Wednesday, April 22, 2020

J/Newsletter- April 22nd, 2020

sunset in ChileJ/Sailing News

As the world continues to cope with the extraordinary circumstances that we are all living under, there are mounting glimmers of hope that sailors may ultimately be able to fulfill those distant dreams to get back on the water again.

For example, in our little state of Rhode Island, marinas and boatyards are opening up to begin to address the annual rite of passage known as "spring commissioning". Albeit later than normal and given that everyone should be wearing face masks and "safe distancing", it does represent progress in turning around and "flattening" the dreaded "logarithmic curve" that seems to be guiding all public officials. Speaking of which, it would be interesting to hear from our Swedish sailing friends how things are working out in their country
Newport rainbow
A big "Thank You" to everyone that responded to last week's J/News. Many heartwarming stories and anecdotes about sailing with friends and family. Of course, some of the funniest comments were those reminiscing about sailing with J/Boats' founders Bob & Rod J. over the course of time.  Below are some of those stories from passionate J/Sailors. Even more next week!

Please send us more of your thoughts, experiences, stories, trials & tribulations from various parts of the world- send to ""

J/99 Interview- Jeff Johnstone
J/99: Join the Experts Live with Jeff Johnstone

(Hamble, England)- Since 1977, over 15,000 J/Boats have been launched. The J/99 is the latest design and, in many respects, truly innovative as a J/Boat. Hull #40 is in the process of being delivered to J/Boats co-founder Rod Johnstone (if readers recall, it was mentioned in last week's J/News), and over 60 have been commissioned worldwide.

Join us for a LIVE Facebook hosted interview with J/Boats' President Jeff Johnstone, and Key Yachting Sales Director Hannah Le Prevost, for a detailed discussion on the J/99. The live feed will have detailed pictures, videos and the latest updates on the J/99.

This will be an open discussion, with viewers able to comment and ask questions.

When: Thursday, 30 April 1400 UTC (10:00 am Rhode Island, 3:00 pm United Kingdom)


J/112E for sale
Exciting News- J/Net Brokerage is LIVE!

(Newport, RI)- Here is some exciting news from our network of J/Boats dealers around the world. J/Net Brokerage is now live on J/ with a main menu link to dozens of quality used J/Boat listings from authorized J/Dealers.

Over twenty of our top J/Dealers are onboard and more are getting aboard each week. Browse dozens of listings that range from J/22s up to J/160s! It is an amazing array of your favorite J's from across the spectrum of daysailers, offshore cruisers, to race boats.  Day dream a little. Imagine where you could be now on your dream boat!

For those J/Owners that do not see their boat listed, be sure to contact your nearest J/Boats dealer to be listed on J/Net. 

Be sure to click here on J/Net and dream a bit more when we all have the freedom to explore the world... someday soon!

J/24s sailing Midwinters
J/One-Design Class Schedule Updates

(Newport, RI)- The International J/24 Class Association (IJCA) has confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 J/24 World Championship, which was to be held September 12-18 at Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole, United Kingdom.

“With the current COVID-19 situation, it is looking very likely that the lockdown in the UK is going to carry on for some time yet, and at this time no indication has been given on how an exit policy will work,” commented Bryan Drake, Regatta Chair. In addition to health and safety concerns, travel restrictions are likely to remain for some time as well as limited access to yacht clubs and marinas.

“The IJCA is extremely fortunate to have incredible World Championship hosts committed to the next four years that allow for this scheduling change,” said Nancy Zangerle, IJCA Chair. “We hope this approach will allow our Class members and our hosts to plan accordingly. At this time, of greatest importance is the health and well-being of our J/24 family. We all long for the time when we can return to the water.”

Future Schedule for J/24 World Championship title:
  • 2021 World Championship- September 24- October 2, Parkstone Yacht Club, Poole, UK
  • 2022 World Championship- March (exact dates To Be Announced), Mendoza, Argentina
  • 2023 World Championship- July 16-23, Corpus Christi, Texas USA
  • 2024 World Championship- TBD, Greece
For more International J/24 Class Association information

J/Gear SpecialJ/Gear April 17% OFF Special!
(Newport, RI)- The "J" Marmot Vest is a superb choice for quality and performance. Excellent wind and water-resistant properties while offering a soft comfortable fit. Full-zip front with side-zip pockets and a convenient chest-zip pocket for your phone.

