It’s been an exciting two weeks since announcing the J/121 project and we are pleased to report five hulls
reserved with numerous additional clients in discussions with dealers. The overall market response has
been tremendous. The promise of sailing fast with fewer crew is resonating even more strongly than
when the J/105 was introduced. The most frequently asked question has been “when can I get one?”
Here’s more on hull reservations as well as info on some other aspects of the project.
Water Ballast Assist System
Unlike more radical short-handed designs that rely significantly on water ballast for primary stability, the
J/121 is designed from the outset with high stability without additional ballast. The 100 gallons of water
(800lbs) per side potential is simply a stability bonus – like adding 4 large guys on the rail without having
to carry the extra gear bags, food, and drink. The system is being engineered with simplicity in mind and
with the aim of managing all functions from the cockpit. A full size mock-up of the system is planned as
part of the product development so clients can inspect the system in operation while touring the factory.
Steering/Rudder System
The J/121 is designed with twin 36” wheels and a single, centerline rudder. The design team closely
considered a twin rudder system but opted for the single centerline rudder for several reasons: 1) A single
fixed rudder is less drag than two fixed rudders as the windward “lazy” rudder ends up off axis to the
water flow when the boat is heeled; 2) With a twin rudder system, the relative angle between the rudders
is critical and the optimum angle differs between upwind and downwind sailing. The solution is to add a
dynamic rudder angle control system which works directly against the principle of keeping things simple;
3) Several of our offshore racing owners have cited hitting submerged debris/objects and were thankful in
retrospect that their rudder was relatively protected behind the keel. Twin rudders on the J/121 would
expand the lateral appendage footprint to more than 6′ – so six times more likely to hit objects.
The new J/121 (pronounced 1-2-1), an offshore capable, 40’ speedster for a crew of 5 or less – the best short-handed J ever!


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