Island Packet 27 - Other Thoughts?
I know I am opening up a can of worms with asking thoughts on an Island Packet based on some negative comments I have seen on this forum. Let me give some background on what I am looking for...
My previous boat was a San Juan 21 swing keel. We had to get rid of this boat due to a move. My wife supports a new (to me) boat however requests that it has a larger cabin then the SJ21. We are also now a family of 4. I would also like to move up in size (27-30) to get a better understanding of boat maintenance (I.E. water, head, diesel engine, etc). Retirement dreams are to disappear for a couple of years so I need this boat to be a good experience for the family (especially the MRS) and anticipate weekend/longer trips onboard.
I will be sailing in very shallow water (3 ft in areas - not hard bottom but sludge), therefore I require a draft of under 3'. The boat I am looking for needs to be capable with this draft and be able to costal cruising. I found the IP27 shoal draft boat that has a nice size cabin, meets my draft requirements, and is in my mind a capable costal cruiser.
I understand that the IP27 is not a fast boat however the trade off of having a large interior makes the MRS happy which mean more time on the water. I feel that pointing to wind will be a challenge with any boat due to the draft limitation but I am not looking to race.
What is everyones thought on this boat and are there any other boats I should look at that could meet my needs....
Some come close like:
Seaward 26RK (nice but questionable keel)
Seaward 32RK (dido)
Bayfield 29 (Draft)
Catalina 30 (Draft)
Telstar 28 (Cabin, Concern on performance with no Draft, Non-Mono)
Look forward to the insight.
sailingdog on this forum owns a Telstar 28 and if he doesn't post you can email him. As far as I know it is a very high performing cruising tri. His opinions are respected here and on his personal site where you may learn more about the Telstar as well. Adrift At Sea
Sorry I really can't help with opinions of the other boats you listed except I would think the Island Packet 27 would be the best built of that group as far as being a solid cruiser.
IIRC the seawards are CB boats, and will probably be good. Along with performaing better than the IP. The telstar or equal tri, like a farrier 27 will have the performance, but not sure if the cabin on any of them will be as large or nice as the IP or equal.
My choice would be the seawards or a tri. The others are WAY to slow for my needs. PHRF IIRC your SJ was 240-250, the IP is 220-230, need to look up, but it is slow, C30's about 200, the tri should be 70-80. Or at least Farrier 27's here in puget sound are about 80.
I think the IP 27 is probably a good choice, given your requirements. For its length, it has a very big interior. It draws very little water, but it comes at the cost of speed and pointing ability. I have always liked the quality of IP. I think they are overpriced, especially while new, but they are better built boats than most of the others on your list.
I do not like the seawards. Too much plastic. The interiors are very small for their size, but that is because they were designed to be trailorable. I also have concerns about the keel.
While the Telstar is a nice boat, it you are looking for something with a lot of volume for the Mrs, this is not the boat for you. Trimarans have very small interiors compared to monos of similar length.
I like the catalina the best. I think it is the best compromise between performance, cruising ability, size, quality... The only issue is it will not work if you really require a 3' draft.
I don't know what your price range is, but you should look at the Beneteau 311 centerboard. I am not usually a centerboard fan, but given your need for 3' draft, I think it is the way to go. It has a great interior that will please the Mrs, and should perform better than the IP. There are some on the market which are about 10 years old and in good condition.
Thanks for the comments... As always there seems to be multiple inputs..
I know the MRS would like the Beneteau 311 but is this boat really capable compared to an IP. Could it handle a trip to the Bahamas (crossing the gulf stream)?? I just have a fear that the Beneteau is not a boat that I would want my family in the 5% unfavorable conditions. I am not looking to debate the boat vs the crew experience. Safety is my responsibility both in picking a capable boat and ensuring a capable crew.
Getting a "new" boat, this is the best of times when it comes to boat ownership.
Easy answer: Get the IP. Look at the folks that argue against them. Are you like them? If so listen to them and buy the boat that crowd likes. Otherwise the IP is a good choice on many levels including resale.
Better answer: Figure out what your main wants are for the boat but before that figure out how much money you are willing to spend. Factor in 20-30% for after purchase costs.
Then determine how important offshore really is. The desire for a boat that can go gunkholing up rivers like a canoe and sail to the Bahamas like it is a walk in the part regardless of weather are competing desires. One has to be more important.
Detailed Answer: Too long for a post, LOL.
As for sailing a Beneteau to Bahamas I would. Just a case of picking the right weather window with the right conditions, but that is true for most boats so I'm not sure that is the question. Which boat do you want to be in during the storm that caught you because you read the weather wrong? Maybe not the Beneteau but then it might be better than some of the other boats on the list, particularly with a few mods.
Without posting your budget the suggestions are spanning quite a price range. But the Beneteau 311 is an accomodating boat that can sail well, not as stodgy as an IP27 but certainly capable. I would take one to the Bahamas and farther. Beneteaus are well built and designed to sail well, although as far as I can tell the 311 is a model introduced in the late 90's and will be pricy although an excellent choice. A safer boat is also one that sails well not a slower heavy boat that has trouble pointing.
I think quality of the IP is higher than that of the Bene. That being said, many people routinely take catalinas and beneteaus in that size range to the Bahamas without a problem. For your intended use, I would not hesitate to get the beneteau.
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