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Old 08-19-2004
conchcruzer conchcruzer is offline
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Which Island Packet?

Thanks to all for the favor of a reply.

Maybe I can explain my reasoning for selecting the Island Packet and offer that up for criticism.

My original dream boat was the 42'' Catalina. I saw one at the Dallas boat show and said "this is it." Being less of a fool than I might sound, I started a process of research. My most recent experience was on a Morgan 41'' Out Island from the mid 80''s. Having made several trips from Florida to the Bahamas, I felt comfortable with this size of boat.

I started to research and examine all the boats in that category. I looked at construction, design, quality, price, layout, etc. I spent many months reading message boards and owner email lists, talked to owners, talked to brokers, walked the docks, inspected boats, etc. In other words, I did my homework the best I could.

I wasn''t immediately impressed by the Island Packets. After talking to some owners, I became intrigued. After further discussions, my interest grew tremendously.

I then compared the boat to designs of similar purpose and vintage. I looked at boats that had the capacities and load carrying abilities that I would need for cruising. I compared the IP to Caliber, Valiant, Tartan, Sabre, and other production yachts of modern vintage and high reputation. That being said, if I could afford a 42'' Valiant, my search might have been easier!

I liked the Caliber 40 LRC and respect its tremendous tankage and seemingly sound design. The 40'' Valiant is also a fine boat. I also inspected the 37'' Pacific Seacraft, 38'' Cabo Rico, and others. In the end, the design, layout, finish, and construction of the Island Packet impressed me most. I have not yet spoken to or heard of an owner that was disappointed in the boat. Many owners seem to sell when it''s time to move ashore, trade up to a bigger IP, or retire to the (sorry) trawler.

The IP 380, for example, carries twice the fuel and water of comparable sized boats. The fuel, water, and holding tanks are below the sole, not underneath bunks or settees. This makes them hard to remove, I understand, but very practical in terms of how to use the interior volume for machinery and accommodation.

The problems cited by one poster are upwind performance and potential for rudder damage. The enhancements made to the keel appear to be a partial resolution to the poor upwind performance. I won''t expect my IP to point like a deep fin club racer. Is this a deal breaker? Not to me, but I enjoy hearing others opinions. As far as rudder damage, I feel better about the post hung rudder with the shoe than the post hung spade rudders. The shoe will hopefully keep crab pot lines and warps out of the prop. Again, I don''t expect it to hold up to pounding on rock or coral, but I don''t think I will have problems or failures in softer grounding situations. The rack and pinion steering mechanism seems to be robust and well designed. The mechanical and electrical systems installations show high quality in material and workmanship.

My cruising life will be 10-15% underway and 85-90% living on the hook. If someone has a suggestion for a better boat to do that with, I am open to ideas and critical comments.

-ConchCruzer
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