2 as well :-)
Genoa or just the jib when shorthanded? We used the jib. Worked great in most conditions, except 4-6 knots and choppy seas (not very often) and in TWA 60-90 where the genoa works better. But the lower rating will make your life easier.
Note that the 105% J3 that usually comes with the boat is designed for 16+ knots and pretty flat. We did a “medium” jib that worked through the whole range, with a “sweet spot” in 10 knots.
Also, if it’s not fitted already, a good “in-fucker” on the jib is essential. The boats loves to get the jib-sheet just inside the grabrail (=8 degrees sheeting angle). It takes some practice, but well worth it. If you need inspiration for the setup, look at a J/111.
Gennaker set, What was your favourite spot? And the worst? We always set from a bag, to leeward behind the jib. Behind the shrouds it’s hard to pre-run the tack, and it’s easy to get it in the water. Up front it’ll be inside the lifelines and through the pulpit until you hoist.
We used a sock for a while, but nowadays we just sokh the A5 (or heavy weather gennakers when solo). Less hassle to hoist from the bag, and do a takedown behind the main or “letterbox” over the boom. See video below (@3:50).
Good luck with the J/109. It’s a great boat and you’ll have lots of fun learning to sail it.
Feel free to ask more questions.