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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at an 1965 Islander it has the flush deck which gives it grate cabin room and a grate deck it has ben sailed around the world and I wish to use it for blue water, dose any one have an openion of this boat?? I could sure use the help!!
 

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Early Islanders were really pretty poor boats in their day. They were not particularly respected for their build quality which in the mid-1960''s was considered pretty shoddy.
I find it amazing that one managed to sail around the world. These were just not that tough a boat. I can only assume that someone upgraded the boat and was a very good seaman.

There is no way that I would ever recommend a stock version of these boats as a "blue water cruiser" especially after it has taken the beating involved in sailing around the world. On the other hand if this particular boat has been customized it is hard to know how to advise you without knowing exactly what was done to the boat.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jeff you are the first person I have talked to that has felt this way about Islanders. I think most peaple are thinking of the boats that were built in the 70s. are you convinced that a 100k hnschrstn are the only boat capable of blue water.
 

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Here''s the way I look at this. First of all I was around when these boats were new. Compared to other inexpensive boats of that era; Cal, Columbia and Pearson for example, everything about the Islanders were seen as being cheaply done. Seen in context of that era, when engineering on early fiberglass boats was pretty crude and manufacturers had not yet learned to handle laminating materials to assure full strength out of the laminate, Islanders were seen as being the equivelent of any of the mass produced coastal cruiser of today say, Hunter or Catalina.

I raced on a 32 foot Islander of that era that was a brang new boat and the hardware was way under sized, stanchion bases were flexing the deck when you leaned on them, a bow chock pulled out of the deck in a raft up and was only screwed in (which was actually a more common practice back then). In the 1970''s I worked in boat yards and one of the repair jobs I did was where a bow cleat had pulled out of the deck, What we found was improperly wet out cloth. Repairs were comparatively easy because the headliner was vinyl glued in place but when we pulled it down we found major mildew problems in the foam and rot forming where the foam was glued to an unprotected plywood knee.

When you sailed these things they were noticeably more flexible than other boats of that era. That kind of repetative flexing accellerates faigue which can really take a toll on the strength of the fiberglass. By the time I worked on the repair job in the 1970''s there were clear signs of flexure in the hull around bulkheads and hardware mounting points. By the mid-1970''s Islanders had greatly improved in design and construction.

Now then as to your second question, No I am not convinced that you need a $100K yacht to do a circum-navigation and certainly if I were going around it would not be in a Hans Christian. That said, at almost any price range there are boats that better suited for distance cruising and braving the elements. The key here is to identify what you can afford financially and then figure out what is in that price range. If you start with something like an mid-1960''s Islander, you will have a lot more work to beef up potential problem areas than a slightly better constructed boat of that same era.

For example, a Pearson Triton, Alberg 30 or Tartan 27 of the same era would probably make a better choice than an Islander of the same period. The difference in dollars should be pretty small and in the long run if you can''t afford this small difference you probably can''t afford the cost of the trip around.

Respectfully
Jeff
 

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The Freeports are nice liveaboards with lots of room and a breigh and air interior. They make good coastal cruisers in areas with predominant winds in the 12 t0 18 knot range. They are not good light air boats and they are really not ideal seaboats. (Too many large fixed ports and not enough ballast)

Jeff
 

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hey, i have an islander 33, and i think its the one your talking about. (the one that sailed around the world. and it didnt. (parshally) it sailed from california to st.croix(were i live) and got smashed in hurricane hugo.
i bought it in 1995 for about 500 dollars, it was sank in shallow water.
its name is slim pickins (true, please believe me)
 

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Greetings! I just found and joined this forum and saw this thread a felt the need to post.