  • 96% polyester, 4% elastane
  • water-repellent and breathable
  • zippered chest pocket
  • zippered handwarmer pockets
  • elastic drawcord hem
The perfect mate for a performance race crew or just cruising the bay. Comes with the J/Class logo of your choice and can be customized with your boat name and sail number. Comes in colors of Black, Carbon, and Navy and sizes from S to XXL.  Check it out here on the J/Gear website

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
Responding to last week's J/Newsletter, we heard from various members of the J/Community from across the spectrum of cruising, daysailing, and racing... Read on below! Please send us more stories and perspectives! Send to "".

J/42 at anchor* Bill & Judy Stellin- J/42 JAYWALKER- Harbor Springs, MI
Commented Bill, "I especially enjoyed the latest Newsletter. The virus pandemic has upset our lives in untold ways. The Newsletter gave me a chance to think peacefully. We still own JAYWALKER, J/42 hull# 6, and love every moment spent on it.

Some Perspectives for the J/Community
For several years this Newsletter had a small section devoted to J/Boat cruisers. It was discontinued recently, so I sent the editor- Stu Johnstone- a letter thanking him for including us. He asked for some thoughts and perspectives about couple cruising.

It’s easy to talk about, because 48 years of sailing, our two Atlantic crossings, and 8 years in the Mediterranean, was an adventure many just dream about and is almost too spectacular to describe.

Stellins- J/42First off, JAYWALKER our 1996 J/42, is safe, fast, easily handled under all conditions (by just the two of us), comfortable in big winds and seas on passage, as well as at anchor, and lastly drop-dead gorgeous. Where ever we were in Europe, passerby’s would want to come aboard to see her up close.

Secondly, we have very understanding children who gave us encouragement to make a dream come true. Fortunately, we had four years of sailing the boat before we retired at age 65 in 2000. This gave us the opportunity to really understand the boat through a combination of racing and Lake Michigan cruising. There is no substitute for time on the water in all kinds of conditions and racing hones skills faster than anything I know of.

I am lucky Judy loves all aspects of sailing, as I do. It’s a lifestyle. As such, we live on the boat 3-4 days each week during our short Michigan season.

One unexpected result of big-time cruising is the realization lots of people want to hear about it. I put together a PowerPoint show years ago which we’ve presented to countless groups. Colleges, library’s, senior centers, civic clubs, yacht clubs, Power Squadron’s. It’s been a great deal of fun for us, because we get to share and relive what was, unquestionably, one of the best periods of our lives.

I encourage all to sail, sail ,sail! It’s one of the best ways to clear your minds, relieve stress, be competitive and just plain have fun. Judy has a t-shirt which sums it all up: "Keep Calm and Sail On"!

Our best wishes to the entire J/Boat family and sailing friends!  Cheers, Bill & Judy Stellin- Grand Rapids, MI"

J/24 cruising Greece
* J/24 JUNGLE owner- Guus van den Akker- Maastricht, The Netherlands
Like the Stellin's cruising their J/42 on the Mediterranean, Dutchman Guus van den Akker has a great story to tell about sailing and cruising his beloved J/24 JUNGLE on the Ionian Sea around the gorgeous island archipelago off Greece. In short, he was reliving the voyage of Odysseus and, according to Guus it was a "fantastic experience".

"Cruising with a J/24 is a very nice thing to do. I am so lucky to have sailed my J/24 JUNGLE in Greece, especially the Ionian Sea, which is west from the mainland.

When I saw JUNGLE for the first time, for sale on a trailer at Lefkes Marine, her lines immediately struck my sense of beauty. Hmmm, Nefertiti’s nose. Aha, the hips of Brigitte Bardot, the behind of Naomi Campbell... In total, she was swift, elegant, fine for cutting waves. Small enough to touch the water delicately. Finally, my dream came true to buy this boat and start sailing in the waters where Odysseus had been splashing around a few millennia earlier.

J/24 cruising the Mediterranean
The 2016-plan was to sail down to Kalamata and meet some family in Pylos on my way back. Remembering last year's experience, I was aware that it's difficult to plan for any distances while sailing. The lack of wind can make anyone annoyed, and even if you have a nice, steady wind, you can lose it in five minutes... such is the fickleness of cruising in the Mediterranean! Any rock, island, mountain can change the wind's strength or direction. And, of course, the incessant burning rays of the sun on the Med. With some luck, the wind begins in the afternoon and holds on until after sunset. The only average is change. Panta Rhei it will be.

