The J40 is one of those rare boats that really can provide a racing, cruising and passage-making sailor with few big compromises for a boat of its size. To take the helm, the boat has a great feel that is unusual even in 25+ knots. Will you want to sail for a long day in 2 knots of breeze? Probably not as she is a boat of substance and designed to handle off-shore, or around the world as you can read about on this site. This is our 3rd J/Boat, having owned a J22 and a J30. There is a commonality in design that will "feel" familiar to "J" sailors. It's an important part of why J/Boats have been so popular worldwide. They are just plain fun to sail.
Before we purchased ours, we were in Mamaroneck, NY looking at a couple of other boats. We saw our first J40 and asked if it was for sale. We were told no, but we could take a quick peek below. I spent a few decades on J35s with spartan pipe berths and coffin bunks and had pretty low expectations. We were bowled over by what we saw when we went below! The wide open spaces and inviting homey layout was strikingly luxurious, in stark contrast to the other boats we had been looking at. No surprise the J40 was named Sailing World's 1986 Boat-of-the-Year among US designs. We have taken groups of 15 out, and we find that our guests tend to gather in four spots: the foredeck, mid-boat, cockpit and of course below. There really is enough personal space for people to spread out very comfortably and connect - it feels much larger than 40'. We also find the boat very manageable for the two of us to cruise, and my wife will take her girl-friends out for a "chick-cruise" every now and then on the Chesapeake. We will occasionally pile a bunch of buddies on and do a distance race and have a great time. The J40 can do pretty much anything we ask of her in very able fashion.
Finally, this site is an extension of the significant efforts and personal energy of Ed Huckins, the original owner of J40 #33. Ed is pictured at the helm of Mal de Mer III at the top of this page. He and Cindy Sparks provided years of service, web updates and info to the J40 group and made owning such a great boat much more enjoyable. Hopefully this little site will help you do the same as J40 owners share their experiences and tricks in the spirit of Ed Huckins.