A racer-cruiser aimed squarely at the short-handed offshore racing market. Take a look for yourself with this J/11S first Look Video filmed at Southampton Boat Show.



Key attributes

This new model from the J-Boats stable was developed from the successful J/111 design, but has been set up specifically for short-handed offshore racing. Obvious changes include twin rudders and tiller steering in place of the original design’s big wheel. Other changes include a shorter aluminium rig in place of the original boat’s carbon spars, along with significantly more lead in the keel bulb, to increase the stability lost through the lack of crew on the rail. In addition 20cm has been chopped off the back of the hull. As well as making the boat easier to sail efficiently with a skeleton crew, these changes have also helped reduce the new model’s IRC rating, which comes out more than 40 points lower than that of the J/111.

J/11S review

Based on the popular J/111 hull, the J/11S is optimised for shorthanded offshore racing and cruising.


Below decks

Accommodation is mostly finished in a clean white, with just enough wood trim to be aesthetically pleasing. It includes a basic galley, space for hanging foul weather gear and a proper navigation station. Forward of this the saloon has two settees that make excellent sea berths, plus a big central table. Ahead of the main bulkhead is a large full-width heads compartment, which is open-plan to the forepeak, which has provision to take a double berth.

J/11S forward accommodation

An open-plan heads compartment and forepeak aboard the J/11S.

Aft on the port side is a wide quarter berth – too narrow to be a double, but a potentially excellent sea berth none the less. There’s an equivalent space on the starboard side, although this also has access from the cockpit via a locker lid (sealed with meaty neoprene) and can be used for stowage.


On deck and under sail

The deck layout has been significantly revised from that of the J/111 in order to optimise it for two-handed and solo operation. The tiller gives the boat an entirely different character, with many tasks that would otherwise require a number of individual crew easily accomplished by the driver.

J/11S cockpit

Tiller steering and reduced hull length play their part in making the J/11S more suitable for shorthanded offshore sailing.


Although J-Boats has been a long-standing proponent of asymmetric spinnakers, this boat can be configured with either symmetric or asymmetric kits. This recognises that a symmetric configuration can be both faster and easier to handle offshore on a boat of this size and speed. The sail plan has a smaller mainsail than the J/111, with the foretriangle remaining a similar size, however, the spinnaker area has been reduced to just 95 square metres.

In short, this is a boat that clearly offers potential for a lot of fun, including blisteringly fast downwind performance. The new model also gives J-Boats an up to date offering that will take on French designs such as the Sunfast 3600 and JPK1080 head to head in this increasingly popular part of the market.

For more information visit www.j-boats.com or www.keyyachting.co.uk.


J/11S review: specifications

LOA: 10.90m
LWL: 10.04m
Beam: 3.31m
Draught: 2.20m
Displacement: 4,600kg
Ballast: 1,570kg
Sail area: 63sq m
Spinnaker: 95sq m

For an interesting pair of comparison reviews on boats.com, see: McConaghy Ker 33 review or Cruiser-racer w1Da launched at Southampton.

Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.