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J/109 Class Rules

Communicating with J/109 Class Measurer for Rules interpretation: The J/109 Class has established a means to communicate with the Class Measurer for any class rules questions or interpretations. This is done by posting your question or comments in the J/109 forum Class Rules Discussion. The Class Measurer receives automatic notification for all postings in that forum and all responses are provided there. Discussions and Class Measurer interpretations for Class Rules are posted on the J/109 forum Class Rules Discussion section. Technical Committee members are identified on the J/109 Class Officers page.

As amended by the Voting Members, effective June 1, 2021 – Previous revisions available at this link

Download Link for Printing J/109 Class Rules

These J/109 Class Rules are adopted by the J/109 Class Association and are effective upon adoption. These Rules may be changed or amended in accordance with section 7 of the J/109 Class Association Constitution.

These Rules apply to Class and Fleet sponsored events.

1.0 Administration

1.1 The J/109® Class Association through its Executive Board shall be the sole authority for managing and conducting J/109 Class affairs and for applying and enforcing these Rules. Local fleets shall have delegated authority to apply and enforce these rules for fleet events and for local events within fleets.

1.2 J/109’s which comply with these Rules shall be built only by builders licensed by J/Boats, Inc. and shall comply with specifications determined by J/Boats, Inc. Repairs and modifications shall be made in accordance with J/Boats, Inc. specifications.

1.3 No boat shall be deemed to be a J/109 Class boat unless it is completed with a hull identification number assigned by a builder authorized by J/Boats, Inc. and molded into the transom and until the boat is equipped to qualify for J/109 one design Class racing.

1.4 Molded fiberglass parts, spars, rudders, keels, engines, and props shall be supplied by J/Boats, Inc. or its authorized vendors. Major repairs and modifications shall be made in a manner approved by J/Boats, Inc. or by an authorized J/Boats, Inc. builder.

1.5 Unless otherwise prescribed in the Notice of Race, advertising on boats entered in J/109 Class and fleet sponsored events shall comply with Word Sailing Regulation 20 (or any successor regulation). No advertising is permitted other than allowed by Section 20.3.1, 20.4 and 20.7.

2.0 Membership and Eligibility

2.1 The terms, Voting Members and Associate Members shall be as defined in section 3 of the J/109 Class Association Constitution.

2.2 The Driver for in-shore racing shall be the person who drives the boat from five minutes before the start until the finish, but for momentary absences for personal or shipboard needs. The Driver shall be a Voting Member or an Associate Member. A Driver who is not a 100% owner of the J/109 shall be a Group 1 competitor as defined in the World Sailing Regulation 22 (or any successor regulation) ISAF Competitor Classification system.

2.3 The default classification for any sailing industry related crew member, other than a 100% owner, who does not have a formal World Sailing Regulation 22 (or any successor regulation) ISAF competitor classification shall be ISAF Group 3. Not more than one Group 3 competitor, other than a 100% owner, shall be permitted to race on a J/109, unless otherwise prescribed by the Executive Board in the Notice of Race at least 30 days prior to the event.

2.4 No crew member may be paid or compensated in any way for racing in a J/109 sanctioned event. However, a crew member may accept reimbursement for reasonable out of pocket expenses, transportation, living accommodations, and meals necessary for participation in an event.

2.5 A J/109 may be chartered for J/109 sanctioned events. The charterer must be a Voting Member or an Associate Member who is an owner of a J/109.

3.0 Measurement

3.1 Neither the Chief Measurer nor an assistant measurer shall measure a J/109 in which he or she is an interested party.

3.2 The captain and owner are responsible for assuring that a J/109 participating in a J/109 class or fleet sanctioned event complies with these Rules.

3.3 By participating in a J/109 sanctioned event, Voting Members, owners, and captains agree to permit J/Boats, J/109 Class officers, measurers, and the Race Committee or their representatives to board their boats unaccompanied for purposes of inspection, measurement, or compliance at any time during an event or within 24 hours before or after the event.

3.4 A measurement determination by the Chief Measurer or an assistant measurer shall be determinative.

3.5 A technical decision or determination by the Technical Committee which applies to these Rules shall be determinative.

4.0 Equipment Rules

4.1 Standard factory supplied equipment, including, but not limited to, railings, stanchions, and furnishings, except as listed in section 4.3, shall be maintained and will not be removed, relocated, or altered when racing.

4.2 Safety equipment shall be on board, shall be used, and shall at least conform to World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Appendix B, provided that personal floatation devices meeting USCG Type II requirements shall be sufficient. See Each J/109 participating in a Class or fleet sponsored event shall comply also with additional safety requirements of the Race Committee as set out in the Notice of Race and sailing instructions.

