Please select your home edition
Edition
Feb-Nov23 Leaderboard Groco2

Under the skin of the J/112E - SailWorldCruising.com newsletter

03/11/2023


Under the skin of the J/112E

Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Leaderboard brokerage

J/112E in build at J Composites - photo © Mark Jardine


Dear Recipient Name

What happens under the layer of gelcoat on a yacht is inherently invisible to the naked eye. At a boat show what you see is the shine and the shape, the glitz, and the glamour. The yachting lifestyle is demonstrated to you in all its glory, with photos and videos of glorious days on the water, lapping up the sunshine with idyllic beaches in the background.

Making the best of your time on the water is an absolute priority for most, and being able to cruise comfortably at a decent speed to a favourite destination will be high on any prospective yacht owner's list, and obviously you'll want a yacht that lasts the test of time, is light and airy, and is a joy to sail.

The J/112E has ample room on deck yet is spacious inside the saloon which is a rare but very welcome combination - photo © Mark Jardine
The J/112E has ample room on deck yet is spacious inside the saloon which is a rare but very welcome combination - photo © Mark Jardine

For a company such as J-Composites, combining these requirements has always been the objective. With a strong racing heritage, they're masters of performance construction and are known for attractive yachts with superb hull forms. Their cruising yachts combine all the comforts you'd expect, but without compromising on making the sail from A to B a joy, and at good speed.

To achieve this J-Composites have chosen not to take the easy path on construction, as I found out when I travelled to Les Sables-d'Olonne in France, the town which famously hosts the start and finish of the Vendée Globe, to tour the yard with Frédéric Bouvier, their Commercial Manager.

Frédéric Bouvier in the saloon of the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine
Frédéric Bouvier in the saloon of the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine

We first went to the marina in Les Sables to take a look around a J/112E which an owner had been sailing since May. The immediate feelings on board are that of space, simplicity, and elegance. The combination of an airy saloon and relatively wide side decks meant that straight away I had questions about how they achieved this balance. The front bulkhead is well forward of the mast (which is pleasingly central in the dining table) and had me fruitlessly searching internally for the stringers from the shroud chainplates. The large coachroof windows, the high internal headroom and the generous companionway all made me want to discover the structure's secrets. I needed to get under the skin of the J/112E, and thankfully I was in exactly the right place to do so.

Mark Jardine sitting at the chart table aboard the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine
Mark Jardine sitting at the chart table aboard the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine

One of my favourite positions on board was the forward-facing chart table, which had an open-plan office feel to it. It would be so easy to combine a bit of morning work on board a yacht while still being able to join conversation with crewmates. Modern life means you can stay connected while out and about, should you so wish, and the ability to do so in a relaxed and comfortable manner felt very right.

We departed the marina and made the five-minute drive to the J-Composites yard. Seeing yachts, and their many component parts, in various stages of construction, gave me a superb insight into the 'how' and 'why' thoughts on the J/112E construction which were running through my head.

The J/112E hull with the grid installed, clearly showing the combination of foam and balsa sandwich and darker points with extra reinforcing - photo © Mark Jardine
The J/112E hull with the grid installed, clearly showing the combination of foam and balsa sandwich and darker points with extra reinforcing - photo © Mark Jardine

First up we took a look at a freshly laminated hull with the 'grid' in place. While this immediately answered one question, as I saw the unidirectional glass around the bulkhead and chainplate areas, which provided the strength and rigidity needed, it brought up another question: Why the balsa wood? Surely foam-sandwich construction is preferable? While foam is used as well (the green areas in the photo above), all the areas with greater curvature were balsa.

Foam and balsa side-by-side - photo © Mark Jardine
Foam and balsa side-by-side - photo © Mark Jardine

Frédéric gave me a great demonstration as to why the combination is better by laying two foam and balsa sections side-by-side. The foam is CNC-cut, so there are small gaps between each square, whereas the balsa is cut into pieces and then bonded to a backing fabric, eliminating the gaps. On curved areas this dramatically reduces the amount of resin that is needed. While foam is lighter than balsa, the reduction in resin used vastly outweighs the difference, and balsa is also less susceptible to compression.

