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  #1  
Old 09-11-2007
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Island Packet Designs

I've read a lot of opinions on SailNet about Island Packet yachts. Many people don't hold them in high regard. However, while I've never sail an IP, I must admit that I'm impressed with the creativity/uniqueness of a couple of their current yachts. Namely, the SP Cruiser and the IP465.

The SP Cruiser is an interesting take on the motorsailor concept. I particularly like the foredeck seating area.

I love the IP465's cabin layout. The two private staterooms, long starboard galley and enclosed nav area seem like a really good use of space. I also like the aft deck area.

Anyone else have opinions on these two relatively new designs and the direction Island Packet is heading? Personally, I wish they made something smaller than 37 feet.
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Old 09-11-2007
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I think they are well made production boats. They are probably a good choice for cruisers looking for durability. They are known to be slow and heavy, thus the nickname Island Piglet. They look great inside - not luxurious, but spacious and durable.

Now the SP Cruiser I can't understand. I am curious if anybody has really bought one. I know there is a prototype that is pictured in their ads, but I have never seen one on the water. I don't really understand the concept. The cockpit is closed and the deck is separate from the cockpit. It is a strange bird and wouldn't appeal to me at any stage in life.
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Old 09-11-2007
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I believe the IPSP Cruiser is geared towards a totally different market than their other boats. It'll be interesting to see how it does over the next couple of years.
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Old 09-11-2007
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I would have to say that Island Packets are more "coastal plus" the smaller ones are coastal, the bigger ones can make some passages. I've sailed an IP32 and think highly of it as a family coastal cruiser. Lots of room down below in those boats because they are so beamy. I guess it comes down to what you want out of her, do you want bluewater (then no), or do you want coastal family cruiser (then yes)? They are good boats, it just depends on how you plan to use her. Sure people cross oceans on them, but that doesn't mean that I would (hell some people cross oceans in canoes and rafts, once again, not me).

I think the SP model is a little gimicky. There might be a small market for it.
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Old 09-11-2007
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I've actually heard the IP termed more of a bluewater boat than a coastal cruiser. The newer ones tend to be somewhat roomy inside, but they are clearly designed for offshore use in MOST areas. I've taken issue with the fact that the 485 and the 465 both have a master berths that are angled. They must be awkward to sleep on in anything but a light sea state, even at anchor. I've also heard there are other issues with their design, including their rudder and some of the chainplate manufacturing. My biggest issue with IP's is that you can get a semi-custom boat from Passport or Tayana for a very similar price to a new IP (at least a loaded 485).
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Old 09-12-2007
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I have seen an SP cruiser underway this weekend. From a distance they look like an old fashioned motorsailor but up close they have that "what the heck were those folk thinking (or taking)?" look about them. A local sailmaker called the Island Packets a trawler for people who want to claim they own a sailboat. The SP is perhaps a bit more honest about being a motorboat with a few bits of sails for ambiance.

Jeff
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Old 09-12-2007
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Here we go again. . .

You guys always crack me up with these comments.

IPs excel at liveaboard cruising in the Caribbean. I have seen more IPs out cruising than almost any other builder.

I wouldn't want an IP to just day sail or take short trips in the light airs of the Chesapeake Bay or US East Coast. Nor would I purchase one for club racing. The fact that an IP is less well suited to these conditions does not make it a trawler for sailing wanna-be's.

On a midnight watch, reaching between St. Croix and Isla Blanquilla (that's Venezuela to those who posted above), when the wind is blowing 20-25 and building, it becomes obvious what the IP was built for. When you arrive, the spacious accommodations and well ventilated interior are a delight.

Enough said. I'll let my website fill in the details.

For the original poster--if you're interested in an IP (please, not the SP cruiser!), talk to an owner.

Cheers,
Dan
S/V Eventyr
IP40
www.ipphotos.com/eventyr
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Old 09-12-2007
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I know a guy who sailed an Island Packet 29 to Ireland from Maryland. I hold them in high regard and deem them rather seaworthy.

Spencer
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Old 09-12-2007
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It's apparent to me that this board has more than it's fair share of people who apparently want to criticize just about everything just to sound authoritative when unintentionally demonstrating quite the opposite. Combine that with the folks here who think their boat is the only good boat and it gets pretty entertaining.
The conventional wisdom is the IPs share extremenly high (knowledgeable)owner satisfaction and owner loyalty and are a lot more than simple coastal cruisers which in point of fact is the antithesis of their design.
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To original poster. (I wish they made something smaller than 37 feet.)
There are many happy IP31 owsers. http://www.ip31ownersassoc.homestead.com/
I almost bought a 38. Before buying I chartered one from Island Yachts. We liked the interior and boat quality. But hard sail close to wind and seemed underpowered going to weather in seas.
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