Since 1994, J Composites in France has been building J/Boats, American designed sailboats from the Johnstone family. Directed by Didier Le Moal, this Vendee company, in only a few years, became a benchmark builder for J/Boats – boats that are easy to sail and built both for cruising and racing.
The boats are built with an infusion process which was a system mastered since J Composite’s inception. After the gelcoat and waterline stripes are applied, the fabric is applied to the mold. The schedule includes the dry fiberglass and foam core and another layer of dry fiberglass. A special resin is then infused with the assistance of a vacuum bag. This technique allows more stiffness, strength and weight control which is very important when manufacturing one-design sailboats.
All the boats are the same. The goal is to lower the center of gravity to the maximum degree. For the J/122E and J/111, the ballast is a mix of iron and lead. On smaller boats, it is a mix between stainless and lead. A great deal of importance goes into the finish and reciprocity of each unit. It is in this context that the weights are finished with molded composite forms with specially mixed resins.
The composite part of the hull is completed first with the deck and bulkheads built in separate rooms. The infusion process includes the hull grid and floor which are adapted along the hull for strength. Next the engine and exhausts are added along with key elements of carpentry. At the same time the deck is built and hardware is installed and work continues with the installation of the plumbing and electrical. Then the hull and deck are assembled which brings the process up to the final phase of finishing. Here they spend a lot of time which is a J Composite trade mark.
There is no specific adaptation to a one design sailboat between countries. The drawing is completed by J/Boats in the U.S. and J/Composites follows up on it. With boats like the J/97 the basic structure is untouched, but the interior details may be reworked. The J/122E is a sailboat totally adapted by J Composites.
Sailboats build by J/Composites are built to last a long time and especially in all conditions. J/Composite boats are reliable, durable, efficient and comfortable to sail anywhere.
J Dr Jean Marc Fontenot at work and J/122E interior.