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What to look for in a used J22


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  • 6 months later...

I know this is an old topic, but I'll start and maybe someone else can finish or comment more.

1) Check the deck area around the chain plates

2) Check the bulkhead where the chain plates attach. J boats are know for water leaking down the chainplate. This either goes into the balsa core in the deck or into the bulkhead. If the bulkhead, you will notice rot around the chainplate connection to the bulkhead. If water has entered the deck above the bulked, you will notice soft spots or some cracking in the deck. I personally think rotten deck core is a deal killer, but some may offer explanation on how to fix if a relatively small area (less than 6 inches around the chain plate). Rot in the bulkhead means you need to replace your bulkhead. This is a big job, but straight forward and effective.

3) look for soft spots (gel coat cracks) in the cockpit floor. This can be difficult to fix. The cockpit floor is balsa cored like the deck. It means removing the top layer of fiberglass, removing the wet core and replacing.

4) Look for cracks around the mast step. It is common to see some crazing. If the cracks are not deep or extensive, I would not worry about it. If the cracks are deep, worry about it.

5) Look at the transom. I have no experience here but my understanding is the transom is a big piece of plywood cored fiberglass.

6) Look for water leaking from the toe rail connection down the inside of the hull into the bilge. It is common for boats to leak a bit, but if you see big water stains leading to the sump, ask about it.

7) check the keel bolts in the sump. Are they tight? How much rust is there? Does the boat have a 2 bolt lifting bar?

8) Replace the boom vang bail at the bottom of the mast. These break from time to time. Not really a problem at all, just a good thing to do when you buy the boat.

9) Check for any cracks at the sump to keep joint. If you see a crack about 6 inches down on the keel from the bottom of the boat, this indicates loose bolts.

10) Ask about the length of the backstay. Which sail maker will you be able to tune to? Q sailors may have a shorter backstay.


To me none of the above are deal killers except maybe transom rot or severe deck rot around the chainplates, but they are definitely things to look for.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

#5, I've had experience here. Transom is Balsa core. Look for loose backstay tangs (wiggle them back and forth and look for rust stains). If left leaking for a long time, those leaks can lead to redoing the entire transom. If the gudgeons leak, it usually only requires the middle of the transom to be repaired. All you current owners, check your backstay tangs. Make sure they are bedded well and tight.

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