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Old 12-01-2013, 21:32   #106
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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I am thinking about buying an Island Packet 27 or 31 to sail on Lake Michigan, days and weekends, mostly. Reading reviews and forums, I find massive disagreement about how bad they are in light winds and close to the wind. Some say they do fine, even in light winds; others say they are bathtubs with sails that can hardly tack. I know people have different kinds of preferences and biases for different boats, but at some point the empirical evidence has to point to a conclusion. Any good input on whether buying an IP would be a regrettable move? (My values here: I am more interested in stability and comfort than speed, but I also don't want to be becalmed half the summer and motoring everywhere. I also much prefer the traditional look of IPs over what seem to be plastic boats to me, but also want a boat that can get me places.) Many thanks for the input.
Sailed an older IP27 across the Gulf of Mexico and back. At first I thought she was a bit of a dog, but on day 2-3 I realized my sail plan was all wrong. The 27 LOVES a full staysail out with a nice Yankee and a single reef in the mail ( mains are pretty big for boat size). This is in 12-18 knots if I remember correctly, and we were pointing. Then as the wind freshens another reef in the mail, then with more wind reef the staysail. After that pull the Yankee in. And after that..well hopefully you will never see that kind of wind :-) . What I'm trying to say is she sails a bit differently than any other boat Ive helmed. Once I freed "Golden Kip" from my terrible ( generic) sail plan choice, she lifted a foot out of the water and just flew! That boat can glide and be quite graceful. On the way back from Mexico we were becalmed. We were ghosting along in sloppy seas near another vessel, a Nor'sea 27. The Nor'sea wallowed much more than us. I felt so sorry for the crew every time I saw the spreaders sway so deeply.
Anyways, The more I sailed the IP27, the more I loved her. Logged about 1200 miles in her.
The downside is her wide beam can be a bit dangerous if you just have the factory handrail set up, you may be vulnerable when moving about, this includes the cockpit and main salon. My captain cracked two ribs when he was tossed across the cabin. Also, I'm not a fan of water tanks in the bow for her size, the weight changes as the fresh water tank empties, I felt it did influence her performance and not in a good way.
I have not done a lot of sailing in the great lakes, but it can be "big water" ( I've never seen so many ship wreck museums in my life) You mentioned comfort and stability, the IP would fit the bill for that size range.( IMHO)


Whew, hope that helped.
Cheers to all
Erika
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Old 13-01-2013, 09:50   #107
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

Erika, thank you for your very informative post.

csmith, I'm not sure if you are still reading this thread, but I have sailed on Lake Michigan, both on the Wisconsin side and Michigan side. It was during the summer and in small boats, but what I remember there was a LOT of wind. Lake Michigan is like an inland sea. I also remember seeing very large sailboats out there...40+.
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Old 16-01-2013, 08:46   #108
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

The IP's are well built boats but are heavy, full keel boats, the comparison one writer made to a Westsail 32 made me laugh, nothing is as slow as a Westsail 32. I've had one, would never do that again.
The thinking has changed since the days of those boats, now the idea is the less time at sea, the fewer storm systems you'll have to deal with. Most modern cruisers are of the modified full keel/ extended spade keel design, stability with some windward sailing capability since we all can't be sailing on a beam reach all the time.
You don't need a racer/ cruiser but then again you don't need a dedicated liveaboard either, if your sailing the Great Lakes there are quite a few designs with semi-full keels, lots of interior volume and plenty of amenities available which will suit your needs.
Your looking for a stiff boat, not a barge.
IP's are wonderful yachts for the purpose they're designed for, which is open ocean cruising and living aboard for extended periods but a bit sluggish for weekend/ vacation boats. get something with better upwind manners in a middleweight package, you'll be happier in the long run.
Then again, if you want ultimate stability and don't mind motoring a lot go for the IP.
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Old 16-01-2013, 09:04   #109
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

I'll take a strong and heavily built boat over a light fast racer any day. My boat is heavy and slow, but she stayed afloat through a hurricane when many others sank or were holed. I've been on a few Island Packets (including the SP Cruiser) at the boat shows and like them much more than some of the thinner skinned vessels on the market.

I wouldn't necessarily compare them to a Westsail. I don't think many ships can be compared to them. To me Westsails are sailing dreadnoughts., Able to take an enormous amount of punishment, over a prolonged period of time, and still come out alive. If Island Packets are even half as durable, their a good ship consideration.

In any case, what's the rush?
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Old 16-01-2013, 09:06   #110
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

I own a Vagabond 42 and I think Island Packets are pretty fast!!
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Old 16-01-2013, 10:42   #111
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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!Speed is important for the dudes looking at speed, as example the other day sailing a bene 50 in 25 30 knts the speed never reach 10 knts, we almost hit 9 few times , lets say 7 to 8 for most of the time and lots of Bangs inside, in the eastern caribbean the weather is ok, if you are worried to arrive in dark hell just wake up 3 hours early , talking about crossings oceans who care 21 days or 27 ?? many people prefer easy sea motion and bulletproof construction than this 1,5 knt extra speed, 6 to 7 knts average seems ok for me but i can live with 5 to 6 , there is many places in the ocean where you can get caught in Gales or storms no matter if you have a fast boat or a slow one ,Cheers.
Quite often you cannot leave until you have good light, so departing 3 hours earlier is not an option (particularly in the tropics where day/night are both around 12 hours). Sometimes it is difficult to leave before 8am and it starts getting dicky getting in after 4pm....just a fact. So often slow boats end up doing an overnight rather than having a nice easy day sail. With a fast boat you can always reduce speed and have a very comfortable trip in bumpy conditions (ie Indian Ocean we sailed slower with just a headsail and took it easy). However when the conditions are good you can pour on the pace and take days off the trip. I do understand that people with slow boats are hard to convince otherwise about speed. But I bet that if I could come up with a very cheap product that would give every boat a 2 knot jump in speed, slow cruisers would make me rich!
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Old 16-01-2013, 11:08   #112
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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Nobody has mentioned the build quality of the ip which is way above most production boats. There's a reason for the high initial cost and the way they holdi their value. I wish I could afford one.
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why is boat speed important??
i sit peer pressure??
is it preference?
try sailing one and sail other boats then make up your mind about what you really want. resale isnt happening of late.
Yes,

