J Craft 19 - RunningBy Andy Adams

Like the snow in winter and sun in summer, J- Crafts always seem to have been with us. But there has been a recent upsurge in popularity and these boats deserve a closer look.

The J's were a big hit about 15 years ago when they joined the ranks of Rayson Crafts, Mandalas and other California-type ski-boats. With time the others have become just memories, but J-Crafts continue to grow in popularity and there are several good reasons why.

Our Test Bench subject was the Ski School model, so named because it was set up for ski-school use. The boat is a 19 footer with a short foredeck, long interior and rather spartan appointments. It is a specialist’s workboat and looks like it. There was nothing on the test boat that didn't need to be there for ski use except the lettering and side-stripe. That means there was no wasted money spent or charged, and the boat was very well thought out.

Paul Roberts, the CNE's delta kite flyer, had this boat set up for towing, so some of the credit should go to Paul for having it organized as it was, but J-Craft definitely learns and adapts. There will be no specific price given for this boat and motor combination in this test because at the pre-sent time there are still ongoing ing discussions about how it will be marketed this season.

This test boat will not necessarily be like the ones offered for sale. One change will be the seats, which apparently were too soft and comfy for rigorous ski-school use, so shell-type fibreglass buckets are contemplated.

J Craft 19 - Dash LayoutThat's understandable, but too bad because the seats were very plush and really locked you in. But this boat is built to a specific purpose and if the schools want plain seats they get them.

Also, the test boat had no windshield but future ones may because the cool breeze in the boat is not always appreciated by wet skiiers who have to put on a show come rain or shine. However, the new changes affect the Ski School J-Craft, the basic boat will not be altered.

It's a success formula that works and shouldn't be tampered with, and the formula is simple: take one relatively flat-bottomed boat that planes easily and is strong enough to carry any power you want, add heavy braces for the ski-tow pylon and seats, and sell it. That's really about all there is to this boat. There are no swivelling drink-holders, teak appliqués, storage areas, glove boxes or other non-functional bits.

The basic hull is hand-laid fibreglass with end-grain balsa core that’s quite thick, very strong but not heavy. At 825 lbs the J is sturdy, but that's featherweight for a 19-footer. There is no sub-floor, the bottom being quite flat enough to serve that duty, and the deck is bonded into the hull to give one-piece construction that has withstood all manner of foolish stunts and hard work. I’ve heard of J's collecting other boats, docks, rocks, and even coming off the trailer at highway speed and surviv-ing. You won't win any points at the factory for trying this sort of testing, but you can understand why people like this boat. It doesn't let you down even when you deserve it.

The transom is well braced with the bonded deck and despite only having a tiny splash-well, the J-19 is rated for the biggest outboards.

J Craft 19 - SeatingThe hull itself is called a modified V type because, although it is vee’d, it is quite mild and has a maximum of 12° dead rise. A pair of keel fins gives the boat accurate tracking both at high speeds and when pulling a skier, and a tiny, flat-V shape molded into the bottom at the transom throws the prop and cavitation plate into clear water for better performance. The hull looks simple but it truly is the result of years of development.

While on the subject of hull shape I should attempt to correct one misconception about J-Crafts. Although the hull is often described as a flat bottom, it really isn' t. The V is nothing like many of the most recent boat s with 12° to 18° at the transom but this doesn't mean the J-Craft has a rock-crusher ride. On big waves in the ocean or the Great Lakes a J will pound, but on the many smaller lakes and rivers in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Northern Michigan the waves are not as large or rolling. A brisk chop seems to be the norm in the se locations, and here the J’s bottom shape tends to bridge several waves at once, spreading the shock over quite a large area and actually giving a superior ride over many deeper Vs. The very rigid construction
helps too.

For skiing, the hull is great. It planes with almost no effort at all and easily plucks several skiers out of deep water for pyramids and other stunts. At trick speeds the J throws a crisp wake with a well-defined table for turnarounds, step overs and the like. As speed rises, the wake disappears to just a froth ideal for high- speed slalom runs and barefoot. Lastly. the hull shape won't sink as a true deep-V does when speed drops. This boat is easy to plane and hold while slowing to reorganize a lost skier into the pyramid or for changing speeds when teaching.

At the CNE Ski Show the big V6 Johnson deserved a lot of credit. I’m not a big fan of large out-boards but this 175-hp engine is for skiing. With a 15x l9 SST three-blade OMC prop the boat was all pull. At any speed the engine would hold with no loss of revs or speed creep, and it was always ready to fly if you slammed the lever down. There was almost too much torque.

The Johnson would hit 43mph at 5,300 rpm in a wink. It was set up to pull at lower speeds, and my only criticism on performance was that it needed more prop and more speed to be tractable. This is a strange comment I know, but both engine and boat seemed to want to go faster than the 15xl9 prop would allow. The Johnson heaved the whole rig ahead with such force that it ran a somewhat snaking path over the waves and the steering was feeding back all sorts of twisting forces. There was just too much torque for the speeds.

