A new J Class yacht from a design by Frank Paine in 1935, J8, named Topaz has been launched in the Netherlands and joins a growing fleet of highly competitive Js


The latest J Class yacht, named Topaz, was launched from Holland Jachtbouw in June, bringing the total number of Js on the water to eight. From an unbuilt 1935 design by Frank Paine, designer of Yankee, J8 was researched and updated to the new rule by Andre Hoek. She is one of the longer ‘super Js’, with an 88ft original waterline length, a foot longer than any other J ever designed.

According to Hoek, the design ‘has the lowest wetted surface and highest keel aspect ratio of all Js. The design was then extensively optimised to perform under the J Class Association handicap system. Mast position, stability, sail area and hull stiffness were extensively researched. The hull structure was designed and augmented to take very high runner loads in order to reduce head stay sag.’

The design has a double cockpit, double deckhouse layout with the helm station amidships just forward of the aft deckhouse.

After sea trials, the new yacht will be handed over in July.

Hoek says the yacht and the quality of the build is “absolutely stunning”.

“The yard has done so much on the details, inside and outside. The 1930s interior will really wow people. It is macassar [ebony] in high gloss, with leather panels on the wall with stainless steel rims in between and straight-cut walnut floors. It looks really amazing.”

The launch of Topaz brings the J Class fleet on the water to eight boats.

Plans for J9 have also been developed by Hoek Design are ready to build from, and the hull of J11, a Swedish design named Svea, has been built at Claasen Shipyards in the Netherlands and there are discussions with several prospective owners.

Interest in the Js is at a high point because the Js will have a showcase regatta as part of the America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017. The class boasts the only level-pegging boat-on-boat superyacht racing.