J/Boats J/99 Review

This is a really unusual one – this time topRik team reviews J/Boats J/99, a true marvel of cost-efficient sailing engineering from J/Boats. After testing this yacht ourselves, we showcase its main features, talk about how it is made and who it is made for, talk about its rigging, performance at the sea, comfort on board. We also discuss possible options and packages, draw comparisons, explain J/99’s management. To make the article more objective, we bring in opinions from popular yachting media. Of course, we provide a lot of visual information too, such as photos and videos.

J/99 Review

J/99 immediately reminds you of a viking ship with its streamlined traditional profile, high bow, low center of gravity and reliable elongated shape of the hull - that on itself is a promise of excellent sailing prowess. Fenders instead of wooden shields on the sides and powerful advanced rigging give away the contemporary nature of it though – sailing wardrobe from North Sails in combination with Harken, Lewmar and Spinlock winches, traveler systems and blocks allow for most advanced yachting experience.

J/99 Review

This yacht was mainly built for speed, but somehow J/Boats also delivered on its cruising ability: J/99 has CE category A, which is incredible for a high-performance 10-meter boat. Unlike famous J/70, this model is not just made for racing – it is a full-time carrier of all your favorite people in the world on a long trip. The inside is made with practicality and minimalism in mind – for most daring sailors and lovers of the movement itself instead of extreme luxury on board.

Such quality is achieved thanks to high-tech manufacturing process: J/Boats uses a composite construction method, incorporating a combination of fiberglass laminates and advanced resins to ensure optimal strength and durability.

J/99 Review

Stiffness and performance are enhanced thanks to lightweight carbon fiber reinforcements in key areas, allowing the J/99 to excel in all kinds of conditions at the sea. The boat’s deck is constructed with a focus on weight savings and structural integrity (very difficult to achieve both at the same time!), using fiberglass and foam core find the balance between the two. Once again J/Boats pushes the boundary of what’s possible in performance boating, as they have been doing since 1977, claiming victory after victory in competitive racing and conquering the hearths of yachtsmen around the world.

Features of J/99

  • Brand: J/Boats
  • Hull tyspane: Sailing yacht
  • Overall length, m: 10
  • Width, m: 3.4
  • Draft, m: 2.1
  • Disspanlacement, t: 3.9
  • Exterior design (Architect): Alan Johnstone
  • Interior Design: J/Boats
  • CE Certification: A
  • Mainsail tyspane: Fully battened
  • Jib tyspane: Genoa
  • Mainsail area, m²: 58.6
  • Engine, hspan: 20
  • Fuel tanks, l: 50
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Review of J/99 by topRik Team

After stepping into the cockpit of the J/99, our crew noticed how everything on board is utilized in the most efficient way. The helm station provides exceptional visibility, the control lines are intelligently organized and positioned within convenient reach of the skipper, allowing for maximum precision during maneuvering.

Even though the deck is obviously not as wide as on catamarans, everyone in our team of 4 found a place for himself without bumping into each other - comfortable seating areas are a must for any cruiser and there’s no shortage of them on the deck. Even though everything is optimized towards reducing the weight, some solid safety railing is still present at the transom.

Built for Performance

The sporty tiller helm is definitely the heart of this vessel. The helm’s movement is literally butter-smooth and extremely responsive. The tiller steering provides direct feedback, allowing the skipper to have precise control over the yacht's movements, as expected from high-performance yacht.

J/99 Review

The J/99's keel and rudder design allow for tight turns and quick responses to wind shifts, which would be quite impossible on less sporty boats. Optimized for racing, the J/99's helm is a joy to steer, offering an exciting connection between the skipper and the ocean.

The rigging of the J/99 is designed to optimize performance and ease of use while still keeping the price affordable. The fractional rig configuration, with a high aspect ratio mast, together with adjustable backstay and cunningham allow for precise tuning of the equipment – you will have no problem optimizing your yacht for various different wind conditions and you will not have to compromise on your sail trim preferences. The J/99 features a versatile sail plan, with options for both symmetric and asymmetric spinnakers, providing flexibility in downwind sailing.

