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Old 12-30-2011
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Quality of the Islander 36

I'm looking at the Islander 36. This review Used Boat Notebook: From the Pages ... - John Kretschmer - Google Books seems to give it high marks. It does mention insufficient tabbing at the bulkheads as a potential problem that should be addressed. However, this seems to be the only major structural flaw. Yet, in the rating system under "Construction Quality", it gives the boat a low rating, states that original construction was "light", and infers that the only reason so many Islander 36's are still afloat is due to the loving care of their owners (OUCH!). This seems out of context to the general review. Thoughts?
BTW....The link has several other used boat reviews as well.

Last edited by L124C; 12-30-2011 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011
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We have a friend with an immaculate I36 - it is very well looked after. It's quite a roomy, cozy boat that seems to do well in most conditions.

I can say, though, that I've seen a worrisome number on the hard in our area with pretty significant blistering issues.. but I don't know if that's a general thing or not. Chances are, on a nice one, that will have been dealt with already and properly barrier coated..
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Old 12-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
I can say, though, that I've seen a worrisome number on the hard in our area with pretty significant blistering issues.. but I don't know if that's a general thing or not. Chances are, on a nice one, that will have been dealt with already and properly barrier coated..
The review addresses the blistering issue and the potential need for a barrier coat. It also mentions that it is hardly exclusive to the Islander, but a good point!
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Old 12-31-2011
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Great boats. Spent many yrs sailing on and out of SF bay during the late 70's.
Btw, this is what Zack Sunderland sailed around the world when he became the youngest to do so. 'Nuff said?
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Old 12-31-2011
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Consider that the NEWEST one is 25 years old and they can be up to 40 with, I suspect, the majority being well over 30 years old. Given that fact, how badly could they have been built?

How many other products from the early to mid 70's do you own or even see around? Houses and collector cars are about it (I do still have my Marantz & Altec Lansing stereo ).

Old GRP boats are incredibly long lived. A large number of tall tales and old wives tales about the "quality" or lack thereof of the build from back in the day have survived until now. AFAIAC they have been proven meaningless by the continued survival of these GOB's.

Check out the one you are interested in like any other boat you might consider and forget about the stories - most of THEM are 30 to 40 years old as well.
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Old 01-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Consider that the NEWEST one is 25 years old and they can be up to 40 with, I suspect, the majority being well over 30 years old. Given that fact, how badly could they have been built?
How many other products from the early to mid 70's do you own or even see around? Houses and collector cars are about it (I do still have my Marantz & Altec Lansing stereo ).
Actually, I recently traded in a top loading clothes washer because I wanted the newer, more efficient, front loading/stackable type. As Sears hauled the old machine away, it dawned on me that it was well over 30 years old and was still running strong. It was used several times weekly (Unlike most boats, BTW). I guarantee the new units won't be running in 30 years (I've already had service issues)! I have an old Pioneer stereo with tubes that works perfectly, and IMO sounds better than most units currently on the market. I don't use it anymore because technology has evolved (some would say - devolved!) so much (no USB ports on the receiver, can't get LP's for the turntable, etc.!) Not so for sailing (unless you are racing seriously, in which case, you wouldn't be looking for old boats.)
Old GRP boats are incredibly long lived. A large number of tall tales and old wives tales about the "quality" or lack thereof of the build from back in the day have survived until now. AFAIAC they have been proven meaningless by the continued survival of these GOB's.
Any boat over 20 years old will need regular maintenance. As indicated in the review, some "survive" with less attention than others. I doubt the weak tabbing at the bulkheads (cited in the review) is a "wives tale". While it probably wasn't an issue for the first 20 years of the boats life, it certainly would be now. I have a 40 year old Yankee, and the bulkheads or blisters have never been an issue. All boats are not created equal. 40 year old Westsail or Hunter? Price and intended use not withstanding, you choose! I know about Westsails (which have known issues as well) and Hunters. I'm not familiar with Islanders.
Check out the one you are interested in like any other boat you might consider and forget about the stories - most of THEM are 30 to 40 years old as well.
For me, this goes without saying. This thread is part of my due diligence, to determine which boats I want to look at. As I indicated in the OP, I was struck by what I perceived to be a discrepancy in the cited review. It wasn't a "story". It was a review written by someone who knows much more about boats than I do. I posted with the hope that those who actually know the boat might clear that up for me. As usual, several have.

Last edited by L124C; 01-07-2012 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012
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As with any boat of this vintage, bulkhead tabbing, condition of bulkheads and deck, chainplates and all deck hardware needs serious inspection and proper corrective measures taken. During this process, upgrade where necessary depending on your intended use. The I36 is one of the more memorable production boats I sailed on in the late 70's-early 80's.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Quality of the Islander 36

If you are still looking for an Islander 36 send me PM
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Quality of the Islander 36

I walked from a 37 due to wet decks and hull. Not sure that would apply to a 36'.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Quality of the Islander 36

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Btw, this is what Zack Sunderland sailed around the world when he became the youngest to do so. 'Nuff said?
True. But, if I remember correctly Zack's Dad had to do some bulkhead repairs part way thru the trip. Although, I don't think Zack's I36 started out in very good shape.
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