Why tack the code halfway on the sprit?

Here’s a question from a reader and fellow J/111-sailor in Detroit.

Reminds me I need to sail on the Great Lakes at some point…


I own a J111 in Detroit USA. FREEDOM
We are getting a code Zero.
I notice that you might have your code Zero tack on a bobstay 1/2 way out your pole……why?, advantages and disadvantages….. secondly, I am guessing you got it measured differently…….. or is it cut the same for either location of tack?
great racing last week.

thank you So much.
we follow all your efforts on Blur j111.

James Cooper

There is a separate article on the setup: “J/111 Blur³ | Code 0 setup”

There’s a number of reasons we run it from 1 meter out.

1) Early on we decided we needed a super flat code 0, as we in light wind build apparent wind like crazy. So it’s bascally as big as possible and 50% half-width (not possible in all rules). Key here is to get MAXIMUM luff tension (as hard as humanly possible on 2:1 halyard + maximum backstay after that.

2) J/boats advised that the loads would be to big if we put it at the end of the sprit, but 100 mm out would be ok. Also the angle for the bobstay is much better.

3) We wanted to be able to connect/disconnect the code when a gennaker was hoisted without climbing the sprit. Solo sailing, I can reach the tack point from the relative safety of the pulpit (still scary).

4) The alternative would be a halyard lock and a 2:1 tackline. This is how most boats with a fixed sprit do it. But it’s costly, and requires modifications to the mast.

5) We’ve raced against J/111 #85 Dacapo, that run their from the end of the sprit: both a code (more liike the code 1 that are typical in IRC or on some of the boats in the US (ex Kashmir), as well as a J0.

Measurements: SLU SLE SFL SHW Area

Blur C0 15,74 14,00 8,75 4,82 = 69,47 m2
Dacapo C0/1 16,68 14,93 8,78 6,77 = 94,46 m2

Blur J0 15,84 14,65 5,75 2,82 = 43,27 m2
Dacapo J0 15,95 14,50 7,13 3,86 = 57,27 m2

Naturally Dacapos code have more area, but our shape delivers more punch at tight angles in TWA 80-90. And that the cross-over to the A5/A3 feels ok. On a long leg with TWA 100 they will crush us, but we seem to have an overall edge with our setup.

And as the J/111 is a weak boat, the code more often gets to big, rather than to small :-)

So, there’s not one easy answer – it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. But if I had to reconsider I’d probably do the same priorities again.