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Old 05-09-2016, 20:07   #1
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Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Hello all. First post. New to the forum, somewhat new to sailing. Not new to boats.

We've had boats all our life - my dad sailed a bit when I was a kid (small boats - mainly lake sailing). My husband and I have owned quite a few motor boats over the years, but last year we bought a Hobie Tandem Island for fun and boy did we get hooked. Love taking it out along the gulf coast!! So we signed up for sailing classes, got the bare basics (ASA 101 and 102 certified), but really enjoyed our captain and commissioned him to show us some boats in the marina, take us out on some, etc...(and in doing so have lightly touched on some 103 and 104 skills as well). We are still total newbies though, obviously. So much to learn, but eager to hone our practical skills. That "circle of things that we don't realize we don't know"? It's gotten smaller, but still we now probably have just about enough knowledge to truly be dangerous. But I digress...

Main topic for this post is our first purchase. Now I realize many people think as newbies we might should get something a bit more sprite, better light air sailing, etc., but we really want a boat that is blue water capable. I know we can purchase that later, but honestly, looking at doing some initial long weekend coastal cruising, and hoping to take 4-6 weeks off next year to really go off shore. We don't necessarily need something that we can live on for years at a time yet (although, in a couple of years, we might actually do that), but we do want something that's solid and capable of say a gulf crossing, or perhaps even to take to the Caribbean (maybe all at once, or maybe in legs, etc..)

To that end, we've been looking around locally and have found a Southern Cross 31 that really shines! We've also found an Island Packet 31 that also is endearing (although our hearts are leaning toward the SC). Thing is, we might, from time to time, have a friend or two with us, and the SC would be really tight for more than two people. She's also a bit heavier than the IP (good thing in rough seas, but thinking she might be just a tad too sluggish?)

Absolutes that we know: The Southern Cross needs updated electronics and has no shower at all (!). The Island Packet has a few odds and ends she needs, but nothing more than about $1000 in actual needs. (Note: obviously a formal survey may turn up more on either boat). For some reason, we just really love the SC - just seems to fit us like a glove. But that also might be a problem, maybe just perhaps too tight. I think both will be sluggish; we're not looking to race, though. We are going to get to take the IP out in a few weeks (not an official sea trial) but the broker is going to take us out, so we'll get to see how she sails. Not sure we'd be able to take the SC out before an official offer is on the table.

Anyway, just curious as to what anyone's thoughts were on the two? I will note this: the SC is about 30% cheaper than the IP.

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2016, 22:56   #2
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Hi arroway, I can't really comment on the IP. Have a few friends with one but myself have never sailed on one. About a year ago I bought (opportunity via serendipity) my SC31. Some were sold as kits and some fully built by Ryder hence the interior layouts do vary quite a bit. Myself I am a newbie as well. A bit over a week ago I single handed downwind (easy so good for someone with only 5 days as crew to learn) USVI-PR for safer ground given H season. Where I am currently moored is tucked behind the reef after passing through the channel markers. My ego! was relieved to find out I was not the first nor will be the last! to find myself stuck on the reef as I tried to tuck around. A team of rescuers! arrived by dinghy within 10 min. I was REALLY stuck. Every time I heard her crunch I cringed. Eventually (hours later) she was back bobbing in the water. Later I went under to inspect her hull and keel. All I managed to do was clean a bit of paint off. She is SOLID!

As far as your comment re: shower. My head has a drain in the floor so could accommodate a hand held shower head if you do something to protect the walls (glass in or tile?). I believe a friend is going to have a shower put in, just not sure how they are doing that.

Indeed they don't do great in light winds. That being said: I looked back - the day I sailed max wind speeds were 11 knots and I managed somehow 80% hull speed (I am not a racer nor have a racing mindset).

Every boat has its pros and cons so really depends on what is most important to you. The SC you are looking at does she still have the bronze fittings/hardware or are they now stainless? Engines (make, hours, condition?). Alternative energy come with either? Self steering?

If you haven't looked at the following link, might be another site to see how the two compare by community driven input Full List of Sailboats

All I can think of at the moment but feel free to ask anything.

T
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Old 06-09-2016, 00:39   #3
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Hi, & welcome to CF!

Hope you’ll forgive my starting out being blunt, but you sound like a teenager who’s found his/her first love, & are in need of a bit of reality to fix such. Meaning that when it comes to the SC31 you’re shopping with your heart. And that’s a bad idea in boats, especially when you’re new to them.


Also, this is a huge amount of info, so go through it one piece at a time, so that you don't melt your brains. It's a couple of decades of learning condensed into a "chapter".

