My name is Mike, and I purchased hull #209 last month. I'd like to introduce myself and share how I ended up with a J-30, a boat I knew hardly anything about when I made the offer. Hopefully this is the right forum.
My wife, daughter (4 y/o), and I were looking for a cruiser. We've owned power boats in the past, but never a sailboat.
Twice before, we had offers in on other sailboats. They fell through based on what the survey/haulouts exposed. I know the idea of the survey is to catch this stuff, but losing the cost of a survey & haulout twice in a row was a bit painful.
Up to this point we were planning on keeping the boat in San Diego Bay. There's a closer harbor in Oceanside, but it has a wait list of a few years unless you purchase a boat with a transferable slip.
Having the boat closer became more important, so we decided to drive down and have a broker show the few that were available. There were a couple very old and stinky cruisers, and then there was the J-30.
Nothing else there showed as well as the J-30. It's a 1980 model in pretty decent condition. The main thing my wife was hung up on was the head not being closed off to the vberth.
There was a plaque inside featuring its first place win in a past race season. This triggered memories, and a new excitement for this boat.... I learned to sail on a friend's boat in club races in that same harbor 25 years ago. The idea of owning a formidable racer/cruiser excited me, but I didn't think we'd get past the interior concerns.
This would be a pretty significant pivot from the wheel helm cruisers we were previously looking at.
We went through the pros and cons over lunch, and to my surprise, she was onboard. We decided to make an offer. The location played a big part in this "compromise" and we figured if we got her for the right price, we could always get into something else down the line if it wasn't a good fit.
That night I did not sleep. I was reading articles, forum posts, watching race videos.... non stop. I was beginning to become passionate about getting this boat. I was excited to be getting into the other boats that fell through, but this was different... I was getting excited to learn how to sail this boat to its potential. I felt like I'd have an opportunity to learn how to sail in this boat in ways I would not be able to in the others.
I also recognized my offer was too low. The following day I increased my offer and defined conditions to make sure all the extras I expected to stay with the boat were included.
The offer was accepted and the survey was clean. It was funny how excited the surveyor was to sail the boat. He made sure we "tested" the spinaker during the sea trial.
We've only had the boat out a hand full of times, but I am only getting happier with the purchase. My wife feels the same, and my daughter is just elated every moment we are on it, whether we're staying overnight at the dock, or out sailing. She's typically pretty shy, but something about boat life has her chatting it up with anyone around the dock.
My biggest pain point is hoisting and lowering the mainsail solo or shorthanded. I've done it alone with someone else on the boat to see if I could handle it. Going up, it's difficult to keep the (watchamacallits) in the track while pulling the line, and coming down it's difficult to keep it contained. I expect some of this to come with experience.
There's some video of the boat on a YT channel I started here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKesn0b81rQOfgbIyVSP7pQ