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Old 30-07-2008, 12:47   #1
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Island Packet 485

I am planning to purchase a vessel for a circumnav and have been dealing with salesmen from many different mfgs. It seems that the only goal of the sales guy is to sell me their vessel and tell me all the negatives of everything else out there. I believe a thoughtful experienced sailor can sail just about anything around the world ... so I fell in love with the IP 485 at the San Diego boat show last week ... I know this is a heavy vessel w/ a B/D ratio of .41. The vessel I looked at was well equipped for blue water. Does anyone have any unbiased or experience based knowledge of the Island Packet? Please share your thoughts as a $700k investment is a lot to depend on only salesmen. Thanks Mike
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Old 30-07-2008, 12:57   #2
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There must be an Island Packet owners association somewhere on the web that can give you unbiased information.

Edit: Just did a Google search. There are some owners associations.

IP Home Port - The Official Website For Island Packet Yacht Owners Since 1998 - Links

http://www.ipoa.org.uk/
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:15   #3
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Quote:
It seems that the only goal of the sales guy is to sell me their vessel and tell me all the negatives of everything else out there.
I think David's link is perhaps a another way to look at it. User groups are very biased. They want what they want. It means they may want the same things you want. I find users groups say the truth and it includes the good and the bad.

If you want the real reasons why people like them it seems best to ask them since they spent money and generally see all the short comings, features, and quality of service. They decided it was worth it and maybe it would be for the same reasons you would too.
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:22   #4
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I would suggest looking at well equipped used boats in that range such as Hylas 54, Hallberg Rassy, Taswell, Oyster,Tyana. These are much better sailing, world cruising proven, and in your price range.
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:38   #5
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Our former Slip Neighbor owns a IP485 that he has raced to Isla Mujeres several times from Tampa in the Regatta del Sol al Sol and he just loves the yacht. Tho' I have not sailed aboard the boat, he and his crewmen swear by her, particularly in rough weather crossings of the Gulf Stream. The two draw-backs that everyone comments on are the lack of handholds below, which requires running a jack-line down the middle of the boat while off-shore; and, the smell that seems to come off the "Ultra Suade" cushion covers once it gets wet and sticky with salt-water. He also indicated he would never buy a new boat again as the depreciation during the first 2 or 3 years of ownership is sizable.

The yacht is not my cuppa tea but for some it works and it is certainly seaworthy and capable enough.

FWIW!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 30-07-2008, 13:57   #6
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I can report that the good folks at Island Packet Yachts offer exceptionally good after-sale support, including honoring any warranty issues you might have. They really go the extra mile.

I was sailing off shore from Virginia to the BVI and exchanging emails over my Pactor modem with Tom Groome, their service manager, trying to find the right numbers for a replacement part for my Yanmar. He was acting as a go-between with the engine dealer, even though it wasn't his problem to begin with. Great people to deal with!
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Old 30-07-2008, 17:31   #7
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I purchased a 99 IP45 in the past 3 months. I did not purchase the boat from an Island Packet dealer/broker. I have been in touch with the IP manufacture via the IP owners web site. My experience with IP has been excellent! I have even called their support line to discuss: props, refrigeration and a recommendation for air conditioning work. Paul is correct, I am biased because I researched different boats and purchased an Island Packet, so unless my purchase has been a complete disaster I am not going to say I made a mistake. With that stated the boat is living up to my expectations and the IP web site and manufacture support is simply one of the best I have ever experienced.
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Old 31-07-2008, 09:19   #8
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Personally, I love IPs, and from what I've heard, they have just about the best support from the manfacturer you can find. That is one of the reasons they hold their value well (comparatively).

But, as noted above, IN GENERAL, brand specific user groups tend to be VERY biased. It's human nature. Misery loves company!
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Old 31-07-2008, 10:05   #9
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I didn't buy an IP. <grin> During my research period I sailed IP370, 380, and 420 boats. I have been aboard a 485 but did not sail one.

In my limited experience IPs are very comfortable boats that don't point tremendously well. It cost a good bit more to get the comfort IP offers with the sailing performance I wanted.

The 485 is a very nice boat, has done well a number of long-distance offshore races when conditions didn't put wind on the nose, and has a dedicated fan base.

Comfort *is* important.

sail fast, dave
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Old 29-09-2009, 07:52   #10
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IP's rock

We DID buy a year-old IP370 for the express purpose of sailing liveaboard with a family of 4 for 6 months on 2006. At this she excelled. We couldn't ask for a better, more comfortable and reliable boat. The *only* thing that broke in 6 months was the anchor wash down pump, a dealer-fit option which they've since changed.

In 3000 miles of sailing from Chesapeake Bay to Maine and back we sailed hard to windward 3 times: one morning in a F6-7 short tacking under main and stays'l in those narrow gaps near Portland, ME: once for about 3 hours coming out of the Cape Cod Canal heading north to Plymouth, MA, and once in Eggemoggin Reach in a F5-6, well, just for the hell of it really. Oh, we close-reached down LI Sound on the way to NY a couple of times as well.

