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Old 04-08-2014, 17:37   #1
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Island Packet Model Comparison

Howdy Folks,

My wife and I have been hunting for our next boat for the past 3-4 months and our scope has crept quit a bit since we started hunting. When we started we where just looking for a learner boat, something to build some experience on. The more boats we’ve looked at the more we’ve tailored our desired features. Our goal is to spend at least a couple weekends a month on the boat initially probably nights in the marina but as our comfort level grows and we start building some experience in the Gulf Of Mexico, weekends on the hook would be nice. We’d also plan to spend several weeks a year cruising the Gulf coast with some trips down to Mexico and the Caribbean. We’re looking for comfortable accommodations for two couples. We value overall comfort above speed and pure upwind ability. For us, a comfortable motion, comfortable living space at the dock and at anchor and solid build quality are critical. We’d like a boat that will be forgiving of our lack of experience and that we can feel comfortable in as we gradually work our way up to longer and longer trips. In addition rather than treating this next boat purely as a stepping stone to an eventual mid to upper 40s foot cruising boat, we’d like to have the option of keeping it for our full time cruising aspirations. Since we realize our desired features may change, resale value is also a key component in our decision.

I know from reading many threads that our current plan, to go with an Island Packet won’t be a popular decision with the racing oriented folks here. Their are many great boats available in our size and price range but the IPs appeal to us from a build quality, comfort, and layout perspective. We’re not interested in racing (other than as an excuse to build some experience) our focus is on cruising and we want a boat that’s design specifically for cruising, that is capable of taking us anywhere, as safely and comfortably as possible. We’re willing to compromise on raw speed and to invest the $ in dedicated light air sails, for a boat that meets our other requirements. So for the purposes of this thread, let’s not focus on the "Island Piglet” viewpoint, been there, read that already.

We’d prefer something in the low to mid $100k range. So a 37-40ft IP seems like a great option for us. My wife isn’t crazy about V-berths so we’ve eliminated the 35 and 37. We’re taking a long drive (this week) along the gulf coast from Texas to FL and checking out all the IPs that are somewhat convenient to us in Texas. The boats we’ve narrowed it down to are the IP 370, 38, 380, and 40.

Which get’s me to my question. Despite the fact that our primary focus is comfort, I’m curious what kind of performance differences you would expect between these 4 boats (stat’s below). The first thing that jumps out to me is how similar all the boats are with the exception of the SA/D ratio. The 370 has an SA/D of 15.7 (in mast furling) vs 18.0-18.6 for the other 3 models. How much of an impact should I expect this to make? If we’re already planning to invest the $$ in large light air sales, is factory sail area something to consider? Are the rest of these numbers close enough that performance differences will be inconsequential? Our final decision will obviously come down to overall maintenance level and a gut feel for each boat (as well as a serious survey), that being said any reason why you'd select one model over another?

IP 370 LOA - 37’10” LWL - 31’ Beam - 13’1” Draft - 4’3” Disp - 23,800lbs D/L - 357 SA/D - 15.7 Mast - 54’3”

IP 38 LOA - 41’6” LWL - 33’ Beam - 12’8” Draft - 5” Disp - 21,500 D/L - 267 SA/D - 18.3 Mast - 51’

IP 380 LOA - 39’7” LWL - 32’ Beam - 13’2” Draft - 4’7” Disp - 21,000 D/L - 286 SA/D - 18.6 Mast - 54’3”

IP 40 LOA - 41’6” LWL - 34’ Beam - 12’11” Draft - 4’8” Disp - 22,800 D/L - 259 SA/D - 18.0 Mast - 53’8”

Thanks,
EB
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Old 04-08-2014, 18:22   #2
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