I have an Islander 33 built by Wayfarer in 1965. Yes, these boats were built for sailing off the S. California coast. However, with some modifications like thru bolting the chainplates, increasing the size of the rigging wire, adding larger scuppers to the cockpit and armoring the large windows with lexan overlays these vessels are capable of sailing the open ocean. I have sailed this vessel once to New Zealand from Cailfornia on a voyage that lasted three years and a second cruise to French Polynesia spending only eleven months. I have sailed from California to Vancouver BC and presently live near Port Townsend WA. The vessel is not fast but I managed to record a 156 mile 24 hr run, (currents help) and I figured 100 miles made good in the direction I wanted to go when figuring passages. The boat has a bit of weather helm which makes controling her with a windvane quite reliable. They are not "squirrelly" and have an easy motion at sea. I have single handed her from the Marquesas to NZ and from Hawaii to California. I have owned my Islander 33 since 1975, if I were not satisfied I would not have kept her for 34 years. I lived aboard and used her as my principle residence for 11 years; not many boats measuring 32 ft 9 inches on her hull molding have as much interior space, the main cabin being larger than is many found on boats many feet longer.

I dissagree with alot of what has been said about their construction here. I worked for many years in boatyards (NZ, Hawaii, and CA) and specialized in doing fiberglass repairs. The inside surface of the hull of my vessel is finished out completely in fiberglass cloth. No getting stabbed by spikes of errant roving or FG mat when reaching into the back of some locker. The hull was laid up in two halves and joined together. Yes, like most boats of that era the bulkheads were hard attached to the hull; and yes, I changed to a foam join on my vessels hulkheads. But the hull on my vessel (and that is the only one I can honestly say I know very intimately) is satifactory. On my passage from Rarotonga to NZ I hit some heavy weather and what I can only explain was a rogue wave lifted my boat and she was thrown on beam ends. The compression post was sheared from the main bulkhead and fractured internally. The aluminum mast step was broken in two and a spreader broke where it joined the mast. Alot of boats would not have survived such a calamity, most boats never encounter one.

Several years ago I repowered with a Yanmar three cylinder diesel and have a propane stove with oven as well as a propane fireplace. My boat sits only 1800 ft from my front door. Certainly they are not the best boats ever built but they can be a quite satisfactory vessel for someone wishing to get into cruising and who is on a budget.

Bests,
Wiley1
 

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Islander 33: Has anyone taken off the mast?

Interesting read.

I bought a 1967 Islander 33 Flush Deck in 2005 and have been very pleased with it. Certainly not fast, but I feel she's very capable. We have her on Lake Superior at present. Nice to hear of your travels through the Pacific on yours. Makes me feel even better about mine.

Question: Has anyone ever taken the mast off? I'm thinking of doing this, as the foam pellets inside the mast used to silence the internal wiring have settled to the point where the antenna coax & masthead wiring are keeping me up at night slapping back and forth against the inside of the mast as the boat rocks.

I'm assuming there is a plate fastened to the deck the deck-stepped mast slides over, as there are no external bolts which I can see from above or below decks, so I figure I should just be able to loosen the shrouds and pull the mast straight up. Is this correct?

Also, I can't believe Islander would have left the bottom of the mast open for the pellets to fall out when it gets pulled, but would like to hear it for sure from someone before I take it off this fall.

Thank you!
Tim
s/v Summer Speil
 

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Tim,
I have taken the mast down and there were no beads inside my mast. You are correct the original mast step is one where the aluminum extrusion sits on a lip on the mast step. The original mast step is a cast affair and, if memory serves, inside the lip is a spigot that rises maybe 5/8ths inches then returns to maybe a thickness of 1/4 or 3/8ths inch. There are a couple of lag bolts which attach it thru the deck molding and into the top of the compression post below. It was along time ago I (1979) replaced my step which I had broken in two on the passage to NZ from Rarotonga. Are you going to hire a crane? I pulled mine with the help of a friend using a four part block and tackle tied to a bridge over the Panmure River outside Auckland. A piece of cake. We had it rigged and the mast down before anyone was the wiser.

My boat is presently in the yard and I will take some pictures of the mast base I replaced it with later today. And I'll also add some photos of some of the modifications I have made to my boat which have proved successful just in case you are curious. I won't be able to post until tomorrow as we have a dinner engagement tonite.

These vessels definitely fit into the classification of "Good Old Boats".

