, 2022-06-17 00:50:20,
Island Packet 380: The best liveaboard cruiser out there?
With their ivory colour and tall, rounded coachroof, the Island Packets are nothing if not distinctive.
Designed and built in Florida, they’re sought after across the pond for blue-water cruising but a few of them have migrated to colder climes.
I joined Jalan Jalan, an Island Packet 380, to find out how they perform in our northern waters.
The first Island Packet was built in 1979. Designed by Bob Johnson, it was a 26-footer with a cutter rig, long keel and 10ft beam!
The yard soon made a name for itself producing well-built, spacious cruising yachts. From the outset, safety and stability were front and foremost in the design.
The Island Packet 380 came along some 20 years later and was a highly successful model – 169 were built between 1998 and 2004.
My first impression of the boat was just how much boat there is – she dwarfed the Sigma 38 next-door.
The bow platform and davits mean she’s about a metre longer than her 38ft title suggests, and with a 4m beam she considerably out-girths her rivals too.
The result is a boat with a huge interior volume. Unlike other boats of these proportions though, she has the underwater profile to match.
The ‘full foil’ keel, which Johnson espoused, means there’s a lot more going on below the surface than meets the eye.
The keel-hung rudder is well-protected from encounters with floating objects and the encapsulated keel is another sound feature for blue-water cruising.
Despite her substantial size, the hull itself has a nice touch of…
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