A boat, house, spouse, new job, etc.  – anything worth having has its warts,  and these become apparent with time or use.  And one thing you can say is J40 sailors use their boats, because they do so many things well. So here is a compendium of tips the group has found or provided to lighten the task of readying your J40 for the next adventure.   If you have a new one please submit to the editor at aschreit@aol.com.

Maintenance Flow-chart: (apparent credit to propercourse.blogspot.com   Nov, 2011)

Need a loose nut?  WD-40 (above), PB-Blaster,  Liquid Wrench, Goeey Booey or expensive Kroil? Overheard in a sailing bar recently: Kroil is the best of that bunch, but the cheapest route is supposed to be much better…  50:50 automatic transmission fluid & acetone.  Haven’t tried it yet, but the source is quite reliable – try at your own risk.  A container is the problem as acetone can go through many plastics –  use a windex-type spray or eye dropper.

Nothing better than duct tape yet…

New term:  “Percussive Maintenance”  def: Whack the crap out of it with a hammer.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Send me your J40 project writeups – shoot pictures, even of the party you throw after you finish!

10/29/2020  – EDSON video on Steering Pedestal Maintenance

Edson Pedestal Subsystems Video 2020

5/3/2019 – Larry Romano (Covenant #67) – Leaky Chain Plates

Leaky Chain Plates

1/3/2019 – Brief Article by Larry Romano on some new sails.  We also found the benefits of lightweight composite sails.  I think the paneled tri-radial sails seem to last a little longer and we went the same way on Lark, with a layer of Taffeta for extra durability.

lr_sail plan

9/11/2018 and 12/18/2018  – Bottom Prep and Paint for the J/40 Beer-can Racer, by Larry Romano, #67 Covenant

Bottom Paint_LR

Bottom Paint 2.0LR

7/21/2018 – Edson Idler Plate – Steering System replacement

Edson Steering Idler Plate Replacement

Edson Steering Idler Plate

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

4/20/2018 – Navtec Backstay/Vang Handle pocket replacement  – the pocket splits over time.   Ours lasted 30 years, but plastic has it’s limits.  I had looked for them at Marine stores but I had thought that it was a Perko part, and never found one.  After some amount of research I discovered that it was actually a Navtec product, their part # A021-24-01.  Offshore Spars in Chesterfield, MI had some and I ordered off of their parts website – they were a delight to work with and I received  the part in 2 days.


12/21/2017 – Replacement steps for the J40 Swim Ladder


10/6/2017  – Turning a Deep Keel into a Shoal Keel –  


7/12/2017 Upgraded Interior Dorade Trim rings – the J40 has 6 of these…

Dorade Rings

5-27-2016    NAV Station electrical Panel – Parts still available from BASS, Bristol, CT

Electrical Panel Parts

9000-Series-BASS Products

Stantion Bases – replacement parts  (July 2016)  Stantion Bases

Request from Wes Oliver – 3/28/16

Anyone have experience with a flexible coupling on the drive train? J-40 manual says there is one in the system. Never seen one on my boat. Also, manual says there is a cutlass bearing on the engine end of the drive shaft, looks like inboard of the shaft log. Anyone have any knowledge as to whether that bearing is really there?

Wes – Lark did not have a flex coupling, although I later added one.  No 2nd cutlass bearing on the engine side – just the one at the external strut. I would think two bearings would fight with the engine mounts, where only one near the outboard end of the shaft really doesn’t.  Al

Also from Wes – Another item with sea cocks- my boat has RC sea cocks (Forespar bought RC (NZL) in late ’80’s) I am capping off a no longer used 1 1/2″ sea cock. Heavy use of 5200 on tailpiece threads is making removal of the tailpiece difficult. However, unlike new Forespar Marelon sea cocks, the body of the sea cock is in 2 pieces and the upper piece with the ball valve unscrewed easily. NO 5200 OR OTHER SEALANT. BEWARE. The hose connected to the tailpiece of the sea cock is what secures the sea cock in place!

Cruising World Feb 2017 (updated June 2020) Article on Repoweringhttp://www.cruisingworld.com/repowering-your-engine?src=SOC&dom=fb

Propane System:  j40-propane-system

Plastic Through-Hulls – alert:   Plastic-Through-Hull

Tides Marine Sail Track for the Mainsail 12/2015:  Main Sail Groove Track

Cabin Sole:  2/2015:  Cabin Sole

Fresh Water Pressure Pump 11/2014:  New Battery Charger and Fresh Water System Pump

Cockpit Manual BilgePump Replacement Sept/’13:  Replacing the aft bilge pump

Engine Repower Progress Report from LARK  (8.6.2013): Lark-Yanmar

Brad Reed’s Video/Slideshow on reconfig of house side ports – Nepenthe (#22):   No longer on YouTube – contact Brad.