The underside of the J/112E deck showing the foam sandwich and reinforced foam areas for fittings, such as the jib track and padeyes - photo © Mark Jardine
The underside of the J/112E deck showing the foam sandwich and reinforced foam areas for fittings, such as the jib track and padeyes - photo © Mark Jardine

Foam still has its place, and is used extensively as well, especially on the deck mould where there are fewer curves, and you can make it thinner. Hard points, for example where the jib track and padeyes are sited, use a harder foam to handle the compression loads.

The vacuum infusion process under way on the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine
The vacuum infusion process under way on the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine

The grid structure, like the hull and deck, is vacuum-infused, which is the best method for ensuring even and air bubble-free resin impregnation, using the minimum amount of resin. By a long shot it's not the easiest technique, and requires considerable skill and knowledge, but that's where J-Composites racing pedigree comes in handy.

As Frédéric explains:

"There are three advantages of vacuum-infusion: the first is the compression of the layers of fibreglass together, which gives better attachment on every layer, the second advantage is the lower ratio of resin to fibreglass and other structures, leading to a ratio of 70% structure and only 30% resin (any more resin doesn't make a structure stronger, just heavier). Finally, the vacuum process removes all the air, even the micro-blisters from the structure, so the connection is 100% everywhere, which further prevents delamination."

As a cruising sailor, and talking about a cruising yacht, you may be wondering why these technical details are important. By making a hull lighter and stiffer, weight can be transferred to the keel, and a lighter hull, with lower wetted surface area, is easier to drive, which means less sail area is needed, with correspondingly lower sheet loads.

The increased speed and ease of use increases range, opening up new cruising grounds for weekend sailors and bluewater cruisers alike, not to mention the sheer joy of the sailing itself.

The grid upside-down with the wiring loom being installed - photo © Mark Jardine
The grid upside-down with the wiring loom being installed - photo © Mark Jardine

The wiring loom and piping is all fitted inside the grid before it is bonded into the hull, ensuring it's all out of the way, as well as being central and low in the boat. So much of the J/112E construction demonstrates how performance and space considerations can work in perfect harmony.

Lamination on the J/112E hull while the mould is in two parts - photo © Mark Jardine
Lamination on the J/112E hull while the mould is in two parts - photo © Mark Jardine

The hull mould is in two parts, divided down the centreline. After the gelcoat, lamination work starts with the strong points of bulkheads, chainplates and the windows, moving onto the deck join curve, and then joining the two parts before laminating the centre of the boat.

Through-deck fitting being laminated (left) and the view through a through-deck fitting from the outside of a laminated hull (right) - photo © Mark Jardine
Through-deck fitting being laminated (left) and the view through a through-deck fitting from the outside of a laminated hull (right) - photo © Mark Jardine

All through-hull fitting positions have a silicon mould inserted in them, so that the gelcoat and fibreglass is shaped around the fitting. It would be simpler to just drill through the hull during fit-out, but that would leave exposed fibreglass on the side of the fitting.

The J/112E deck mould with deck grip built in - photo © Mark Jardine
The J/112E deck mould with deck grip built in - photo © Mark Jardine

The deeper you look, the more you find out the details on the J/112E, and the deck mould includes the deck grip, so this is built into the gelcoat rather than painted on. It's another complex process, as ensuring the deck then releases from the mould is trickier when you have an inherently rough surface, but it's more evidence of J-Composites' uncompromising approach.

The J/112E deck during fit-out prior to being attached to the hull shows just how stiff it is - photo © Mark Jardine
The J/112E deck during fit-out prior to being attached to the hull shows just how stiff it is - photo © Mark Jardine

There's no better demonstration of the stiffness build into the deck than when it's being fitted out prior to being bonded to the hull. Very few props are needed, and there is so little flex.

This monocoque construction is of huge advantage for the cruising sailor. By transferring the loads throughout the hull and deck, there are no structural beams in the main salon, and the large windows makes the feel the interior feel remarkably light and airy.

