Island Packet 27 vs Pacific Seacraft Orion - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-18-2009 Thread Starter
 
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Island Packet 27 vs Pacific Seacraft Orion

I am planning on purchasing a boat next Spring, and while I am still very open minded about what I will end up with, I believe that my top two choices are the Island Packet 27 and the Orion. My budget, for the boat itself, is $38,000. These are both "large" 27 footers, well built and are bluewater capable. I would be interested to hear what you folks, who are certainly more knowledgeable than myself, have to say about them.

Is one more "livable" than the other? My girlfriend and small dog will liveaboard as well so any extra storage space would be appreciated. And, yes I know that it is crazy to have a couple and a dog on a 27-footer, but that is what our budget entails and I know we will be able to handle it. Is there much of a difference in the quality of construction between the two boats? Any common design flaws with either boat? If my inboard was to eventually poop out, is it possible to install a large outboard on either boat? Any light you could shed on this decision would be helpful.

I am leaning toward the IP for a few reasons: there are a lot more available and I could likely get a better deal, I might be able to save on shipping if I can buy one close enough to home (Chicago) to sail it back, the IP uses Polycore decks which are more resisant to rot than the Orion's, and IP is still in business which may be helpful if I ever need parts. With that being said, the Orion looks more beautiful to me.

I am a long way off from the purchase, but I want to be as informed as possible before making this huge decision. Thank you for your help. Safe sailing.

-Jake
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-18-2009
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Both are good boats, buy the one the two of you fall in love with. Don't worry about whether the manufacturer is still in business - some of the best boats ever built are no longer in production and any parts you need are available from dozens of sources.

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post #3 of 21 Old 04-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakedury View Post
...I am leaning toward the IP for a few reasons: there are a lot more available and I could likely get a better deal, I might be able to save on shipping if I can buy one close enough to home (Chicago) to sail it back, the IP uses Polycore decks which are more resisant to rot than the Orion's, and IP is still in business which may be helpful if I ever need parts. With that being said, the Orion looks more beautiful to me...
I think you will find a bit more cabin space (though not necessarily more hull volume) in the IP27 than the Orion 27, but the Orion is probably a better all-around sailor.

The Orion has different interior configurations, so you'd have to figure out which interior you prefer. Also, there are Mark 1 and Mark 2 versions of the Orion, with the MArk 2 having a longer coachroof, two deck hatches, and an extra set of portlights -- all nice features.

In case it makes any difference, two observations about your note above: (1) I was told that the decks of the Orion are solid glass (the raised coachroof having plywood core), and (2) Pacific Seacraft was purchased out of bankruptcy and continues in business.


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post #4 of 21 Old 04-18-2009
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Pacific Seacraft is still around. They were bought and moved to North Carolina. Still strong, making the same boats.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-19-2009
 
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The IP 27 has significantly more interior volume due to its extremely wide beam. More so than more modern IP designs, the 27 is essentially a catboat with a wide beam carried all the way aft.

For liveability, the IP is the clear winner. For sailing performance and offshore ability, the Orion is an equally clear winner with its moderate beam, tapered ends, and deeper draft. In my opinion, PS is clear step up from IP in build quality. I also agree that the Orion is the better looking boat.

For me, I'd take the Orion in a heartbeat, but if interior space is the deciding factor, it should be an equally easy call in favor of the IP, which has the interior volume of a much larger boat.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-19-2009
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If you put a greater value on accommodations you should go for the IP. Thery are also very solidly built. But even the much bigger ones are SLOW so if you are looking for better sailing characteristics you might want to go for the ORION.

EDIT Just looked up their PHRF ratings and they are virtually identical, so maybe you ought to wait to hear from someone who has actually sailed both boats.

Last edited by CBinRI; 04-19-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-19-2009
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Good taste in boats. I admire both and have researched them each fairly extensively.

Some will argue that IP27 has a cockpit that is a bit too large for serious offshore work. And indeed, she wasn't necessarily designed as a bluewater boat (IP26 roots). However, her beam gives her a roomy look inside but on closer inspection you'll find a smallish galley and somewhat cramped v-berth. I'm not sure the Orion is a better sailing boat. Consider that the IP has 2,000 lbs less displacement and almost 2 feet more of waterline length. Also, don't forget the IP27 is available in a centerboard version which saves you 1 foot of draft and a bit of drag for downwind runs.

The Orion is perhaps built to a slightly higher standard. She was also designed as a bluewater pocket cruiser. The Orion easily trumps the IP in tankage with 25 gallons of fuel vs. 19 and 70 gallons water versus 31. This makes a difference if you plan to undertake any long passages. All of the Orions with the "A" plan interior (most common) that I've seen have a cramped quarterberth when compared to the IP, but this might not matter if it's just you, your girl and your dog. I think the Orion was also offered as a ketch, but you'll have a difficult time finding one for sale. The Orion also will likely be a bit harder to find and a bit more costly.

If I was choosing, I'd take the Orion. I like knowing she's a PSC and that she's all about bluewater. I also think she's a prettier boat. However, I don't think you can really go wrong with either. You said you're in Chicago, so does that mean you intend to sail the boat mostly on the Great Lakes? If so, the Orion's slight bluewater advantage might not matter nearly as much. And if the Great Lakes are the home waters, I'd suggest making sure you get the cutter rig for either boat to deal with the light summer airs that are so common on Lake Michigan.

Lastly, you may also consider the following as comparable boats:

Shannon 28: More expensive than either the IP or PSC, but very nicely finished boat with an aft head and perfect layout for a couple.

Nor'Sea 27: Again, nicely finished. She's also trailerable and available as a centercockpit.

Westsail 28: Heavily built and maybe the best 27-28 foot bluewater boat available.

Com Pac 27: Very similar to the IP27 (Bob Johnson influence) but without the quarterberth. Perhaps a bit more affordable too.

SeaSprite 27/28: Beautiful Luders design with longish overhangs.

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post #8 of 21 Old 04-19-2009
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I'd add the Southern Cross 28, and the Elizabethan 29 to the list as well.




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post #9 of 21 Old 04-19-2009
 
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I'll second the Shannon 28. Might be harder to find at the price you are looking for, but it is, in my opinion, the best cruising boat under 30 feet. Beautifully crafted interior, and extremely well designed for cruising. Two good sea berths, the head is in the middle of the boat where it belongs, the galley is exceptionally well designed. Sails great on all points of sail. Balanced helm. Heaves to easily. Just a fantastic boat!

The 28 also had the same layup schedule as the 38, which itself is built like a tank. With the hull thickness of the 38 in a much smaller boat, the 28 is pretty much indestructible. I know a couple that have sailed the world in their 28 for nearly 20 years and still glow with pride when talking about her. Shannon is still in business and, from what I've heard, is a pleasure to work with.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-23-2009
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With a $38K budget, I don't see why you have to limit yourself to 28'. There are lots of good bluewater boats out there in that price range with more living space. How about something like this ...

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