It’s been a fun few weeks trolling the interwebs for information on the very first J/99 off the production line and on display at boat shows in both Paris and Germany. Success ended up coming in the form of two videos — one in French and one in German.
(I know, right? Most of a year of waiting and the first looks are in a foreign language… sigh.)
I managed to find a French translator online, who quickly generated a transcript for me.
We are live and as you can see we are on the J99 which is presented as a world ‘premiere’ at the Boat Show, Porte de Versailles and we are going to meet, Fred Bouvier, Commercial Director of the brand for J/Composites.
Hello Fred, well please tell us about the J99, which is on show for the first time live at the Boat Show in Paris. This is the new products of J/Composite workshops.
Yes, quite right this is our newest product, an ‘avant premiere’ presented in Paris, a yacht which has great potential for the French market. It was important for us to be here. It’s especially a yacht with quite a few developments compared to our existing range.
Yes, indeed, what are then these developments?
The yacht is going to integrate into the ‘Sport’ range. That’s to say it’s a yacht which has been designed primarily for its performance however not wanting to limit it to one category as can be the case for other models, but to offer different versions which can correspond to various types of use.
With a reduced crew?
These are the two important points in the developments typical to this yacht, an orientation to a reduced crew, an orientation to a wider range of distances. These choices have affected the design of the hull, the interior plan, the fittings, the cockpit…
Yes indeed, Fred, the hull, the stern of the yacht is a little bit larger than the other ‘Js’.
Yes, from the moment when we decided on what we wanted to evolve the design, from last year’s season and the J112 where we won everything, the European championship and the Round the world, equipment wise it gave us a good starting point to reflect from. So we wanted to have a little more volume and width to get more hull stability so that when we are in reduced crew mode with little backup, so the strength of the J is a high strength of ballast. A very versatile yacht.
You’re in a steady progression of continuity concerning the interiors for the elegance range of the workshop.
Yes we are in the progressing, we have developed our interiors not forgetting that we are in the interior of the “Sport” range, so we have a real need to respect the weight specification, it’s important for its manoeuvrability, relatively light, but we also wanted to be able to supply a reasonable level of comfort. On all the comfort fittings we have gone for a good level of finish and at the same time making it as light as possible.
So we find all the ingredients of a yacht which is quick on the water but also what is not always easy to find at the same time, a good balance of comfort on the water?
Yes that’s always the problem, to find a compromise of comfort versus performance. Here the last word has to be performance but we need to be able to offer an interior where we can imagine going for a little weekend cruise with the family. So at the end of a regatta you could also go for that weekend cruise with the family and in order to do this you would need the double sleeping space at the back with also enough space for storage.
So that means that for the “Sport” category you count the future customers of the J/99, is that what it’s for? Is it to go out for a weekend with your partner or in reduced crew mode but it is also for Regatta?
Yes, it’s also for Regatta of course, but not just for that. We have quite a wide market potential. We have orders from all over the world and for diverse number of uses. We have customers who need firstly good performance, which of course means Regatta. The yacht has to perform in different categories/ratings. IRC and ORC… This was part of the specification but as we mentioned before we also wanted to be able to provide a reasonable amount of comfort.
By this point, I’d been drooling over this J for months based only on computer mockups. Listening to the interview and finally seeing video of an actual hull was (OK, I’ll go ahead and say it) a bit magical.
Pretty nice Christmas present, eh?