French or American J 80

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Postby gil » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:38 pm

I am considering buying a J 80. Which is better a French new boat or a used American made boat? When did they start making the boat in France? Are the American boats SCRIMP made?
What should I be aware of in a used J 80?
I appreciate your help and advice>
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Postby Guest » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:03 am

US boats switched to SCRIMP in 1995, somewhere around hull 100. They began building boats in France around 2000, but continued to build US boats until around 2004. All new boats are now French built. If the boat has been raced, get a copy of the weight certificate and make sure it is below minimum weight (must carry corrector weights). You do not want an overweight boat, and there are some out there.
Performance-wise I think the French boats and older US boats are very comparable. I just sold my US boat and bought a French one, mainly for cosmetic reasons. French boats have: fiberglass step in place of companionway ladder, proper windows mounted in frames, clearcoat anodized spars instead of Awlgrip, molded in toerails and winch pads instead of bolted on plastic ones. They also have lower stanchions, although class rules now allow US stanchions to be cut down. The only thing I dislike about the French boats is the stanchions themselves, which are mounted through the deck using a single stud rather than attached to large bases attached by five (!) bolts on US boats.
On all boats, look for wear on the pintle/gudgeon system, leaking sprits, and sticking winches.
Hope this helps!

[Posted by: Chris Morlan

Postby Guest » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:35 pm

Another major difference is the Mast. All of the Sail Lofts bought the French Boats due to them having stiffer masts.
(I believe French boats come with a Sparcraft or Procter Mast and US boats came with a Hall Spars Mast). The mast steps are different on the two boats (French vs USA) so you can't change between the two brands {upgrading from the Hall to the Sparcraft/Procter}

[Posted by: Ewing P.

Postby erik_wirta » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:42 pm

In addition to all stated in the last post, French boats have masthead nav lights so no electrial on push- or pulpit. Additional problem common to many Js is leaking around the shroud chainplates which is easy to remedy and only a real a problem if neglected. My 2002 leaked, so did a 2005 I sailed in spring 2006. French boats are not SCRIMP and incidentally are supposedly laid up in Poland and finished in France. I cannot contrast the performance because I have never sailed on or against a US made boat. My hull FRA497 is underweight and extremely solid. Tomorrow force 7 is forecast offshore and we will most probably be sailing inshore. My biggest challenge on heavy days is getting out of the harbor, after that all is well...
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Postby Guest » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:55 am

My 2001 French hull (406) has nav lights bow and stern (not masthead mounted).

[Posted by: Chris Morlan

Postby woolsack » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:25 am

Most have removed mast-head lighting. Unnecessary weight aloft.
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 8:00 pm

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:56 pm

I have a French built sister ship of Chris Morlan...hull#405 and these boats were delivered with the nav lights on top of the mast. I also relocated the nav light to the bow and transom to not only save on the weight aloft, but it is difficult to service. The final straw happened on the way back from the Houston NAs I was looking through the rear view mirror and saw my nav light bouncing on the highway with the wire half hanging out. It seemed easier to relocate the lights than rerunning the wire through the conduit
Terry Burke
TopNotch #405

[Posted by: Terry Burke

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:04 am

OK, so is there a trick to adjusting the intermediate shroud on french hulls? The chainplate arrangement (all shrouds led to one plate) is horrible because the turnbuckles end up so close together it is nearly impossible to get a screwdriver in between for adjustments. Anybody find a simple solution to this problem?

[Posted by: Chris Morlan

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