J/80 as a PHRF racer???

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Postby Guest » Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:16 am

My wife and I sailed a J/80 in Annapolis a week ago and we really like how the boat sailed. There is no OD class on the Chesapeake so the boat would only be raced in PHRF. Looking for some honest information on how the boat sails in PHRF. When looking for a new boat everyone has an opinion on what you should get and how the boat sails to it's rating. Have heard from a few people that say, no way does the J/80 sail to it's rating. But I take that with a grain of salt because I hear the same thing about other boats we are looking at. Problem is we only have one other J/80 regestered in PHRF on the Chesapeake so not much of a data point there. Here is how some of the local boats rate:
J/29 MH OB: 111
J/80 OD: 126
J/80 >110 jib: 120
J/27: 129
Hobie 33 OD: 93
Beneteau 36.7 OD: 75
Olson 30: 108
New York 36: 114
Tripp 26: 120

So basically we would be racing boat for boat against the Tripp 26.

Any help or opinions would be appreciated.

Postby Guest » Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:17 pm

The numbers here in Texas are 120 (OD) and 114. The boat can be sailed the OD rating except in very light air or big waves (where larger boats tend to fare better). Given the light air at your venue, a larger headsail would be a sensible choice.

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 12, 2003 8:22 pm

In two out of the last three years a J80 has been first and/or second in Class in the Lake Pontchartrain Racing Circuit. In the GYA we rate 126 with a 150% genoa which helps. In light air and flat water a J80 is hard to beat, but as the breeze picks up and a chop develops its hard to win, particularly on windward/leeward courses, until the wind picks up enough so that you can plane downwind. Once you have sailed an assymetrical you'll wonder why anyone wants to sail a regular chute.

Postby Guest » Sun Sep 14, 2003 4:59 pm

Agree with Nigel. I've sailed a J/80 PHRF (no OD where I'm at either) for three years with a 155% and a 120 rating. In really light air WITH a genoa(the genoa is a must and more than worth the 6 sec penalty), you'll be a 'giant killer' taking everyone except the newest, latest, lightest designs. [Light air caveat: ...unless there are big 'leftover' waves, the J/80 just doesn't do well upwind in big leftover waves, no mo']. And in planing conditions, over 15 knots it's not hard to sail to a J/80 to it's rating - and more fun (and surprisingly stable) off the wind than most anything else, a real hoot. In moderate air, you will not do well unless you luck into a predominately reaching course, port to port or out of square buoy course. On a true windward/leeward in moderate air, it's pretty hard to sail to the rating. But all boats have their sweet spots in terms of conditions, the J/80 is not alone there. If you live in a predominately light or breezy area, it is a great boat, the a-sail is a great feature, I'd never go back to a conventional chute. If you expect mostly moderate air (7-13 knots), it's still a great sailing boat but you'll have to be very talented to prevail in PHRF with a J/80.

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:19 am

I race here in Texas in both 1 design & PHRF as the events dictate. We sail at 111 with a 155% & 117 one design. In up to 10-12 kts in flat water we are faster than well sailed J105s with Genoas & 110 sq m kites boat for boat. With 900 lbs crew weight & a genoa you can keep them at bay until 14-16 knots. The secret is to not mount the genoa tracks too far inboard. You should be able to sight from the genoa tracks through the jib track to the headstay.

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:31 pm

I've been racing the J80 phrf for two seasons. The first, we went with the class sails and suffered except in heavy air. Another phrf J80 nearby always gets killed with class sails. This year we went with a 135% designed for max of 12kts. our rating went from 120 to 117. We killed in the light air, match racing a soverell 33 and beating J105's. A light boat always wins in light air. This past weekend, with 650lbs of crew, the winds started at 3 kts and built to 10-15kts with chop and rain, we were using an old class jib and new class main. We were very fast upwind when the wind reached 8+, beat the class to the windward mark and ran away from the class down wind for the gun. The class included a custom chance 32 an evleyn 32 and C&C 33. I think 150%+ is overkill, it's too much overlap for the large main of a J80. You really need a good main sail and need to learn how to trim it and set the rig tension. It's 75% of your power. If you go with a smaller genoa, the tracks must be extended forward to the midship stanchion. You might also consider an additional outboard set of tracks for the light air days or power reaching. I might also suggest a 125% built for 10-15kts. using the class jib for 15+

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:01 pm

Does anyone have experience with an oversized Spinaker? A member of our club is racing a J80 with a "PHRF Spinnaker" (900 ft2). He is in the process of obtianing a PHRF certificate but we are trying to establish a rating for him in the mean time. I would appreciate any data you may have on the rating affect of a 900ft2 spinnaker.

Thank You

Postby Guest » Fri Jun 04, 2004 3:17 pm

I believe David Hammett (DnA) uses one. David?

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 07, 2004 8:00 pm


Down here in the Caribbean almost all of the big regattas are raced under the CSA (Caribbean Sailing Association) rule which for some reason is very unkind to J sprit boats, ask Jay Lutz the “cupcake ratingâ€

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:19 am

Thank you for your responses it sounds like the J80 will fit well in our fleet, we mostly race in moderate to light conditions but we race on a river where it is hard to set square courses. I think the J80 will have a definite advantage but we have beat faster boats before. He will still have to race well!

Sail Fast and Thanks again


Postby Guest » Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:14 pm

I have today finally reached my breaking point regarding trying to race with worthless crew after messing up every single tack, almost losing crew overboard every tack and shreading a brand new spinnaker (sorry Kerry Klinger, but the chute looked good until the crew screwed up.} I have decided to race phrf Jib and Main only so I can solo or take my 13 y/o daughter. I currently rate 114 with 150% genoa (which I rarely use). Any suggestion for a "non spinnaker" rating. I would appreciate any help so I can take the info to the local "committee for right thinking"

Postby Guest » Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:55 pm

Perhaps your crew problems are not as bad as you think. Have you tried yelling at them? Because sometimes just calling them worthless is not effective.

Postby Guest » Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:46 am

My crew knows I scream because I care....
Seriously, try a laminated three by five card with each crew responsibility listed in detail. Most crew problems are due to either communication or experience deficit. I learned tons from gleaning the tuning guides from the various sail makers.
Good luck and may you allways sail faster than your garbage.

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