The light and airy saloon of the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine
The light and airy saloon of the J/112E - photo © Mark Jardine

The carpentry is all done at J-Composites, which includes a range of solid wood and laminates, again striking the balance between aesthetics, weight, and cost. The team carefully select the wood so that the same grain and colour is attained throughout any one yacht, with veneers and solid wood components cut from the same section.

Carpentry work at J-Composites - photo © Mark Jardine
Carpentry work at J-Composites - photo © Mark Jardine

Attention to detail and design philosophy were again evident on the laminating, with the top veneer cut short of the edges on the wooden aft bulkhead, so that the fibreglass bond between hull and bulkhead is as strong as possible, while reducing material needed. Weight reduction, increasing strength and maximising space working in perfect harmony.

The aft bulkhead of the J/112E clearly showing the veneer cut short so that the fibreglass can be bonded to the central laminate of the wood - photo © Mark Jardine
The aft bulkhead of the J/112E clearly showing the veneer cut short so that the fibreglass can be bonded to the central laminate of the wood - photo © Mark Jardine

Frédéric concluded the tour by saying, "the devil's in the detail," and I wholeheartedly agree. It's the combination of hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny design and construction elements which come together to make the J/112E what it is. These details can be devilishly difficult to achieve, and require a highly skilled workforce, but the end result is, quite simply, astounding.

Mark Jardine SailWorldCruising.com Managing Editor

 
Ocean Safety 2021 - MPU   Barton Marine 2019 600x500
 


Winter battery maintenance
During a particularly gray and rainy day back in May, I was watching a high school regatta from inside my warm, dry truck with the ignition on. The last thing I expected was an impromptu lesson in battery management.

Ocean outlook: Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Ocean
Pretty much every island in the Caribbean has its own cruisers' Facebook page which have replaced, in many ports, the once popular VHF Cruisers Nets.

Ancasta News: Winterise your Boat | Beneteau VIP Invitational | Dusseldorf Line-up | Yachts for Sale
Based on the River Hamble near Southampton, the team at Ancasta Yacht Services are perfectly located to winterise your boat anywhere in the Solent region.

 
Feb - Nov 23 MPU TEMO   RYA Membership - Personal 2017
 
Allen Brothers welcomes XPO as Exclusive Distributor in France
Allen Brothers, a leading manufacturer of high-quality products for the performance sailboat market, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with XPO, a prominent distribution company, to serve as our exclusive distributor in France.

Predict Wind - Passage planning with PW tools
In the world of maritime navigation, having accurate and reliable weather information is paramount to ensure the safety of voyages, whether coastal or transoceanic.

Heading for the Caribbean this winter? Do you know where the 17 volcanoes are?
Richard Robertson monitors seismic activity across the Lesser Antilles islands in the Caribbean.

 
Selden 2023 CXe   MPU brokerage
 
Winterising a boat - useful tips from Upffront.com
Winterising the boat is a common task for many boat owners, regardless of where your boat is located. For some, in milder conditions, it means keeping everything dry and tidy, but for many the need for packing up the boat for winter is a necessity.

Sextant workshop with Stokey Woodall
ARC+ 2023 is delighted to have well-known and respected ocean sailor, 'Stokey' Woodall return again to present a variety of workshops and seminars.

Cold weather accessories from Musto
The right accessories can transform your outdoor adventures. Stock up on cold weather gear now and get ready for a season of exploring.

 
Cure Marine - Cure 55 - MPU   Stoneways Marine 2021 - MPU
 
Seldén launches new range of winches and winch handles
It has given extra attention to the drum and the self-tailer to obtain a strong grip, a smooth release and the possibility to easily pull the slack straight out of the self-tailer with the winch handle fitted in the socket.

First-ever ARC+ opening ceremony
The Sunday flag parade has been an ARC tradition for more than 30 years, and this year ARC+ joins the fun with the rally's first ever official opening ceremony.