Bests,
Wiley
 

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Tim,
I have the photos and have tried to upload them unsuccessfully. This forum has the same format used by another to which I belong and I have never had any problems uploading to that forum. So I haven't a clue as to the problem, I thought at first it was file size so I reduced to low resolution (below 97KB for jpeg) and photo size and still no luck. PM me with an email address and I'll gladly send them along as well as some shots of other modifications I have made which make the 33 more of an open water sea boat.
Bests,
Wiley
 

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Useless post 4

Wiley,
Unable to PM you until I have 5 posts. Utter nonsense, but there you go. Here's my 4th. The 5th coming soon, then I'll PM you with email.

Tim
 

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I had an Islander built in the 60's the rudder fell off, the steel holding it in place rusted I still have a hole in my big toe nail from where it fell on it about 6 months ago. 29':cool:
 

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Gee Jags, Sorry about your toe. However, I think you have the wrong thread. This thread is about Islander 33s.
And for the record: the rudder on 3I3s is hung off the keel. The rudder stock is bronze, as is the two piece gudgeon which holds the lower end.
Hope your toe mends well,
Wiley
 

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Gee Jags, Sorry about your toe. However, I think you have the wrong thread. This thread is about Islander 33s.
And for the record: the rudder on 3I3s is hung off the keel. The rudder stock is bronze, as is the two piece gudgeon which holds the lower end.
Hope your toe mends well,
Wiley
This one was hung off the keel too, and it had bronze on the bottom but for some reason there was stealing coming out from the inside composite material at the top whicc connect's with the steering mechanism that to me was a nono. You might want to check into it, see what the what? I was wondering if that was common on all Islanders? Guess not.
 

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Jags,
Years ago I dropped my rudder and changed the packing gland at the top. Like many boats the Islander 33 came with either tiller or wheel steering. Mine is tiller steered. I told the yard where I hauled what I wanted to do and they set me on taller keel bocks than usual and placed the boat where I could dig a hole beneath the bottom of the rudder if necessary. It was. In the tiller steered version the rudder stock is supported at the bottom, at the gland, and where it goes thru the deck. I replaced the packing gland with a single piece of fiberglass tube the proper diameter for the shaft and glassed it in. Note: to allow the rudder to be removed there is now two fiberglass tubes, one that is glassed to both the hull and to the underside of the cockpit sole (forming a completely watertight structure) and a second unattached FG tube which is a close fit over the rudderstock. This second tube is removeable out the top to create clearance in order to remove the rudder in the future. The interstitial space is filled with silicone grease.

There was/is no steel or ferrous metal in any of the components of my rudder assembly. I cannot fathom why there would be in your vessel. That being said, at 40 plus years old most boats have been thru several different owners. And the skill and experience level of those owners is quite variable. Having worked around boats for many years I have seen some very strange "repairs" and would suspect someone earlier had "fixed" a problem.

Bests,
Wiley
 

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67 Islander 33

Howdy,

I'm looking at a 1967 Islander 33. The boat seems to be in decent enough condition, mostly the normal stuff for a senior citizen, but the deck over the cabin flexes quite a bit, I think that all the plywood needs to be replaced and some ribs added. The owner started the repair by tearing down some of the wood. It sounds like this isn't a huge repair for these boats but enough to knock down the price quite a bit. The head has been removed but there is a new one ready to be put in. The sails look pretty good and the interior is in nice shape, in need of elbow grease and cleaning. I haven't had the boat pulled out and surveyed yet, so I'm not sure what the hull looks like, the owner says he thinks it is in pretty good shape. The deck and the hull need to be painted, as well. I like the boat, I have to admit it is ugly but charmingly so, like most things from the 60's. The owner is asking 7000 bucks, I was thinking about offering him 5000, dependent upon the results of a survey, until I found out about the extent of the work it needs and now I'm not sure if I even want to make an offer or make a very low offer, like 3 or 4000. The question is, what do you all think? This would be my first sailboat and I don't want to take on a lemon but I don't mind doing work, I actually enjoy it. I want to use it to sail around the Puget Sound and up into Canada and as a live aboard for myself and my daughter. Would a low offer be an insult or reasonable? Thanks for reading...
 