Acceleration was great, as you would expect: 0 to planing speed in only 2.64 seconds; maximum with a piercing scream in 7.36 secs. I seriously doubt that even a couple of skiers would drop those times even marginally, and that' s what a ski-boat is all
about. We weren’t able to run our fuel economy tests on the boat and engine. That type of prop and work wouldn't be very economical, which isn't to say that the rig set up for all around use would be a gas guzzler. It could even do fairly well because it is efficient, but the engine itself is geared and ported for torque. OMC recommends this 175 over the 235 for skiing and heavy cruisers. It’s the workhorse of the OMC line.

Actually, driving the J is quite pleasant. It was about the most responsive rig I’ve driven, handled predictably and in a sure footed manner at all but maximum, and steered and tracked very well. You never have to give the wheel a husky heave-ho because it doesn’t tighten up, and the boat doesn't really need trimming. It’s always about right. Trimming is more important for all out speed than for skiing anyway; a remote water pickup and a transom jack could give incredible speeds if that’s what you're after.

The J-Craft had black polypropylene carpeting throughout the interior, adding little weight but being serviceable and keeping skis and people from getting scratched. There are various seating combina-tions available with various J-Craft models. While the test boat had a single-seat wrap around buck-ets with one front facing and one rear facing, other back to back layouts are offered.

Actually most J’s are custom finished anyways. Things like Paul Roberts centre mounted gear and throttle box for kiting are quite common to the people at J-Craft, as are the pylons, heavy mounting plates and the plastic covered loop over the engine to prevent it from being fouled by tow-lines.

This boat is about as well suited to ski schools as any, but other J-Craft models are equally popular. Many are now being set up with stern drives, or smaller outboards which still work well on the 17 or 19, and yes, you can still get a hairy chested V8 and V-drive if you love inboards.

I’m sorry that prices weren’t out for this test because the J’s are extremely reasonable compared to other boats of this type, but you should be able to get into a ski-school boat for around $8,000 de-pending on your engine choice. With a Johnson 175 the tab might be a bit higher. but we’re talking about a well-built 19-ft sport boat and $8,000 (1979) is a bargain as far as I can see.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting April 1979 issue

Specifications:
Length: 18ft 9in
Beam: 80 in
Weight (hull only): 825 lbs
Engine: Johnson V6, 175hp

Photo Captions:
Photo 1 - J-Crafts were a big hit about 15 years ago and the continue to grow in popularity for many reasons.
Photo 2 - The simple dash layout is ample for the Johnson 175.
Photo 3 - Note throttle mans foot brace; J’s have various seating options.

Destinations

  • Prev
The Moorings has just announced the launch of its newest Caribbean destination, Antigua. 
Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...
Chartering in the Caribbean conjures up images of turquoise sea, palm fringed beaches and great ...
Since anyone who opens an independent bookstore is at least as brave as a small boat shop owner, I ...
You’re on your way east to the 1000 Islands or the Trent-Severn. By entering north of Prince ...
I have lived in Ontario my whole life but have only recently had the pleasure of visiting the City ...
My trip to the Northwest Passage started long before I boarded the flight to Kangerlussaq with ...
During the summer of 2016, my wife and I cruised through the North Channel in Lake Huron on our ...
It’s like we’ve waved a magic wand and disappeared into a picture perfect painting, our ...

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Your boat is tucked away for the winter, but there may still be a few un-invited guests.
In the world of yachting, it is increasingly becoming the case that Canada is no longer the small ...
Ho-ho-ho. Our Photo of the week comes from Sunday’s Santa Parade. Clowning around was Paul ...
This Photo of the Week sequence from Chris Chahley and Kathy Coyle explains the whole boat thing. ...
The off season is suddenly upon us. Yikes! We need your photos more than ever to keep us thinking ...
One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to ...
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
Recently we celebrated our country’s 150th anniversary, and in true form thousands of ...

 

 

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50By: John Armstrong and Andy Adams
Photos: Cruisers Yachts Inc.

Almost a decade ago, Cruisers Yachts Inc., launched an entire line of express cruisers called “Cantius” (named after company owner KC Stock’s grandfather) that began with the 48Cantius then came the 54, the 60 and now the Cantius 50. In the fall of 2017, we will be at the debut of the 42 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale International boat show.

These designs have a strong family resemblance withhandsome and distinctive linesand with a design philosophy that you could say, pioneered the new version of the express cruiser. 

Read more of new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50.....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...
Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...
  There is a good deal of hesitancy and lack of understanding as to whether an iPad can ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Just 10 shopping days to Christmas, so what to get for the boater who has everything? How about a ...
I am fortunate to have the ability to work from just about anywhere. A cellular signal and a Wi-Fi ...
Out here on the West Coast with boats in the water year-round, there is one constant activity and ...
As I sit looking out my window at the snow that is slowly piling up it is easy to be downtrodden by ...
In the last edition of this column we took a close look at iRegatta and the advantages it can bring ...
With all the devastation in the eastern Caribbean a natural question to ask is ‘is our boat in that ...
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...
A milestone has been reached. The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure ...
  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...