Tuesday, December 10, 2019

J/99 Wins SAIL Magazine Awards Best Boats- Performance Boat 31'+!

J/99 SAIL Best Boats Award winner
(Boston, MA)- Eleven of the nominees for SAIL Magazine’s 2020 Best Boats Awards have been advanced as winners for this annual recognition.

“Once again, the boatbuilding industry has shown how it never seems to run out of fresh ideas—something that is clearly evident in SAIL’s Best Boats contest,” says SAIL’s executive editor Adam Cort, who was joined in judging by associate editor Lydia Mullan, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, charter editor Zuzana Prochazka, veteran boat-reviewer Tom Dove and SAIL’s contributing editor Tom Hale.

J/99 SAIL Best Boats winnerOne of the winners of SAIL’s 2020 Best Boats Awards was the new J/99- awarded the Best Performance Boat over 31ft! Here is the commentary from the SAIL Best Boats Judges:

"It was a fun year for SAIL’s Best Boats judges with a number of mid-sized performance boats to sail trial. Alas, the downside to having so many boats to choose from is also having to pick a winner. This was especially tough because of the variety of boats involved. How do you compare, for example, our winner in this category with, say, the Sun Fast 3300? In the end, though, our judges decided to give the J/99 the nod for two reasons: build quality and breadth of sailing ability.

With respect to the build quality, the J/99 is wonderfully constructed: top to bottom, stem to stern. Topsides, the boat continues designer Al Johnstone’s use of plumb ends and elegantly sculpted cabin trunk to create a look that is all business, yet still elegant.

Belowdecks, the saloon and accommodations are well laid out, with just enough woodwork to keep things from looking sterile while still saving owners a lot of maintenance headaches. The rig is aluminum with a fixed sprit for flying an A-sail. The layup, overall finish and hardware installations are top-notch.

With respect to sailing ability, what most impressed our judges was the combination of performance and versatility, all in a surprisingly low-key package. While some of the other boats in this space very much wear their performance cred on their sleeve in the form of a welter of halyards and control lines, the J/99 is a fairly simple platform by comparison. Not that there’s anything wrong with complexity. On the contrary, for an awful lot of sailors out there, it’s all part of the fun. However, there are also an awful lot of other sailors out there, not to mention friends and family when out daysailing, for whom it’s not, and it’s here that the J/99 truly excels. On the one hand, with its tiller and carefully apportioned cockpit, the boat is perfect for such offshore events as the Chicago-Mac race, whether fully crewed or shorthanded. On the other, it’s also the perfect boat for beer-can racing or just tooling around the harbor on a sunny day. Successfully combining these two types of sailing in a single 32ft sloop is no mean feat— and the reason our judges chose the J/99 as the winner in a very strong field."  For more SAIL Magazine's Best Boats 2020 Awards information Add to Flipboard Magazine.