Join Date: Nov 2005
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Rudder Problems-Island Packets
The general build quality of an IP is certainly a step above, or several in some cases several steps above, that of most other production boats. That does not mean they aren''t without problems, however. I hung out on the Sailnet IP email list for a couple of years and found that IPs are subject to many of the same ailments as most other boats-- deck leaks, port/hatch leaks, etc. And yes, many rudder problems -- blisters being the most common. It seems the factory will replace/repair many of them under warranty, but not all. If you are truly interested in IPs, email your rudder question to that list and then hang out on it for a while to see what else pops up.
As to whether or not an IP is a step up, that''s your call to make, and depends quite a bit on what you want the boat for. IPs make great liveaboards from all accounts, and will cross an ocean without a problem. The full keel and the weight of them get lots of praise on the email list because the boat tracks well and is very comfortable in a seaway. You commonly read that people believe they are not as tired after a passage on an IP as they were on other boats because the IP plows through waves better, etc. Not as much bouncing around.
The price to pay for that comfort is a lack of sailing performance in most anything short of a small craft advisory (meaning 20 knots or more of wind.) Ip owners proudly point out every time an IP wins a Bermuda race or whatever, but those particular races are nearly always ones with big winds. If you plan to sail in an area where the winds usually are light for long stretches of time, expect to do a lot of motoring in an IP.
I have joked with friends that there are 2 main topics on the IP list: 1) which prop to buy (Auto Prop, Maxprop, etc.) because they spend so much time motoring, and 2) how many batteries can they cram below, apparently to power all the gadgets they have. Some IP models have an inherent list to one side (not uncommon in lots of boats) and many IP owners add batteries to the high side as ballast to level the boat out.
Last point-- used to be a fellow at my marina with an IP 32. He admitted to me once that he had never been able to get the boat over 6 knots boatspeed while under sail no matter how hard the wind was blowing. Ouch. Now that I''ve PO''ed all my Ip friends..........