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Old 17-08-2008, 20:28   #1
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Island Packet Cats

Hello everyone!

I am new to the forum and will soon be shopping for a used catamaran for liveaboard and Intracoastal/Bahamas cruising. For various reasons, I want one of the narrower cats, and one with a solid foredeck. One boat that intrigues me is the Packet Cat. I know the quality of their monohulls is excellent from looking at them at boatshows. I have looked at Geminis but they feel a little cramped and I know their construction is really lightweight.

Everyone says the Packet Cats sail like dogs. But Chuck Kanter in "Crusing in Catamarans" says they "sail faster than comparable monohulls", and are "first class vessels". He also says the Delta-Pod bow eliminated bridgedeck slap and hobbyhorsing on a day of very rough sailing on Tampa Bay and the Manatee River. He rates Sailing, Windward Ability and Ease of tacking all a 4 out of 5. He sums it up by saying "best of all, when all is said and done, it still sails quite well and is a proper sailboat. "

My question is-does anyone have any opinions about how this boat sails that has actually sailed one? I have seen a couple posts by owners and they were very favorable.

Thanks, any input would be appreciated.
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Old 18-08-2008, 09:59   #2
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Dragonfly Trimarans by Quorning Boats of Denmark | welcome



Why not a Trimaran if you want a narrow boat...
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Old 18-08-2008, 15:23   #3
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Nice thought, and that vid is awesome. But we will be living aboard for a couple years before going cruising fulltime, we'll need something with a little more elbow room.
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Old 18-08-2008, 15:31   #4
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Really impressive video. Storing a kayak in the ama - fantastic!
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Old 18-08-2008, 15:48   #5
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Live aboard favorite is

www.liveantares.com YouTube - LiveAntares's Channel

www.yachtworld.com have atleast 2 used for sale..
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Old 18-08-2008, 17:11   #6
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My question is-does anyone have any opinions about how this boat sails that has actually sailed one? I have seen a couple posts by owners and they were very favorable.

Thanks, any input would be appreciated.
What do the numbers on this vessel tell you?

Sail area Vs weight Vs Waterline length Vs Wetted surface area.

Compare these to something that does actually perform

I have no doubt that they are a very "Comfortable" vessel, but I doubt they would better good sailing Mono (is there such a beast ) , though they may better a bad sailing mono

Dave
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Old 18-08-2008, 23:35   #7
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Southwinds - September 1998

If we read the same review Kanter states that he estimated his speed to be greater than a similar size monohull in similar conditions. Later he states that though it is not in the speed demon class it's performance and motion was better than many comparable cruising motor sailors. And then he goes on to compare it with a trawler. So I would take the claim about better performance than a monohull with a grain of salt. There was one in the same marina as me on Lake Superior some time ago. I have been aboard it and another at a boat show though I have not sailed on it. We did see it enough out on the water to know that it could not match us on any point of sail in any conditions (40 ft tri so not really a fair comparison). My impression was it would sail as well as a typical monohull and maybe if things were just right it might even do a bit better. That said it will still have a more comfortable motion and better handling under power than a monohull. I thought the build quality was fine.
I think it could be a good choice for your intended use, maybe not one I would make (I like a little more performance) but if you like the boat that's what counts.

That Dragonfly video was great.
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Old 19-08-2008, 01:13   #8
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Sorry i did not know that IP have catamarans. I do like that kind of spec in the link. Sailing=Fair, Visibility from the helm=Exceptional etc.....
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Old 19-08-2008, 13:21   #9
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I have only sailed one on a moderate afternoon on the Chesapeake, but the boat was a disappointment as a sailboat, (it just feels as ponderous as a much bigger boat) but possibly a rather nice small motorsailor. You are most likely a prime candidate for a Victory 35 in terms of quality of construction and modest beam. The Victory sails better.

A point: if you can stay inshore and out of big storm systems, why do you need a tank?
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Old 19-08-2008, 14:14   #10
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Packet Cats

Yes, we have looked at the Victory cats. My only issue with them is I think they only made them with a single diesel and I would rather have two for redundancy and manuverability. Otherwise they are an awesome boat, esp for a couple.

Unfortunately, I'm a little limited because I need to get a boat that will fit in a standard marina slip as we are going to liveaboard for a few years before we go cruising full time. If I didn't need a narrow boat I would definitely look at FPs, Lagoons, etc. I think I will also look at the Prout Snowgoose as they are obviously very seaworthy and have a moderate beam, they just seem to have an odd interior layout.

Oh well, every boat is a compromise. I wonder if the Packet Cat would be better in stormy conditions because of the conservative sailplan?

Oh, btw, when you sailed on the Packet Cat, how was the ride, was there any slamming, or was it too calm to really judge?

Thanks everyone for the input!

Ken in New Smyrna Beach

(where we have Tropical Storm Fay blowing through right now).
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Old 20-08-2008, 18:30   #11
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I LIKE the silette drive leg! It is in use by hundreds of Prouts, Geminis, and others, and provides the skilled user some pretty dramatic handling capabilities. Since is located nearer the CLR of these cats, it can be used to juggle the vessel laterally, or sideways into a narrow space on a windward dock, and it can back and fill a cat 360 degrees around with less than 2 feet of fore and aft movement. So its perhaps more maneuverable than twin engines! PLUS it means one less engine to buy, maintain, keep spares for, overhaul, and just plain drag around when you're sailing, but since its a diesel, its dead solid reliable and gets the most from a pound of fuel. And like my PDQ, it can lift all that aluminum machinery completely out of the water; no drag, no galvanic corrosion, no green beard on your running gear. It it could carry a taller mast, I'd buy a Victory myself. Maybe. or not. No, I'd buy a PDQ.

I regret it didn't occur to me to look under the Packet Cat when it was under way. I think I could have done so from the hull steps but hanging over the front deck would have been a chore. I could hear slap crossing powerboat wakes, but it was no worse than a Gemini. It rode like a displacement boat with no keel. It rode like a semi-displacment trawler!

If you want tough, ocean going features then you should definately look at Prouts, but I am no expert on them. I understand that the marque peaked with the Elite, which is in your price range and is suitably narrow.

A word about beam. There are a number of reasons most cats are over-half-square, or more than half as wide as they are long. There are only two reasons for not being that wide: cost and slip space. Kanter argues that narrower beams permit lower bridgedeck clearances, but that is not a justification to me. And while the number of Tee heads are dwindling as marinas figure out how to turn them into a few more slips, its not the end of the world. Cat sized dock space is still out there. And there are a lot of cats that are happy in [just] less than 3 feet of water, too!
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