Island Packet 465

by George Day

Blue Water Sailing
April 2008


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America's Cruising Yacht Leader

The boat’s distinctive beige hull with the short bowsprit was heeled over at about 10 degrees as it reached comfortably and steadily before the clearing northwest breeze. In the background some 10 miles distant lay the sandy shores of Virginia Beach. Astern was the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and ahead, on the boat’s course lay the Caribbean Sea some 1,200 miles away.

Any sailor would know it was a cruising boat. It had a high cut Yankee headsail, a lower cut self-tending staysail and a fully battened mainsail. A dinghy was strapped down on deck. A radar dome was mounted on the mast above the spreaders and a long whip antenna for the high seas radio stood on the transom right next to the vertical blade of the boat’s wind vane self-steering unit.

The cockpit was protected with a blue dodger, an overhead bimini and side weather cloths. Still, the boat’s crew could be seen sitting in the cockpit. They waved. They were gray haired, fit looking, smiling. It was a warm November day and they would be in the British Virgin Islands in eight days or so. In between, they would be out there in the North Atlantic all by themselves for more than a week of blue-water sailing where the integrity of their boat would make all the difference. The boat in the picture was an Island Packet 420. A proper offshore cruising boat for a couple, as any experienced sailor could tell you.

Island Packet Yachts (IPY), which was founded in 1979 by naval architect Bob Johnson, holds an unique place in American boat building because it is the only company active today that builds sailboats that are designed and built specifically for offshore sailing and world cruising. Every other builder has hedged its bets by tailoring designs to dual purpose sailing—some racing, some cruising— or have focused solely on the coastal cruising market. Johnson started with a vision to build solid, wholesome cruising boats with offshore capabilities and he has never wavered from that goal. Starting with the first Island Packet 26, the company continued to grow and develop new designs almost every year for the last 29 years.

Along the way, IPY has designed and built some legendary cruising boats including the 27, 31, 35 and 40, all of which sold record numbers of hulls during their production runs. And the company has made forays into other cruising categories with the introduction of the Packet Cat of which 41 were built, the Packet Craft Express, the PY Cruiser trawler and the new SP Cruiser motorsailer. Whether trying out a new category of cruising boat or refining a new boat to fit in the line of sailboats, IPY remains dedicated to fundamental principals of safe cruising, fast passagemaking and comfortable living aboard in boats that hold their value for years.

The new IP465, which was launched last fall, is the latest Bob Johnson design to join the IPY fleet and carries in every molecule the genes that have been accumulating in IPY boats since the first 26 was launched. New boats in the line are not always revolutionary. They are often evolutionary refinements that are designed to better serve the cruising owner.

The most noticeable innovation in the new 465 is the square transom with the huge swim platform where in recent designs we have seen a sugar scoop transom and built-in swim platform. The new stern looks, in fact, similar to sterns on boats IPY built in the 1980s. The new stern opens up a huge amount of storage in the lazarette lockers for all of the gear, toys and spares cruisers like to carry with them. This is where the folding bikes will go. The 465 also is a fine example of all that an owner gets when he buys an Island Packet.

From the keel to the top of the mast, the boat has been engineered with the owner in mind. Island Packets all have Full Foil Keels®, which were developed by Bob Johnson in the 1980s to gain the practical benefits of a full keel with the lift characteristics of a foil-shaped keel. The end result is a keel that will take a grounding easily and will protect the propeller from flotsam while at the same time providing the boat with an easy motion through the water and excellent directional stability. In an age when lightweight hulls with fin keels and spade rudders are the standard, the Full Foil Keel® stands out as a unique innovation. The rig IPY has put into the 465 is, again, similar to the rigs in all of their boats and has been created to maximize safety, simplicity and performance. All of the sails, including the mainsail, are on roller furling systems that can be controlled from the cockpit so the crew rarely will have to go on deck to handle working canvas. The staysail is quite large and equipped with a self-tending Hoyt Jib Boom, which makes handling the sail simple and efficient. In stronger breezes or when you want to tack in tight quarters, the self-tending boom really comes into its own.

