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SouthernBreeze17 12-30-2010 07:07 PM

Island Packet 35
I am considering purchasing a IP 35, and have one question: Just how Slow is an IP 35?

I hear and read alot about how slow the IPs are in light wind. My wife just said: ALL sailboats are slow, so what?

The IP 35 seems to have the accomodations we are looking for in a cruising boat, and from what I read it performs quite well in 15 to 25+ knots of wind.

Other than the occaisional thunderstorm in the summer, we don't have sustained winds at that level on the west coast of FL very often. So I am concerned that at 5-10 knots of winds, we could be purchasing a slow power boat (might as well buy a trawler! and not have to worry about shoals or bridge clearance).

So for any of you with experience sailing an IP 35, what kind of boat speed could we expect with 10 knots of wind close hauled, or beam reach, or broad reaching? We're not interested in racing and really don't care when we get to our cruising destination, but we would like to be able to make the boat move in 5 to 10 knots of wind.

I'd like to be able to buy a boat that should be able to get at least 3 knots on most points of sail in a light (5-10 knot) wind condition.


DulceSuerna 12-30-2010 08:10 PM

I am not an IP owner but am gonna chime in my 2 cents so please take it with a grain of salt and dont bash me. Our boat is a Bombay clipper 31 I have been told predecessor to the Ip31 but she is a heavy stout beamy boat. It performs Great in 15-25. We were out last week for a few days in 9-14 mph winds and averaged about 5 knots, occasionaly up to 6.5 . Having said that I think an Ip 35 would perform similar if not a bit faster and closer pointing. Personally I would rather have a boat hat can handle heavier wind easier then one of those super light (but faster in light wind but have to really reef heavy etc in anything in the mid to high teens) type of boats. We thought of a trawler, but for the extra few knots per hour, and not being able to SAIL :) we went a different route. We too are on the west coast of Fl and sail winter and summer. Summer sailing seems to have ok to decent breezes many months, and we enjoy the trip wherever we are going. Most sailors I know of power sail often as winds never seem to come from wherew you want them. Having said that we recently motored 24 miles and burned barely 2 gallons of diesel. I think you can easily get your 3 knots on most points in 5-10.

FarCry 12-30-2010 08:21 PM

Sorry for the brief hijack!!!

I always try to put a shout out to another Bombay Clipper owner. A fine choice in vessels you've made DulceSuerna!!!

tommays 12-31-2010 07:17 AM

I think the issue is how close hauled to the wind a boat can make effective headway compared to another which seems to be the IP weak point.

If you need to sail someplace upwind and your tacking 15 degrees lower its takes a LOT longer.

deniseO30 12-31-2010 08:44 AM

SouthernBreeze17 12-31-2010 03:13 PM


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If you need to sail someplace upwind and your tacking 15 degrees lower its takes a LOT longer.
An exxcellent point. I have encountered that problem in the past as we were learning to sail the last 7 years on a Hunter 36. Even though, the AWI might show that we were bearing only 40-45 degrees off the wind, 10-15 degrees of leeway meant that our COG was 50-60 degrees off the wind. In time, we have learned to sail the Hunter closer to 30 degrees off the wind as measured by the AWI, but still in certain wind and tide conditions, the COG was well beyond that. One aspect that the broker mentioned about the IP boats is that even though they may not point as high (as measured by the AWI), they have less leeway due to the full keel. This could result in a much smaller difference in actual COG headway toward your destination. He went on to assert that is why the IPs do better in long distance races than the short "daysail" type of course generally set up by your local yacht club.

If the IP "points" 10-15 degrees worse than a typical wing keel boat (and that is a big IF as I don't have any experience with an IP), and has 5-10 degrees less leeway, then the COG difference may be minimal.

Again, it's just a matter of preference of what do you want to do with your boat. If you want to sail a triangular course for an hour or so, that requires one style of boat (and a specific level of effort on the part of the crew). If you want to take off and sail 200 miles or more across open water, that requires another. Then to create a comforatable living quarters for a month or two requires still further differences.

Different strokes for different folks.

