The J-class yachts were originally designed to race for the Americas Cup between 1930 and 1937. Their revival in recent years was initially driven by the acceptance of aluminium as a hull material, which in itself created an incredible new level of interest in these fabulous America’s Cup Yachts of the 1930s. The close and competitive racing and well-crafted handicap system, together with exciting fleet starts, have attracted owners that enjoy competitive and fair racing combined with great cruising and charter options.
Hoek Design has been involved in a string of projects as part of the J-class revival. The first was Lionheart, which was based on an original lines plan by Starling Burgers and Sparkman & Stephens. The original design is one of the lines plans originally drawn for the Ranger project and never built. J8 is the second J-class under construction and J11 the third, with various others in development at our office.
We developed a Velocity Prediction Programme (VPP) geared specifically to J-class yachts and additionally calibrated using tank test data and wind tunnel data for J-class yachts. This sophisticated VPP software allowed us to analyse all existing yachts as well as all possible models that can be built according to the present J-class Association rules.
The test designs which resulted from this research were also tested with computational fluid dynamics software, a study normally only carried out for America’s Cup and other high-profile racing yachts. This research gave us great insight into the qualities of these yachts, as well as into performance under the new handicap rules by the J-class Association.
The new deck and interior layouts we have developed have given the new Js a multipurpose use for both cruising and racing.