The accommodations in the new 465 are designed around the needs of a cruising couple who will be on their own a lot but will be having friends join them regularly. Hence two large cabins with en suite heads, each with its own shower. The owners will probably live aft in the master stateroom while guests will live forward in an excellent fore cabin. You will be amazed at the sense of privacy you have.

The saloon offers a bench settee on both sides with a table that folds down from the bulkhead and then folds out to accommodate up to six adults at dinner. The galley is huge and both well laid out for cooking at sea and well equipped for cooking more elaborate meals when at anchor. The chart table to port has a comfortable swiveling captain’s chair and plenty of space to lay out charts and mount instruments. The 465 is a complete cruising boat that will serve her owners well over many miles and many years; and when their cruising days are done, they will be able to move it on to the next family for a handsome price.

You could call the boats that Bob Johnson and the IPY team build a “line” but in truth the boats are a great small cruising fleet that all have similarities and all have individual characteristics that make them specially suited to particular sailor’s needs. The smallest of the current fleet is the aft cockpit IP370. The boat has a nice long waterline and ample beam so there is a good amount of interior space, resulting in really generous accommodations. The ingenious use of angled bulkheads in some areas makes maximum use of the space. The 370’s cockpit is relatively large and comfortable while the saloon below will seat six on the settee for an evening meal. Even though the 370 is the smallest of the IPY cruisers it is still a very capable offshore cruising boat that will carry her crew across oceans safely and quickly.

Next in line is the SP Cruiser, which has a hull designed to carry a large engine and stand up to the downward stresses of a large propeller. The pilothouse has a centerline steering station with great visibility all the way around and an L-shaped dinette, which is the place the crew will spend the most time. An innovative forward cockpit is also a great spot to enjoy the scenery. And with IPY’s exclusive, electric sheeting Sto Winches ™ and a hand-held autopilot remote, the boat can be controlled from here as well. Boat speed and windward performance are both surprisingly good, even in light air. Down three steps going forward is the galley, the large master stateroom forward, a small study and an after cabin with twin bunks tucked under the pilothouse. The SP Cruiser is a unique new addition to the world of cruising and an innovative new solution to the age-old urge to cruise under both power and sail.

The flagship of the IPY fleet is the IP485. A full-bodied center cockpit design, the 485 is truly a circumnavigator’s boat. It has the fuel and water capacity plus the overall storage space for a family to live self sufficiently for many months at a time. Or a couple could happily bring along friends for passages and pleasant cruises without cramping their style at all.

The center cockpit layout opens up the back of the boat on deck for a large after deck and excellent storage in the huge lazarette. Inside, the space aft turns into a great master cabin with a centerline double, tons of storage and a large private head. The saloon works very well for ocean sailing and will be comfortable for six adults and can, in a pinch, accommodate eight or more for a party. The galley and nav station are as large and well fitted out as you would expect on a boat of this size. If you are sailing over the horizon to parts unknown, then the 485may be one of the best boats you could choose to do so in safety, comfort and style. That 420 sailing over the horizon, well equipped, seaworthy, salty and crewed by a middle aged couple says a lot about Island Packet Yachts and the company and family behind them. Once you get offshore, the sea becomes very real. You need to know that the boat under you is up to that reality. In an Island Packet, you know with confidence that the designer, the builder and the whole Island Packet team have spent their careers dedicated to meeting that reality as well as possible. That’s why the couple on board turned to wave with big smiles on their faces.

LOA 48’9”
LWL 38’1”
Beam 14’4”
Draft 5’0”
Displacement 34,500 lbs.
Ballast 12,000 lbs.
Sail area 1,122 sq. ft.
Water 260 gals
Fuel 160 gals
Engine 75-hp. diesel
Island Packet Yachts
Largo, Fla.
Ph: 888-724-5479

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