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kwaltersmi 08-27-2012 11:35 AM

Islander 37 info?
Anyone familiar with the Bruce King designed Islander 37 from the late 1960's? Any thoughts on build quality, design, sailing characteristics, problem areas, etc.? Given that they are getting very old, I'm well aware that condition and maintenance are key.

I've read most of what's available online about the I37, but it's very limited. I'm quite familiar with the later Alan Gurney designed Islander 36, but other than being a successor to the I37, they don't have much in common.

There's an I37 at my marina that may becoming on the market in the near future and I think I might be interested, if for no other reason than she's a very pretty boat. My initial concerns from just eyeballing the design on the docks is that I don't care for the lack of a proper anchoring platform (why is this so common on 1960's/1970's boats?) and the very low boom which makes a dodger/bimini difficult. I also have concerns about the prop placement behind the rudder. Will this severly limit low speed (docking) control? Will cavitation be an issue?

miatapaul 08-27-2012 02:08 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
I have looked at one. I agree it is a very pretty boat. I have read that reverse is a bit of a challenge and it has some strange handling under power in general. If you like the boat, and like the way it sails I don't think it would not be a deal breaker. I think I remember reading that the boat had a strange shaped rudder and it effected handling under sail as well, but I may have my boats confused, I have looked at so many. I actually was going to call the guy back to see if they had sold the boat I was looking at. Big issue I saw that concerned me on the boat I looked at was that the front base of the cabin trunk had a really nasty crack and it looked as though it would be hard to keep it from cracking again. It was a very pretty boat. Looking for a liveaboard, it did not have much room for a 37 foot boat, but I keep looking at the photos.

kwaltersmi 08-28-2012 03:24 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
I agree, not very roomy for a 37 footer compared to more modern boats, but that's the tradeoff with those nice looking overhangs and pinched bow/transom. I've also read about awkward handling, partially due to the rudder but mostly attributable to the placement of the prop.

patrscoe 08-28-2012 04:12 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
When I was looking for a upgrade from our P35, I looked into the Islander 37. They are a nice One Design sailboat and Bruce King was a very good designer and when he left Islander, he started designing for Ericson. The cockpit is large for a offshore sailboat but you still see cruisers in I37 throughout the world.

There are some good information online:
Islander 37 Sailboat Association | Information and Resources for Islander 37 Sailboat Owners and Friends
Islander Sailboats - History by Skipper Wall
Islander Sailboats

There are owners on the islander37 site. Perhaps contacting some of them and getting their reviews.

stormrider27 09-01-2012 10:58 AM

Re: Islander 37 info?
Thanks for the info as well. I just found an islander and wanted more info about them.


misfits 09-01-2012 12:00 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
[QUOTE=kwaltersmi;914657]if for no other reason than she's a very pretty boat. [QUOTE]

You can level with us. You just want a bigger boat so you can head off into the sunset :laugher

kwaltersmi 09-05-2012 11:57 AM

Re: Islander 37 info?

Originally Posted by misfits (Post 916762)
You can level with us. You just want a bigger boat so you can head off into the sunset :laugher

Guilty! I won't even try to deny that one.

HighFly_27 10-21-2012 09:59 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
Hello All,

I just bought a -- Islander 37, Motor Sailer (MS) on Saturday (20 Oct.).

The boat needs a new rudder, about 2 ft. is busted off. The boat broke free from it's moring or flopped over on it side when the tide went out, a couple different stories. I talked with the boat yard mgr. and he said it's a good boat and worth fixing, so I bought it.

Now, on this thread, I read that the boat handles weird and not great when backing up. My rudder needs repaired or a new rudder made up.

My Question -- to You Islander 37 owners .. that replaced your rudder, did You make it slightly bigger in size to make it more effective ?

If so, can you give me the increase size in demensions

______in. length ______ width. Also, perhaps, someone has installed a factory

made rudder from a similar sized ______________________ ? sailboat and had

good results on the Islander 37, if so, what boat _______ name _____ size

______ year.

I ask this .. because Islander went out of business and rudders are not available, & only a few ( I-37) boats were made as well (in salvage yards for parts).

I'm a Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) by trade and capable.. meaning I could make a rudder myself. I was sent a great clip.. about making a rudder and I'm good to go now. I have built a home built airplane but used the plans and just followed the plans, no problem. If I get some feed back here... I could make a improved rudder for my I-37 and perhaps, improve the handling of my I-37. good to go.

BlueSkySailing 01-14-2013 08:35 PM

Re: Islander 37 info?
1 Attachment(s)
I just recently purchased a Bruce King designed Islander 37' in St. Petersburg, Florida and I'm getting ready to sail her to Mobile, Alabama next week and then to Houston in March. So far I'm extremely happy with the boat. In fact, I would say that I love this boat! She's really a good fit for me because I was looking for a Coastal Cruiser/Racer and the I-37 certainly fills the bill. The boat is very well built, sails well in medium high winds as well as very light air. I've met several people in the marina who sailed the boat with the previous owner and they have all said that she's one of the best sailing boats that they've been on. The fact that they told me this AFTER I bought the boat is a good testamonial to the way she handles! One of the drawbacks is that she's not quite as beamy as some other boats but is still very comfortable. I plan on living aboard although I'm a bachelor but the boat is roomy enough for two. Keep in mind that you have to decide what kind of boat you want and what fits your needs. If you're looking for a heavy displacement boat to cross oceans you probably wouldn't be happy with the I-37 although they're certainly capable blue water sailors. Good luck with your search if you haven't found a boat already. You can go to You Tube and search for Islander 37' sailing Tampa Bay if you would like to see a short clip of "Blue Sky" under sail.


HighFly_27 01-16-2013 03:24 AM

Re: Islander 37 info?
Blue Sky,

I'm Smiling for You and Reviewed tour Video on UTube.

I (above) bought my I-37 in October and it's a labor of love to fix it up or keep up a older boat but that's just fine with me.

It's going to be hard to find a Real Deal Manual for your boat. I have asked & searched and nothing. I have come up with seperate manuals for - Perkins diesel, B & W Velvet Drive, and other equipment on my boat.

It's going to cost xtra for my nuts or not doctor secession this month. I just bought another sail boat (project). It's a 1971 Tradewind 32, and not that bad. The TW 32 was very nice boat in it's day, came with a lot of nice equipment. I don't have it home yet and it may be a keeper.

The Best to You and Lot's of Sailing Smiles at the helm of your I-37.


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