EB,
You sent me the PM, that I forgot about?
First IP's are supposed to be slow, but I don't know where this comes from, really. Now it takes 5 kts to get one moving that is true, but in winds above 10 kts, so far I have been about the fastest boat in the Bay at PC. Light winds and I get blown away, perhaps this is where the Piglet rep comes from
I've never raced, and almost certainly never will, but you know how it is, get a couple of boats going in the same direction, and it becomes an unofficial race. You know when this happens when you start overtaking a boat and they turn slightly to get the wind direction just right and start trimming sails. I expected to be faster than the little boats, but not some that I have clearly slowly overtaken and passed, and I'm no where near as heeled over as they are.
I've got an Engineer at work whose passion is racing, I don't think he care about any other kind of sailing. Anyway his belief of what is happening is that most boats, specifically most cruising boats are rather poorly sailed.
Anyway of the boats in your list, I'd go with the 40 if I could find one I could afford. I actually liked a 320 as I was a little worried about the size of a 38, but turns out I shouldn't have worried. Funny thing was the 35 or so IP and the 38 price wise were so similar, but that extra three ft. really matters.
The sugar scoop stern would have really been nice, but was out of my budget.
I'd be glad to show you ours if your passing by, it's not for sale, but we can crawl around and dig through everything, I may can show you some things about IP's.
All boats have Achilles heels of course, on IP's it's tanks and chainplates, both require major dis-assembly to replace.
I can also show you our survey and recommend a surveyor who worked at the IP factory for years.
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Old 04-08-2014, 18:46   #3
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

Have you looked at the PHRF ratings? The numbers tend to emphasize windward ability probably more than you care about, but you can at least look at the relative numbers to compare models. Lower numbers are faster:
IP 38 avg 171
IP 380 177
IP 40 138
I didn't see a listing for the 370, but with in-mast furling you can expect a pretty good performance hit. The difference between the 38 and 380 looks insignificant. And the number for the 40 seems to be a bit skewed to the low side by an outlier lowest reported rating of 78, comparable to a J/35, which seems a little unlikely. Probably the 40 is the best performer of the bunch, though. Good luck with your search and enjoy your trip!
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Old 04-08-2014, 19:33   #4
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

We love our IP40! Stable, well built, and comfortable. For the tropics an IP 40 will kick ass. Loves winds 15-20kts. Only downside sailing is that she doesn't point as close as some of the other makers. May not be a big deal depending where you are going. Remember that most time cruising as you described it is spent not sailing. An IP shines again. For what you described don't worry about speed ratings. PM me if you would like more info/opinion.


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Old 04-08-2014, 20:14   #5
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

a64pilot - Yep I was the one that sent you the PM asking about your 38. We'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the boat overall and your experiences since you've bought her.

SandyStone - I had not reviewed the PHRF rating since I really don't care about racing, but probably should have as it helps get a feel for how they stack up. Thanks

CaptainBW - Good to hear you love your 40. I'll definitely reach out once we've completed our walk throughs.

I have to admit I find the 40 and the 38 the most interesting. Of course from a cost perspective the 38 seems tough to beat at the moment but it will of course come down to how the individual boats feel when we start crawling through them this Friday/Saturday. It's going to be a long trip with a hell of a lot of driving, but I must admit I'm really looking forward to it. Any suggestions for specific things to look out for would be greatly appreciated.

From previous threads I'll pay attention to chain plates and tank condition, or more specifically if they've been replaced or not. Any other potential trouble spots we should be looking for?

Thanks again,
EB
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Old 04-08-2014, 21:30   #6
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

I am quite competitive upwind with most boats once we hit 25 kts and 8 foot swells...I guess I am saying ratings are for arm chair skippers. Grab any of your choices but good luck if your budget is capped at 100k.
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Old 05-08-2014, 00:37   #7
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

ErBrown,

Search for the Surveyor 101 thread on CF. I haven't read it myself, but it has had good reviews.


Meantime, here's a few ideas:

Abovedecks: Standing and running rigging, nothing should look oxidized or extremely worn, a little wear is to be expected. Winches turn freely and not noisily. It's okay if they go tick-tick, but growly means they need maintenance. [If they do not turn freely, it is a sign of poor maintenance, and winches are easy to do.]

One thing to do is close all the ports and hatches, and then hose them and the hull to deck join vigorously. Look for signs of water ingress. Check the bilge: it should be water and oil free, and dusty is okay, good, actually.

Below, look for water stains on all timber and around ports. Lift rugs. Look inside every single locker. Note the condition of cushions and upholstery. This includes in the engine room. Look for leaks of any imaginable variety. Is the engine clean or gritty with oily dirt? Check the alternator belt and belt dust on the inside of the engine box; look around the water pump, a common leaky place. Anywhere you see salt crystals there's been or still is a saltwater leak. Grovel down and see if you can see under the oil pan. Can you reach under it? How will it be to change the oil? Can you see any leaks (diesel fuel, oil, water, ATF, saltwater) when the engine is running?