JUNGLE is equipped with two anchors and some lines. Because her draft is only four feet, it's easy to anchor very close to the shore. That gives a surplus of possibilities and keeps her close to other people and beaches. JUNGLE makes friends. Everybody seems to know it's a J/24!

The interior became messy, but well-organized. I slept almost three months in her broad belly without complaint. Good waking up, in waves of small fishing boats, or by bells of nearby goats....

J/24 sailing Greece
Sailing my J/24 JUNGLE as a cruiser, and singlehanded, was a constant joy. Responsive, agile, light, smooth. Easy to handle on the water. Enough deck for walking around. I did put some elastic cord around the helm for self-steering. My favorite weather is light to moderate wind, that's good for me. I like to fiddle around a bit and JUNGLE is fast. My only problem is lack of weight on the windward rail, when the wind is increasing above Beaufort four!

I am a cautious sailor, and start early in the morning, when my next harbour is a bit further along.

On some days, I really made some good distance, especially when helped on windless days by "Mr. Tohatsu" (my 4 HP outboard). But, when this dear friend refused to serve, it was possible to tack JUNGLE into creeks and harbours and moor the J/24 to the quay.

Sailing with friends makes friends happy. They steered and enjoyed that a lot, they did not want to leave the tiller! Their good fortune joining me enabled them to enjoy the fantastic surroundings. Greece is such a nice area for sailing, hiking, lazy afternoons at a cafe... Actually, just being there put you in a good mood...a peace of mind found nowhere else.

The food is fresh, the geography is astonishing, the variety is extraordinary, the delicious wine lifts your spirit, people are polite, freedom is the rule.

J/24 sailing Ionian Sea, Greece
Once, while laying at anchor near Lygia, a yawl with three elderly man motored straight towards JUNGLE, I was a bit worried at their intent. However, just a few meters away from her, the yawl encircled my tiny JUNGLE, and one of the guys shouted with passion “J/24, the love of my life!” After this human serenade, the yawl vanished towards the blue horizon.

My J/24 JUNGLE had lots of compliments, and from all these remarks, you notice that experienced sailors still keep her dear in their heart. It seems that one view of a "J" is the trigger for good memories!

J/24 winning silver on the Med
At the end of my fantastic trip, JUNGLE joined some regattas and we won a few prizes for being one of the fastest under 35 feet. That illustrates the abilities of this small cruiser/racer and even augments the esprit'd'corps and pleasure of being a "J" owner. The versatility of the design ensures you of even more friends and acquaintances, both in sport and on an adventurous cruise!

We ended safe and sound in Nidri. Now, I am working again as an interior designer and builder in The Netherlands and dream of this experience, wishing and hoping that I can do it again. Time is elastic, too. Someday soon....

For more perspectives on my experiences, watch a few of my videos on YouTube:

Greetings, Guus van den Akker"

J/80 sailing in Chile
* Following the thoughts and perspectives last week from the two J/Boats founders- Bob & Rod Johnstone, a few friends encouraged the "next generation" to describe their "home sheltering" experiences in the past few weeks.

Your J/News publisher/ editor- Stu Johnstone- has had one prominent theme while working at home for the past few weeks- "CATS"! LOL. 

My wife- Julia- and I live in a quaint "craftsman's cottage" in Newport that is shared with three complete characters (cats), each unique in their quirks and personalities. Living here is a bit like living on a boat, you're supposed to stay at anchor, stay on the boat, and occasionally you can row to shore to get supplies.

Stu with Allie cat
Meanwhile, the cats rule the roost. We started off a few years ago with one Russian Siberian forest cat we named "Allie". As an alpha female, she tries to rule the others, but at a strapping 8 lbs, her efforts are often for naught. She does claim your editor as her protector (as seen here) and enjoys spending lots of time hugging my shoulder while I type away and write the J/Newsletter.

Our second cat came about for one simple reason, "Allie" seemed lonely or bored at times. So, Julia decided to call back the cat breeder of Allie and find another cute Russian Siberian forest "kitten".