4.3 The following are permitted while racing:

4.3.1 tactical / navigation / communication instrumentation

4.3.2. Interior cruising and day sailing amenities that do not enhance performance

4.3.3 Foredeck lifeline netting, shroud and lifeline rollers, and other anti-chafing gear

4.3.4 Installed but unused genoa tracks

4.3.5 U-bolts or pad eyes outboard of the track for barber hauling the jib or affixing blocks to stanchion bases for the same purpose

4.3.6 Spinnaker sheet twings led to stanchion bases or midship pad eyes, with additional cam cleats

4.3.7 The Jib may be in hauled forward of the mast with the lazy sheet or behind the mast in a horizontal manner with a control line system

4.3.8 Block and tackle Cunningham

4.3.9 Re-leading the single ended outhaul and/or boom vang to the cockpit

4.3.10 Foot braces, hand holds, non skid surfaces, and lifeline cushions

4.3.11 Use of a shackle or similar device to attach headsail sheets to sails and to attach the tack line to the spinnaker

4.3.12 Removal of the dodger, forward cabin cushions, forward bulkhead door, and stern box

4.3.13 Adaptations (as defined in World Sailing IFDS Race Management Manual 2017-2020 or any successor regulation) permitted by World Sailing International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) also known as “Para World Sailing Race Management Manual” for use by a sailor possessing a current classification number under the IFDS Functional Classification System, provided (a) such adaptations are used only by the disabled sailor, and (b) meet the conditions set forth in Section 5 of the Para World Sailing Race Management Manual 2017-2020.

4.3.14 Substitution of blocks, cleats, and clutches provided by non-standard equipment manufacturers, provided that the replacement parts are of similar size, weight, and power ratio and perform the same function.

4.3.15 Substitution of high-modulus polyethylene fiber (e.g., Dyneema™ or Spectra™) lifelines for steel wire, subject to the requirements of Rule 3.14.6 of the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (or any successor regulation).

4.3.16 A Bob Stay using high –modulus polyethylene fiber (e.g., Dyneema™ or Spectra™) secured in the bow above the waterline and on the Bow Sprit, provided that a Bob Stay may not be used while racing under J/109 one design rules unless specifically permitted by the sailing instructions for the event, or the local Fleet Captain has issued instructions that Bob Stays are allowed for events sanctioned by the local Fleet. Local Fleet Captain instructions do not apply to Class sanctioned events.

4.3.17 The maximum power ratio of the jib lead adjusters permitted is 8:1. This can be done by adding sheaves to existing tackle or, adding a 2:1 cascade to the existing 4:1 tackle. The jib lead adjustment line must use the existing cheek block and jib lead cleat on the same side as the jib car it adjusts.

4.4 The following are not permitted while racing in inshore buoy races:

4.4.1 Halyard locks or hooks

4.4.2 Holes or tubes which lead lines or halyards through the deck, hull or transom other than the sprit control line

4.4.3 Altering the hull or rudder or keel profiles or exceeding tolerances in officially determined offsets

4.4.4 Specialty light air sheets which cannot be used in heavy air

4.4.5 Altering the mast, boom, or bowsprit, other than:

a) opening the sail slot to raise the cutaway to a maximum length of 12 inches (305 mm) and relocating the gate, for the purpose of making it easier to bend on the mainsail

b) installing a track for a storm trysail, not to be used during Class events.

4.4.6 Adjusting the location of the mast butt or the standing rigging, other than the backstay

4.5 A Voting Member may request a written determination from the Technical Committee concerning the compliance of any proposed alteration or upgrade with these Rules. All such determinations shall be posted on the Class website.

5.0 Sails

5.1 Each sail purchased for use in J/109 Class sanctioned events shall comply with the Class Rules in effect on the date of delivery. New sails delivered on or after September 1, 2006 shall have a J/109 sail tag affixed and sewn at the tack. Sail tags shall be sold to sail makers by the J/109 Class Association and shall have serial numbers which are registered with the Class secretary. By affixing a sail tag, the sailmaker certifies that the sail meets the then effective sail material, weight, and measurement requirements of these Rules. Fees for purchase of sail tags shall be determined by the Executive Committee. The sailmaker shall:

a) sign a certificate, including the sail tag serial number, a statement that the sail conforms to class rules, and the date of delivery to the owner;

b) provide a copy of the certificate to the owner

c) provide the original to the Class Treasurer for registration in the Class Association database. Owners should confirm prior to a Class event that each sail they plan to use has been properly registered.

5.2 All sail measurements shall be made by certified measurers and in accordance with the current World Sailing Equipment Rules of Sailing (“ERS”). In this section, terms in BOLD are used as defined and used in ERS.

5.3 Sails carried on board and used for J/109 Class or fleet sanctioned events for inshore buoy racing shall be limited to five sails: one Class mainsail, two Class jibs, and two Class spinnakers. Each Class sail shall comply without exception with the provisions of these Rules. A jib or spinnaker may be changed for the other declared sail at any time during the event, at the discretion of the captain.