BTW, what’s your age, ball park? And I gather that you’re part of a couple? Boat budget equals? Are you up to speed on the boat buying process & steps involved? How about that the boat is only 1/3rd of the fiscal equation. Another 1/3rd is tuning her up & fitting her out. The next 1/3rd is your boat/cruising kitty (in theory). And then there’s another 1/3rd+ for overruns

Anyway, given the size & layout of an SC31, it’ll literally be like living & sailing in a small bathroom. One which sails poorly at that, & doesn’t have much storage space.


Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database. should become one of your new friends for doing basic statistics checks on boats. And in this case the listed SADR – Sail Area to Displacement Ratio on the SC31 is about 14. Which means that it’ll take 20kts of wind to get her north of 5kts, AKA she’s Very slow.



In normal cruising at least half of the winds which you’ll encounter will be under 10kts. Which you need an SADR on the north side of 20 to be able to sail in, with 25 being preferable. Though such numbers can include some extra area from overlapping jibs. But then you also have to figure on having a few thousand pounds of gear & stores onboard, including liquids.

For example, my Ranger 33 with a 135% genoa sailed well down to about 6kts of wind, when she’d drop to 2kts. In 3-4kts I could coax 1.5kts out of her using racing tricks. And my 2-tonner, a racer, with an SADR of 25 with a 150% jib would do wind speed down to 4kts, & 2-3kts in less wind than that. She weighed 9t & had a big rig. But converted into a nice cruiser, who sailed incredibly well. My preference.

The IP31 will have almost twice the livable space inside vs the SC31, both for lounging & sleeping, & especially in the galley. Which is key when cruising, as it’s the heart of the boat. Plus she has a much better SADR, amongst other things. Ergonomics included.
Avoid canoe sterns, it’s like lopping 4-5’ off of the boat in terms of room & hull volume (load & cargo carrying space & ability).



Attached below is a “Sticky” which I've been putting together, given that a lot of folks come looking for help with finding boats. My apologies for it’s length, though it’s FULL of information. And aside from perusing it, especially the links. Go to as many boat shows as possible, & take cameras, voice recorders, video, notepads, & also backpacks for all of the literature you’ll bring home. Start early, stay late; including a few days before & after the show. Meet people Dale Carnagie style, ask questions, learn, make opportunities, sail as much as possible. Leave exhausted, sun burned, & happy!
.
Catch the one in Annapolis next month if at all possible. SIC. It’s a semi-global fav.
Try out bunks, cockpits, everything & anything that brokers & owners don’t expressly forbid you from doing. Both at shows & when viewing boats. Yep, go full on kid in a candy store, & Have Fun!!!

PS: Take your sailing gear bags too. With a pair of lightweight foulies always In your daily boat show backpacks, for those impromptu sailing invites that you’ll wrangle.



STICKY:
These are some past threads on assisting people with finding boats, which are full of info in general. They also include a couple of full on critiques of a couple of specific designs. Including those, which for many, comprise (some) desirable features in a cruiser.
Albeit these most of these Threads/write-ups were targeted towards college students/adults just getting started. And thus, were on very limited budgets. Though the Threads definitely have some pointers in terms of what to look for in a boat. And, FWIW, no 2 people, or family’s needs are the same.

Quarter Life Crisis
Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?
Where to find the right boat?
Best place on the east coast to start hunting for the killer deal

This thread (below) has an AMAZING amount of info on the realities of cruising, & what one Needs in a boat. Along with examples of same, & the why behind same.
Occupancy of Boats

Help Me Look for a Boat, Please

A common theme in sailing & cruising, is that both parties, & or everyone onboard, needs to both be able to handle all of the jobs onboard, as well as be comfortable doing them. Otherwise, it can create a Lot of stress, & even end a cruise or a marriage. Thus the inclusion of the below.
Gender parity in sailing
Gender parity in sailing

People wanting fast boats is another common theme. Although, misconception, is perhaps a more accurate term. Given how many people want boats that will do 200nm days. So, attached are some yardsticks to compare the speeds of various boats. Also see some of the links & articles on this, & other things at www.BethandEvans.com Beth Leonard & Evans Starzinger's website.


One listing below if of the PHRF rating of a large number of boats. PHRF being an acronym for Performance Handicap Rating (Rated) Fleet. So basically it lets you know how fast one boat is as compared to another, in seconds per mile, over most courses,under a general range of sailing conditions. http://www.phrfne.org/page/handicapping/base_handicaps



These are some links to pages which make you ask yourself some serious questions about; you, what you plan to do with your boat, & to quantify such. Like how much time you figure to spend in marinas vs. anchoring, where you’ll cruise, climate wise, amounts of stores, etc.
Plus, what features you Need in a boat Vs. what one may desire in one, & how to go about gathering more of this information, down to small but important details of a multiplicity of designs.


