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Old 29-09-2008, 09:42   #1
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Island Packet 32 - Perfect Compromise?

My wife and I are planning a circumnavigation in a few years and we have been focused on getting a larger boat, in the 37' to 42' range. This weekend we went boat shopping and stumbled across a Island Packet 32.

We have been focused on larger boats because we want to sail comfortably, but the more we evaluate the finances the less likely I feel we can afford a larger boat. I think if we squeeze every penny we could get something for around $100-120K, but this would mean sacrificing a lot over the next few years.

The Island Packet got me thinking, maybe we should downsize. Downsize our budget and buy a smaller boat for $60-80K and live smaller on our trip. The 32' length boat seems completely manageable to handle for one of us alone, but the lack of storage has me concerned. It has a large aft-berth

I have a few general questions, we are young and impressionable so please give us any feedback.

1) What will we be really missing the most if we go for a 32' vs a 40'? 8' is a lot of storage on the boat, but maybe we can find some creative solutions like converting the V Berth to storage. Am I overvaluing storage space?

2) Has anyone here downsized to a smaller boat for a long sail or circumnavigation? Would you recommend a 32' boat as a acceptable way of seeing the world? Or should we really stick with the 37' + range?

3) Finally.. Is the Island Packet 32' a solid ocean going boat and would you put yourself on it for a circumnavigation? The particular boat is a 1991 and it is a Island Packet 32, not 320. Any input on the boat, horror stories, etc would be appreciated. I have read enough on here to feel comfortable that Island Packet boats in general are high quality.

Thanks all,

Aaron & Jen
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Old 29-09-2008, 10:42   #2
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Hi Aaron & Jen:

Just spent a few minutes looking around your web page, nice job!

Let me begin by saying that I have no practical experience, but I have spent a lot of time reading a lot of posts on this site and others about cruising. From what I have gathered, most posts agree that when you go above 40' expenses start to increase dramatically. Also, there is a thread on this site called "go small go now", I suggest you read it. The gist of it is: wouldn't it be better to buy a cheaper, smaller boat and have the savings available for the trip and for ongoing maintenance?

My wife and I (also young and impressionable) are planning on an extended cruise in a few years as well, and we are thinking of boats in the 30-36' range. Just think of Lin & Larry Pardey who sail in a 27' boat with no engine! You can definitely do it on a 32'er!

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Old 29-09-2008, 10:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floaton View Post
Hi Aaron & Jen:

Just spent a few minutes looking around your web page, nice job!

Let me begin by saying that I have no practical experience, but I have spent a lot of time reading a lot of posts on this site and others about cruising. From what I have gathered, most posts agree that when you go above 40' expenses start to increase dramatically. Also, there is a thread on this site called "go small go now", I suggest you read it. The gist of it is: wouldn't it be better to buy a cheaper, smaller boat and have the savings available for the trip and for ongoing maintenance?

My wife and I (also young and impressionable) are planning on an extended cruise in a few years as well, and we are thinking of boats in the 30-36' range. Just think of Lin & Larry Pardey who sail in a 27' boat with no engine! You can definitely do it on a 32'er!

Best,
Bill
Bill,

Thanks for the positive comments, I have that same feeling in the back of my mind. It is OK to go smaller, if it enables you to 'live the dream'.

As for the post, I will read it tonight and see what everyone thinks. It looks like a very active thread.

For everyone else, here is a link to the thread here:

Go Small - Go Now

Thanks
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Old 29-09-2008, 11:23   #4
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Aloha Aaron,
Island Packets are pretty nice boats for cruising. I've always recommend 32-36 LOD to simplify and make it easier for sail and boat handling in tight quarters and to keep the cost of gear replacement down. You have weighed all the possibilities so your decision to go smaller is something I would encourage.
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Old 29-09-2008, 11:57   #5
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32' is a good size. A number of my old cruising books recommends 32'. Why 32 & not 31 or 33? I don't know. Larger boats are nice if you can afford them, when the weather is nice, but they can easily become more than a couple can safely handle when it hits the fan. Pick up the main boom & sail of a 32 footer. Now pick up the same from a 42 footer. See what I'm talking about?

Would you rather cruise longer in less or shorter in more? I picked up a small, plastic boat for next to nothing & if I had $100k I could sail up & down the coast for the rest of my life. I'm convinced that three quarters of the time you see some guy struggling to pay off his 50 footer so he can "get away from it all" that debt is just an excuse to not go. Most of the cruisers, as opposed to sailors, I know are in boats of 30' or less. Of course I hang out with the lunatic fringe...
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Old 29-09-2008, 13:54   #6
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But not necessarily:

Lots of people have crossed oceans and circumnavigated on boats this size. The Westsail 32 is probably the most ubiquitous example. So sure, some people would do just fine on an Island Packet 32. My wife and I wouldn’t, but that’s just us.

Other than sleeping, cruisers don’t spend a lot of time below decks, so I don’t place much of a premium on a spacious salon, etc. Cooking, navigating, communicating, using the head, and fixing stuff - that’s about it for awake below deck time. But, both sleeping and storage for extended cruising are real issues. It isn’t just provisions and supplies. It’s spare parts, repair materials, tools, equipment, etc. On an IP 32 you will obviously sacrifice the quarter berth. If you sacrifice the V berth as well, then you are going to rely on the fold out settee for sleeping. And if you are anything like us, you will be overloaded.

