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Old 05-06-2007, 18:59   #16
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Good cruising boat

Thanks CSY Man. I'm not sure we would be happy with that though...remember we are racers now, and it might be tough to go that slow, judging from the posts I've read.

Honestly, I've not seen many in Seattle, but will look at yachtworld and see what comes up!

Speed vs storage is always an issue while cruising I know. I'm sure whatever we decide on will be a compromise.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:17   #17
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Then take a look at the Westsail 32 ! One raced from your area and won the Cal to Hawaii race a few years back. While you say you're a racer remember; when you're finished sailing on a passage you're not leaving the boat to go home; you are home. WOA: Through the eyes of a racer and another perspective: WOA: An ex owner's observations I owned a 32 and while there are some issues in choppy seas I never was as uncomfortable as on a fin keeler in a Bermuda race. Of course racing is not my bag. Being comfortable, safe and getting there in a reasonable time is. And, I feel it is rather humorous that people in boats spend so much time argueing about a 1/2 knot or so. Yes, theoretically you will get there faster but most cruisers I know that have sailed passages make the boat comfortable and don't try to sail on the "edge".

Have fun looking.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:41   #18
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Are Beneteau's good cruising boats?

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your response and advice, I will take a look at the Westsail's too. And you are right; we are not planning to win any races while cruising! I have heard from friends who have cruised for years that having a boat that could potentially outrun a storm might have merit. But rest assured, we are interested in getting there safely, which is why I have concerns about "production" boats vs "cruising" boats, the price for the latter being much higher, which will make us look at older boats, which concerns me too, even if they survey well.

It IS fun looking, but I am getting frustrated as we are getting closer and would like to have some time to refit and cruise locally before taking off for 1+ years!

Lori
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Old 06-06-2007, 19:38   #19
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Lori,
You may want to attend the Sedattle Westsail roundup. There are a lot of vetrans from various cruises there and generally some owners boats (rarely for sale) that you can look at and talk to owners that are not "trying to seel you their boat". Heres a link WOA Message Board: 2007 Rendezvous Planning and often the Westsail racer Mr. King will be in attendance. Good luck.
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:47   #20
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Although I agree that speed is one element of a desirable cruising boat, I wouldn’t place that characteristic on my top 5 list.
Wanna out-run a storm?
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:14   #21
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Beneteau good cruising boat?

Thanks for your reply Gord...I agree speed is not a primary consideration, just trying to be thorough in evaluating all of the elements of a good cruising boat. Lots of conflicting opinions, and reading material on what makes a good cruising boat!
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:58   #22
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Gray, if you are still hanging around. I know your thread got pretty badly hijacked, but here is my opinion based on limited sailing time on Island Packets. However I have sailed on Island Packet boats, which is probably more than some others who have posted negative comments on this thread.

IMHO, I found them to be solid, comfortable boats. Much more comfortable than any of the light displacement boats I have sailed on. They are well made, solid, track well and surprisingly to some, not to slow. They are not the little plastic race/cruise things. They are made for cruising but can move out when the wind picks up a bit.

Oh, the usual disclaimer. I have no connection to IP.
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Old 05-10-2007, 08:14   #23
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Love my Island Packet 380!

Hi, Gray.

I guess it's time for an Island Packet owner to speak up. I own an IP 380, which I've day-sailed and cruised in the Cheasapeake (we lived on a creek off the Bay in Virginia), sailed offshore to Bermuda, the Caribbean (twice), and cruised in the Lesser Antilles for three years (we live on Nevis now). I can't tell you how pleased with my boat.

Jeff has posted a long, detailed commentary on the IP designs. He seems to be a very knowledgeable and experienced sailor, but for the life of me, I can't understand where he comes up with some of the claims he's made.

