Why Buy a J/105?

WhyBuyAccording to Jeff Johnstone, President of JBoats, “the J/105 has overwhelmed the entire 30-37 foot keelboat market.” And he is not only speaking about his competitors, but boats in his own line as well. Even though the J/105 was the first “sprit boat” when it was designed by Rod Johnstone in 1990, it still dominates sixteen years into its production cycle and it is among the top four boats receiving inquiries (among 15 current models) from potential buyers. According to Jeff, their other 30-37 foot boats serve other needs.

Bottom line? Not much has changed in fifteen years. The J/105 is still at the top of the heap in terms of an offshore racing keelboat with a strong one-design class. It is fun and easy to sail and is active in every major racing venue of North America and races in other parts of the world as well. You can find faster, you can find cruisier, and you can find more thrills, but the J/105 is unsurpassed if you are looking for strong one-design competition either in your local area, or if you are able to travel to away regattas.

J/105 Actual Selling Prices data from Yacht World, September 2015



  • Has exceeded critical mass for one-design racing in North America
    • More than 650 hulls built worldwide (more than twice the number of any other Class in the category)
    • Twenty five fleets worldwide, most of which are very active
    • High critical mass is also important for resale values to remain high
  • Incomparable one-design racing with (over the last three years)
    • One-design starts in over 50 consecutive NOOD regattas (up to 42 boats participating per regatta)
    • Average of 40 boats at the North Americans (max of 69 at Annapolis)
    • Average of 33 boats at Key West Race Week (max of 40 boats in 2005)
  • Sails great and is easy to sail
    • Three sail design (main, small jib, and asymmetrical spinnaker)
    • Sprit and asymmetrical kite mean fewer crew and easier handling
    • Sprit means a balanced boat on a spinnaker reach
    • Roller furler means you’re quick to go sailing and fewer crew
    • Fewer go-fast gadgets to tweak than other classes
  • Offers daysailing and weekend cruising ability
    • Large cockpit can easily accommodate eight adults
    • Wheel steering and inboard diesel engine are major convenience factors
    • Mainsail luff slides allow sails to be furled on the boom
    • Four berths, enclosed head, small galley, cooler, dodger
    • Sitting headroom maintains low cabin with great design lines for a 34.5 foot boat
  • Great heavy air boat
    • Stiff in a breeze with little weather helm
    • Planes downwind in 20 knots and is safe with kite in more than 30 knots




  • Inexpensive to maintain and race competitively
    • Sail purchases limited to five in a two year period
    • Class rules prohibit most costly changes to the boat and equipment
    • Owner/driver class with limited exceptions for family and long-term friends
    • No paid professionals with associated egos bossing crew and promoting arms races
    • Boat can be sailed with as few as four and Class has a low weight limit so most people race with five or six
    • Simple interior with little to maintain
  • Strong and active one-design Class Association
    • Active review and enforcement of rules
    • Strict limits on charterers prevent cherry picking of trophies at major events
    • Active web site with community discussion board for sharing experiences with thousands of posts on all imaginable topics
    • Twice annual Newsletters
    • More than half the owners are members
  • Strong support from the Copyright Holder and Builder
    • J/Boats has a strong reputation as designer of racing boats
    • J/Boats is actively supporting the Class
    • TPI has a reputation for building strong boats using their proprietary SCRIMP process.
    • TPI supports the Class with parts and maintenance advice[/span5]