The first J/121 named “Incognito” was launched at Stanley’s Boat Yard in Barrington, Rhode Island on Monday 8/21/17 at 9:45am. Within 15 minutes the Southern Spars carbon deck- stepped mast was installed, shrouds pinned and the next few hours the rigging systems were assembled. By late afternoon, the design and build team, several suppliers and the new owner and friends, were rewarded with a beautiful first sail on Narragansett Bay.
The J/121 took off with the very first puff once the new carbon North Sails were raised, and even with twice the normal number of crew on-board the boat responded nicely. There is a light touch on the wheel, combined with a big boat feeling of substantial stability and control. Everyone is raving about the uniquely open, secure and comfortable cockpit design on this boat. There are versatile trimming and driving positions and clear/wide paths for crossing the boat during all maneuvers. The twin wheel system with floor-mounted traveler provides open access to the back of the boat and great visibility of headsails from the helm both while sitting and standing. With 13 crew on this maiden voyage one might expect to feel a bit over crowded but that was not the case at all. The J/121 cockpit might just be the most comfortable of any 40 footer and is combined with the best layout for sail handling by just a few at the same time.
This exciting first sail and introduction to the J/121 did hint at her speed potential both upwind and down. After sailing close hauled for a few miles tacking back and forth and tweaking shroud turnbuckles, 3D jib leads and in-haulers, the team was excited to turn the corner and try out the large A2+ asymmetric spinnaker. The spinnaker filled and the boat accelerated quickly and confidently jumping above 10 knots of boatspeed with ease. Stay tuned for more news, photos and details as sea-trials continue.