Your comfort needs/wants/expectations are personal to you. But, in my experience the biggest single reason that people quit cruising earlier than they planned is that it turned out not to be fun living on the particular boat/budget they chose to do it with. IMHO, you can and should get a larger (albeit probably older and more expensive to refit/maintain) bluewater cruiser for the same money.
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Old 29-09-2008, 14:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slomotion View Post
But not necessarily:

Lots of people have crossed oceans and circumnavigated on boats this size. The Westsail 32 is probably the most ubiquitous example. So sure, some people would do just fine on an Island Packet 32. My wife and I wouldnít, but thatís just us.

Other than sleeping, cruisers donít spend a lot of time below decks, so I donít place much of a premium on a spacious salon, etc. Cooking, navigating, communicating, using the head, and fixing stuff - thatís about it for awake below deck time. But, both sleeping and storage for extended cruising are real issues. It isnít just provisions and supplies. Itís spare parts, repair materials, tools, equipment, etc. On an IP 32 you will obviously sacrifice the quarter berth. If you sacrifice the V berth as well, then you are going to rely on the fold out settee for sleeping. And if you are anything like us, you will be overloaded.

Your comfort needs/wants/expectations are personal to you. But, in my experience the biggest single reason that people quit cruising earlier than they planned is that it turned out not to be fun living on the particular boat/budget they chose to do it with. IMHO, you can and should get a larger (albeit probably older and more expensive to refit/maintain) bluewater cruiser for the same money.
Ideally I'd like to end up still married to my wife at the end of the trip, so this advice is sound.

Just a note on how we were going to designate space. We were going to keep the quarter berth as our sleeping place, there are only two of us and I believe there is plenty of space there for us to sleep comfortably when anchored. Underway, we will be on standard watch schedule so we won't be in bed at the same time.

The V Berth would be storage and storage only, although we would choose some kind of removal storage system in case we want to reuse the V Berth. As for the settees, there is a L-shaped settee that would remain and the single settee would become additional storage.

I imagine we would bring less books, but still bring a PC with movies to enjoy on it. Foodstuffs would also have to be reduced, but not too much as to jeopardize our trip. I could see our sailboat as having less machinery in it and more basic dinners.

Then again, I'm not sure... I am a non-sailor looking to move onto the water. Thank you for the feedback, keep it coming. This is why I love this forum, I can ask the most crazy questions and get some straight forward feedback.
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Old 29-09-2008, 14:30   #8
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We were going to keep the quarter berth as our sleeping place, there are only two of us and I believe there is plenty of space there for us to sleep comfortably when anchored.
My bad. You must really be in love!

Fair Winds.
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Old 29-09-2008, 14:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slomotion View Post
My bad. You must really be in love!

Fair Winds.
We are indeed really in love, but yes.. it will be tight quarters and maybe just a little too much to handle right?
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Old 29-09-2008, 15:09   #10
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Hi, Aaron.

I've never been on an IP32, but I do know that model has a particularly enthusiastic group of owners, even by IP standards. Friends of ours sold their Pearson 34 and bought an IP 31, and ended up with a lot more useable living and storage space below.

A website you might want to poke around in is the IP Home Port, which has a forum and a registry of IP owners. They have 64 IP32 owners listed there, and you can contact them directly, or sign up for the forum and ask questions. IP owners tend to be a friendly bunch and very supportive of people considering buying one. You can download the boat's brochure and specs from the Island Packet website.
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Old 29-09-2008, 15:25   #11
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The IP 32 is actually a pretty big boat for a 32 when you compare it to other 32 ft boats. Friends have a 31 and it is a huge 31 ft boat. I would agree with Hud to check out the owners group web site. It's always nice to hear what owners say. They usually tell you all the good and all the bad. They can tell you how they fix common repairs and other insider information.
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Old 29-09-2008, 21:59   #12
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I have an Island packet 31 and I enjoy the boat. Check out that IP site and it will give you an idea of some problems. All boats have problems at times and each type have simular ones. It will give you some info of what to look out for. But I would not trade mine. Welcome to the club!!!
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Old 29-09-2008, 22:41   #13
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Thumbs up

The IP 32 is a fine boat. Many folks will agree (some won't) that much of the reason that the size of cruising boats have increased over they years is marketing.

You might find some helpful tips on the site in my signature. It is all about cruising in small boats... the challenges and the advantages.

I wish you well as you get ready for your adventure!
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:59   #14
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Aaron,
Living in Alameda is a great opportunity to look at some cheap great boats. I would take an IP-32 out sailing in the bay, you will alot better idea of what you need and don't need. I would be interested in how she sails because after all, we use these things as sailboats.
If you can believe in your boat out in the open Pacific, and your wife believes in you and the boat, most of the rest will fall in place (pun intended)
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:47   #15
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I really like the build quality of the Island Packets.

I think an excellent configuration for a "couples" boat is the Niagara 35 with the workshop forward instead of the V-berth, because it has a huge double quarter berth, perfect for two people who like each other. One of the settees also expands to a double, but that's for guests.
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