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J Boats
1977-
www.jboats.com

The story begins in 1975. Rod, then an ad salesman for the sailing trade magazine, Soundings, and an active one-design sailor decided to build a sailboat he had been designing since completing a Westlawn School of Yacht Design correspondence course in the 60's. With $400-worth of fiberglass and wood, some rigging and hardware left over from a Soling of Bob's, he built the 24' x 9' wide RAGTIME on weekends in his garage at his home in Stonington, Connecticut. During the summer of 1976, with an all family crew aboard, RAGTIME beat everything in sight. Rod realized he had created something special.

Enter Everett Pearson, co-founder of Pearson Yachts, and owner of TPI Composites, Inc.. He was quite taken with Rod's design and agreed to produce the boat on spec in return for the U.S. building rights. Display ads in Soundings got the word out. That winter they set up a makeshift factory in an old textile mill in nearby Fall River, MA.

Enter the marketing experience of brother Bob, a vice president of marketing at AMF/Alcort (the makers of Sunfish sailboats at the time). He saw the potential in the boat Rod had designed. From 1975 to 1977, Bob had helped to take Alcort from the red into the black, and then began trying to convince AMF to start producing a boat similar to the J/24. But, he says, in spite of overwhelming market research results showing 50% purchase intent in a boat like the J/24 , AMF really didn't care anything about gaining share of market or investing any more in sailing. In 1977, Bob left AMF and threw in his lot with J/Boats.

With Rod contributing the design and his prototype 'Ragtime' and Bob investing $20,000 to cover start-up costs, office space, and advertising, their 50-50 partnership was launched. Expecting to sell 250 J/24s that first year, they sold 750.

The next generation of Johnstones now mans the helm, while founders Rod and Bob continue to contribute in the areas of their strength, design and marketing. By 1992, Rod's sons Jeff (president) & Alan (vice-president) and nephew Jim (sales director) were managing company operations & sales from J/Boats Headquarters in Newport, RI. with five of Bob & Rod's sons (Jeff, Alan, Stu, Drake and Phil) on J/Boats, Inc. Board of Directors.

More than 9000 J-Boats have been built.

J/Boats, Inc.
557 Thames Street
Newport, RI 02840
401.846.8410
www.jboats.com

SORT BY LOA
SORT BY CLASS/BOAT NAME
BY THIS BUILDER:
(Dates indicate when a boat was first built by ANY Builder)
NAME/TYPE       LOA First Built
English / Metric
J/24 24.00' / 7.32m 1977
J/30 29.83' / 9.09m 1979
J/36 35.95' / 10.96m 1981
J/29 FR 29.50' / 8.99m 1982
J/29 MH 29.50' / 8.99m 1982
J/22 22.50' / 6.86m 1983
J/35 35.50' / 10.82m 1983
J/27 27.50' / 8.38m 1983
J/41 40.83' / 12.44m 1984
J/34 34.00' / 10.36m 1985
J/40 40.00' / 12.19m 1985
J/34 C 34.50' / 10.52m 1986
J/28 28.50' / 8.69m 1986
J/37 37.42' / 11.41m 1987
J/33 33.42' / 10.19m 1988
J/37C 37.50' / 11.43m 1989
J/35C 35.20' / 10.73m 1989
J/39 39.42' / 12.02m 1989
J/44 44.92' / 13.69m 1989
J/80 26.25' / 8.00m 1992
J/92 30.00' / 9.14m 1992
J/130 42.70' / 13.01m 1994
J/110 36.00' / 10.97m 1995
J/105 34.50' / 10.52m 1995
J/46 46.00' / 14.02m 1995
J/160 52.70' / 16.06m 1996
J/32 32.40' / 9.88m 1996
J/125 41.00' / 12.50m 1997
J/90 30.20' / 9.20m 1997
J/120 40.00' / 12.19m 1999
J/42 42.00' / 12.80m 1999
J/145 48.10' / 14.66m 2002
J/109 35.25' / 10.74m 2004
J/92S 30.00' / 9.14m 2005
J/100 32.80' / 10.00m 2005
J/133 43.00' / 13.11m 2006
J/124 40.70' / 12.41m 2007
J/122 40.00' / 12.19m 2008
J/65 64.50' / 19.66m 2008
J/97 31.53' / 9.61m 2008
J/95 31.20' / 9.51m 2009
J/111 36.42' / 11.10m 2010
J/70 22.74' / 6.93m 2012
J/108 35.00' / 10.67m 2012
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