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Old 12-05-2010
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Advice re Island Packet or similar?

Hi. We are seeking advice re a boat to replace our old timber motor sailer. We cruise up the coast of Queensland and across the top of Australia, including the 300nm across the Gulf of Carpentaria, and like a mono-hull with good sail power but also need diesel power for much of that kind of cruising, especially given the big tides and currents. Fuel capacity and range are also an issue in these fairly remote areas. (Water can be caught from waterfalls) Also, while I have seen deck saloons/inside helm referred to on this site as "condoms for sailing", when you live aboard for 6 months, get caught in the odd storm and travel through the tropics, you come to appreciate these things at our age.

We have been looking at importing into Australia (as is everyone these days) and at the Island Packet 40 most recently because it ticks a lot of the boxes (a shallow draft also helps with crossing the many shallow creek bars and tucking in close to shore in places of very poor shelter) but it is not a boat which we see much of in these parts. Nauticats of similar size also attract. As it is our home for much of the time, we would spend up to $A400,000 (about 240,000 British pounds ?) and would appreciate advice about the Packet etc.
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Old 12-05-2010
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I have sailed an IP31 and an IP32 on a few short trips here as well as help the owners work on their boats performing basic maintenance. I have found the boats (both from the early 90's) to be of sound construction with relatively well thought out access to all systems. Neither of the boats are light air boats. I found them to start sailing decently at around 12 kts. They are not speed demons, but they are comfortable. I found the belowdecks on both models to be very nice and inviting. For cruising and living aboard I would consider an IP. They are not sexy boats, but they will get you where you want to go... eventually.

I have heard their reputation as a very slow boat. I have found that trimming the sails well will keep the boat performing decently for a wide, heavy, full keeled boat.
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Old 12-06-2010
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We don't see many Island Packets up here in Canada but I always had the impression that they were a quality boat. I recently saw one that had been grounded hard and the keel torn open. I was surprised to see concrete that had mostly crumbled to a sand like state and various chunks of scrap metal used as ballast. Not iron pigs but bits of pipe and odd shaped metal as if it had been collected at a scrap yard.
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Old 12-06-2010
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We have been cruising in the Caribbean for 3 years and Island Packets are very popular boats and we have several friends who sail them and are well pleased. But for the boat selling the day we made an offer we would be cruising an IP 46 now.

However, I do know that at least the earlier ones had concrete and scrap iron ballast and I would never consider buying a boat with such a system.

Just imagine what happens if seawater gets to the scrap iron!
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Old 12-06-2010
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I don't know how early we are talking. I have sailed on some island packets and been on a lot of them. They are very well made boats and I believe all the ones I looked at that were around 80's were lead keels. I am sure some people with more experience will chime in, but they are roomy, comfortable, well-appointed and good sailing boats, just not light wind boats. With a decent breeze they will be very comfortable to sail and will do quite well. I was just on one crossing to the Bahamas in some bad weather and it was quite comfortable. Considering your budget you could get a very nice boat.
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Old 12-06-2010
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How do you know it was lead ? Island Packet keels are integral to the hull mold and filled with ballast from the inside then covered with FRP.
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Old 12-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcapper View Post
Nauticats of similar size also attract.
I don't consider Nauticats to be very "similar" to IP's but since you mentioned them I'll make a few comments. Being pilot house motor-sailers they carry a lot of fuel and water. My little 33 carries 105 gallons of water and 140 gallons of fuel to supply the 75 hp Yanmar. Here is a link to their website - Nauticat Yachts Oy
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Old 12-06-2010
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We looked at IP's from Maine to Fla..even visited the IP factory in Largo,Fl..until we saw how they made the keels(use iron encapsulated), made the water tanks out of stainless steel and chain plates built into the hauls.

I'd follow the IP forum and read what they have to say..as we did..
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Old 12-06-2010
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Why not look at the Calibers as well?
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Old 12-06-2010
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Purpose Built boats

My parents are currently cruising the SE coast of the US, and heading to the Bahamas for the winter on their IP38. I have spent a lot of time on this boat. IP's are great for their intended purpose- cruising. They are well made, solid, heavy, sea kindly, predictable, spacious and a comfortable boat at sea and dock. They also have one of the most loyal and enthusiastic owner's groups, which speaks volumes. If you are looking for a cruising boat, they should be high on most lists. Like most cruisers, they are well powered, have great tankage and storage, and are built for the long haul. Live-ability was very high on their check list and out ranked sailing speed. When the wind is above 20K and seas are up, these boats shine.
IP's are not racy boats, not terribly agile in close quarters, nor do they move well in light air, but are purpose-built to cruise. They live on the boat for a few months at a time and want comfort.

Other boats that we looked at were Calibers , and Passports (similar in many ways). We liked them a lot as well. As I'm sure you know, all boats have compromises. IP's are no different but are great at doing what they are made to do.
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