Spent lots of time on an I28. A heavily built boat, not for light air sailing, but solidly built and incredibly well balanced. She'll self-steer for hours once you balance the sails
, no hand at the helm
, over a wide range of conditions. That's spooky--but nice.<G> Even Bob Perry has said he did very well with that design. The original plans apparently called for a keel
, but Islander went deck-stepped with an odd offset support under it for a more open cabin
. The decks are not balsa cored, they used Bruneel plywood--dense, heavy, and water
But on anything that old, you may find leaks
in the windows (replacement windows & haches still available from the original maker, Mark Plastics in CA) and at the chainplates, and you need to follow those carefully.
The engines are typically old Volvos, which can be worn out from salt water
by now--or perfectly good.
I've been on one in 8'+ seas and 30+ knots, and when reefed down she just puts her shoulder into it and plows through very nicely. You'll hear the mast
supports and all working, but you can have confidence in the boat if she's been maintained.