I can only speak from my own experience. My wife and I cruised the Bay with our yacht club for several years, under a variety of the notorious Cheasapeake Bay wind conditions, and our boat was consistently one of the first to arrive at the overnight anchorage, and one of the few to venture out of the cove the next morning if the wind had kicked up substantially overnight. It's a comfortable boat, dry boat to sail, it stands up tall in a blow (15 degrees heel is ideal for speed), is sea-kindly, and it's very reliable. My wife has a back condition, so I essentially sail single-handed. I can do everything I need to from the cockpit--the only thing I go forward for is to push the anchor off the anchor roller when it's time to drop the hook.

I've sailed her offshore from Hampton, VA to Tortola twice, and back to the Bay via the Bahamas once, each time with three friends as crew. Accomodations were fine, and lee cloths made the two main salon berths very comfortable. The first time going down we had 35-45 kt winds with 20'-24' quartering swells for several days. The boat handled it superbly, and it was a comfortable ride. We had a great passage (1,400 nm), coming in 1st in class and 7th overall in a fleet of 23 boats on corrected time. On the second trip, we didn't race because of insurance restrictions, but did even better, timewise (just under nine days, dock-to-dock). The weather was even more challenging on the second trip. On that passage, one yacht was dismasted, three lost their rudders, several autopilots burned out, and several boats bailed out for intermediate ports, unable to sail the rhumbline to Tortola. The only problem we had was the staysail sheet parting at the clew--easily fixed. And we were one of the few boats to have hot meals each night, even in the roughest part of the passage.

In three seasons of cruising the Caribbean, from Vieques, PR to Grenada and back, the only gear problem has been the anchor windlass (bad design to begin with), which wasn't IP's problem. The boat has performed flawlessly in all conditions. And in the anchorages, we frequently get someone pulling up in a dinghy to complement the looks of the boat.

True, she won't point as high as a sleek design going to windward in a stiff breeze with chop, but if I'm in a hurry, I crank up the (overpowered) 56 hp Yanmar and motor sail. Need to charge the batteries sometime! In very light air, she's not real fast under her factory supplied sails, but I've added a cruising spinnaker that moves her nicely in as little as 5 kts and is a blast to sail with in 10-15 kts or more.

I note that Yachtworld currently has 16 IP 31s listed, all within your stated budget range. A friend of mine has an IP 31. He traded up from a Pearson 36 and almost doubled his "comfort level". IPs hold up well, and their owners tend to take good care of them. They hold their resale value well.

If you're in Rock Hall, MD, you have a lot of resources available to you--many Island Packets are berthed there, and the folks at Gratitude Yachting Center are top-rate. I'm sure that any of the Rock Hall Fleet owners would be happy to show you their boats and answer questions, and maybe even take you out for a spin. You could also join the Island Packet Discussion Group (an email listserve). The participants are always eager to help out. Go to All Forums , work your way down the list to "Island Packet", and click "Subscribe". This has proved to be a great information-sharing resource for owners and wannabe owners alike.

In my opinion, you can't go wrong with an Island Packet. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:15   #24
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if you can: look at the IP32. a much better boat and maybe you can find one in your price range.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:36   #25
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IP

Gary,
If an IP is what you want, buy one. You can find 30'+/- around $70K for a 1987-1992 model. They are very nice inside. Good lines and large interior. i would sali it for several years and then look into getting an "Oyster". These boats have similar looks and it would be a step up and good for offshore use.
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Old 05-10-2007, 19:26   #26
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Opposing Views

An Island Packet is an excellent choice for offshore. Ask any experienced owner and you'll get consistently positive feedback regarding the design, construction, quality, and performance of their yacht.

Back in the Chesapeake Bay, you'll find some light air racers that will knock the Island Packet every chance they get. In the light airs they are accustomed to, I tend to agree. If sailing on weekends in easy conditions, learning finesse in sail trim, and participating in club racing are your top priorities, then I wouldn't recommend the IP, at least not at this point in your sailing career. However, throw the word "offshore" into the mix, and you're in a new world.

