Thursday, November 23, 2017


I had already posted about the J112e when it was on the project stage, I have visited the boat at the Dusseldorf boat show and it is all that it promised on the project: a very nice interior, well finished in a kind of modest way and I am not meaning anything negative quite the contrary. While most cruising boats nowadays have a flashy interior with average quality the J112 remains very sober and funcional featuring good quality everywhere. The J112e is made by Jcomposites in France and comes to substitute what was one of the most successful Jboats in what regards sales, the J109.

The J112 is a better and more modern design improving on the J109 in everything, from interior space to stability and performance. It has more length (36.00 to 35.25ft) more beam (11.75 to 11.50ft) a bigger SA/D (22.3 to 20.4) it is lighter (D/L-157 to 172) it has more stability (Max RM - 833 to 940 ft/lb) and all this allows not only a bigger interior but a remarkably faster boat (IRC - 1.015 to 1.060).

The interest on the boat by European magazines has not been big and though it has been tested by many sail magazines for the 2017 yacht of the year few have published the sail test but when they have the comments are very positive and everybody loves to sail the J112e. Curiously  magazines in the US, where the interest for this type of boats is way smaller, have published more sail tests and even have made it boat of the year in an odd category: the crossover yacht.

But all this is not enough to make it a big sales success: the demand of this type of performance cruiser is very small on the US and it is diminishing in Europe not only due to the competition of other successful brands like JPK, Pogo, Italia Yachts (and now even Grand Soleil) among others but because unfortunately here we see also a decrease on the number of cruisers that want this type of sail boat.

Comparing the J112e with what seems to me to be the best performance cruiser of this size, the JPK 1080, I would say that the J112e is much more typed as an upwind sailboat while the JPK remains with a more balanced performance, one that has been giving it an incredible racing performance, from the Sydney Hobart to the Middle Sea Race, Fastnet and on the duo Transats.

In what regards hull diferences the JPK 1080 is just slightly beamier being the main diference on the transom design. The J112e, that is comparatively the beamier of all J's, has the max beam at the middle while the JPK has it pulled aft, giving it a big transom.

We can say this is a sailor's boat in a sense that the interior space has not come at the cost of a decreased sailing performance and that the sail hardware is not just a simplified one that only allows a basic sail trim. Many cruisers (or their wives) that buy the boats on boat shows are not able to understand at what cost comes that little bit of extra interior space or why even with a smaller interior these boats are more expensive than main mass produced boats.

The hulls seem similar on the way they are built even if that is not clearly the case and they are not aware of the differences that allow not only for a lighter boat but also a stronger boat. An then there is the misconception that seaworthiness has something to do with an open transom or higher freeboards, that are clearly visible while the very superior stability is dismissed because they cannot see it.

Even so, on these days that Beneteau stopped to make the First (because the market is not enough for a mass production boat to be truly profitable), the 30 boats already sold are a remarkable figure. Also very interesting to notice that from those only 5 were sold with the more racing specification indicating that the J112e is more bought by cruisers that want a fast boat (and eventually want to make a race now and then) than by racers that will just cruise eventually.

The J112e is a quality boat and therefore not a cheap one, it costs over 200 000 euros, a price that is not far from the ones of other fast quality cruiser-racers like XP yachts or JPK. A boat for the ones that like sailing, particularly upwind sailing and like to cruise in style and comfort but on a modest way and have a small family, a couple or a couple with two kids. A very nice boat specially adapted for Mediterranean sailing where the upwind performance is a must.

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