The J/121 project is in hyper-drive mode with the hull and grid mold nearing completion at CCF Composites and the deck tooling in final fairing at Symmetrix in Bristol, Rhode Island. In two weeks J/Boats will be laying out deck hardware on the deck plug, positioning cockpit footrests and simulating boat handling manoeuvres for final tweaking of equipment location before starting the mold.
The J/Design team has been working with leading sailmakers to determine the optimum J/121 one-design class inventory. We are targeting an inventory of five sails including:
Mainsail with two reefs; #1 AP Jib on furler; #4 Jib on hoistable inner forestay with halyard lock and 2:1 downhaul; Code 0 75% Asymmetric on top-down furler and A2 Asymmetric with zipper luff/tack and lightweight snuffer.
J/121 Ubi Maior Jiber furler system – In terms of simplified sail-handling for hull #1, we are working with Ubi Maior of Italy to test a very cool custom version of their innovative furling system called the “Jiber.” This is a furling system that allows soft-hank attachment of the jib to a rod headstay without the need for the heavy aluminum foil system. Top offshore racers have adopted similar systems to save weight, reduce aerodynamic drag in the rigging and improve jib handling in extreme conditions at sea. Alternative systems without foils require lashing the head of the jib to a top swivel on the mast, but this prevents the jib from being able to be lowered to the deck without someone going aloft. Many Open 40 and 60 sailors use this method to save weight. The difference with the Jiber is that one can hoist and lower the jib at will (on hanks) with a conventional halyard and, of course, furl on demand.
Winches/deck hardware – J/121 will feature the hi-performance Harken Performa selftailing winch package standard. This top performance winch package is not only a premium product from a great company but has proven itself on the J/111. After evaluating a number of factors and winch companies, we feel the Harken package matches the concept of the J/121 the best including great performance at the lightest weight. There will be available options for plug and play electric winch upgrades. We have also committed to using Harken blocks and deck hardware for mainsheet traveler, deck turning blocks, spinnaker sheet blocks, for several control systems as well as for mast collar/halyard block applications.
Photos: hull and deck moldings in progress..