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Racer built to take abuse

The J/22 has not yet reached cult status equal to the 22-foot Star, a much older one-design that turned out a huge fleet for the Star Worlds in Annapolis a couple years ago. But at 1,550 built since its introduction in 1983 by designer Rod Johnstone, it has come on strong with 61 fleets worldwide.

Brothers Rod and Bob Johnstone are still active in the business and racing J boats. Rod’s sons Jeff and Alan run J Boats Inc. in Newport, R.I.

Still relatively affordable at around $32,000 sailaway, the J/22 is touted in company literature as “a great value and a favorite among juniors and adults alike. The hulls and decks are unyeilding Baltek cored laminates, which endure program abuse.”

The J/22 has a V-berth and sitting room for four adults to get out of the weather, but the cabin is mainly used for packing and managing spinnakers and stowing gear. In heavy weather, it sails well under mainsail alone.

The boat has a 700-pound lead keel, which creates some 1,700 pounds of righting moment at 90 degrees of heel. It has a high-aspect main with a 100-percent, slightly overlapping jib. A roller-furling headstay is an option.

They are built by U.S. Watercraft in Portsmouth, R.I., and in South Africa and Italy. J/World schools operate in Annapolis, Key West, San Diego, San Francisco and Newport.

Call J Boats at (401) 846-8410 or log on to