Pace setter

J/boats’ new versatile speedster, the J/99, is winning fans with its impressive performance and design attributes.

13 August 2019


The J/99 premiered at the Paris Boat Show last December, and the 9.9 metre (32.6 foot), newest model in the J/Sport range has already gained a strong following.

Seven of the powerful, slippery hulls are already on water with a further 60, yes that’s 60, on order. The reason for that is the yacht’s enviable multi-skilled qualities. In one guise the sail and deck plan delivers a short-handed weapon; in another it is a family twilight racer with good headroom and the ability to host a weekend away.

The J/99 taps right into the rising groundswell of interest in short-handed racing (53 Class 40s in the last year’s Route du Rhum), and the consistent demand to take on the big signature offshore races, or ‘adventure’ sailing events such as the Fastnet, and various trans-Atlantic offerings. It would be very interesting to see how a J/99 with its IRC rating of 1.015 would go for instance in a Noakes Sydney Gold Coast fleet. Something that gives the smaller boats a bit more of a chance than the Hobart.


Eminently capable of being sailed two-up or solo, the J/99 can also be fully crewed by six. On a test sail in the Solent, even with no weight on the rail the boat’s acceleration was reportedly extremely pleasing as it scooted to 14 knots with the A2 up.

It also apparently will have no trouble planing at 17 knots. Sounds like fun.

The hull shape isn’t the de rigueur boxy affair with a chine configuration we’ve come to expect lately. An evolution of offshore proven J/Boat designs, the J/99 features a slightly wider beam carried further aft and is a bit flatter in the stern sections – similar in subtle ways to the recently launched water-ballasted 40-foot J/121. There’s no chine – a distinct advantage in very light airs. Twin rudders and wheel steering are offered as options.

The purpose-designed rig is a high quality, alloy spar from French maker AG+ Spars which is easily adjustable to a variety of sail shapes – the most effective way of changing gears.

This is not possible with most carbon masts on this size of boat, as carbon can be too stiff.  The mast keeps its longitudinal stiffness with the inclusion of a unique integrated mast track, which can accommodate both bolt rope and Antal cars.

Down below there’s plenty of natural light, handy stowage space, and L-shaped galley, forward facing chart table and sensible, functional forward private head compartment.

There are two large, symmetrical aft cabins, enabling you to rest whatever the tack and two sea-berths in the saloon.

This newest addition to the J/Boat range is set up for easy handling with few crew, or can be configured to range of racing and cruising purposes, utilising the brand’s solid engineering credentials and the latest technology applied in innovative ways.

Landed price is AU$245,000.

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