The J46 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The J46, a high-performance cruising yacht, was designed by Rod Johnstone and built in the USA by J Boats.

'Breezing Up', a light displacement J46 performance cruising yacht.A J46 light-displacement, performance cruising yacht.

Published Specification for the J46

Underwater Configuration: Bulb fin keel & spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (Fibreglass)

Length Overall: 46'0" (14.0m)

Waterline Length: 40'6" (12.3m)

Beam: 13'10" (4.2m)

Draft: 6'3" (1.9m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 24,000lb (10,886kg)

Designer: Rod Johnstone

Builder: J Boats (USA)

Year First Built: 1995

Year Last Built: 2003

Number Built: 35

Owners Association: J Boat Owners

Published Design Ratios for the J46

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 19.7

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 39.2

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 161

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 26.7

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.9

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the J46

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 19.7 suggests that, in the right hands, the J/46 will have enough performance to leave most other sailboats of similar waterline length well astern. 

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 40.0 means that the J/46 will initially stand up reasonably well to her canvas in a moderate breeze, but she'll need a reef in the main to avoid heeling excessively in a gust.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 161, tells us the J/46 is clearly a light displacement sailboat. If she's loaded with too much heavy cruising gear her performance will suffer to a degree.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.9 tells us that a J/46 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 

Sailboat-Cruising.com says...

About the Boat:

The J/46 sailboat is a comfortable, well-appointed sailboat that excels in detailed examinations of safety, comfort, performance, seakindliness under way, systems, quality of construction, materials, finish, value for the money, as well as intangibles like aesthetics, pride of ownership & all-around fun. The J/46 is a 46-foot masthead sloop that promises to be an exceptional cruising boat and one particularly liberating for a couple eager to go anywhere under sail, without the need for additional crew.

It has two dedicated sleeping cabins and two heads. The forward cabin has a large V-berth with ample storage space. The aft cabin has a large double berth with hanging locker and bureau. The main salon has two settees with pilot berths outboard and a large drop-leaf table. The galley is aft to port with a three-burner propane stove and oven. The navigation station is opposite the galley to starboard. The head is aft to port with access from the salon or aft cabin. The second head is forward to starboard with access from the forward cabin.

The J/46 sailboat is known for its excellent performance in light winds. It has an easy comfortable motion at sea under sail, and is capable of offshore or ocean voyages.

In terms of 'fors', the J/46 sailboat is known for its excellent performance in light winds and its easy comfortable motion at sea under sail. It is capable of offshore or ocean voyages. In terms of 'againsts', there are no major issues reported about this sailboat.

About the Designer:

The designer of the J/46, Rod Johnstone, is a boat builder and yacht designer from the United States. He is known for designing the J/24 sailboat which is the most successful one-design keelboat of the past 35 years with over 5,300 boats built to date.

Other sailboats designed by Rod Johnstone include:

  • J/24: The most successful one-design keelboat of the past 35 years with over 5,300 boats built to date.
  • J/35: A 35-foot sailboat designed for racing and cruising.
  • J/105: A 34-foot sailboat designed for racing and cruising.
  • JY 15: A 15-foot sailboat designed for recreational sailing.
  • J/80: A trailerable sailboat designed for racing and cruising.

About the Builder:

J Boats is a sailboat manufacturer that has been in business since 1977. They are known for their high-quality racing and performance-cruising sailboats. Sailboats built by J Boats include:

  • J/22 - A 22-foot keelboat that is easy to sail and race.
  • J/24 - A 24-foot keelboat that is one of the most popular keelboats in the world.
  • J/30 - A 30-foot keelboat that was designed for racing and cruising.
  • J/32 - A 32-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.
  • J/33 - A 33-foot keelboat that was designed for racing.
  • J/34c - A 34-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.
  • J/35 - A 35-foot keelboat that was designed for racing.
  • J/37 - A 37-foot keelboat that was designed for racing and cruising.
  • J/40 - A 40-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.
  • J/42 - A 42-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.
  • J/44 - A 44-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.
  • J/46 - A 46-foot keelboat that was designed for cruising and racing.

This additional info was drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material, and believes it to be accurate to the best of their knowledge.

Other sailboats in the J-Boat range include:


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