We all pretty much are here because we choose to "see the world at the speed of a riding lawn mower" anyway.....

IP's are slower then a Ford Pinto, or even a Moped... But a whole lot more comfortable!
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Old 16-01-2013, 11:33   #113
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

omg , faith--you can go that fast??? as a speeding lawn mower\??? i need on efor my hull growth....but

once one gains entry into a harbor in daylight, the exit is not so difficult. can leave in darkness. time is not a problem.

gaining entry into a dark harbor, first time, isnt so fun--can be done, but is sketchy in some locales. i dont like entering a new port in darkness, but i have done it. the entrances are lit, for the m0st part--but the anchorages are different, as most folks seem to not use visible anchoring lights. very hard to discern where the anchorages are with the poorly lighted boats--that is inclusive of those masthead lights that blend with hillside lighting and stars. i will post a pic or two to exhibit this problem for real.
i entered zihuatenejo in darkness and could see no anchored boats anywhere--and i knew where they were supposed to be. i was first boat of season to anchor at playa madera, as that was only place i could see..playa las ropas is very difficult to see anchored boats that only use the masthead lighting.
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Old 16-01-2013, 12:18   #114
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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The thinking has changed since the days of those boats, now the idea is the less time at sea, the fewer storm systems you'll have to deal with.
And a pretty silly argument it is. Unless you can narrow it to "none" in the category of storm systems, what's the point, really?

Either you can take the average gale, or you can't. If you (or the boat) can't take it, one is too much.

Not to mention that the stats lend credence to the argument that fin keel or full, mono or cat, on average in real-world conditions (see: this year's Carib 1500 rally results), there's not that much difference.

In the end, I'd rather endure two gales in a slow, solid boat rather than just one in a boat less suited to heavy weather.
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Old 16-01-2013, 12:22   #115
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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And a pretty silly argument it is. Unless you can narrow it to "none" in the category of storm systems, what's the point, really?

Either you can take the average gale, or you can't. If you (or the boat) can't take it, one is too much.

Not to mention that the stats lend credence to the argument that fin keel or full, mono or cat, on average in real-world conditions (see: this year's Carib 1500 rally results), there's not that much difference.

In the end, I'd rather endure two gales in a slow, solid boat rather than just one in a boat less suited to heavy weather.

not only a silly argument--but--
you buy a boat not considering storm activity and how you deal with same, because you will "never sail in storms"...then you fail to take the weather window into account on your sail trip and get slammed bad. OR you are sailing in a locale known for high winds of a sudden and unpredictable nature--comes on at 0400 at 60+ kts..

. what boat do you WISH you had bought?????
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:09   #116
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

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I own a Vagabond 42 and I think Island Packets are pretty fast!!
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Yes,

We all pretty much are here because we choose to "see the world at the speed of a riding lawn mower" anyway.....

IP's are slower then a Ford Pinto, or even a Moped... But a whole lot more comfortable!
Hahaha! You guys have given me the biggest laugh for the day! Thanks!
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:11   #117
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

HAY!!! dont diss pintos--they were pretty fast on racetrack--just because they blew up on occasion.......foogly cars, tho..LOL
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:13   #118
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

I have had slow heavy boats and light fast boats. Simply having a slow heavy boat doesn't gaurantee seaworthiness. Would I ever buy another Westsail 32 again? Never. Design has come a long way since then, it was great in it's time but designers and sailors have learned much since then. There are plenty of excellent, seaworthy, cruising yachts that aren't lead sleds, yachts that have a turn of speed and handle all the conditions expected of a good cruising yacht.
I'm fortunate that I do not have a bias for a particular brand of boat, having owned a number of boats and refurbished auction and insurance boats to pay for my boats I've been able to sail and thoroughly go through a number of boats from many different makers and designers all with their own strengths and weaknesses. The one thing I do now, the really good designers don't stand still, they learn and refine with every new design.
I'm currently looking for a cruising boat myself and selling my current ride, I'm glad to find many more choices these days then when I last owned a cruising boat. Everyone has an opinion, it doesn't mean the other guys is wrong, all things change.
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Old 16-01-2013, 14:36   #119
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Timely thread for me.

What about the IP makes it perhaps a slow sailer? The displacement itself or is it as much the type of keel.

An Irwin with what looks to be a full keel is on my local CL
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Old 16-01-2013, 15:00   #120
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Re: Are Island Packets Really That Slow?

I like all boats, not many out there that I don't care for. Speed is a pointless arguement. Rather than spending my time disliking certain kinds of boats, It's better to focus on the kind of skippers I disike. IPs are top notch in my opinion.
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