Thank you for your support in commissioning our new J88 in Hobart. We have now had the boat for one month, and are really enjoying it.
We are keen dinghy sailors, and for our first keel boat wanted something that would sail well, and that we could manage as a couple. The J88 fits our requirements perfectly. It is an attractive boat, which numerous people have come up to as and commented on, both on and off the water. The systems all work really well, and it is great to know that many of the sail adjustments can be done one-handed (mainsheet, backstay, traveller, outhaul, vang etc.). All the systems are easy to operate and close to hand, meaning that the boat is no hassle to sail at all. I like the simplicity of the tiller steering, and with the open stern it is very simple to step onto the marina – even my 87 year old father found it easy to come onboard! The big cockpit is very comfortable – I like the feeling of open space which so many boats fail to achieve because they build too much “caravan” accommodation down below at the expense of the outdoor sailing experience.
The J88 is a delight so sail, and I have been surprised at how easily it moves through the water. We had a delightful sail 3-up the other weekend in just 5 knots of breeze, and found that we were comfortably doing 4-5 knots upwind whilst lounging in the cockpit. In a moderate breeze of 10-14 knots it is easy to maintain 6 knots to windward, meaning that you are passing larger cruising boats with ease. On our very first sail with you I was impressed to see 12 knots on the speedo with kite up!
We are looking to starting to race the boat, commencing with some twilights and the autumn two-handed series. The latter series attracts 60 entries down here, and we are really looking forward to seeing how the J88 goes against the competition. I suspect on our experience to date it will be pretty impressive.
We are also looking forward to doing some overnight cruising with the J88. It is light and spacious down below with plenty of room for the two of us to relax. Hopefully one or two of our children will join us on occasions too. We deliberately did not choose a boat with extensive furniture and appliances down below, as this all adds weight and detracts from the sailing experience. I would rather have a fast, fun sail to our destination, arriving with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the evening.
We still have much to learn, but the J88 is a forgiving, manageable boat that I am sure we are going to have a lot of enjoyment from. The sailing conditions can be challenging down here at 42 south, but we are very happy with our choice of a J88 for both racing and cruising out of Hobart.