J/124

by George Day

Blue Water Sailing
September 2006


 

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The folks at J/Boats always march to the beat of their own drum, and they have thousands of sailors who hear that beat and follow. Last winter they launched the new J/124 that is designed to appeal to sailors who want something pure and simple in their boats. Bucking the trend to fit out a boat with every modern convenience possible from air conditioning to dishwashers and elaborate home entertainment centers, the concept behind the J/124 was to do away with all of the gadgets and get back to the essence of sailing and cruising: a couple's boat that sails very well, is comfortable if Spartan and is dead simple to keep.

Long and lean and very stable, the 124 will stand up to a breeze and will handle nicely under mainsail alone. Because of the narrow beam and efficient underwater appendages, pushed by a powerful rig, owners will be sailing while others are motoring and will get to their next landfall, or complete a distance course, well ahead of their compatriots. With the standard 100-percent jib, the boat will be a cinch to tack; a Hoyt jib-boom is also available to make the boat self-tacking. Hoist an asymmetrical spinnaker and the 124 will fly downwind while steering like a Porsche on a mountain road.

Down below, the layout evokes cruising boats of the past with a V- berth forward, two settees in the cabin and a double quarter berth aft. This is a place for friends to gather after of day of fun sailing to share a simple meal, swap sailing yarns and enjoy the peace of being on the water - and not the rumble of a generator.

As the Johnstones say in the 124 brochure: "The idea is to enjoy life, not be a slave to complex cruising systems." Whether you are heading off for the weekend, or sailing to a regatta, or bugging off to the Caribbean for the winter, the 124 will get you there swiftly and safely and will leave you a lot of maintenance-free time to enjoy the cool places you visit.

Part of Group Beneteau, Wauquiez builds elegant production cruising boats in the tradition of the company's founder Henri Wauquiez. Henri was something of an idealist and driven to build boats of the highest quality. Now that his company has been absorbed by Group Beneteau, those traditions are carried on but with the advantages of manufacturing and business expertise not available to the founder.


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