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f74/whats-the-best-boat-youve-ever-owned-163428.html#post2082019 <- <- <- READ & STUDY THIS To Assist You in Making Your Own Must Have Features Checklist.


Mahina Expeditions - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising <-- They professionally help folks find boats also, & have a recommended boats list. In addition to teaching all kinds of offshore sailing skills, hands on like.


Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org  LOTS of boat evaluations, reviews, & links to info on all reviewed designs on the website


Atom Voyages - Home  Evaluations of LOTS of boats 32’ & less, plus voyages made in them.
Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List

More stuff to read which has questions you need to ask yourself in order to choose the right boat, regardless of the number of hulls that it has.
Kurt Hughes Multihull Design - Catamarans and Trimarans for Cruising and CharterKurt Hughes Multihull Design - Catamarans and Trimarans for Cruising and Charter
https://www.morganscloud.com/
https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...ut-you-4-tips/

The fiscal side of cruising often comes up; sometimes to folks pleasant surprise, & the reverse for others. Meaning that, yep, it does cost money, & that living on $200/mo even on a boat, is still quite a challenge. However, the resources below are a big aid in terms of staying on a small budget, if you so choose. And while the last one, Annie Hill’s book, is dated, the principles still FULLY apply today. And she & her then husband lived Very frugally. Beginning with the boat’s design, & how much maintenance she’d need. Their boat that is.


https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...what-it-takes/


Not all who wander....are lost


http://www.amazon.com/Voyaging-Small...rds=annie+hill



EDIT: When you're up for some serious reading via some awesome professional sailors, go to www.SetSail.com& download (for free) Steve & Linda Dashew's books. Especially their Offshore Cruising Encyclopeida Vol. II

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Old 06-09-2016, 04:48   #4
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, arroway.

See ➥ Sail Calculator Pro v3.54 - 2800+ boats

*Performance Comparison* LOA Pacific Seacraft 31
31.833

Southern Cross 31
31

LWL Pacific Seacraft 31
24.166

Southern Cross 31
25

Beam Pacific Seacraft 31
9.833

Southern Cross 31
9.5

Displacement Pacific Seacraft 31
11000

Southern Cross 31
13600

Sail Area Pacific Seacraft 31
485

Southern Cross 31
447

Capsize Ratio Pacific Seacraft 31
1.77

Southern Cross 31
1.59

Hull Speed Pacific Seacraft 31
6.59

Southern Cross 31
6.7

Sail Area to Displacement Pacific Seacraft 31
15.69

Southern Cross 31
12.55

Displacement to LWL Pacific Seacraft 31
348

Southern Cross 31
389

LWL to Beam Pacific Seacraft 31
2.46

Southern Cross 31
2.63

Motion Comfort Pacific Seacraft 31
30.35

Southern Cross 31
38.8

Pounds/Inch Pacific Seacraft 31
849

Southern Cross 31
849
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:34   #5
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Uncivilized gave you a lot of good information and a lot to digest, do spend the time on it.

Props in particular for the US sailboat show idea.

Almost any boat is gonna need new or different electronics, it's part of the entry fee.

While I can't help avoid the nostalgia of the Southern Cross, long term that cabin and ability of the the IP will be far more comfortable. The other thing and while not much, the 6 inches less draft on the IP is nice too, given you are looking at coastal and the islands, it is nice to snug in a little closer some times.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:14   #6
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

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Originally Posted by Tina7 View Post
Hi arroway, I can't really comment on the IP. Have a few friends with one but myself have never sailed on one. About a year ago I bought (opportunity via serendipity) my SC31.
Great to hear from another SC owner, Tina. Thank you so much. Loved your story - glad to hear how solid your SC was!

Our sailing instructor went with us to look at the SC. He said adding a shower didn't seem like it would be a problem (we have a drain there as well). This particular boat has been really taken care of and just looks so beautiful. I do admit it's a bit of a romantic boat, and that may be affecting our brains. But, as my husband pointed out, she just felt like she fit like a glove. We've looked at (lost count) quite a few over the last 2 months or so. She was the first one that we both looked at each other with that, "she feels like home" look.

The captain that was with us really oohed and ahhed over her as well. We'll see!
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:54   #7
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Hi, & welcome to CF!

Hope youíll forgive my starting out being blunt, but you sound like a teenager whoís found his/her first love, & are in need of a bit of reality to fix such. Meaning that when it comes to the SC31 youíre shopping with your heart. And thatís a bad idea in boats, especially when youíre new to them.

