Why the interest for the model maker

Builders of model yachts fall between two camps. The first racing skipper, where speed and control trump style and elegance, the second social or scale skipper, where overall detail and finish have priority but also where good sailing manners are important.

The J Class model crosses the divide between racing skippers and social skippers. The model J Class takes all its styling cues from the original J Class yachts and the Canterbury/Nottingham 48 can be equipped with three rigs for different weather conditions all of which can be fine tuned to give that extra edge. The model kit will create a light and fast yacht which looks attractive when built but also responds well to adding modelling detail.

Both in and out of the water the “J” Class epitomises grace and elegance of the original yachts and the sleek lines are popularly used as static display models. In model racing yacht terms, the design may not be as fast as more modern designs which are lighter and offer less resistance in the water but there are some distinct advantages:

First, the sleek lines make the model visually attractive and a well made model will elicit positive comment from colleagues and the general public alike. There is nothing more satisfying for a model owner than having his model complimented by others. The model is not technically difficult to build and the average model maker, with a reasonable eye for detail, can produce a satisfying result.

Secondly, the hull shape is proving to be more practical on the water than more modern designs whose keels and rudders seem purposely designed to catch the weed that is an increasing irritant in our sailing venues. The smooth keel line of the “J” Class is better able to make unfettered progress through even heavier patches of weed which make sailing on those warm sunny days much more satisfying!

Thirdly, both the 48 and 60 inch models have a draft of less than 9 inches so they can be sailed in a wider variety of venues where depth of water is more limited.

Fourthly, the 48 is primarily a racing class of yacht and it only needs two boats on the same water for the red mist to descend and the competitive spirit to emerge….

The picture on the left shows the gaff rigged 60 sailing in very weedy conditions. Apologies for the poor quality of the picture but it does illustrate the greater practicality of the J Class keel over the fin keel and torpedo ballast...not that I'm smug or anything!!

These conditions are extreme and a reasonable wind is necessary to push the hull through the thicker patches of weed but I can still sail when others are limited to muttering expletives at the bankside!

This photogenic chap is fellow club member Terry Thorpe who bears some responsibility for my interest in J Class models.

As you can see, a broad smile is an intrinsic part of J Class ownership!!

The J Class model may be a serious racing class but it is first all about having fun.