She's small and she's pert, and in the family of class-boats she's coming right along. Her name is the Blue Jay and she's like a scaled-down Lightning. Light, fast and safe, the Jay has everything a boat needs to appeal to junior sailors and is growing faster than any other class in the country. In the past two years the class number has shot up from an estimated 80 to 374. Her popularity has spread to the West Coast (where there are nearly 40 Jays), Cape Cod, Italy and France. And in many yacht clubs juniors have found their parents trying to get into the act, with race committees setting aside one day a week when the Jay is for grown-ups only.
Spinnaker run demonstrates how young skippers like Muff Crow (168) and Sam Barton Jr. (93) learn to cope with special problems they will someday face in bigger boats. Right now they are top competitors in junior meets.
Basic blue Jay kit costs only $398 and can be assembled in living room, as the William Parke family of Scarsdale, N.Y. did with two of them last winter. The boats, Mischief and Magic, are part of the Point O'Woods Blue Jay fleet at Fire Island, N.Y.
Beating upwind, Muff Crow at tiller of her Blue Jay 168, with Wendy Everett as her crew, comes abreast of two competitors in a recent race on Long Island Sound.
MORE FACTS ON THE BLUE JAY
LENGTH OVERALL: 13 FT. G IN.; BEAM: 5 FT. 2 IN.; WEIGHT: 275 LBS.
RACING COMPLEMENT: SKIPPER AND ONE OR TWO CREW MEMBERS
CUSTOM BUILT: $695; SAILS: $75-$125; SPINNAKER RIG: $80
HEIGHT OF MAST: 17 FT. 10 IN.
MAINSAIL AREA: 62 SQ. FT.
LENGTH OF BOOM 7 FT. 11 IN.
JIB AREA: 28 SQ. FT.
FREEBOARD AT MIDPOINT: 1 FT. 3 IN.
DRAFT WITH CENTER-BOARD DOWN: 3 FT. 8 IN.