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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.