I've sailed my IP40 from Florida down the thorny path to Venezuela, up and down the island chain a few times, back to Venezuela, and downwind to the Netherland Antilles. In our most recent year of cruising, we traveled 90% of the time under sail. Typical Caribbean conditions are 15 knots of wind varying from NE in the winter to more like SE during the summer months. On a passage from St. Croix to Venezuela, I headed directly South across the Caribbean Sea, beam reaching with winds 15-25 knots. It was a very comfortable trip and easy to maintain a daily routine of cooking, showering, etc. on board. Performance wise, 8 knots under sail is not uncommon.

The comfort of the IP at anchor is outstanding. If you plan to liveaboard, you'll soon appreciate the extensive storage and practical living space that IP layouts offer. 100% of the guests we've had on board have envied the lifting table design and spaciousness of the IP. There are few, if any, designs that offer better ventilation and overall comfort at anchor.

Feel free to email me for further information. I have cruising photos up on my hosted websites at Island Packet 40 EventYr.

Best Regards,
ConchCruzer
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Old 06-10-2007, 13:54   #27
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Point by Point

I'll quickly address each of the points made in an earlier post, which I strongly disagree with. Another poster wrote the following:

Quote:
Then there is the whole quality issue. Island Packets are filled with nicely executed details. On the other hand there is a bunch of design details that really drive me crazy on these boats. It drives me crazy that a boat with the size sail plan of these use light duty, plastic sheave, blocks. It drives me crazy that the sailing ergonomics of these boats makes sail trim and sail handling so difficult. It drives me crazy that some of the IP models vent their propane tanks amidships near the waterline where they fail to meet basic safety standards when heeled. (That is a just plain basic safety item that even the high volume builders seem to get right) It drives me crazy that so few of the IP models have good seaberths or a cabin sole that can be traversed easily when the boat is heeled over. It drives me crazy that setting sail off of a bowsprit is somehow seen as a good idea. Even traditional working craft began to give up on bowsprit hung sails by the early 20th century. That bowsprit means that you pay for a slip for a much longer boat than you get to enjoy the speed, seaworthiness or comfort of.

It drives me crazy that IP's use post hung spade rudders but then fail to really take advantage of the potential virtues of a spade rudder. Using a post-hung spade rudder in the way that Island Packet does makes no sense to me. On a properly designed modern fin keel/ spade rudder boat, the rudder is quite a substantial distance above the bottom of the keel so that it usually does not contact bottom during a grounding. On the Island Packets their spade rudder is pretty much the same depth as the keel making it even more vulnerable than the sportier spade rudders that they put down in their sales talks at boat shows.

Then there is their much-vaunted long keels. To me, having owned quite a few long keel boats in my day, there are few features that are more over-rated. To a great extent tracking ability is the product of dynamic balance. (The best tracking boat that I ever owned was a fin keeled spade rudder boat and the worst had a long keel. Tracking is in the eye of the designer and sail Trimmer) When you run a long keel boat aground you are seriously planted. A grounding that might have been a simple inconvenience becomes the moral equivalent of homesteading. While long keels do provide more support to a boat in a grounding, in the case of the Island Packet, they are using an encapsulated keel. While these are cheaper to build, in a hard grounding it exposes the watertight membrane of the hull to the full impact rather than having the somewhat sacrificial metal surface of a bolt on keel.
First off, Island Packet builds a high quality boat. The materials they use for the hull, deck core, resin, cloth, etc. are excellent. Look down the side of the hull of an IP, and you’ll see that it is very fair. There is no print-through and there are no bulkheads standing proud. For example, IP uses stainless steel ports with safety glass inserts, threaded dogs, and gaskets rather than plastic ports with little clips to keep the sea outside of your boat.

Ease of sail trim and handling are hallmarks of the IP design. While not everyone is a fan of furling mains, I am able to set, reef, and furl the main, genoa, and staysail without ever leaving the cockpit. Aside from infinite reefing and not having to leave the cockpit, my favorite benefit is that the main is put away and well protected before the anchor is set. There is no flaking and sail cover to deal with afterwards. The previous owner off my boat added Harken cheekblocks, making the lead angles ideal. The winches are oversized (primaries are Lewmar Ocean SST 54’s), the gear is top quality, and the installations are first rate.

