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Old 27-01-2013, 19:28   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bradenton, Fl
Boat: 1974 Cal 29
Posts: 110
The most custom Island Packet ever built- Hull #13

A while ago I bought this little ugly duckling with no engine or batteries or any amenities to speak of. She was clean and the sails were in good shape- except there were no genoa sheets and no place to attach the mainsheet!

This boat is the original Island Packet, hull #13. It was a kit boat which was fitted with a custom cabin and rig. The cabin is ugly but extremely functional, with 6' of headroom,spanning the full width of the boat, and extending further into the bow and stern than the factory version. The rig is a keel-stepped, round, tapered aluminum spar. I doubt it needs any of the stays to support it! The sail-plan appears to be the same as factory, and it does have a staysail though the stay is not currently rigged to fly it.

The interior is brilliant!
*The companionway is offset slightly to port. The two steps that lead down into the cabin have storage under them.
*Aft to port is a respectably-sized chart table with a lifting lid for chart stowage beneath. The electric panel is outboard of the chart table and was re-wired by the previous owner. A stereo and VHF are mounted above, but both units are fried. A floating hand-held VHF does communication duty for now. Eventually I'll find a free car stereo to get music back aboard.
*Aft center is a small storage area where random items and the fire extinguisher are kept. Under the storage is the built-in battery charger which seems to work fine though the status lights don't come on.
*Aft to starboard is the head. It's fairly large, downright roomy for any 26' boat, and has plumbing to support a shower that run off the pressure water system, though the fitting have been removed. There are hoses and through-hulls for a marine head, but no holding tank. For now I have a MSD compatible port-a-pot. Never again will I buy one of these!
*Mid-ship to Port is the large U-shaped galley with a single, deep sink fed only by pressure fresh water. Plenty of counter-space and storage, and still out the way for getting through the boat. Only one little quirk that annoys me: no place for a top-loading icebox- only space for a dorm fridge. Unfortunately that space is slightly too small for the modern dorm fridge from Walmart, so I've put the fridge where the stove/oven is supposed to go (perfect fit) and set a propane camp grill on the removable counter-top above. The old fridge location will be turned into a cabinet.
*Across from the galley to starboard is a dinette for two- and only two. The table is plenty wide as it can be dropped between the seats to form a double berth that I don't have the fill cushions for. There is deep storage under the seats and under the platform between them.
*Forward is what I describe as an asymmetrical V-berth. The port side of the V-berth has a hanging locker with shelf above, which makes this side a bit shorter than the starboard side. Not a problem as both sides are plenty long enough for sleeping fore-and-aft. I've laid down and checked this out, then inserted the fill and slept in my preferred position, crosswise! There is plenty of room for two people to sleep across the head of the v-berth, and have all the headroom of the cabin above as the small foredeck only covers the forward half of the berth. Three would fit laying fore-and-aft.
*There is a small and probably inadequate chain locker forwards, with two oval pipe hawsers. If I were to really cruise this boat I would want to modify this locker somehow. It does have access to the storage area underneath the forward end of the v-berth. That access could be improved and installing a longer hawse pipe though a shelf might make a top/bottom locker possible, though pulling in rope that lives in the lower locker would have to be done from below. The other option is to make the V-berth smaller, and this might work just fine as long as I can still lay length-wise on the (longer) port side berth. it wouldn't affect laying cross-wise, of course. There are drawers under each side of the V, along with top-access. Most of the space under the v-berth is taken up by a 50(?) gallon plastic water-tank. The pressure water pump and accumulator are under the port side of the V-berth. I'm not sure how I feel about this location for that much weight and in valuable storage space as well. If I were to cruise this boat I would consider somehow moving this tank to under the cockpit sole.

The cockpit sucks!
I can't think of anything about the cockpit that I actually like, other than the size. The sole slopes *forwards*, to (small) through-hull drains, the cockpit seats have side-opening access that doesn't currently have any hinges or latches and is just screwed shut, and the coamings are wholly inadequate. I'm not a fan of how the outboard engine mounts in a hole in the transom, but I can't find anything particularly wrong with it. Except that I had to greatly enlarge the hole to fit the Yamaha 9.9 4-stroke.
Due to the simple glass-over-ply construction method of the cockpit, a little time with a reciprocating saw could remove it and a more intelligently designed one would not be hard to build into its place. I'll probably just put some latches on the access panels, build taller coamings, and live with the rest.
It does have nice wooden cleats and a beautiful laminated tiller that hinges up and out of the way. A sunbrella cover keeps the sun off the tiller.

The cabin-top crosses the boat and is very barefoot-friendly. Long grab-rails run the length of it on either side and act more as toe-rails. This is not a boat designed to sail with much angle of heel and it's a good thing because there is almost nothing to hang onto while up there.

The fore-deck is short but fairly wide and the bowsprit has a nice walking surface surrounded by a sturdy pulpit. There are four Herreshoff cleats on the deck: two 6", and two 8", with a 12" Herreshoff mounted in the center, though the bowsprit. The anchors are intended to hang on the bowsprit but the rodes will be run through chocks on the deck (no chocks installed yet, though). I am planning to add either life-lines between the front of the cabin and the pulpit, or wide boards to create something like a well-deck.

Pictures: just links so I don't kill bandwidth.
Exterior, Starboard, Exterior, Port
Part of Galley, showing head access and storage area
Galley (before)
Galley (current)
Dinette, another angle
V-Berth, another angle
Fore-deck, at anchor
At anchor

I'll have to get some pictures of the cockpit
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Old 27-01-2013, 20:16   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: El Ciudad del Mission San Diego de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 2,358
Re: The most custom Island Packet ever built- Hull #13

The original IP was 26' and did not have a plumb forward end to the cabin. Which model is this and what year?

Interesting boat none the less.
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:24   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bradenton, Fl
Boat: 1974 Cal 29
Posts: 110
Re: The most custom Island Packet ever built- Hull #13

Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
The original IP was 26' and did not have a plumb forward end to the cabin. Which model is this and what year?

Interesting boat none the less.
Whoops, I did forget to mention the year, didn't I? 1982

As per paragraph 2, sentence 2:
It was a kit boat which was fitted with a custom cabin and rig.
Although I can expound on this further. A response from Island Packet to my request for any information about the build specifications of my particular boat is in the quotation below:

I am afraid we can't tell you too much about this hull. Our sub-contractor, Marine Innovaters ("MI"-builders of the first couple dozen Island Packets) sold this boat as a kit. So the hull was laminated by "us" (MI) but the yacht was shipped in pieces. We have no record of the ballast the owner/builder may have used. We also show both the deck and the rig were "modified per buyer's request" so we have limited knowledge on how the final yacht was built. In fact, no record of a rudder being produced for this boat may mean it, too was "custom."

Sorry we don't know more.

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