Which Island Packet?
Well, after 2000 miles of cruising and eight months of living aboard, I figure I owe it to the board to weigh in with the results. I purchased the Island Packet 40 in November, moved aboard, made her ready for sea, and set off for the islands. I''ve arrived in Venezuela where I''ll spend the hurricane season.
In short, the boat has been a delight. My fiance and I find her very well suited to living aboard in the tropics. With 13 opening ports and 7 hatches, she stays cool and breezy at anchor. Our master is very breezy when the trades are blowing normally, prompting me to reach for a light blanket during the night on occasion.
We''ve successfully avoided the worst of the weather and have generally enjoyed comfortable passages with little drama. There have been exceptions, such as the occasion where my timing was poor leaving an inlet in the Berry Islands of the Bahamas. I ended up going face first into a set of three monstrous breaking waves. The IP handled it very admirably. I wouldn''t have wanted any less size or horsepower on that occasion.
Performance wise, we''ve more than kept pace with the field of cruising boats we''ve sailed with. I''ve passed larger boats while sailing and been passed really only by performance catamarans.
Frankly, Beneteau, Sabre, Tartan, etc. are not well represented in the Caribbean cruising anchorages. We''ve met dozens of IP''s along the way, including three in this marina. All nice folks too, and all willing to help or extend an invitation for cocktails.
My experience does not reflect the stern warnings of some on this board against purchasing an Island Packet. I am not the least bit disappointed with the boat in any regard. In fact, perhaps there is some confusion with regard to the purpose and function of a cruising boat. For example, Jeff_H writes in his response: ". . .he also noted that it was a lot harder to keep the Island Packet up to speed (they were quick to lose speed but hard to get it back) than it was with the race boats that he owned and raced in his prior life." I''m sure this is true and comes as no surprise to me. A racing boat it''s not. A cruising boat, it is.