30’ to 33’ performance sailboats are on the rise with so many cool new offerings by J/Boats, Dehler, Grand Soleil, Italia, and Jeanneau. Over the last 2 years all have introduced interesting products in this narrow segment. With some variance on either side of comfort and performance, each manufacturer has put forth a boat that should put a smile on the face of performance-oriented sailors.
Here at North Point we are fortunate to represent both J/Boats’ J99 and Dehler’s D30 OD. As such we are in a unique position to compare and contrast these two very interesting boats. Both have so much to offer the performance-oriented sailor looking for a compact boat requiring fewer crew. Both were designed with an eye towards shorthanded sailing. You’ll see this expressed in the sailing handling systems, use of twin rudders, water ballasting, and interiors more to the minimalist side.
Dehler 30 One Design
In the case of the Dehler 30 One Design, it’s just that: a strict 1D built boat with little in the way of major options. It comes out of the box with twin rudders, water ballasting, carbon mast, and a variable sail plan with split running backstays, inner and outer jibs, a fixed sprit for flying Code sails and A-kites plus outriggers for spinnaker leads.
The three-cabin interior is comfortable and functional in the way you would expect a race boat to be. Dehler managed to place the galley and head midships, which will be welcome on an offshore race. Dehler even took a page out of the custom race boat world with their introduction of the “Stealth Drive” retractable prop and shaft system.
The J99 on the other hand was designed to address a broader range of desires. She configures nicely for both shorthanded and fully crewed racing as well as performance cruising. The standard configuration includes a single rudder and tiller. Twin rudders, water ballasting and wheel steering are options that help owners tailor the boat to their interests. The interior layout is also three cabin, nav station and galley.
The V-berth accommodates the head and is designated for sail handling. In a departure for J/Boats, the J99 is equipped with a fixed prod versus a retractable sprit. Keeping with the J/Boats core values of easy and fast sailing, the sail plan for the J99 is a little more straight forward with a single backstay, single jib and more traditional mainsail shape.
In a nod to handicap rules and European sailors, J/Boats offers the J99 with either their standard wedge bulb or an IRC oriented fin. Dehler on the other hand focused on the boat as a 1D. This allowed them to focus on what would make the boat fast and fun.
Overall, both strategies are paying off and meeting with market success. The J99, which has been on the scene for a little over a year, has had success on the racecourse. J/Boats has sold over 40 boats. The Dehler 30 OD made its debut this January at Dusseldorf and is already approaching 40 boats ordered, with the first 1D starts in events expected later this summer. The real winners are performance sailors looking for fast and fun boats in this easy to manage size range.