5.4 The Class mainsail may be manufactured of woven and laminated materials [delete IMS reference], including polyester, aramid, and carbon fibers having a bag weight (without battens) of not less than 31.96 pounds / 14.5 kilos. Dimensions shall not exceed: luff length – 13180mm; foot length – 4720mm; half width – 3068mm; three-quarter width – 1794mm; top width-189mm. The class mainsail may have up to five battens of any length and arranged so that the center of the batten pockets shall divide the leech of the sail into equal parts with a tolerance of +/-80mm.

The tack ring of the Class mainsail shall be affixed in the standard tack fitting, and the clew shall not be allow to float free from the boom. The foot may be otherwise loose. At least one serviceable row of reef points shall be installed approximately parallel to the foot with the tack point and the center of the reef points in the luff to be no closer than 1830mm to the boom. The Class mainsail may be attached to the mast with slide, luff cars, or bolt rope.

The Class insignia in blue (or white on carbon) with overall dimensions of approximately 450x900mm shall be affixed on both sides of the Class mainsail with the bars nearly perpendicular to a line between the head and center of the boom and between the upper two batten pockets. Windows are permitted.

5.5 The Class jib may be manufactured of woven and laminated materials approved by IMS, having a bag weight (without battens) of not less than 24.8 pounds / 11.25 kilos.

Dimensions shall not exceed: luff perpendicular – 4250mm (105% LP); luff length – 13840mm. The leech shall be fair and concave (half-width shall not exceed 50% of the foot length and three-quarter width shall not exceed 25% of foot length). For all sails delivered on and after September 1, 2006, the dimensions of the jib shall not exceed luff perpendicular – 4250mm (105%LP); luff length – 13890mm; half-width – 2125mm; and three-quarter width – 1063mm.

Up to four battens of any length are permitted on the leech, provided they do not restrict rolling the jib on the furler. Windows are permitted.

The jib shall be attached to and operated on the standard roller furling system using #6 luff tape. UV protective tape may be applied to the leech and foot to cover the sail when furled.

5.6 The class asymmetric spinnaker shall be manufactured from woven nylon with a minimum nominal weight of not less than 40grams per square meter. The area of the sail (“SA”) shall not exceed 108 square meters, based on the formula: SA=(luff length + leech length) *.25 foot length + (half width -.5 foot length) *(leech length + luff length)/3.
Adjustable leech, luff, and foot lines shall be fitted to the Asymmetric spinnaker.

5.7 For J/109 Class or fleet sanctioned one design racing, purchases shall not exceed (a) two mainsails, jibs, and spinnakers in the first year of ownership (b) plus one mainsail, one jib, and one spinnaker during any subsequent calendar year. Notwithstanding any other limitation in this section, the Executive Board or the Chief Measurer may permit replacement of any sail which has been damaged beyond reasonable repair.

5.8 For J/109 Class sanctioned events hosted by Fleet #11 (Great Lakes & Lake Champlain) during the 2021 calendar year, including the 2021 North American Championship and any event advertised as a ‘pre-NAs,’ ‘tune-up’ or similar, the following applies to spinnakers:

(a) The asymmetric spinnaker shall be manufactured from woven nylon with a minimum nominal weight of not less than 40 grams per square meter. The area of the asymmetric spinnaker (“SA”) shall not exceed 120 square meters, based on the formula: SA=(luff length + leech length) *.25 foot length + (half width -.5 foot length) *(leech length + luff length)/3. Adjustable leech, luff, and foot lines shall be fitted to the asymmetric spinnaker.

(b) All asymmetric spinnakers declared for use during the events must be measured for compliance with 5.8(a) and issued a J/109 sail tag. Sailmakers are responsible for obtaining sail tags, conducting measurement, and submitting measurement data in accordance with Rule 5.1.

(c) All asymmetric spinnakers shall be listed in the J/109 sail tag database and the notes field will distinguish sails used under this Rule by stating the actual measured area in the following format: “Oversized Spinnaker Area xxx.xx square meters.” This rule shall expire on December 31, 2021 and be automatically deleted from the J/109 Class Rules as of that date. The expiration of this rule shall not cause the sail tag or accompanying notes to be deleted from the database.

6.0 Additional Class Racing Provisions

6.1 For J/109 Class or fleet sanctioned events, the crew of each boat shall be limited to the driver plus six crew members. To encourage participation, including junior sailors, a seventh “lightweight person” may be added without penalty, provided that person’s weight does not exceed 60 kilos (132 lbs.).

6.2 By vote of the Executive Board, a Championship event may be designated to be a “weight limited” event. The Notice of Race for such events shall state that Rule 6.2 applies, and Rule 6.1 does not apply. Total weight of crew (excluding the driver) in swimming apparel shall not exceed 550 kilos (1213 pounds).

6.3 The bowsprit shall be retracted when not in the process of setting, flying, or taking down the spinnaker. When approaching a windward mark without the spinnaker set, the bowsprit shall not be extended until the bow of the boat passes the mark. The penalty for failure to comply with this rule shall be one 360 degree turn taken before the finish of the race.

6.4 Hanging on the mast or shrouds to promote roll tacking or roll gybing is prohibited at all times.


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