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Old 12-02-2009, 12:23   #1
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Location: Oriental, NC
Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
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Packet Cat 35 Review

I have lived aboard and sailed Island Packet's Packet Cat 35 for a few months now and so I would like to share some observations.

How does it sail- well as good as a mediocre monohull of the same length but not as good as the best. My perspective comes from owning: Jeanneau 362 (the PC sails very similar), a Saga 43, an Island Packet 37 (the PC is better downwind and worse upwind) and a J/32.

Don't try to sail any closer than about 55 degrees to the true wind. As expected the boat really shines at 70-150 degrees and 15 plus kts of wind, but so does any other sailboat. I have seen 7-8 kts boat speed in 20 kts true wind speed on a broad reach. The Jenneau wouln't do that and the IP 37 also wouldn't. But either would beat it upwind.

Does it pound, well no, but it thumps. IP's Delta Pod softens the wave slamming under the bridge deck, but doesn't eliminate it.

The overall comfort level in a seaway is better than a monohull, but it depends on your point of view. It doesn't heel (much) and its motion is kind of soft, but it does thump. I am slightly prone to seasickness and conditions that would make me queesy on my IP 37 don't on the PC.

Engine performance is great with two widely spaced engines, Backing and manuevering is a breeze. Given that you have 54 horsepower at hand, motoring speed is dissapointing, barely 7 kts at WOT and slack conditions. This is atrributable to the very large wetted surface with the Delta Pod.

The interior is great for a couple. It does have two almost identical queen size berths. But the interior main salon is not suitable for four. But the huge cockpit makes up for that problem, if the weather is nice outside. Otherwise, I would't want to live below with two couples.

Storage is nice. Engine room access is fantastic.

What really makes the boat work for me as a single handed cruiser is that it is stable, wide and easy to handle. Going up forward to deal with something in a seaway is no big deal.

So it is a good boat for what it is. More than a motorsailor but not a thorobred sailing machine either.

Email me offlist at djmarchand at cox dot net for more info.

David
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Old 20-10-2009, 15:41   #2
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA
Boat: PDQ 36 "Grizabella"
Posts: 31
Good info David...thanks.
Where have you sailed your PC?
I'm curious how they perform in open ocean.
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Old 20-10-2009, 16:06   #3
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Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
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Packet Cat offshore performance

Well, sailing offshore is just like sailing inshore 80% of the time. I sailed her on several near coastal passages: Marco Island to Key West, offshore southern Florida, Cape May to Sandy Hook, NJ, up and down the coast of Maine.

You just need to accept that you will not sail closer than 60 degrees to the true wind, inshore or offshore. When the wind does crank up, as long as it is less than 60 degrees you will be fine. But I don't know many monohull sailors who will beat into a 45 kt gale either.

I sailed from Marco to Key West in 25-30 kts of wind with one reef with the wind on my port quarter at 7-8 kts of boat speed. It was very comfortable.

The PC can be sailed in any reasonable wind by further reefing. Most have boom roller mainsail reefing. Mine had slab reefing. I would be comfortable sailing up to 45 kts with two reefs. But that is also true of the monohulls I sailed. Above that you need a storm sail or drop the main and sail with a little bit of jib rolled out.

When the PC was built it was rated CE A, the highest offshore catagory. Since then the CE ratings don't give an A to a cat smaller than about 40'. It is certainly strong enough to sail in anything. I think CE now recognizes that short blue water cats are inherently vulnerable.

Email me at djmarchand at cox dot net for more.

David
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