J/oining the Fray
It looks like J/boats is joining the 10 meter sports yacht battle with the soon-to-be released J/99. A sort-of mini J/109 with some of the features from the 122, we’re told the 99 will have a moderate-weight hull capable of planing, an aluminium spar bigger than the 105, masthead spinnakers, outboard chainplates, and a target price well below the 109. It seems that Pearson Composites and J/Boats have had a falling out, and, like the J/109, the 99 will be produced in Europe only, with the first US boats coming over sometime around April. If there’s enough interest, J/Boats will start production in the US – but not at Pearson, and not with SCRIMP.
While we give J/Boats plenty of crap for their insistency on creating models at nearly every conceivable size, the 10 meter size has proven to be marketable for handicap and club OD racing. It’s hard to imagine the J/99 succeeding in any great numbers with the success of the FT-10, but there are plenty of J customers out there that love the company, and are happy to continue paying premium prices for moderate performers.