The two full length settees in the salon make excellent sea berths. I have both of them fitted with lee cloths. I prefer the starboard settee though, as it affords me the convenience of sitting up and checking the instruments at the nav desk while the admiral is on watch. The aft cabin berth is a ready-made sea berth and very well suited to sleeping or resting when underway. Our aft head is fitted with a seat that can be used when showering indoors in a seaway.

The salon is safely transited by the use of overhead handrails and numerous grab rails. We have not experienced any problems with the layout that caution and seamanship could not overcome.

At anchor, the Island Packet designs are exemplary. When we chose to leave our shoreside life behind, the accommodating storage and living space of the IP was quickly appreciated. Having the tankage centered and below the cockpit sole frees up all the space behind and below the settees and berths for compartmented storage that is, if anything, oversized. Our guests always admire the lifting table in the salon and ask where “everything is.” The boats that they are sailing lack built-in storage, so they tiptoe through a salon full of Rubbermaid bins or duck beneath hammocks full of gear hanging from the overhead.

A design feature that is often not well considered before purchase is how well ventilated your yacht is going to be and how comfortable it will be in the tropics. With numerous, well-placed hatches and a large number of opening ports, the Island Packets perform very well in this regard.

Deploying and retrieving ground tackle is made easy with strong, oversized, offset bow rollers on a short, integral bow sprit. The sprit on my boat is integral to the hull mold, not a bolted on afterthought. It is long enough to give visual appeal and keep swinging anchors from damaging polished topsides, yet short enough to not be a liability in docking situations.

On all but one occasion where I’ve run aground, I simply backed off and continued on my way. On the one occasion where I didn’t, I spent the day cleaning conch, making lasagna, and having a rum drink rather than worrying about keel bolts and sacrificial damage. The IP keel design has a long, tapered forefoot that minimizes impact loads. Compare this to the perpendicular form of a bulb or wing keel and the difference is obvious. Inside the hull, the keel section is glassed over. Any water penetration into the keel is prevented from entering the bilge. This double bottom effect provides strength and security, while allowing a deep keel sump that is not possible with a bolted on keel. Though my boat is drum tight, any water that does enter the boat runs to the bilge sump rather than sloshing under my feet in a shallow bilge.

The keel and rudder are separated to provide a clean flow of water on the semi-balanced rudder. The aft end of the keel and the bottom of the rudder are connected by a stainless steel shoe. The primary benefit of this arrangement is that the boat slides over warps, fish nets, and mooring lines without snagging or getting wrapped up in them. Anyone who cruises in areas with heavy fishing activity will appreciate this feature.

When offshore, the full keel allows my autopilot to handle every condition we’ve encountered. Tracking is very impressive with little helm or correction required with proper sail plan and trim.

If you have any questions about my experience with my Island Packet, feel free to contact me by email.

Good Sailing,
Dan Forter
S/V Eventyr
Island Packet 40 EventYr
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Old 14-05-2009, 10:14   #28
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In three seasons of cruising the Caribbean, from Vieques, PR to Grenada and back, the only gear problem has been the anchor windlass (bad design to begin with), which wasn't IP's problem.
Hud, what kind of windlass was that, please? I'm in the market for one and would like to avoid bad designs.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 26-06-2013, 18:21   #29
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Re: Island Packet 31 for Liveaboard / Offshore?

Just find a old used Gemini Catamran and you will have fun exploring the shallow waters and beach it and relax. Plenty of room on it inside and out.
I have seen them as low as in the $35,000 to $60,000 with outboards so
you can service them better aswell then the newer inboard stuff.
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Old 26-06-2013, 18:28   #30
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Re: Island Packet 31 for Liveaboard / Offshore?

I think the IP would be a better choice than many. Although as mentioned, for a 5 year "get aquainted" relationship... a Catalina would do fine...
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