Southern Breeze

Jeff_H 12-31-2010 03:39 PM

The real question would be "How important is sailing to you?" because if sailing is important then an IP is probably the wrong way to go. Living with their poor sailing ability is not so much about speed, but about how much of the time you are willing to motor, or motor sail in proportion tp just plain voyage under sail. Based on my experience sailing on them and around them, below 10 knots they are basically a motorboat with a mast. While you may be able to sail at windspeeds below 10 knots, the boat speed is so slow that you probably wouldn't sail if you had to get somewhere in a reasonable period of time.

And once the wind blows enough that they can be sailed, my experience with these boats is that have an absolutely terrible VMG because they not only point poorly (mostly because of their rig geometry more than their keel), and have a comparatively slow speed through the water, but also make a huge amount of leeway, at least as compared to boats with more efficient keel configurations.

But even reaching in a stiff breeze, thier high drag and inefficient sail plans means they are very slow as compared to similar displacement boats with similar LOA's.

The big surprise is how poorly they sail in heavy going. When you have that much drag, and that inefficient a sail plan, and low density ballast in a shoal draft encapsulated keel, it is hard to carry sufficient sail area to sail well. We ended up reefing early to balance the helm and of course that killed both speed and motion comfort. While thier motion is slow and therefore comfortable for some, to me they rolled and pitched through very wide angles, at least as compared to the boats that I am used to sailing.

To me, Island Packets make great live aboards if sailing is a low priority. There are people for whom sailing ability is not important. They are comfortable with motoring or motorsailing when they need to get somewhere. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Speaking for myself, their sailing performance would be totally unacceptable to me under any circumstance, and I know that I sometimes take a friends don't let friends buy Island Packets attitude at times, but in reality, there is no one universally correct answer on any of these questions. I would suggest that you charter one and sail the daylights out of it because in reality the only person who can answer this question is you.


SouthernBreeze17 12-31-2010 04:48 PM


Thanks for your opinion. I actually appreciate the negative comments, that's how I can evaluate my decision. I have a couple of questions:

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While you may be able to sail at windspeeds below 10 knots, the boat speed is so slow that you probably wouldn't sail if you had to get somewhere in a reasonable period of time
What do you call "slow"? That was my original question, what speed can be expected below 10 knots? What's acceptable to me, may very well be different than what's acceptable to you.

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compared to boats with more efficient keel configurations
I agree, I am not particularly enamored with the "low density" keel. I have heard that some IPs simply had pieces of scrap iron dumped in the keel and encapulated. What boats do you consider to be more efficient? If that is a 8 to 9 foot fin keel, then it is simply not reasonable along the west coast of FL and the Bahamas (my intended cruising area). I am in the purchasing decision mode, so I'm open to suggestions. How would you compare it to a Caliber 35?

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I would suggest that you charter one and sail the daylights out of it
In what universe can I charter something that doesn't say Benehuntalina or Juno on the side?

Southern Breeze

Jeff_H 12-31-2010 05:01 PM

If you want to charter an Island Packet you can try Gratitude Yacht Center which is located here on the Chesapeake. Sailboat Charters Rock Hall Maryland | Bareboat Sailboat Charters Chesapeake Bay | Gratitude Yachting Center Rock Hall MD

Smaller independent charter companies will often have IP as well as a broad spectrum of other boats in their fleets, I don't have time to respond to your other questions.



olson34 12-31-2010 05:15 PM

There's a customer for Every Boat
Jeff has said it well.
I would only add that, like all boats power and sail, you have to consider first the 'design brief' for a given design, or in this case an entire line of boats.
IP wanted a fairly high-end quality shoal-draft hull with a lot of interior room for living. From that came a long keel with a protected area for prop and rudder in case of groundings, given the shoal cruising areas intended.

Basically it is a trawler hull form with a sail plan above. The fact that it sails poorly is just the reality of that whole design package.

If you sail in deeper waters where you can enjoy the benefits of an efficient keel form and want a hull form intended first for sailing... then you ought to consider another brand of boat.

They are nice enough boats, but you just have to know your real needs.


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