Declining J/24 Interest ?

Discussion in 'J/24 Talk' started by ndhosford, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. ndhosford

    ndhosford New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I've been looking at the decreasing local interest in J/24 racing and thinking about what might be done to increase it. Part of the J/24's attraction has been the difficulty of sailing it well but, as I and my crew members are getting older, we are arriving at a belief that the J/24 is not as user friendly as we would like and there seem to be many sailors in our position. We sail the boat because it sails so nicely under most conditions and it's affordable. The J/24 fleets used to be populated with the best small keelboat sailors anywhere. My gut feeling is that the top sailors are as good as ever but there are fewer of them and the rest of the fleet is becoming less competitive and is having less fun.

    Does anyone know of statistics on J/24 sailors age distribution changes over the years?
    If my impression is correct, does anyone have suggestions on what, if anything we can do about it?
     
  2. jeepers

    jeepers New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Last year we saw a resurgence in j24 interest and primarily because of the easy entry to the Worlds in Rochester. Then Sail;ing world highlighted the resurgence in j24 in a cover issue so why in the world did the class go back to the old highly restricted way of qualifying?

    Was it because the Worlds are for pros and and are really an elitist club. Were there too many amateurs in 2012 and they got in the way of the pros? Well too bad as the "open" worlds entry really worked in getting interest back into the class.

    Second point. the J24 is a great boat and sails in anything from close to dead calm to 25kts plus. But the weight requirement of 880# just overcrowds the boat. Getting 5 crew is another problem. Knocking off the weight by 150 +/- pounds doesn't do anything to detract from racing and makes everyone on the boat have a job. Biggest change in racing is having to use the blade sooner. Gee I guess the Genoa would last longer.

    Jeepers
     
  3. olous

    olous New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I wonder if there would be support for a "senior" classification with its own unique rules governing such things as a lower crewwt/# and perhaps white sail only? I and my crew are either grandfathers or old enough to be. We still have a lot of fun but realize we need more room and time to move around the deck and 5 just does note do it!
     
  4. dimarian21

    dimarian21 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Just some ideas -- lots of people have the money to buy a decent used J/24, but staying competitive under the current rules prices many people out of the class, or at least keeps them from being competitive. You've got to buy new sails every year to be competitive in regional events, and the top teams are buying two or three or more sets of sails every year. There are a lot of boats out there that are much more modern and a kick in the pants to sail on a smaller budget over the life of the boat. The J/24 is going to suffer a slow death if we can't keep people in the class. The genoa takes the most abuse and has the shortest life. It's also the most expensive sail on the boat. Why not eliminate it in favor of the blade, and eliminate the weight limit as well? Without the genoa, few crews would have an incentive to carry five people, and you wouldn't have to put your crew on a diet for weigh-in. Having five on the boat does get crowded, and it also creates transportation and hotel issues when you take the boat on the road. You need to double up or get three rooms, and the car ride to and from the regatta is that much more uncomfortable. Why not also add one or two full battens at the top of the main? It would extend the life of the sail and make it more controllable? These ideas aren't new -- I believe Tim Healy made a PHRF main with some added roach and created a PHRF jib for a Newport summer series a few years ago and I believe he finished second in the summer series.
     
  5. olous

    olous New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I like the idea of a fully battened main but would hate to give up my genny. How about specifying a heavier min cloth weight?
     
  6. j24usa292

    j24usa292 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    How about the fact that 6 years ago when I bought my boat it was $6000 for a new set of four sails. Now it is over $8000 for a new set of sails. They are the same sails more or less, even though some material changes have happened.

    When I bought my boat 6 years ago there were 10 on the line for every club Thursday night beer can race. Last night we had 5. With the cost of sails it is getting harder to be competitive, especially with all professional boats traveling year round with brand new sails at almost every regatta.

    By the way, when I bought my boat I was 23 years old. I bought a good used boat that hadn't been raced and spent a lot of time getting the boat into perfect race condition with all the bells and whistles. In the time it took me to do that the price of sails went up considerably and as a weekend warrior I cannot go out and be competitive with professionals. Why travel hours to a regatta to get spanked time after time and spend so much money. Entry fees at regattas get ridiculous as well.

    This is the tip of the iceberg for what thoughts I have, but that is my quick two cents.
     
  7. j24number16

    j24number16 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I keep hearing about decreasing local interest in J/24 racing. I see boats coming and going. But the numbers stay relatively the same. I like sailing my J and I like working on it. I find it pretty easy to find crew and easy to get them up to speed. For a boat that you can buy for around $5000 these days and get a few good years of playing out of it. Its a great investment in time for me, my friends, and my family.

    Dean Travis
    "Incognito" 1977 Hull #16
    Rhode Island
     
    • Spam Spam x 1
  8. Ardlertas

    Ardlertas New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    By the way, when I bought my boat I was 23 years old. I bought a good used boat that hadn't been raced and spent a lot of time getting the boat into perfect race condition with all the bells and whistles.
     
  9. Choikcer

    Choikcer New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I keep hearing about decreasing local interest in J/24 racing. I see boats coming and going. But the numbers stay relatively the same.
     
  10. ndhosford

    ndhosford New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I've been racing my J/24 for 15 years and now my crew and I are getting old enough to want more comfort and a boat that is easier to sail. Our local fleet got down to 3 last year (from 10 a decade ago) so it was clear we were mostly going to race PHRF. I made a kit for extending the mast and standing rigging by 108mm, had a full hoist jib made to replace the Genoa, and moved the winches to the cabin top - all reversible in an hour. The tall rig got the same rating (even though 60 sqft less than Genoa) and it worked out pretty well for PHRF. We beat the same boats by about the same amount as when we raced as a J/24 but the boat is much more pleasant to sail. The downside is that we have gotten worse when racing as a J/24.
     
  11. jeepers

    jeepers New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    We still have a good j24 fleet, fl61 City Island, Eastchester Bay, and yes the fleet is getting older. This year we started sailing with only 4 and light weights at that so we come in around 625. This makes it a much nicer boat to sail. Our performance was down a little but that was due to new people and by the end of the season we were right back in good finish form.

    I really like the idea of a senior j24 series with reduced crew weight, no pros, but think only white sails would cause most of us to have to buy another sail.
     
  12. imported_sailon

    imported_sailon New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    No weight limits, 4 persons, larger roach on a full batten main, and a roller furled blade jib. Make it easy and accessible!
     

Share This Page