The J Class models are 1/16th scale hulls of the J Class yachts that sailed for the America´s Cup from 1930 through 1937 as well as the yachts that were converted to the J Class and competed with the America´s Cup yachts in club regattas. The models are the largest recognized class in the AMYA with hull lengths ranging from about 7 feet in length to 81/2 feet in length and weighing between 65 and 90 pounds. The models carry from about 3,000 to 4,000 square inches of sail on masts that are 8 to 91/2 feet above the deck. The difference in sizes of the models is driven by the different sizes of the full size yachts. The Js were designed to a rule with a specific formula that allowed the designers to change dimensions of the hulls and sail area to arrive at the same answer. The full size yachts varied in size from about 120 to 135 feet in length and had waterline lengths from about 76 to 87 feet and carried a crew of about 35 professional sailors.
There were ten yachts built to the J specifications between 1930 and 1937, six in America and four in Britain to compete for the America´s Cup. Another eight existing large yachts sailing at the time were converted to J specifications for use as trial horses and as competitors in local yacht club regattas. Drawings for all of the original J yachts and those converted to the J class are available from several museums such as the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Smithsonian and the Herreshoff Maritime Museum. There are also several companies producing fiberglass hulls for some of the yachts. The hulls that are currently available in fiberglass are Ranger, Endeavour, Shamrock V and Whirlwind. The scratch building of hulls from drawings in either fiberglass or wood is encouraged in the class. Masts and spars in extruded aluminum are also available for skippers who wish to build their J model. Keep in mind that there will be some scratch building required when you build your J model regardless of whether you begin with a fiberglass hull or want to build a plank on frame model.
The J Class is truly one of the most beautiful class of models in the AMYA reflecting the sailing power and grace of the original classic yachts of the 1930s.
Visit the J Class Site for more detailed history and current state of the fleet!
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