While the story of meeting the breeder to pick-up "Allie" the first time would be described as "epic", the second adventure was even more adventurous. You might describe it as an "interstate buying trip." I had decided to buy a powerboat (yes, going over to the 'dark side' has its merits). But, without a tow-vehicle, I had to rent one! Thanks to Enterprise, I got a nice Ford F-150 quad-cab pickup with a hitch, drove from Newport to New Haven to pick up a brand new aluminum trailer, then drove through New York (via I-287/ Tappan Zee Bridge), through New Jersey (past Delaware Water Gap) onto I-80 in Pennsylvania to meet our "cat lady" halfway across Pennsylvania.

Hobie cat
Much to our surprise, when we met her in a brew-pub parking lot just off the I-80 highway, she hops out of her car with a 7-month old "kitten" that was enormous- just your basic 17 lb. black panther hugging her shoulder. I nearly died of laughter... or, maybe it was shock! Nevertheless, "he" was a "lover" (as described by her breeder) and our new black kitty was promptly named "Hobie". Off we went to pick up the boat- a 30 ft Intrepid center console- in southern Long Island, with "Hobie" crawling all over inside the truck. Ultimately, we picked up the boat on Sunday 8:00am and drove back to Newport with the new "J/CREW" in tow (a bit larger than its predecessor- a 16 ft Boston Whaler!).

As if having two cats was not enough, segue forward three more years and my wife is now working at the Kitty Corner Cat Clinic in Newport. While I was "away at sea" over Thanksgiving weekend/ first week of December (I was racing a TP 52 with my cousin Jimmy in Phuket, Thailand, sailing in the famous King's Cup Regatta); my wife decided to add a THIRD cat to our household. This one was no spring chicken. Like Hobie, she was an enormous cat- a 13-year-old female Maine Coon cat tipping the scales around 17 lbs, too. Yikes! Sadly, she was a 'rescue cat', left by a previous owner, and was very timid at first. Her name was "Impy", but I nicknamed her "Whimpers". With both of us at home all the time, she's slowly coming out of her 'shell' and feeling more comfortable, and less intimidated, with the other two cats- Allie and Hobie. Thank goodness.

Charleston Harbour Marina
As for your J/News editor, I had two "Throwback Thursday" moments while writing on Thursday. My calendar program promptly notified me at 9:00am that Charleston Race Week was taking place this weekend- remember that event? It was a poignant moment for me, as the original plan was to sail with my "Meatballs" friends on their J/88 ALBONDIGAS. Bummer. It reminded me of all the other wonderful times sailing in Charleston Harbour, racing J/70s and J/111s in the past. With Doug Curtiss on his J/111 WICKED 2.0, Heather and Joey on their J/70 MUSE, and Brian Keane's J/70 SAVASANA. Fond memories all...wishing that we can enjoy Charleston again in the near future...

The second throwback moment was a truly epic, adventurous trip to Chile that Julia and I took a year ago. Fourteen days. 12 hours flying from Boston to Miami to Santiago to Punta Arenas. A 30-hour trip by water on the Yagan Ferry down the Straits of Magellan, across the spectacular Beagle Channel (at least two-dozen glaciers spilling down to the seashore) to Puerto Williams, the truly "southernmost city" in the world.

Torres del Paine, Chile
Puerto Williams is part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago; it’s known as a starting point for trips around Cape Horn. It’s also a gateway to trails around the jagged peaks of the nearby Dientes de Navarino. (

How far south is it? 55 deg south latitude...versus the next closest place to the north familiar to many sailors, the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island- 46 deg south- just 540 miles north!

So far, that is the furthest south the J/Newsletter has ever been published- Puerto Williams! Coincidentally, there is a J/24 fleet there- part of the Chilean Navy's training program (the southernmost J/24 fleet on the planet)!

J/24s at Puerto Williams, Chile
Thereafter, we did hike the trails up to Dientes de Navarino (they do look like "teeth"). From that height, you can see Cape Horn down south! Then, visited the famous Torres del Paine National Park north of Punta Arenas. Then, up to Puerto Montt and visiting Lago Llanquihue- famous for being surrounded by three volcanic snow-covered peaks- plus there is a J/80 fleet on the lake.
Volcano Osorno at sunrise
Thereafter, it was a fun trip up to Isla Negra (remember last week's visit to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's museum?). A trip to a spectacular vineyard northeast of Algarrobo, a day tour of eclectic Valparaiso. And then home. Next time, New Zealand's South Island!

Best wishes to all. Stay safe & healthy. Cheers, Stu & Julia"
Add to Flipboard Magazine.