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ronhu01 10-15-2002 06:55 AM

Just got home from the boat show - now I''m REALLY confused. We loved the Island Packet 420 (except for the transom), but then got a lot of negative input on Monday from guys at Jeanneau, Wauquiez, Tartan and Sabre - even boat owners on some of those boats overheard the conversation and agreed. The IP is apparently enjoyable to live on in the marina, but hard to sail? These people were adamant that if you enjoyed sailing, an IP wasn''t the boat. Can someone help?
Thank you!

dpinorm 10-15-2002 08:20 AM

I have sailed an IP 38 and have many friends who are happy with their IP boats. I don''t think it''s quite as black and white as your post implies. If you''re into performance sailing, I wouldn''t recommend an IP. However, offshore on a long reach in a good breeze, you would be in heaven. Tacking up a narrow river, you may not be happy.

There are a lot of other factors to consider though. How much time will you actually spend performance sailing? You give up a lot of things to get that performance. And how important is that performance to you? You may be willing to make the trade-off.

If performance and quality are high on your list, I would consider the new Sabre 425. I have the 452 by the same designer, Jim Taylor. It''s an awsome performer and beautiful besides.

I went to last year''s Annapolis show to buy a J46 and fell in love with the Sabre 452.

Good luck on your search.

SailorMitch 10-15-2002 08:21 AM


At the risk of pissing off the IP owners who frequent these boards (if there are any), ''tis true that IP''s are not noted for their sailing ability. These are heavy, full keeled boats that require a breeze to get moving. The newer "0" models (meaning 350, 380, 420, etc., however, are supposed to have thinner keels and to sail better than the older models, at least according to what an IP salesman told me last year at the show.

I know a fellow with an IP-32 who admitted to me once that he has never had his boat over 6 knots in speed under sail no matter what the wind conditions. I''d call that not too good.

This past summer I caught and passed a big IP (no size on its mainsail, but had to be at least 38 ft.) on a broad reach/run going from Solomons Island to Oxford, MD. Apparent windspeeds were 8-12 knots with gusts to 15 occasionally. My boat is a Pearson 27 and is a downwind rocket, but still no way I should''ve caught a boat that much larger. They gawked at me as I blew by them.

IP owners will tell you about the safety of being on the IP, the comfort of all that displacement resulting in arriving in port more rested, etc. But if you are out there 33 percent longer (pick a number) than better performing boats, I guess you need to be more rested.

There are also all kinds of stories, possibly apocryphal, of IP owners having to fire up the engine to tack, but I have never been able to verify that with an owner.

My view FWIW.

928frenzy 10-15-2002 10:51 AM

If sailing offshore (beyond the sight of land) is your thing, then a full keel boat (that is more likely heavier than its finned keel counter-part) has a more sea-kindly motion and is probably safer. It will take longer to get where you''re going, but you are more likely to arrive, and when you do you''ll be less stressed out than if you had sailed there in a lighter, but faster boat.

If the heavier boat does 6 knots on average, and the faster boat does 8 knots on average - a 1000 mile journey will take about 7 days in the heavier boat and just over 5 days in the lighter/faster boat. Based on this example, is getting there almost two days sooner worth the harsher ride? Only you can answer that for yourself.

As I was once told, when sailing it''s ok to make plans, but don''t make schedules. ;^)

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~

ronhu01 10-15-2002 11:49 AM

Thank you for your response - on Monday, we did look hard at the Sabre 426, and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, it''s about 50% more expensive than the IP420. Can you help me understand your comment about giving up lots of things to get performance? The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43 DS seemed to be close to the IP420, but short on finishing touches inside - what''s your opinion of Jeanneau?


dpinorm 10-15-2002 12:35 PM


Lots of reasons, but some examples are:

Performance boats are more likely to have flatter bottoms. More rounded bilge cruising oriented boats will have deeper bilges which can accept tankage and equipment and allow much more storage. Long keels are good for offshore cruising but not for performance. The comment above about getting there a couple of hours earlier but doing it less comfortably applies.

I would put Jenneau in the same class as Hunter. A lot for the money but not nearly a Sabre. Did you look at the J42?

ronhu01 10-15-2002 12:55 PM

We''d heard too many bad things about Hunter to look - if Jeanneau is in same class, ugh. I think we might have gone aboard the J42, but found it without enough of the comforts of home inside for my other half.

Denr 10-15-2002 01:10 PM

Someone told me that Hunter was building Sabres back 5-7 years ago when the banks closed Sabre''s doors for a while. If this is true then the build quality of the Sabres should be no different that the Hunters, right?

tsenator 10-15-2002 02:36 PM

I''ve heard more than once that Jenneau is a cut above the Beneteau. Even though owned by the same conglomerate they are independent. They are *way* above Hunters in quality, I would not put them in the same class.

Practical Sailor did a reveiw of the Jenneau Sun Odyssey 43 Nov. 1, 2001 and they were fairly impressed (you can a copy of it from them by contacting them at -- though its for the traditional 43 not the Deck Salon, but I assume the hull and many things are similar) It says they use things like kevlar in the hull and the bottom of the hull is 2 inches thick. There were quite a few comments on the build quality being pretty good and performance being pretty good also.

Yachting world May 2002 also did a reveiw on all the Jenneau 43''s, you can read it here . It sounded pretty good.

I got a chance to see the Jenneau 43 DS recently at a show and I was not intending to really like a Jenneau or a Deck Salon. But I came away fairly impressed. I really liked the boat and the way it was set up. All boats are a compromise, but for me I think I would really like owning this boat. From what I read the boat sails well and has a pretty good turn of speed. I also liked the deck Salon area, its set up nice and you have to love the full cabin in the rear. But the boat is not too high and have a lot of freeboard (well not as much as you''d expect) and looks pretty nice still.

The Island Packets are really solid well made boats, but I''m not sure I would want to own one for coastal cruising of any type (and that includes the Caribbean ) for all the reasons stated before. Maybe if I was sailing around the world in poorly charted waters then I would prefer an Island Packet or some other full keel boat. When you talk to some really long distance cruisers, one or two days extra sailing is not that big of a deal when compared to the security and comfort of a heavy full keel boat. And more importantly a well designed full keel (or at least modified full keel) gives an added benefit of being able to beach the boat at high tide and do underwater repairs when the tide goes out. Not to mention the added "toughness" of a full keel to run aground and survive with less damage or problems than a fin keel boat. Nigel Calder (Well known writer who writes Books on Cruising and Diesel Engines and Mechanical systems)

mattf 10-15-2002 02:41 PM

I own a Cal but am enamored with Sabres. Particularly the 34, which would suit my needs well. Your guy is wrong. Hunter never built, nor was associated with Sabre. That said,I sailed on a Hunter CC 46, and found it to be very nicely finished. This was in the Caribeean, I was chartering and met a couple. Cool boat. Imagine that some Hunter models are built better than others. All I hear are negatives about Hunter though. And personally, I hate the looks of most of them.


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