You are totally correct in your assessment. We are like giddy teens in love (with sailing), and possibly with the SC. And we do welcome the input! That's exactly why I posted. You mention shopping with our hearts: our instructor said the same things ("Whatever you do, don't fall in love with a boat before she's your boat. That's never good!"). Having said that, it seemed he as pretty enamored by the SC as well ;-) Which, since we trust him a great deal, only made us even more comfortable with the thought of actually buying her....

Quote:


BTW, whatís your age, ball park? And I gather that youíre part of a couple? Boat budget equals? Are you up to speed on the boat buying process & steps involved? How about that the boat is only 1/3rd of the fiscal equation. Another 1/3rd is tuning her up & fitting her out. The next 1/3rd is your boat/cruising kitty (in theory). And then thereís another 1/3rd+ for overruns

Anyway, given the size & layout of an SC31, itíll literally be like living & sailing in a small bathroom. One which sails poorly at that, & doesnít have much storage space.
We are married - 29 years this October; high school sweethearts - and fast approaching 50. Boat budget is fluid. We started off thinking 100k But then figured that was a bit much for our first purchase and now are thinking 40k would be around the top end, with the understanding we might need to add another 10k or so to meet our specific needs. So, the SC listed at 28 - hoped to get at around 25 and then probably spend 5-7 on her. The IP lists at 49 - but doesn't look to need too much - maybe 1-2 k. Of course, this is all without formal surveys so.... Honestly I'd like to keep it in the 30-40 k range. However, if the perfect boat showed up for say, 70? I might buy it.

We own a vacation home that we use a LOT but also rent to pay for itself (and it rents very easily - I turn down more inquiries than I take). Goal is to purchase 2 more this year. From the 3 of those (actually 4 - we have investment property in our home town as well) we feel we can make a decent passive income to help fund our cruising. Probably won't cruise full time for another 2-3 years, but do plan to sail as much as possible over the next few months and then take some extended cruises next year before living aboard in 2-3 years. We do have some investments that had performed decently, and savings, so we have a little wiggle room.

Quote:

Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database. should become one of your new friends for doing basic statistics checks on boats. And in this case the listed SADR Ė Sail Area to Displacement Ratio on the SC31 is about 14. Which means that itíll take 20kts of wind to get her north of 5kts, AKA sheís Very slow.
We've been using that site! ;-) I knew the SC would be slow. The IP seems a bit sluggish as well. That's one of the things that concern me, personally. I keep thinking that's fine if we're literally living aboard and don't have time constraints - whereas the next year or two we are definitely more limited in time (doable though, we're flexible for the most part) but still concerns me. On the other hand, I don't want to spend money on a low quality built boat and obviously am a bit green in regard to KNOWING what is just right/happy medium.

Quote:
The IP31 will have almost twice the livable space inside vs the SC31, both for lounging & sleeping, & especially in the galley. Which is key when cruising, as itís the heart of the boat. Plus she has a much better SADR, amongst other things. Ergonomics included.
The space on the IP is definitely the main reason driving us to her. Our brain is IP. Our heart is SC. And you're right: we're so new we really don't know, do we? I will say this though. We've looked at faster boats, newer boats (Hunters, Catalinas, Odays - and even a very, very nice Cat (total other animal, I know). But didn't like any of them, at least not for the price. Did not like the Hunters we sailed at all. Haven't sailed a Catalina, saw a few - and one in particular was actually quite lovely - but 90k and didn't seem worth that price. We did see an Oday 39 which was priced right, but it was bought before we could think on it! She needed some work though.

I will also note, here on the gulf side, we don't have as much inventory to peruse as say...Ft Lauderdale! We initially thought we might fly around to find our first boat, but that seems like a lot of extra expense for a first purchase. Hence our rethink on spending 100k and deciding to go a bit less expensive, but quality build, and since we are looking on the panhandle of FL, there just aren't as many that fit that description. (We've looked at boats from Pensacola to Panama City so far, and in between.)

