Having first seen the J/97E at the Southampton Boat Show, we definitely thought the new J-Boat was worthy of closer inspection, so we made sure it was on our list to video at the recent London Boat Show.
The original J/97 is a yacht that already has a great reputation among performance sailors and as a boat for shorthanded sailing. This new model, the J/97E (the "E" being for "Evolution") broadens the appeal of the boat to include a wider range of customers.
Most of the changes in the J/97E are below decks where there is a higher standard of joinery and fit-out offering much improved comfort over the original design. The yacht's high performance and responsive nature remains, and while there is less space than you'd find below in a pure cruising boat, there's plenty of room for a basic galley and good-sized nav station.
As this J/97E video shows, the boat seems to offer the best of both worlds, but with an emphasis on a performance boat that is a delight to handle.The accommodation on the J/97E isn't luxurious by any standards, but it is very comfortable and an obvious upgrade on the racing spec of the J/97.
Read more about the J/97E here.