1997 January 5

Performance cruiserr

I like this boat. To begin with, stubby proportions and styling make it cute as hell, while it offers an interesting mix of performance and comfort features. In a world where the enjoyment of cruising is often seen as a function of the boat's size and complexity, I am attracted to this compact, well thought-out, simple boat.

The hull has a nicely subtle spring in the sheer, which is punctuated by the short, but shapely ends. It's a snappy looking hull that is all waterline with a D/L of 183. With an 11 -foot beam, 32 is a bit beamy, but that's the only compromise to cruising comfort that I can see. You get some stability with that beam so it's not a one-sided compromise. The keel

Despite its height, the house
is nicely proportioned and trim-looking.

shows a sweep of 21 degrees to the leading edge. That is not enough to shed kelp but if you can keep the kelp off, it is a more effective shape for performance. There are two keels, at 5.9 feet and 4.75 feet draft.

This is a well-designed deck. Despite its height, the house is nicely proportioned and trim-looking. It would have been very easy to reduce the height of the cabintrunk, just increase freeboard. But while freeboard-added volume that is outside the boundaries of the cabin sole increases the feel of space, it adds little actual useable volume. The J/32 gains headroom with a tall cabintrunk.

This is a real sailor's cockpit. It puts the mainsheet traveler where the helmsman can reach it. It also cuts off the cockpit coamings at the helm position thus allowing the helmsman to sit on the broad, flat deck. This area is slightly raised above the actual deck level so that water running aft won't trickle into your boots.

The J/32 for many of you in breezier
areas will not even need a genoa.

Boats like this deserve tillers. Unfortunately, this cockpit is designed around wheel steering. I know most of you like the big-boat look of a wheel. Still, I like the way a tiller can be hinged up and put out of the way when you are at anchor.

This layout is perfect for a family of four or a couple. The V-berth double is generous, with that annoying notch that often divides this berth into two useless singles eliminated. Note how the mast location works well in opening up the main cabin.

We see an endless parade of unusual rigs that have been created to make sailing easier. In its general proportions, the rig of the 32 is very old. It is a basic fractional rig with a big main on a mast set well forward. This has the benefit of making the mainsail the easiest handled sail (because it's on a boom) and the biggest sail. This also reduces the need for a multiple headsail inventory. Having an SA/D of 17.85, the J/32 for many of you in breezier areas will not even need a genoa. If you want to get fancy, you can order the optional Hall Spars carbon fiber mast. The hydraulic backstay adjuster is standard.

If you want to combine cruising comfort with boatspeed and modern performance, this little cruising package has a lot of appeal.

Compact, well-thought-out, simple cruiser.