The rest of the time you're reaching, or motor sailing, or motoring depending on what gives - beating to windward was very rare and when it was it was supremely comfortable, even if a J or whatever would have pointed a few degrees higher than us - meh, we weren't in a rush.

In heavy winds an IP is a dream. I remember leaving Portland heading south in 27-30 knots gusting a bit more on a beam reach and had a fantastic sail with all of us tucked up and relaxed in the cockpit singing and reading books. We saw two other vessels: the Coastguard cutter and another Island Packet

So it depends what you're looking for and what your priorities are. Our personal experience is that an IP is rock solid build quality, has space to move and live in especially with kids, everything works, there's tons of storage (I mean, we moved the entire contents of a 2-bed appt into our 370 and still had nooks and crannies left) and the support, after sales and general owner community is first rate.

We keep going to boat shows and revisiting our decision making process. Do we regret buying the IP? No. Would we make a different decision based on what we know now? No. If we were in the market for another larger cruising boat what would it be? Probably an IP485.

But please feel free to ignore this - I'm no longer unbiased
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Old 29-09-2009, 17:26   #11
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Well, after spending $700k on an IP, it must hurt when most other boats pass you later on. I always hear their owners telling that they are fast, but when we pass them they seem much slower than other designs of similar length.

We paid much less than $700k for Jedi and a little over $700k after replacing most of her systems/sails etc. so it's basically like new again.

I looked at IP too but took it off the list after finding that it didn't even had a navstation. I think IP found that to be an error too and they switched back to navstations again. I would have a very good look at a 1996/1997 Sundeer 56 before spending that $700k or even a Sundeer 64 if one is available.

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Old 29-09-2009, 17:51   #12
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I would agree that if you have 700K, there are many, many options available. I like the Island Packets-- solidly built and very liveable-- but for that kind of money you could definitely get something faster and just as seaworthy.

For starters, I would never buy new. A well maintained 4-5 year-old boat is the way to go. Let the first owner eat the initial depreciation.
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Old 30-09-2009, 02:24   #13
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Well, after spending $700k on an IP, it must hurt when most other boats pass you later on. I always hear their owners telling that they are fast, but when we pass them they seem much slower than other designs of similar length.

We paid much less than $700k for Jedi and a little over $700k after replacing most of her systems/sails etc. so it's basically like new again.

I looked at IP too but took it off the list after finding that it didn't even had a navstation. I think IP found that to be an error too and they switched back to navstations again. I would have a very good look at a 1996/1997 Sundeer 56 before spending that $700k or even a Sundeer 64 if one is available.

cheers,
Nick.
Fascinating - which IP doesn't have a navstation? Certainly not the IP485 because it has one of the best navstations out there!

The OP wants to do a circumnavigation - unless he plans to go round the wrong way like the UK Challenge boats I'm not entirely convinced pointing ability is going to be high on his list.

Liveability, comfort, dependability would all be high on mine and there are many slower boats than IP's which have been round the world very successfully.
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Old 30-09-2009, 02:40   #14
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I would agree that if you have 700K, there are many, many options available. I like the Island Packets-- solidly built and very liveable-- but for that kind of money you could definitely get something faster and just as seaworthy.

For starters, I would never buy new. A well maintained 4-5 year-old boat is the way to go. Let the first owner eat the initial depreciation.
Personal choice and how you want to use the boat in the end. I am an owner and I pass on my personal experience. I've read a lot of negative comments about IP's on certain forums and they mostly seem to revolve around pointing ability and an assertion that they are not fast - usually by people who've never owned one. I understand this on racing-oriented forums but never understood this for long term cruising, which is what IP's are built for.

Another comment I see is that the long keel means they don't reverse and can't be handled in marinas. Simply not true, you just need to practice and learn the tricks to do it. I was shown how to do a 360 in an IP and can turn her around in just over her own length, and have had to do so for real on several occasions. Impressed the hell out of some trawler people who were watching but I can't take credit for being super skillful, I just paid attention to what the IP people taught me

Agree on the new side though, although I guess if you have the cash it is nice to have a brand new boat. Ours was a year old and we got a good deal (basically all the add-on toys for free) but note that IP's hold their secondhand value well and generally sell for about what you paid - even over a 20+ year period based on the data so far. Another reason why they are a good boat - or is it that they hold their value *because* they are good boats?

Anyway, something worth considering if you plan a circumnavigation for a few years and then want to sell up afterwards - many boats that may point higher will be worth half their value when you come back
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:24   #15
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Seems to me that the Island Packet is sort of the "Apple Computer" of cruising sailboats. The number crunchers hate them, but their owners love them. Comfort and livability are difficult to quantify, and IP seems to do a better job than most.
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