Join Date: Feb 2011
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Six weeks ago I bought a ‘79 IP40 (#005) that had been sitting with wet interior in a river in MD for many years. I have been stripping stuff out and have started a major re-fit.
So far, my off the top of my head impressions:
• Great layout and design – a little narrower that a more modern boat but I think of mine as a very fast and stretched Islander 36.
• Lighter weight (read thinner) hull than I expected for a 70’s boat with a lot of blisters (since it was post 78 fiberglass recipe change), but there are a LOT of hull stiffening ribs so over all I think a better choice than a more modern boat hull in the mid 30’s to 40 foot range
• Having the 4 winches (I assume you have the much more popular racing configuration) on the side decks is great if you have a large crew and racing, but I am moving the eight, yes eight, mast running rigging control lines to the two big self-tailers on the back of the doghouse roof so they are accessible from the cockpit for safety and ease of couple handling.
• I have to replace my entire fuel system because the PO let a 35 gal tank of diesel fossilize. The only replacement for the aluminum tank I could find without custom creating one (1500 or so) was a 16-18 gallon Moeller they do not publish in their catalog.
• The teak and holly sole floor inside is beautiful, but like any boat if you do not keep a dry boat the marine ply subfloor rots. Check for any soft spots inside because replacing it is a real PITA
• The auto pilot that came with the boat was an alpha marine model you cannot get parts for and the instruments are all the larger older Data Marine models that do not play well with newer transducers or connect to other instruments – I am replacing all with a new N2K instrument network
JOSO Bottom Line – a really great boat that was well built for ocean racing and had nice touches inside for cruising – that was the compromise Doug Peterson [designer with nice racing pedigee] was going for – and I think he and Islander succeeded very well – If speed is never going to be an issue, a comparable Islander 36 Freeport, that was designed for long distance cruising only, would also be a good choice.
The critical thing to look for is did the PO do periodic upgrades to the systems. Ask questions like when the sanitation gaskets in the head were last replaced. When was the wind transducer replaced. How long does the bilge pump last. Etc.
'79 IP40 #005 'Taka'