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seaparrot 10-19-2012 04:37 PM

Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
A couple years back I was lurking/posting here and got some great suggestions regarding living abroad and cruising.

In the past two years we bought a small house, had a baby, and revised our plans. Rather than looking at a 37' to 42' cruisers, we are limiting our search for a first boat to smaller boats--probably 27' to 34'. Ideally, we'd like to find an older boat in good condition, for under $30,000.

Most of our sailing will be in the Chesapeake Bay, but we hope to cruise as well. Possible destinations include the ICU, east coast, or Caribbean. So we strongly prefer a boat that is stout enough to allow us to plan a few adventures further afield. Of course we also hope to fit three people--two adults and a little boy--on the boat, albeit with careful planning/rationing and no expectation of privacy.

So far, we’ve identified a few boats we want to know more about. In each case there’s a boat on the market within our budget that we
could consider:

-Com-Pac 27
-Caliber 28
-Island Packet 27

(We talked about Orions. But those seem a little pricey for budget ...)

Thoughts? Experiences? If you have a hands-down favorite, that would be good to know too. Any other boats to consider?

asdf38 11-03-2012 11:35 AM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
I'm surprised you didn't get any responses. I'm no expert but the Com-Pac 27 has always stood out to me (based mostly on interent browsing) for it's all around practicality considering both price and size. If I wanted to move up in boat size without actually taking on much more expense I'd consider it. I like it's solid look and think the simple aft head layout is ideal for that size boat.

The island packet is also a Bob Johnson design but it's 1' wider and 1 ton heavier. I think the build quality of the island packet is probably going to be better but the Com-Pac is unique for a 27 footer because it actually survived through the 90's into today. So unlike most used 27 footers you can actually find newish used ones if you want. I think that speaks to what I said initially which is that it's a good all around value.

Note that Bob Johnson boats are known for their comparatively large cabin size but not their sailing ability. Neither of them are going to be particularly quick. I don't know much about the caliber.

seaparrot 11-03-2012 01:09 PM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
Thanks for the response! We are still hunting. We saw the Island Packet, and like it a lot, partly because it is such a beefy, stable platform for a couple of newer sailers and a little kid with some room down below. However, most of the IP 27s are a bit outside our current budget. We've ruled out the Caliber for the moment, because the one we'd ideally buy is again, a little expensive, and we'd have to move her cross country. The local example, also nice, received a ton of offers in the wake of the Annapolis boat show. But if another comes on the market in our region, it'd be back on the list. We haven't seen the Com-Pac yet.

Since then we've looked at an older Sabre 30 (with a newer engine! -- but the owners been letting her sit for the past couple yrs or so), and are traveling tomorrow to see an IP 26 Mark 1, a 29.9 Bristol, and a 31' CAL. So we are casting this way and that way, trying to figure out which of these boats is still in reasonable condition (since we're not clever enough to take on project boats, only to maintain already nice ones) ... and what will work for us personally. I tend, just by personality, to lean toward somewhat heavier, more forgiving boats, at possible expense of performance; but I am not sure if that is a mistake, and that for the Chesapeake especailly, if a livlier boat like the CAL isn't a good idea.

If anyone has advice/experiences to share, we're all ears....

I am having an especially hard time locating information on the IP 26, beyond the original promotional brochure. I'm a bit fascinated by the fact that she has a centerboard, but wondering if she performs reasonably well/is seakindly for a 26' craft, or if she's really meant just to gunkhole.

saillife 11-03-2012 02:54 PM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
My dad had a com-pac 27 & loved it. They are well built boats, if you can find one I'd take that over the IP. Don't know the caliber 27 but have sailed one of their larger boats (47) from Trinidad to Annapolis. My impression was of a very well built solid ocean vessel. From what you said in the original posting I'd go with the Com-pac.

bmiller59 11-04-2012 11:28 PM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
Funny how I found this thread. I have previously owned a ComPac 27 and am now looking at a Caliber 28. The IP 27 is also on my wish list although out of the price range.

It's very late right now and no time to respond properly. If you would like an indepth response or have specific questions about the ComPac just ask. I really enjoy talking about my old boat even though it is another skipper's hands now.

seaparrot 11-05-2012 02:42 PM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
Hey, thanks for the reply. I think we've narrowed down our list of prospective boats and the particular Com-Pac I had in mind got eliminated. (Though if our current picks don't pan out, we'll keep looking, and Com-Pac might get back on the list! ...)

Are you looking at the Caliber in Tennessee? She looks wonderful (from a distance, anyway), but she was too pricey/far away for us to make a bid.

Seaduction 11-05-2012 04:01 PM

Re: Caliber 28 vs. Island Packet 27 vs. Com-Pac 27
Island Packets are still in production and there is a good online support forum as well. I don't know if the others are still being built.

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