If you havent actually seen the J/109 yet, youre probably wondering how it stacks up with a stablemate thats nearly the same length, the J/105. The two boats appeal to different people, says designer Alan Johnstone. The 109 is 12 years newer, faster, and is more comfortable for cruising. The 105 is for people who live close to where they keep their boat. Compared to the 105, the 109 has overlapping headsails and more interior volume, the result of the larger boats initial target market. This boat was originally designed for the European market, says Jeff Johnstone of J Boats. The demand there is for a boat that sails well, can comfortably handle a crew living aboard for weekend regattas, and does reasonably well under IRC and IMS. Reasonably well might be an understatement; the 109 has scored big in Europe since its introduction in 1999, winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race and Cowes Week.