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Testing His Mettle

J/Boats co-founder Rod Johnstone has spent a lifetime racing and building sailboats. This past June, at the age of 80, Johnstone and his nephew, Clay Burkhalter, participated in the 1,270-mile Bermuda One-Two Yacht Race from Newport, Rhode Island, to the island of Bermuda and back.

This video by CBS has more on Johnstone:

Johnstone was a writer, photographer and ad salesman for Soundings before he launched J/Boats with his brother Bob in 1977. Starting with $20,000 and a garage-built J/24 prototype named Ragtime, the brothers during their first year churned out more than 30 boats a week and booked orders for 700 more.

Forty years later, more than 5,000 J/24s have been built alongside many other successful J/Boat sailboat models. You can read more about the Johnstone brothers in the March 2016 issue of Soundings and all about the J/24 in the February 2016 issue.



Steve Helber / AP

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