J/99 Review

When it comes to winches, our skipper went on an amazing rant, comparing the high efficiency of their positioning on J/99 and his disappointment with some other boats when it comes to sails management comfort. Indeed, winches and deck hardware make sail handling a breeze, enabling efficient maneuvers and quick adjustments while under sail.

J/99 Review

With its efficient foils and close-winded capabilities, J/99 also excels in upwind sailing and accelerates quickly even in light winds thanks to a range of headsails available and the ability to fine-tune the rigging for optimal sail shape. The J/99's optimized design also minimizes drag, maximizing its sailing efficiency and reducing maintenance costs over time. And the manufacturing methods that we mentioned earlier, allow the 20 HP engine to consume less fuel due to extremely lightweight and streamlined hull – 50 liters last much longer here than on multihulls of similar size.

J/99 Review

The J/99 can be managed by one skilled yachtsman or a small crew, thanks to all of its user-friendly features. The control lines are positioned within reach of the skipper, enabling him to handle sail adjustments and maneuvers without any assistance. Additionally, the J/99's self-tacking jib and efficient rigging systems make it straightforward to handle the yacht's sails with all the control you need. But keep in mind – you will still need a small experienced crew if you want to really squeeze out all the possible performance in certain racing conditions or during demanding maneuvers. The important thing is that J/Boats gives you a choice – you can do it alone or as a part of the team.

Minimalistic Interior

Considering the yacht’s performance, we expected to see zero comfort inside, but were pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s no 5-star hotel suite, but to fit such interior on a sporty boat and at this price is most certainly an achievement.

J/99 Review

The living space is intelligently utilized – as you climb down, you see a spacious saloon with two large sofas and a folding table, a galley and a simple bathroom with toilet, shower and a hatch. The galley has all the necessities, allowing for the preparation of meals and refreshments while underway: stove, tabletop, sink, storage space. To the right of the ladder there’s a control panel built into the wall.

J/99 Review

Once you go the opposite way, you can see two double beds, which can be customized (see our price calculator for J/99). There’s enough storage on board for clothes, gadgets, bags, etc. – but it’s still better to pick and choose what you need the most.

Overall, the interior design showcases clean lines and contemporary finishes, together with beige and gray tones, creating a modern and inviting atmosphere that will impress the racing enthusiasts and will be just enough for most cruising aficionados.

Use in Racing and Comparison to J/70

The J/99 has quickly gained popularity in regatta circuits around the world. Racing enthusiasts praise its impressive performance characteristics and competitive rating. The J/99 class association organizes a range of events, from local regattas to international championships, providing ample opportunities for owners to showcase their skills and compete against fellow J/99 lovers. The yacht's versatility also allows for successful participation in offshore races and long-distance events, where its speed and comfort make it a formidable contender. The J/99's reputation as a competitive racer continues to grow, attracting sailors who seek both speed and success on the racecourse.

J/99 Review

When comparing the J/99 to the J/70, another popular yacht from J/Boats, there are several notable differences. The J/70 is a much smaller, one-design keelboat designed specifically for racing, with a focus on simplicity and ease of handling. It features a fixed keel, a single-spreader rig, and a smaller sail plan. The J/99, on the other hand, offers a larger and more versatile platform, accommodating a wider range of sailing conditions and preferences, which is more suitable for most yachtsmen. With its fractional rig, adjustable backstay, and options for symmetric and asymmetric spinnakers, the J/99 is better suited for offshore and long-distance racing as well as comfortable cruising. Sure, both yachts are well-made and offer exhilarating sailing experiences, but the J/99's larger size, additional features, more comfort on board and customization options make it a more versatile choice.

Safety on Board and Maintenance

It’s not something that most people like to think about until it’s too late.

Alan Johnstone provided J/99 with several safety features to provide peace of mind while on the water. The deck layout gives you clear pathways and unobstructed movement, reducing the risk of accidents and falls. The sides are pretty high, lifelines and handholds are not flimsy and surround the yacht fully. The J/99 also offers options for safety equipment, including life rafts, safety harnesses, and personal flotation devices, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and providing essential equipment for long offshore trips.