Holding Tanks: J40Holding Tanks

Aft Anchor Locker and Shower (just pix at this point): Aft Shower Anchor Locker

Repacking the Stuffing Box & Packing Flaxhttp://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/stuffing-box.asp

Halyard Clutch Maintenance/Replacement: J40 Halyard Clutches 2013

Mal de Mer III – Misc. Upgrades

– circa 2000:  J40 Upgrades, by Ed Huckins: J40 By Ed Huckins

– Boat Diesel Site: http://boatdiesel.com//index.cfm?

Engine Experiences: J40_Engines

Engine Repower –  Volvo D2-40: Volvo 2003 to Volvo D240

J40 Original Rigging Guide: J40RigSpecs

J40 Chainplates: Chainplates

Barient Winch Info:  Barient Winch Info

J40 Rudder Bearings:  Rudder Bearings

Bomar Hatches (still available?): http://www.pompanette.com/bomar

J40 Sails & Measurements:  J40_Sails

Tasco Stove Replacement – on Lark #4:   Replacing the J40 Stove

Bottomsider J40 Cockpit Cushions: – (they have the pattern)http://www.bottomsiders.com/

ICOM M802 Info from Ed Huckins: Icom M802 SSB


  1. #1 by John Bonds jr on July 28, 2014 - 1:11 am

    John B.: Has anyone replaced their water Heater? Mine has begun to die, leak, and needs to be replaced.

    Mine (which has Chinese characters on it) is leaking somewhere & part of it has died. Can’t find a bolt-in replacement element or entire unit with the same footprint. Asked the boys at Waterline-no info in their files. Mine is 5 gallon, Almost square, stainless box 12-1/4 x 12-1/4 x 15″, adjacent to the engine, just forward of the icebox in the water pump/accumulator locker. U got anything different or a better idea?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Al: John has hull 21. Lark(#4) has a water heater under the side-facing Nav station. I don’t have any info on the water heaters – other than what is in the big manual that came with the boat(it’s on this site). I’ll circulate the query.

  2. #3 by Christopher Marona on January 20, 2020 - 3:45 pm

    Finally jumped into the spin pole project on #15, Lionheart (formerly China Cloud). After a can of pb blaster, everything on the mast works, as does the pole end. There is a 10 foot 3/16” vinyl covered cable attached to the pole end that has a ring on the far end. Can’t tell if it was originally used as part of the topping lift- it leads fair when the jaws are up. It is much too long to be involved with the down haul. Also, quite confused about the down haul/foreguy.
    The block and tackle doesn’t have nearly enough line reeved through to take the pole back abeam. trop, maybe. Would greatly appreciate any suggestions, photos or ideas to upgrade/simplify pole handling. Thanks!

    • #4 by aschreit on January 21, 2020 - 9:18 am

      Vinyl covered cable – usual setup: fixed attachment to outboard pole end on the up-side. long-ish with a ring. That ring can be clipped to the pole-lift/topping lift. Usually a bungie cable from the ring to the mast-end or a clip on the upside of the pole near the mast end. Variety of ways to do it. Need enough length on the bungie so it doesn’t break when the pole lift is in use and tight. Hlps keep the vinyl-cover cable from wrapping around something bad, like the forestay.

      Foreguy can be single or double ended. SIngle ended can be with or without a block attached to the downward facing bridle on the pole, but most use a block to increase purchase. Double ended uses a two blocks a on the deck (can be on same deck islet) and routes down each side of the cabin house usually terminating at the aft end of the house so that the person tending the pole on the after-guy winch can trim it.

      • #5 by christopher1751 on January 22, 2020 - 6:33 pm

        I greatly appreciate your reply. You’ve confirmed that the pole is standard issue. The vinyl is cracked and nasty, no meathooks in the cable though. I’ll probably replace it with dyneema. The exposed bungie was still there, but turned to powder when touched. I removed it and ran a messenger in its place.

        The foreguy is more puzzling. There’s nothing on the pole and nothing on the boat that suggests it had been used as one. The beefy 4:1 block & tackle with a camcleat is the only thing that seems to belong.

        Was the bridle fitted like an end for end? Or, was it something more appropriate to holding down just the pole end?

        Thanks again for the help. Chris – #15, Lionheart

      • #6 by aschreit on January 22, 2020 - 10:29 pm

        End for end isn’t viable on the J40. Dip pole setup. Usually a bridle on the non-jaw side of the pole with a ring in the middle. a clip is used to attach a block that the foreguy runs thru to that ring.

      • #7 by christopher1751 on January 24, 2020 - 5:45 pm

        Thanks for your reply. Apologies for the confusion my last message created. It is clear that the J40 is a dip pole jibe. I brought up the end for end only to serve as a reference to understand how the foreguy is rigged.
        Thanks again, have a great weekend. Chris – #15, Lionheart

      • #8 by aschreit on January 24, 2020 - 7:46 pm

        No problem. I’ve seen the foreguy attached at the outboard pole-end and also on a mid-pole ring as part of a bridle. You can change out headsails more cleanly if you have the foreguy coming down mid-pole than if it is up by the headstay. Just less crap in a confined area to get tangled up. Personal preference though. Have a fine weekend yourself Chris.

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