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GentleBreeze 07-23-2007 07:58 PM

Island Packet vrs. Caliber
I would like to know what the community thinks about IP's vrs. Caliber when looking at say.... late '80 vintage production.
Are there known problem areas to watch out for?
Can both boats be considered "Blue water cruisers"?
Is there a year model to stay away from?

SD... Your openion doesn't count......

Melrna 07-24-2007 10:13 AM

I can talk a little about the Caliber more so than the IP boats. I have been looking and studying the Caliber boats now for two years. I have talk to George one of the builders and had many questions answered by him. I have discounted the IP's because I don't like the the way the helm is designed with the steering rod cutting the stern in half. I view this both a safety problem and inconvenience trying to get over it when sailing. But it seems to work for a lot of folks.
The Caliber design hasn't really changed much since the brothers started production. They have enhanced and improved it over the years but they are all basically the same design. The biggest change over the years is when they went to the LRC version and put the fuel and water tanks in the keel. A great design and wonder why most of the other manufactures haven't done this as well. It gives great tankage as well as making the boat more stable. In addition, where the tanks are in other boats Caliber boats have that space for storage. The Caliber 35 is basically a Caliber 33 with a swim platform add; as well as the Caliber 40 is to the Caliber 38.
Both boats are considered bluewater cruisers and many have crossed the oceans. They are medium to heavy displacement boats and takes wind to drive them. The IP is a full keel boat and the design of the keel has changed over time. The Caliber boat is a modified keel and I don't believe it has changed at all over the years.
Biggest drawbacks on the Caliber is the interior layout in particular the small cramped nav station. I also view the galley as a little small, but that is one woman's opinion. Most cruisers use the forward shower stall as storage. My ideal boat is a Caliber hull with a Valiant interior.
Sailplan - I love the Caliber removable staysail opinion. When it is not in use I can tuck it away and it doesn't become a Jib or Genoa shredder. The IP's staysail is wonderful in the self tacking option but I wonder how a big Genoa or jib tacks through it. It also takes up space where one might put the dink when cruising. Always compromises in boats.
If you are really interested in buying one I would charter them both before buying. IP's can be charter in the BVI and a Caliber can be charter in San Francisco. Both great vacations spots. Enjoy sailing great boats in great sailing locations. Also both factories are next to each other in St Pete, FL. So one can kill two birds at the same time. Happy hunting!

Cruisingdad 07-24-2007 10:35 AM

Everybody, I think he meant, "CD... you opinion doesn't count...", unless SD has ticked him off somewhere.

THis is my pops. Everyone be nice. (smile).

- CD

tommyt 07-24-2007 10:48 AM

So I guess the Catalina 35 is out? How about another C40 and they can take the kids?

Cruisingdad 07-24-2007 11:05 AM


Originally Posted by tommyt (Post 170809)
So I guess the Catalina 35 is out? How about another C40 and they can take the kids?

I like you Tommy, and will send that check soon.

- CD

soul searcher 07-24-2007 12:40 PM

When we bought our boat the last two boats on the list was caliber and IP.
The caliber was and is IMHO a more as aesthetically pleasing boat. It has a lot less windage above the water and less wetted surface. so its a little faster.
I Can tell you that everything on our boat is rock solid and I would not hesitate to take it anywhere. They are over built and this is coming from the king of over build. If four layers of glass is sufficient 8 layers is just right.
When I visited the factory George walked me through the intire construction process, There were several boat in various stages of completion, and you could see the attention to detail in places that you would never see looking at a completed boat. No chopper guns all the hulls are laid up by hand. some things should be left to us lowly humans. the whole shop was absolutely spotless that means a lot to me, It shows you something about the attitude of the employees.
My Third stop was to look at a boat that was one year older than ours that had just returned from a seven year circumnavigation. with exception of a chain plate that had a minor leak and some water damaged wood work in the galley companionway area the boat appeared on initial inspection to be in excellent condition for the amount of time and distance it had traveled.
That pretty much sealed my fate.
I like the lay out. I see the tight nav station as an advantage, at sea you can wedge yourself in and use both hands for charting and other chores.
the separate shower stall is great. at anchor, and in calm weather, you don't have to put every thing up to keep from soaking it while you shower.
we don't have A/C so we appreciate all of the ports and hatches.
I have nothing against the IP It is a beautiful boat. That has been being built for along time and they hold their value. but I think a lot of their price is name driven. I think I got more boat per buck than than I could have if I had gone with the IP.
I may be wrong on this but I believe both of the Mcreary brothers worked for IP at one time.
Better, who knows?
Just for GP
I started working on boats full time just out of high school. I have held a 100 ton masters license for 21 years,(my primary source of income)
I have been involved in the construction of eight
100 ton USCG certified vessels and a couple hand fulls of house boats and power boats. with the Last two boats (The ones I am presently in charge of) I was for all practical purposes the builder since he was not present do to financial and legal problems.

Hope this helps

I think we would have been just as happy with a thirty five.

I just wish I got payed by caliber for this ;)

Cruisingdad 07-24-2007 01:53 PM


I figured you would jump in on this one!

- CD

camaraderie 07-24-2007 02:52 PM

GB-I will be the 3rd vote for the Calibre40LRC...better sailing and more tankage & well thought out systems. Equally good construction on both.
Thank you for your contribution to the gene pool! (G)

Cruisingdad 07-24-2007 02:54 PM

Well, I love my dad. I really do. But I sat there in his library over the weekend and told him this. Why do you think the little disclamer at the bottom!

He just does not believe me. One too many grill explosions has ruined my credibility, I guess!!!! HAHA!

- CD

PS THanks Cam, that was quite kind.

sailingdog 07-24-2007 08:59 PM

I'd give a fourth vote for the Caliber... but according to the first post... I'm not allowed to vote. :(

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