The vessel for this adventure is a 1988 Island Packet 38. The following sections describe the preparation of the boat for offshore sailing. The Island Packet is a fine boat though we are having some blister problems. We had over 90 blisters repaired and are having an epoxy barrier coat professionally applied which will hopefully minimize this problem. We also discovered a faring patch applied by the factory to fill a void in the mold. The patch extended over unsanded gelcoat and it popped loose when we were stripping the bottom paint. The factory apologized (though didn't offer to help pay for the correction as it is a 10 year old boat). Island Packet went to a Polyclad gelcoat in 1990 which addresses the blister problems in earlier years so keep this in mind. An older boat can be peeled and have one of these gelcoat systems added for about $10,000 so build this in when you are pricing your future cruiser.
We had a big refit in New Zealand in 1999. Check it out for our ongoing efforts with blisters and the equipment we added. We decided to keep it separate but we may integrate it with the rest of this section in the future.
The boat sails extremely well from close to broad reach. We don't sail dead down wind and we can't sail very tight to weather because the headsail track and spreaders are all the way outboard and the boat is beamy. The boat rolls a fair bit in choppy following seas but the full keel and balanced rudder make it easy to steer and it tracks extremely well in a wide variety of conditions.
|Sail Inventory||Safety Gear|
|Galley||Canvas and Upholstery|
|New Zealand Refit|
Most of the equipment described in the following sections purchased in the US was bought from West Marine in the Sausalito store. When spent a small fortune there but we got lots of great help and service. We would like to thank Richard, Mary, Hank, Ken, Michael and Joel. Their help was a major contributing factor to our efforts.