Please select your home edition
Edition
GAC Pindar Freight

The J Composites’ signature

by Tanguy Blondel on 12 May 2014
Jean-Marc Fontenot J Composites
The J Composites’ signature - Based in Les Sables d’Olonne, since 1994 the J Composites yard has been adapting and building the J Boats designed by the American Johnstone family. Completely independent and managed by Didier Le Moal, this company in the Vendée-region has, over the years, become a reference in terms of sailboats that are easy to sail and high performance for both cruising and racing. But what is J Composites’ recipe for success? We get the low-down from Jean-Marc Fontenot, head of production within the company…


1) How are the Js built in Olonne-sur-Mer?
Our sailboats are built using the resin infusion method. We have been experts in this particular technique since our creation. After adding a gel coat to the hull mould, which incorporates gel coat waterline strips, we lay the material over the whole mould. We then lay more directional material this time (dry lay-up) and foam (sandwich core), before finishing off with the internal layer. After that we infuse with a special resin using a bag spread over the mould. The resin migrates through the lay-up materials thanks to the vacuum. This technique enables increased stiffness, resistance and a consistent, guaranteed weight, which is important when you’re manufacturing one-designs.

2) The ballast, namely the keel, is also one of the yard’s specificities.
On each of our sailboats, all of which are fast, our focus is on reducing the centre of gravity as much as possible. For the J122E and the J111, our ballast is a mixture of cast iron and lead. On the smallest boats, it’s a mixture of stainless steel and lead. We attach a great deal of importance to the finish and matching of each craft. It is within this context that the ballast tanks are finished off as moulded composite shells or using a special resin infusion as a complete moulded unit.

3) Can you describe J’s different production phases, from the hull to the finish, to the joinery?
Initially, we commence with the ‘composite’ element of the hull, the deck, the bulkheads and the adjacent components. We’re talking infusion. We continue to use this technique, albeit rare, for the hull floor and the floor frames. The latter are infused at the same time as the hull. Secondly, we focus on the hull outlets such as the engine seacocks. Then we proceed with installing the engine and the implementation of the main joinery elements. Running concurrently to this process, we make advances with the deck whilst continuing to work on the deck hardware, the plumbing and the electrics. Finally, we assemble the hull, with reinforced lamination around the bulkheads. The final phase is the finishing off. We spend a great deal of time on it. It’s one of our trademarks.


4) J Composites has its own style. When you receive a Johnstone design, how do you adapt it to your European and even your Asian clientele?
For one-designs like the J70 or the J111, we don’t add anything to the design put forward by J Boats in the United States. However, on other craft like the J97, we rework numerous details, even though elementally the boats remain the same. Meantime the J122E is a boat that has been totally adapted by J Composites.

5) The deck layout is also an area that has been highly studied at your yard. How do you go about working it out?
We pay a great deal of attention to the elements that we don’t manufacture in-house. This is true for the deck hardware, which has to be faultless. We also attach considerable importance to the evolution of certain points so as to provide high performance sailboats. This is the case for elements like the jib furler, the top-quality pulley systems proposed and obviously the rigging.

6) Finally, how would you define a J Composites yacht?
Sailboats from J Composites are boats designed to sail in all weathers and all kinds of conditions for long periods. J Composites is synonymous with reliable, solid, high performance boats, which are of course comfortable.

GAC PindarBIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Guy Nowell - Blue 660

Related Articles

Collinson FX Market Commentary - July 29 - Italy sweats on stress test
This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060 The JPY remains firm, trading around 105.25, in preparation. Commodity demand was slack on the energy and agricultural front, while metals eked out some gains. This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060, while the AUD continued to toy with the 0.7500 mark.
Posted today at 1:52 am
Collinson FX Market Commentary - July 29 - Italy sweats on stress test
This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060 The JPY remains firm, trading around 105.25, in preparation. Commodity demand was slack on the energy and agricultural front, while metals eked out some gains. This took the shine off the recent rally in the NZD which slipped back to 0.7060, while the AUD continued to toy with the 0.7500 mark.
Posted today at 1:52 am
New Mercury 9.9hp outboard the lightest in class - with electric start
New model is not only easier to lift and carry than competitive products, its compact design means it’s simple to handle Weighing in from just 26kg (57lbs), the new 169cc model is not only easier to lift and carry than competitive products, its compact design means it’s simple to handle.
Posted on 29 Jul
Weego announces new jump starter perfect for marine market
Weego, innovator of portable jump starters and rechargeable battery packs, announced the launch of Weego Jump Starter 44 Weego, innovator of portable jump starters and rechargeable battery packs, today announced the launch of Weego Jump Starter 44 – an all-new portable jump starter that redefines the industry with unique technological features never seen before in the market.
Posted on 29 Jul
Ainslie's America's Cup challenge boosted
The lifejackets Ainslie's crew are wearing during their pursuit of the trophy, have been put through rigorous testing. In an unprecedented move in sailing, the lifejackets Ainslie's Land Rover BAR crew are wearing during their pursuit of the sport's most prestigious trophy, have been put through rigorous wind tunnel testing.
Posted on 29 Jul
Bali attracts early interest
Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. At first, the 2017 race and rally retains its traditional route to Benoa but from there it offers greater attractions than ever with the inclusion of an extension to the Javanese port of Banyuwangi and an organised “Spice Islands Rally”, a one-week circumnavigation of the island of Bali.
Posted on 29 Jul
Bali attracts early interest
Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. Interest in the 2017 Bali adventure, even at this early stage, is encouraging. At first, the 2017 race and rally retains its traditional route to Benoa but from there it offers greater attractions than ever with the inclusion of an extension to the Javanese port of Banyuwangi and an organised “Spice Islands Rally”, a one-week circumnavigation of the island of Bali.
Posted on 29 Jul
FUSION® releases powerful remote controller
FUSION® announced the release of wired remote controller for compatible FUSION marine entertainment systems – MS-NRX300. FUSION®, a worldwide leader in lifestyle entertainment, announced today the release of a new feature-packed wired remote controller for compatible FUSION marine entertainment systems – the MS-NRX300. The new NMEA 2000 certified wired remote is an out-of-the-box solution that adds localized entertainment control to any vessel.
Posted on 29 Jul
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show grows Thai boating market
Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show the one and only boating and lifestyle showcase in the Gulf of Thailand. Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show returns for a fifth year with the largest display of boats and lifestyle products yet. Held from 24 – 27 November 2016 at Ocean Marina in Pattaya, Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show has been a catalyst for the Gulf of Thailand's marine industry promoting the onshore facilities and offshore cruising grounds worldwide.
Posted on 29 Jul
2016 Hamilton Island Race Week - Best accommodation deals
Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2016? Have you booked your accommodation for Hamilton Island Race Week 2016? Due to some last minute cancellations we still have some great properties available!
Posted on 28 Jul