J/99 Review

Additionally, J/Boats prioritizes the integration of modern navigation and communication systems, enabling effective monitoring of weather conditions and communication with rescue services if needed. Sure, a good chartplotter is also one the best guarantees of your safety on board.

The J/99 is designed with ease of maintenance in mind, allowing owners to spend more time on the water and less time on actively keeping it afloat. The wear and tear of carbon fiber and fiberglass are quite low by default and routine maintenance tasks, such as cleaning, varnishing, and inspecting rigging, can be easily performed by crewmen with basic knowledge and skills.

Don’t forget to constantly check and service the rigging, monitor the hull and keel, perform routine engine maintenance – even the most efficient designs fall victim to simple negligence. Familiarizing yourself with J/99’s electronics, navigation instruments, and safety equipment is an easy and pleasant process, if you are not afraid of manuals, resulting in less mistakes made and less damage and wear sustained. And don’t forget about communication and teamwork among the crew – these are essential both for smooth maneuvers and overall safety.

Available Options and Packages

The standard layout provides a good balance between racing performance and cruising comfort. But J/Boats also offers customization options, allowing owners to tailor the layout and features of the J/99 to their specific preferences and sailing requirements.

These options include various rigging choices, such as wheel steering system, racing propeller, various sail configurations. Here’s the example of J/99 with wheel steering system installed:

J/99 Review

Owners can select from a variety of deck hardware options to suit their sailing style, including drive autopilot, jib roller furler and others. Comfort and convenience packages are also available, offering amenities such as extra batteries, fridge unit, more cushions and even additional pilot berths. Use our price calculator on sales page to get a final price for all selected options.

Advantages of J/99

The J/99 is wisely targeted towards a broad range of yachtsmen, catering to different interests and skill levels. It’s not really made for luxury lovers, but its advantages are still numerous:

  • Performance. Whether it’s Flinders Islet Race or just casual coastal racing, this boat will give you what you are looking for – speed and excitement;
  • Minimalism. Some people don’t like paying for what they don’t need, so rest assured -there is nothing on this yacht that is superfluous;
  • Customization. J/99 is much more versatile compared to J/70 and allows for more breathing room when it comes to comfort and sailing choices;
  • Construction quality. Most optimized, most lightweight – this beauty is not only easy on the eyes, but also uses the most optimal composite materials to ensure maximum speed at an affordable price.
  • Convenience at the helm. Our skipper, founder and director of SimpleSail, felt completely in control handling the tiller helm and managing the winches, as well as optimizing the sailing wardrobe for his needs. He used the word “interesting”, which is, considering his experience, a huge praise.

And yeah, J/99 just looks awesome, especially in motion – it’s as simple as that.

J/Boats J/99 Get Price

Reviews of J/99 from Professionals

Now we move on to providing some unbiased opinions from the best yachting journalists in the world.

The article named “Good thinking, 99!” describes the experience of going on a last-minute sailing trip together with Frédéric Bouvier, Commercial Manager at J Composites Europe. Of course, it was “fun” – we are not surprised.

The team set out from the Vendée Globe port. Even though the direction of the wind allowed to sail only for two minutes before hoisting the kite, it was a huge adrenaline rush with average speed of 13 knots, reaching 18 knots sometimes thanks to waves – respectable speed for a 10-meter boat. Even though 3.5-meter waves weren’t easy to manage, that was part of the fun – especially when the wind is uneven and you have to really concentrate on the helm. There was no broaching and boat allowed for full control even in such conditions.

The adventurers also tested the boat upwind and were left impressed by how the boat fared against such big waves with heavy weather jib and full main up – speed above 7 knots in such situation is no joke.

In the words of Benjamin Dutreux, an established Figaro racer, the versatility in both handling and performance is the most interesting. J/99 keeps high speed in any angle or range of the wind. It is also not rocket science to make it work as it does not require weeks of getting used to its equipment.

The journalist is convinced that J/Boats came up with something interesting this time by getting rid of retractable bowsprit and furling jib and replacing it with a fixed bowsprit and hank-on jib. As we already mentioned, this boat is minimalistic and Pip Hare promptly describes it as “no-nonsence approach”: simple handling, dynamic and responsive helm, clean cockpit.

