Check your rudder gudgeons

A typical J24 gudgeon break - check yours

Spring isn’t that far away and the summer season will be hot on it’s heels. If you haven’t had a close look at your boat during winter, then now is the time to check it over. In particular your rudder gudgeons, these little fittings out the back end are often overlooked, being outside the normal sphere of vision. They should be checked for cracking, especially the bottom one around the forward hole as a broken gudgeon could really ruin your day. I believe that Ronstan don’t make or carry these fittings any more and if you need new ones then suitable fittings are available from Schaefer in the USA through Sparloft in NZ. John from Sparloft tells me that these fittings also need  some strengthening, he also offers a custom made unit that will fit the existing Ronstan fitting hole positioning. Cost for either unit (Schaefer without any extra strengthening) is approx $200NZ for one fitting or $380NZ for a pair – plus postage.

So now is the time to check as you won’t get these overnight. Happy sailing.

2010 World Championships in Sweden

The 2010 World Championships in Malmo, Sweden are about to start. Australian has two crews representing us, both from Sandringham YC in Melbourne. They are Hugo Ottaway (Vice Versa) and Robyn Coombs (Hyperactive – skippered by Kirsty Harris).

You can follow their progress and the whole regatta by using this link

J24s Show The Bigger Boats In MHYC Division 2 How It's Done!!!

The Winter Series at Middle Harbour Yacht Club only had one J24 entered this year – Brett Hudson’s Wildfire skippered by Grant Dawkins, plus Kaotic as a casual entry – and boy, did they show the bigger yachts how it’s done!! 

Over  10 races, Wildfire produced 3 wins and 2 thirds (lovely Henri Lloyd jackets for all the crew!!), taking them to an overall series win against the bigger boats!  The real competition came from Kaotic – who raced as a casual entry in 3 races….Skippered by the legendary Janette Symes – of course they won whenever they were out… – and with a whopping 17 minute lead in the last race, and with the owner not on board too!..Arthur will have to lift his game if he wants his spot back!!!!

Special mention must go to one race that Kaotic got disqualified in though– if after 20 years, Arthur chooses to sail through the Bomborra, he can expect to be yelled at by Paula as Wildfire were always watching their every move…Maybe he got so carried away with Janette’s helming skills that running aground didn’t worry him!!! 

A generally light wind series allowed the Js to pull away from the big boats…lets hope more J24s decide to enter next winter and really show the fleet how its done!!

New mast shipping opportunity

Need a new mast?

Sparloft in NZ have let me know that they are shipping an Etchell mast to Oz in the near future and this could provide an opportunity to save at least 50% on shipping costs if you want to have a new mast built. Let me know on 0413 870 046 if you want to take advantage of this opportunity.

Best Crew Practices

Janette Syme, sister and competitor to brother Ron Thomson on  “Kicking Bottom”, is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with, sailing and training with Arthur Crothers (probably one of the best sailors and teachers in the business). She is one of a small group of lady skippers that are making a real difference in the class. And giving the guys a run for their money.

Janette has found a very good article on Sailing World about best crew practices.

Click here to read it.   Sailing World

A Strange Paradox

In a world that is constantly changing and becoming more expensive, one keelboat class offers you the opportunity to cruise and race for under $20,000.

A class that offers fleets all over Australia and an international fleet of over 5,500 boats.

You guessed it – the J24. And it’s making a big come back as people realise the unique potential of this little boat.

24 ft with a main, jib, genoa and kite, five crew, 4 bunks and an icebox. 24 ft of competitive excitement. And they are everywhere and compared to Etchells, Sportsboats and other similar sized keel boats – they’re as cheap as hell.

Some call it old – it is, same age as the Etchell.

Some call it slow – it isn’t, Div 3 of this years Spinnaker Cruising (Racing class) at Geelong Audi Week (the biggest class available), 56 boats and J24s gained 3 First places and a Second over the line in the 4 races held, even though it was the smallest boat in the fleet (beating boats 12ft longer over the line). It isn’t a sports boat speedboat, but it is a one design that doesn’t get out designed and out dated.

Some do call it outdated – it isn’t in fact, in a handicap or measurement class it rates so well they hate us entering – we tend to win. We still put 90 odd boats on the start line at most world champs.

So what other one design keelboat is there for under $20,000 with all these benefits you can get into and race competitively (or cruise), in a fleet around Australia?

You’re right – there isn’t another one.

Some people call it all sorts of names…… But we call it the J24

We’re putting stars into …. reasonably priced … boats !

Doug MacGregor, a new skipper competes at the Nationals in Melboure 2010