As I have been shopping to buy this past year I will throw in my two cents:
As it has been said, ad nauseum, "every boat is a compromise"
In my ideal world....I would have a big catamaran and a crew to assist me and the money I need to buy one...
In the next level down ideal world....I would have a big mono hull blue-water tough Gozzard or Bristol (just two of my favorites) with some strong crew--
In the next level downward of idealism... I would have enough money to buy the most blue water ready 33-40 range well-found boat with money for upkeep...now, that would bring me into the 'maybe an Island Packet' range.
For example, The Island Packet 38 has excellent reviews and represents the 'best' of their line. I have sailed an IP32 and it was great. We took it out in a 'small craft advisory' on the Chesapeake one Autumn and it sailed great with a strong wind - 25 knots with gusts to 30. But, the next day when the wind was down to 10 knots.....turn on the engine.
Still, it is hard to criticize a boat such as an IP38 unless one is a real dinghy race-fast sailor. I guess for those types the IP is a big dud. It is a Cruiser and not a Racer.
I read that folks who never experienced real race-sailing in fast boats and who start sailing in mid-life like the Island packets....because they dont have anything to compare it to but that sailors who start young in dinghy sailing or laser sailing or J-boats and get into racing and fast sailboats would never like a "Island Piglet" because they are so slow and heavy..... Is that true?
Well, I am one of those older guys... and I think that if anyone was able to buy and upkeep one an Island Packet 35 or 38.....they would be very lucky and have a blast sailing beautiful waters in comfort and relative safety. Just my opinion; although it is obvious that they are not fast day-sailors and you have to motor (oh gosh!) in winds under 8 knots. So, some like racing speed and others like cruising speed....I guess to have both one would have to spend alot of money to buy a racer-cruiser that does both well.
Now....down to reality for me, personally; money-wise and crew-availability wise:
I am looking at affordable, for me, boats in the 28-35 range; safe and blue-water capable. For me, that means; under 50K with not a ton of things to fix (initially) as I am not the handiest dude although I can learn. Ideally....something about 35K max would be "ideal".
So....I am chartering for three days at the end of the month an IP27 out of Rock hall and will be taking my two sons (age 18 and 15) with me for my first -time alone 'skippering' (is that a word?)
Based on my experience at the end of the month (which i am certain to post on) I will be looking at an IP27 or an Alberg 30 or a Pearson Triton 28 or a IP 31 because I want to wind up in the blue water and it will just be for two (2) - my wife and myself.
For the OP; I agee there is alot to like about an Island Packet....for instance...the bowsprit/anchor is attached to the hull in one piece--is part of the hull form.... The mast is stepped to the keel....that is nice, also---
The cockpit is big and if you are concerned about getting pooped...you could drill a few more holes...hell; what do I know!-- I am a newbie and wont hide it. Although technically I guess I must be at 'newbie level 2'
In fact, maybe that is why i am drawn to the Island Packet......as one poster said on 'Sailing Anarchy' "Island packets are for sailors who never want to be afraid on their boat..." Well, that describes me-
Anyone have a better idea, a correction, intelligent input or any feedback whatsoever?