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Interesting, many years ago while in NZ I installed a 6 inch port hole directly over the main cabin table. The deck on my '65 is over 1/2 inch solid glass and then on the bottom is a sheet of 1/2 inch mahogany faced plywood. This plywood is encapsulated in a layer of clear resin with a single layer of glass cloth. Obviously the cloth is transparent and the whole looks like several dozen coats of varnish had been applied. I am of the opinion that vacuum bagging had not been invented at that time so the ply was probably protected by a thin sheet of doorskin and heavily weighted to get it to conform to the curve of the deck. Yes, there are some small voids between the two due to trapped air but they are of small concern as the deck is heavily laid up. I suspect that when they were constructed they made their structural layup then laid in a heavy thickness of wet mat and then applied the plywood before it kicked off. There are also two post supports at the forward end of the cutout for the companionway slider hatch; one each side forming support for the deck at the end of the quarter berth on stbd side (1/2 bulkhead) and the 1/2 bulkhead separating the galley from the booth seating/dinette on the port side.

So is that the interior of the boat you are looking at? Are those posts still in place? Is the plywood overhead that you are speaking about encapsulated and part of the structure? or did someone somewhere along the way change/convert/replace the encapsulated one with some other due to damage (water intrusion or fire)? The main deck is wide (like over 9 ft wide and long something like 8 ft long) and there is only the slightest feeling of spring when one jumps heavily on mine. It's amazingly stiff considering the large basically flat area, actually.

Now if your overhead is not stiff enough you have lots of options. But it is not a small undertaking. Personally I would be loath to give up the over six ft headroom with a series of cross deck frames. I think I would (after removing all the bad plywood) rather vacuum bag a 1/2 inch sheet(s) of rigid foam and give it a couple layers of mat and cloth and get both stiffness and insulation. Then finish with a thin layer of doorskin (varnished) or other finish (textured gelcoat for ease of cleaning, vinyl headliner, whatever).

What is it worth? Good question. Lots of stuff you aren't describing: What does it have for an engine? If the original Atomic 4 then what condition is it in? If it has a newer replacement and it was cleanly installed then it is worth a bit more. How old is the rigging? Is it original? if so it needs replacing. Is it still the original alcohol stove or ? I'd be prone to low ball an offer and in this economy I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't accepted. Worst he can say is no and you can continue to negociate. Explain to the owner why you aren't offering more, rigging, engine, tanks, everything is 42 years old if original and so all pumps, thru hulls etc. are suspect until they are proven good and serviceable. And getting parts for a 42 year old alcohol stove won't be easy same for the winches (South Coast or upgraded to ?). You didn't say whether is was wheel or tiller steered; if tiller steered there is less to go wrong. I wasn't (still am not) impressed with the original "factory" wheel steering on these boats.

You are talking live aboard and these are nice live aboard boats but alot of the systems will get more use in such use and most likely many will need to be upgraded or repaired/gone thru. You mentioned Puget Sound, I'm located near PT and if the boat is on the Olympic side I might be able to give her a lookover (should you want).

Hope this helped,
Wiley
 

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Islander 33

I worked for Islander in the 1970's and am very familiar with the 33. A friend of mine, Jack Ford, bought an old 33, completely rebuilt it and sailed it around the world. This was in 2004-2007. He singlehanded the boat and had no major problems with it. The 33, like all Islanders of that vintage, was a good boat structurally, but the rigging and systems need to be upgraded. One change that Jack made that vastly improved the sailing qualities of the boat was that he removed the old keel-hung rudder and installed a beefy spade rudder that was taken off a Davidson 44. It made the underbody of the boat look a lot like a Cal 40...Long (very long) fin keel with a spade rudder. Jack left from Long Beach, CA and returned to Long Beach about 3 years later. Prior to the Islander 33, Jack owned a beautiful cold molded Farr 52 called Zamazaan. We sailed that boat to a 3rd in class in the '87 Transpac. A few years later, when Chuck Weghorn owned the boat, we sailed it to a first in class in the '93 Cabo San Lucas race.
 
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