Quote:
Also, this is a huge amount of info, so go through it one piece at a time, so that you don't melt your brains.
Too much here to respond to on specific points, but THANK YOU for such a thorough response and these wonderful links. We have been (somewhat) obsessed for a while now and have been lurking this forum, other forums, and reading all we can (in addition to listening to podcasts, reading books, watching youtube vids - ever since we first punched through the waves over a year ago on that little hobie, we've done nothing but pour over "all things sailing". These will all make for some good reading/food for thought!!
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:56   #8
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

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While I can't help avoid the nostalgia of the Southern Cross, long term that cabin and ability of the the IP will be far more comfortable. The other thing and while not much, the 6 inches less draft on the IP is nice too, given you are looking at coastal and the islands, it is nice to snug in a little closer some times.
Pretty much sums it up right there for the comparison. We know this. I guess I just wanted other folks to validate it. Sigh.... Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:14   #9
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Normally I tend to dissuade folks from buying bigger (over 30') boats at first. As they won't truly know what they want & need until they've owned & sailed on several for a while. But there are boats which have similar lines to the SC31 that have a lot more interior & exterior room, as well as better sailing performance.

And part of my stating as much is based on your desire to cruise. So something in the 35' range is still small enough to be pretty easy to learn on, in that they're not that much bigger or heavier than a 31'er. Plus the costs which go with a 35' boat are still well below something that's 40'. But more people have gone around the world in 30'-35' boats than have in 40'ers & larger.

Keep in mind too that the average upkeep costs on a sailboat are about 10% of her value per year. Or 10% of vessels similar to her in size & quality. And that's on top of marina/moorage fees. So don't buy a big boat without considering such.

Also, a newer design which is 30' long will have as much room inside & out as does a 40'er from the 1960's or 1970's. Given their wider beam, better ergonomics, etc. So size is relative. Thus the prompting to attend boat shows, & see boats with brokers.

Ah, also do some reading on surveyinng (inspecting) boats. There's some great info on boatpoker's site. He's a member here who's also a surveyor. Marine Surveyor, Port Credit Marine Surveys, Toronto, Ontario
Nigel Calder is also a great one to read, via his numerous books, & magazine articles. Like this one for exaample http://www.cruisingworld.com/how/refit-reality-check Where he shows how much a boat's system's & fitting her out can cost, if you go the middle road, or the deluxe route on such. AKA wants vs. needs.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:22   #10
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

IPs are uncomfortable and probably not seaworthy, imho. SC are good open ocean boats but ugly as sin. Neither are anywhere close to a good old Pacific Seacraft sailboat. That is the gold standard. Worth the extra price since they can be sold easily.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:24   #11
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Up front... I like IPs.
For all the data listed above, the IP will take care of you better.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:36   #12
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pirate Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

I'd go for the SC 31 every time..
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:05   #13
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

Gordy May's sea calculator is a great tool for comparing the boats in question based on their measurements. The only IP I have experience sailing is an IP3800. The owner and I sailed it from La Paz, Baja California Sur, MX to Santa Cruz, California, so much of the time it was a bash to weather. The IP is an extremely comfortable boat with respect to creature comforts (beamy, high freeboard, well designed shower in an enormous head space) and heavily constructed. However, I was not overly impressed with the boats layout for being in a seaway (hand holds were not well placed, the salon seats make horrible bunks and the pedestal mount made getting around the helm awkward). Unfairly, perhaps, I found the upwind performance to be lacking. I say unfairly because most of my sailing (40+ years) has been done on fin keeled, moderate to light displacement boat with much tighter sheeting angles.

There has been good advice offered by others on this thread. Heed it and enjoy the experience of your first boat.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:26   #14
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

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Gordy May's sea calculator is a great tool for comparing the boats in question based on their measurements. The only IP I have experience sailing is an IP3800. The owner and I sailed it from La Paz, Baja California Sur, MX to Santa Cruz, California, so much of the time it was a bash to weather. The IP is an extremely comfortable boat with respect to creature comforts (beamy, high freeboard, well designed shower in an enormous head space) and heavily constructed. However, I was not overly impressed with the boats layout for being in a seaway (hand holds were not well placed, the salon seats make horrible bunks and the pedestal mount made getting around the helm awkward). Unfairly, perhaps, I found the upwind performance to be lacking. I say unfairly because most of my sailing (40+ years) has been done on fin keeled, moderate to light displacement boat with much tighter sheeting angles.

There has been good advice offered by others on this thread. Heed it and enjoy the experience of your first boat.
We rented an IP for two weeks cruising the Maine coast several years back. Never again. Great condo, but horrible sailing. Just not well designed for under way living. If you are going to live at a marina, then great boats. If you are going to live on the ocean while sailing, then get a sailboat designed for that. IP boats are not.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:46   #15
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Re: Southern Cross 31 versus Island Packet 31

If you're looking at the SC 31 that's on Craigslist it's been there for quite a few months. I have a feeling 20k might get it done. I can sure see why she tugs at your heart strings, she's a beautiful boat. When we're looking for a boat & find one boat that makes us feel that way we buy it! Life's too short to own an ugly boat.
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