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J/65 MAITRI OWNER’S NOTES – January 2006

When thinking of our experiences in the first 3000 miles or so of open ocean and inter-island sailing aboard my new J/65, the words that most frequently come to mind are “power” and “elegance.” You don’t have to have sailed the boat to know that the J/65 is drop-dead gorgeous. But you have to have felt her load up in 25-30 knots of breeze in the rough Hawaiian channels to fully appreciate how that elegant hull thrives on pressure. Downwind, this takes the form of a fast and uncommonly smooth and stable track even in big, quartering seas.

From San Diego to Hawaii, we sailed west for hundreds of miles under working sails alone, making a steady 10-12 knots with true finger-tip steering. Upwind, the boat takes off her jacket, heels to about 15 degrees, and simply charges — slicing through the big chop and cross swells of the channels like a destroyer — smoothly shedding green water before it ever reaches the hatches. In all this action, our friends move around comfortably in the big cockpit, taking advantage of well engineered handholds, without the need to hurdle a traveler system. What a thrill!

At nightly anchorages or underway, the J/65 provides us with softer pleasures below. In sharp contrast to the highest-tech synthetic materials topsides, the rich, well-lighted mahogany surfaces and joinery below offer a warmly inviting environment. An ingenious array of stowage spaces though-out the boat accommodates a complete inventory of tools, spares, supplies, and emergency equipment without commandeering cabinets and lockers reserved for other purposes. This is particularly true in our galley, within which we can stow sufficient provisions for weeks of serious cooking and fine eating without invading the other spaces of the boat. (Our sliding basket pantry is the envy of every visitor with cruising experience.)

Guests are genuinely comfortable in the J/65’s aft cabins. They have good head room, lots of natural light; and they aren’t required to live out of duffel bags. Couples say they are quite comfortable in the double quarter berths — even those who aren’t honeymooners. A favorite new space is the passage cabin that provides much additional stowage and a fine berth for guest or crew. I won’t detail the pleasures of the forward owner’s cabin except that its elegant form and functionality have fully met the hopes and expectations of the boat’s young owner.

The next few years should see us logging a lot of miles in Hawaii, the South Pacific and elsewhere on J/65 Hull No. 1. The first 3000 miles have left me convinced that this powerful, elegant yacht fulfills the dream of the ultimate racer/cruiser inspired by our beloved J/160.

Peter Johnson, J/65 MAITRI

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