(Newport, RI)- It’s spring fever in New England and the boat yards and builders are buzzing with activity, no more so than at CCF Composites in Bristol, RI, where the J/121 project has expanded from the prototype shop into the mold room and now the assembly room.
Two J/121 hulls and one deck are now molded and the first deck was just test-fit onto a hull to finalize the interior bulkhead patterns. One of the benefits of having had the hull and deck plugs precision-machined at Symmetrix was readily apparent when the mating flanges of the finished hull and deck matched together perfectly. The newly molded deck also shows off the subtle refinements made to the footrest locations and seat-back coamings during the plug process. These are now beautifully molded in, along with the high-traction, non-skid deck surface essential for offshore sailing.
The J/121 hull, deck and bulkheads are vacuum-infused molded to provide high strength to weight ratios and consistent part weights. The J/121 deck (shown under vacuum) utilizes Corecell structural PVC core for the primary deck panels and then high-density PVC core inserts in way of highly loaded hardware and components.
- the Jefa twin wheel pedestal steering system includes both a wheel brake and a wheel disengagement control (for reduced cable wear when under auto-pilot). The Jefa autopilot transmission drive is available as an installed option.
- Two Carbonautica J/Boats custom-styled composite wheels finished in black Awlgrip are included- the same beautiful wheel design that has been an option on other wheel-driven J models.
- the Harken Performa winch package for the cabin top and primary winches will be available as electric. The same Harken winch body/gearing is used for both manual and electric versions which allows one to easily “electrically power” the winches later in life. Harken is also supplying the hydraulic backstay system which includes a pump and release button on the front of each wheel pedestal.
- the Southern Spars carbon mast package features an auto-claved, tapered carbon mast with carbon spreaders and an Antal mainsail luff track. We’ve added an internal halyard lock for the inner jib, and the masthead has a built-in provision to accommodate an external halyard lock (commissioning option) for a Code 0 spinnaker.
- for the inner jib forestay deck fitting, there is a structural chainplate (attached to the forward bulkhead) with a twin ferrule set-up to allow a 3:1 tack purchase. One hoists the pre-rolled inner jib until the halyard is locked in place and then adjusts forestay tension with the 3:1 downhaul led aft to a clutch/winch.
With all of the major parts tooled, the prototype shop is now finalizing small part moldings such as the settee, galley and nav station base units, the aft head, and the v-berth supports. Specifying these components in all-composite material provides an opportunity to save weight, enhance the finish, and provide better long-term durability. Next for production is installing the deck hardware, while the structural bulkheads and interior components are installed in the hull (from stem to stern). This will be followed by the mechanical and systems installations and finally the bonding of the deck to the hull. We are eagerly anticipating the launch and sea-trials July 2017 in Newport.