When it comes to performance, the author call it razor sharp, being able to achieve 6.7 knots at a true wind angle of 38°, with 17 knots of wind with non-overlapping J2 jib and full main. Even though the boat is stiff, it is quite normal for short-handed boats and it stabilizing after heeling.

In his opinion, boat is very balanced and helming upwind is easily taken care of by a single rudder. The vessel is easy to manage (as we also mentioned) thanks to mainsheet fine-tune system. You can just let the autopilot to take over for a couple of tacks, but why let autopilot have all the fun?

We agree with Pip when it comes to cockpit also: it is quite large, considering the limited width of the vessel. Aft of the mainsheet you get a wide flat area. On the coachroof there are two winches and two primaries next to the helm.

Optimally, this boat would benefit from full crew of 6 people, as it really opens up in performance double-handed offshore sailing. And yet, thanks to its versatile design, inshore racing is still an option: you can switch between symmetrical and asymmetrical rigs without issues thanks to new fixed bowsprit. Hank-on style jibs are also more optimal for inshore as you can always hold on until the downwind leg before the headsail change.

The article is quite informative when it comes to rigging and equipment used – make sure to check it out. In the end author concludes that J/99 is an exciting new addition in the yachting world as it is a fun, manageable boat not requiring a huge amount of crew to be competitive and not going for any unnecessary amenities.

The author points out that cruising is what J/99 is primarily designed for, but if you are looking for speed and control it would still be a good choice. And usually, such high-speed yachts can be difficult to manage and that could even lead to accidents, yet this one is effortless when it comes to handling. When at its helm, 8 knots feel like 4 knots according to Graham - J/99 and its crew will not be stressed even at the speed of 12-16 knots.

Living areas are not palatial, but practical – you trade comfort for fun sailing experience.

The author himself is not picky and is fine as long as the bed is comfortable. Some other people might need more and that’s why it’s important to figure out whether this boat fits you and your crew specifically. It is meant for those people, who would take advantage of premium furniture and huge hatches anyways and are not willing to pay more for unneeded features. Thanks to cutting all such features, you get amazing control and effortless handling.

Video Reviews of J/99

Talking about motion – there’s nothing like good video footage to showcase the spirit of this vessel.

Let’s start with teaser from the manufacturer, demonstrating how beautiful J/99 can be on the water:

Jules Hall is a professional racer explaining why he chose this boat for his passion:

J/99 Australian Championship - Day 1 footage:

Quick walkthrough of the yacht by BoatTube:

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is one of the best opportunities to push J/99 to its limits:


Will you be able to throw a large party on this boat or invite a dozen friends for a sleepover? Probably not. But it’s not what it’s made for – it is made for the most daring, the most confident and those that are the least impressed by luxurious amenities. Any wind current can be caught and molded into speed with its vast sailing wardrobe and full control right from the helm, any wave will be cut by its hull without any resistance.

J/99 Review

With this model you get exactly what you pay for. No solar panels or multiple galleys, no unneeded furniture or extra storage space – nothing must take away from the optimal weight needed to make the trip thrilling. If you are into value purchases instead of paying premium, this is your boat. After spending some time with this product, we conclude that J/99 truly embodies the spirit of J/Boats' commitment to excellence and innovation in high-speed sailing, offering an exceptional sailing experience without outrageous price tag. Whether it’s a racecourse or a long and dangerous voyage, this boat will deliver.

Where to Buy J/99 at a Bargain Price

Not only you get the best price at topRik marketplace, but also you are entitled to completely free consultation regarding this purchase – without any hidden additional fees or payments. We will take care of:

  • getting you exactly the boat that you need – with all required options and customizations;
  • all the boring documentation, like registration, insurance, custom clearance, warranty etc.;
  • control over the assembly and safe delivery of your boat;
  • any additional equipment you might need, whether it’s a chartplotter, batteries, fenders, medical kits and many more (see full list in “All products” section).

Our skills and services can help you to avoid any headache when it comes to purchasing J/99 and have a specific customized version delivered straight to your berth. To contact us, use the website feedback form, call the phone number above or send a message to [email protected].

J/Boats J/99 Get Price
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