Heads: Condition of holding tank, head hoses, and, of course, timber, again. Do all the pumps work? Does the shower have its own sump? (very desirable)
How thoroughly does it pump out? (You may have to bail it out, the inconvenience of which may lead you to sunshowering on deck.)

If you get really interested in a particular boat, see if you can get hold of the service records of it. You might also look to see if the owner has the manuals for all the equipment aboard. Sometimes people have the engine oil checked, not for level but for signs of what's wrong or going wrong with the engine.

Water tanks should not have an odor.

Anyhow, that'll be something to think about while you read the Surveyor 101 thread.

Have fun, it's going to be hard work, and still plenty exciting!

Ann
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:05   #8
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

On what to check for, spend time on the Islan Packet owners' web site: iphomeport.com. There are a number of threads on what to look for with different models. One thing for sure is to see whether the holding tank has been replaced.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:19   #9
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

We loved our IP 380. Folks that have never sailed an IP will parrot the old saw about IP's being slow, but that's BS, at least for the more modern designs. I never did round-the-buoy racing, but we were generally the first boat into the anchorage on yacht club cruises.

She really showed her stuff on bluewater passages. We consistently averaged around 80% of hull speed and the comfort level was exceptional compared to other boats in the same conditions.

Good performance, plenty of storage room, high comfort and safety levels--a great cruising boat!
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:07   #10
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

ErBrown,
I'll be in Panama City this weekend if your close and have time.
From what I could tell IP's have a little bit of a following, so resale is pretty good. But there are many 80 thousand dollar ones asking 150 for and if you look really hard you can find a boat worth 100's for 80's.
I seriously doubt you'll find a boat in your price range that has new chainplates and or tanks. Black water tank had been replaced in mine already, but in 38 it's a dead easy job to do. Literally four bolts, a couple of hoses and it comes right out of the compt. it's in. It would be so easy to do that I wouldn't want one that had already been replaced, I'd want one that needed it and use that for negotiations.
Water tank is the issue, to get it out requires complete removal of the sole, and that may not be that big a deal, I haven't done mine yet. I hope to replace the aluminum tank with a 316 SS tank when I do. It's a big tank, 187 gls?
Fuel tank ought to last a long time, as long as you keep water out of it? I can't see why an aluminum fuel tank would corrode? I've got a 1946 Cessna that has two original aluminum fuel tank, both are in excellent condition at 68 yrs of age.
Engine access is outstanding, I can easily reach everything as all four sides of the engine compt are removable.
I keep finding things that make me like an IP that you just don't find on some others. I opened the electrical panel the other day when I was installing an Ac for the fwd berth and found an automatic Halon fire extinguisher in there, now I don't want an electrical fire of course, but if I ever have one, that Halon extinguisher inside of that essentially sealed compt., will have a very good chance of extinguishing one.
Deep bilge, Shower sump looks to be about ten gallons, not the little plastic shoe box you will see in some makes, mine has a diaphragm pump mounted in the engine compt and very easy to access to pump it out.
The only thing I do not like about the boat is that you can't put golf cart batteries in the factory battery compt., it's not deep enough.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:11   #11
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

Be sure to check the holding tanks for leaks. I know two people who purchased IPs only to find the holding tank leaked. It is not an easy fix.

Also, the engine in the IP should have low hours and a good maintenance log. If you ever need to replace the engine, you are going to need a good carpenter as well as a mechanic.

Keep in mind full keel boats can be difficult to maneuver in tight places (marinas). Bow thrusters are a plus.

Really consider a sugar scoop transom. Else, you will find boarding the vessel (especially from floating docks) difficult. You will need to bob and weave a lot when getting on board. This is a real pain if you ever plan to live aboard. There is a reason most newer boats are adopting this design.

You may want to contact Whiteaker Yacht Sales. Ed Whiteaker was an IP sales broker and went to start his own company. He is extremely qualified to help you select the right boat. You can use him as a buyers agent (no charge to you - commission paid by seller). I have no affiliation with Whiteaker Yacht Sales.

