John Burnham reviews the J/124 for the 2007 Cruising World Sailboat Show.
Known both for racers and performance cruisers, J/Boats Inc. successfully launched its hot-looking daysailer, the J/100, a couple of years back. That model's new sister, the J/124, is just that much larger that you can daysail it, race it, and take it on a coastwise cruise. It's a technically advanced boat, and its set-back headstay and pulpit give it a modestly aggressive look to go with its carbon-fiber rudder and Hall Spars mast. However, for a nontechnical crew of 10 toting hors d'oeuvres, two guitars, and a banjo one evening last summer, the extra-large cockpit measured up best in our test sail.
Steering with the 54-inch carbon wheel, I found the sloop tracked easily upwind, with the mainsail controls conveniently at hand. The split mainsheet leads under the deck to winches just forward of the helm, and the traveler, on the cockpit sole, is easily managed. But the surprise about the J/124 is below, a space that makes it easy to imagine taking a pleasant week's cruise on board this boat. There's an aft head to starboard, a simple galley, a stand-up chart table, long straight settees, and modest forward and aft cabins. Major storage areas are aft lazarettes and a huge starboard cockpit locker that can be opened from the head as well. The boat's principal limitations are tankage, the galley size, 6 feet of headroom, and a fairly high price tag. Plus, to cruise much, one would add such options as a removable bow anchor roller, a varnished teak table for cockpit or below, DC refrigeration, and a hot-water system. In any case, as a sweet-sailing performer for daysailing or weekending, the 124 hits its marks well.
LOA: 40' 8"
LWL: 36' 2"
Beam: 11' 4"
Draft (deep): 6' 10"
Sail Area: 754 sq. ft.
Displacement (deep): 12,600 lb.
Water: 35 gal.
Fuel: 25 gal.
Engine: 40-hp. Yanmar
Designer: Rod Johnstone
J/Boats Inc., (401) 846-8410, www.jboats.com