Thursday, February 23, 2017

SAILING A J CLASS CLASSICAL RACER: ENDEAVOUR


Some guys get lucky and this time it happened to Toby Hodges, the main tester from Yachting world magazine, that was given the opportunity to sail Endeavour, one of the surviving J Class yachts. I am sure many will know what a J Class yacht is but this blog is followed also by many that have not a deep knowledge about yachting and will not know exactly what a J class is, so some explanation is in order.

The J class rule was used for the America's cup from 1914 to 1937 and was created in 1903 by one of the greatest Naval Architects ever, Nathanael Herreshoff, that called it the Universal Rule. It allowed slightly different boats having similar performances, providing the rating was the same. There were made 17 J class yachts ( 119 to 135ft) most of them for the America's cup and surprisingly 3 of them survived. They still sail and race proudly and Endeavour is one of them.

The fact that these yachts are a kind of paradigma of classic beauty helped a lot to preserve them and already in this century there was a true revival of the class. It has become fashionable to own a JClass yacht, a prestige status on the yacht top community and soon yachts started to be recovered to their former glory and replicas to be built. That is the case with Ranger's replica, with Hanuman (Endeavour replica), Rainbow's replica and even with two boats that were designed but not built at the time, Topaz and Svea.

And of course, races were organized for the J class, now with more boats on the water than ever. Why this revival? Are these boats fast? As racing boats, by modern standards, not bad upwind, lousy downwind or on a beam reach, since they cannot plane...but they have plenty of style, they are beautiful and anyway with a 85ft LWL, even if limited by hull speed, they have a decent turnover of speed as a cruising boat (a thing they are too, since they have gorgeous interiors ).

Sailing pleasure is not only about speed, it is also about sensations and I am quite sure these boats offer lots of good vibes and Toby Hodges looks like he is in heaven while sailing Endeavour LOL. Of course, for sailing one of these beauties it is not enough to have the yacht but to pay for a big crew to sail it. Anyway the owner is now a true Captain of a big crew and it is better he knows what he is doing otherwise he would have to pay for a captain too, since these babies are not properly easy to sail.


If you want to own one, Endeavour is for sale for something like 20 million euros. They offer now a 2.5 million discount so it is better to take advantage of that LOL. I wonder how much would cost to pay a full crew for this boat plus maintenance a year? Certainly way over a million a year, maybe two. There is a reason for the status given by owning one on the millionaire's world and it is not only about beauty. I am grateful to the ones that own them, otherwise we would not have the opportunity to see these beauties sailing. Well spent money!!!


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