As an FYI there is a beautiful IP370 for sale in our marina. It is in top notch condition with all the whistles and bells: 2005 Island Packet 370 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com I have no affiliation with this boat or broker. It is priced to sell quickly!
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:00   #12
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

EB,

One other thought on the IP40... if you do need to replace the holding tank it can be done via the Pullman berth in the forward cabin and the cabin sole does not need to be compromised.

One of the signs of holding tank issues is that the tank does not hold pressure to effectively flush the heads. It would also be worth while to get/purchase one of those scopes that people use to inspect pipes and wiring runs, and look at the bottom of the tank.

The holding tanks in Great Lakes and fresh water boats will last longer so look for those in your search.

As mentioned above IPhomport.com is a great resource. You can also learn a lot on ipphotos.clom and ipyoa.com. If you have particular questions, the IP factory is very supportive as well.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:03   #13
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

I’m going to try something, no idea if this will work or not. I'm trying to put my answers in a different color, how do you guy's do that?
Be sure to check the holding tanks for leaks. I know two people who purchased IPs only to find the holding tank leaked. It is not an easy fix.

On my 38 it would be dead easy, I’ve measured as I know this is a job that will be coming up for me. Older tanks like mine are aluminum, newer ones are I think fiberglass. I think maybe you’re thinking about a newer model that I’m unfamiliar with? Apparently there are differences between models or years.

Also, the engine in the IP should have low hours and a good maintenance log. If you ever need to replace the engine, you are going to need a good carpenter as well as a mechanic.

On my 87 model 38 pulling the engine would be way easier than on a car, It will come out without removing any accessories even, I have not measured the companionway though, maybe the heat exchanger will have to come off to fit through there.

Keep in mind full keel boats can be difficult to maneuver in tight places (marinas). Bow thrusters are a plus.

Prop walk is your friend, once you get used to it, know how much of it there is and plan for it, it works well, I would like a bow thruster in big cross winds , doubt that is a full keel thing though, point being once I stopped trying helm her as if she was a Sport fisherman and learned the way she handled, it got easy. The thread on “docking a full keeled boat” here on CF was a great help, especially the link to the video, that opened my eyes.

Really consider a sugar scoop transom. Else, you will find boarding the vessel (especially from floating docks) difficult. You will need to bob and weave a lot when getting on board. This is a real pain if you ever plan to live aboard. There is a reason most newer boats are adopting this design.

I would have loved a Sugar scoop stern, especially like the way IP does it as it’s sort of a Hybrid, coming from the power boat world I want a full transom to keep following seas out and an open sugar scoop would worry me. My budget just didn’t allow for a boat with a sugar scoop, but I want it for diving, getting on a off a dock has been no problem, but we travel with a step ladder as there is no standard for dock height on fixed docks, most of the time I bow into a slip as it’s more private that way. I’ve never gotten in and off the stern, but understand that’s common in the Med?
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:33   #14
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

I too like the IP40. I assume it has a Pullman berth forward that you want.

The SA/Disp number for the IP 370 is due to a couple of factors. One I think IP was a little more honest about the weight. I can't believe that it weighs 2,300 lbs more than the IP38. Secondly IP reduced the sail area with the furling mast and maybe more than that to appeal to the non sailor sailors.

The IP 38 is a great boat, with the exception of the through the knees steering. Some have modified them for pedestal steering. To have that done professionally might cost $5,000 but I would seriously consider it and it essentially turns an IP38 into an IP40 for less money. Have you ever tried to stand and steer through crab trap fields for hours with that kind of steering?

Hayden Cochran has a photo essay on making this conversion at http://tinyurl.com/77p7bvz.

And IPHomePort is a great resource for all things Island Packet. They drink the koolaide on that site, but so what.

David
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:35   #15
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Re: Island Packet Model Comparison

a64pilot,
Not sure why you selected my post in particular to pick apart but it looks like you are helping me make my points:

  • The holding tanks are known to leak
  • Engine replacement is unknown to you - I have seen it first hand.
  • "Prop walk is your friend". Really? Try backing down a narrow cannel with prop walk, especially if the wind is pushing the vessel the same direction as prop walk. Let's keep in mind the OP is a novice. My point stands about a bow thruster with a full keel.
  • You carry a step ladder
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