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J/Boats goes electric with Torqeedo pod drive

by Tess Smallridge 28 Jul 2021 06:37 PDT
J9 aerial © Torqeedo

The J/9 daysailer just introduced by the iconic sailboat company J/Boats incorporates many features designed to set new standards for comfortable, easy and efficient sailing. One of them is a Torqeedo electric pod drive, which J/Boats offers as a factory-installed option on the 28-footer.

"In recent years, we have seen growing interest in electric propulsion as a sustainable alternative to diesel inboards or gas outboards," said Jeff Johnstone, President, J/Boats. "Torqeedo's electric outboards have been popular as add-ons to our popular J/70 but this is the first time we've offered the Torqeedo electric pod as a standard propulsion option on new boats."

The electric drive option on the J/9 includes a Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 pod drive with a dual-blade folding prop, powered by a Power 48-5000 lithium-ion battery with a 650W charger that can be plugged directly into dockside shore power. The Torqeedo package also includes a throttle and easy-to-read cockpit display that gives you battery status and projected cruising range at current speed, and a convenient mobile phone app that connects wirelessly to display all the data remotely.

Sustainable sailing

"Electric just makes good sense when it comes to powering a daysailer like the new J/9," said Mary Jo Reinhart, Torqeedo director of OEM and retail sales. "The Torqeedo electric propulsion package is priced slightly lower than the inboard diesel option on the J/9 and is approximately 30 per cent lighter in weight. It's also much simpler to install and maintain, with no fuel tank, no fuel lines or exhaust system. And of course, with electric, there are no fumes, no engine noise on deck and no more expensive visits to the fuel dock."

"After nearly two months of active demo use and trouble-free operations, we found the Torqeedo electric system to be quiet, reliable and easy to manage," said Johnstone. "In calm conditions, the range is 20 miles at 5 knots and about 12 miles at 6 knots. We were pleased to see that even in a very light four-knot breeze, having the mainsail hoisted and trimmed can add several miles to the cruising range."

"With the J/9, we set out to reimagine how to make sailing easier, more relaxing and more inclusive," said Johnstone. "This is a boat you can sail by yourself in just a few minutes or bring along the whole gang with plenty of room to spare. Escaping to the water and enjoying shared family adventure has never been more important, and the J/9 is the perfect platform."

Sailing to success

The story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: With a $20,000 investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod and his brother Bob went into business. That was 1977. Now that boat, the J/24 is the most popular offshore keelboat in the world with over 5,500 built.

Today, there are 15,000+ J/Boats from 22-65' ranging in style from one-designs to racers, cruisers and daysailers, and the ubiquitous J sprit boats - J/Boats' innovation in 1992 for easy-to-use asymmetric spinnakers and retractable carbon bowsprits. J/Boats has been honoured with more than twenty Sailing World/ Cruising World Boat-of-the-Year Awards, the SAIL Award for Industry Leadership; two American Sailboat Hall of Fame Designs; and five WORLD SAILING International One-Design keelboat classes (J/22, J/24, J/70, J/80 and J/111).

Second generation, family managed since 1988, J/Boats is headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island.

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