Next Lecture: "The DORIS Restoration" by Dave Snediker, November 16
Join us on Thursday, November 16 at 6:00 PM for a presentation with David Snediker of Snediker Yacht Restoration.

 
new MPU June 2023   Marskeel 2019 600x500
 
World ARC 2023-24 arrive in Reunion
All the World ARC 2023-24 Fleet are now in Le Port, Reunion after completing Leg 12. Starting just 132nm away in Port Louis, Mauritius, the leg is somewhat unique to the World ARC as it encompasses only one night at sea

Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale annual population estimate
NOAA has released its annual estimate of North Atlantic right whale population numbers. There were approximately 360 animals alive at the beginning of 2022.

Matt Rutherford, Nicole Trenholm restored schooner goes to Greenland... again
Longtime Annapolis-based sailors Matt Rutherford and Nicole Trenholm are not just any sailors, they are highly experienced citizen scientists whose ambitious stated mission can be read on their organization's website.

 
Henri-Lloyd 2023 Freo Jacket - SW MPU   Noble Marine 2022 SW - MPU
 
Excess Owners Stories - Jeff B
Jeff, owner of an Excess 11, shares his most memorable experiences on board his boat. Discover the inspiring story of a cardiovascular surgeon who traded his medical gown for the helm of an Excess 11!

The Freo Offshore Yachting Suit from Henri-Lloyd
Introducing the 100% waterproof FREO OFFSHORE YACHTING SUIT, a rebirth of the legendary suit used to reclaim the America's Cup in Fremantle in 1987.

Yanmar unveils the green customer journey: navigating to a more sustainable future together
YANMAR Marine International (YMI), a global leader in marine propulsion and engine solutions, proudly announces its pioneering 'Customer Journey' focus at METSTRADE.

 
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   J Composites 2022 - J99 MPU
 
The never-ending Northwest Passage 2023
In 2023, 18 yachts, 11 passenger cruise ships, and 7 commercial vessels transited the Northwest Passage over a longer period than normal.

Hurricanes now more likely to intensify rapidly
With warmer oceans serving as fuel, Atlantic hurricanes are now more than twice as likely as before to rapidly intensify from minor hurricanes to powerful and catastrophic storms.

'Lenny' the new Beneteau First 44 Performance Yacht arrives Sydney Harbour
The 6th Beneteau First 44 Performance launched, Lenny's maiden race was the world famous Transpac from California to Hawaii, which she finished 2nd in her division.

 
Barz Optics 2023 SWC 1   Allspars December 2019 MPU
 
Wessex Resins & Adhesives provides update on popular WEST SYSTEM Six10® Thickened Epoxy Adhesive
WEST SYSTEM Six10® is a thickened epoxy adhesive with point-and-shoot convenience.

Polyform AS and Polyform US fenders - exporting quality and performance from Norway to the U.S
One of latest additions to the upffront.com sailing hardware line-up are the Polyform fenders from the original Norwegian manufacturer - Polyform AS. Established over 60 years ago, Polyform AS is renowned for inventing the modern plastic buoy.

Baltic Yachts 50th Anniversary Rendezvous Regatta
A fleet of 29 yachts and more than 400 guests, owners and crew enjoyed 3 days of sailing & celebration in near-perfect conditions in Sardinia as they marked 50th anniversary of Baltic Yachts, the world's leading advanced composite sailing yacht builder.

 
GJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - 600x500   Cyclops Marine 2023 October - MPU
 
Raymarine Launches New 'For Sailors by Sailors' Campaign
'For Sailors by Sailors', is a new campaign from Raymarine exploring the stories and sailing expertise which have contributed to the success of the brands market-leading electronics.

Ocean Safety 2021 - FOOTER

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER

This email was sent to the.recipients@email.address by YY Online Services Ltd.
Towngate House, 2-8 Parkstone Road, Poole, BH15 2PW
Registered in England No. 7895890

Our records show that you signed up to receive news from us on 1 January 2000

Please do not reply to this message as this address cannot receive replies.

You can unsubscribe at any time or email us here if you encounter any difficulties
Selden 2020 - FOOTERGJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - Footer2024 fill-in (bottom)