Island Packet 465

by BWS Staff

Blue Water Sailing
January 2008


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This new center cockpit design is a true blue water cruiser that combines IP innovations with the builder's classic style

The morning we sailed the new IP 465 from Annapolis, Md., up Chesapeake Bay to Rock Hall the wind was light, the sky clear and the sun extremely warm for late October. With Ed Kurowski, IP's largest dealer, at the helm, we maneuvered away from the dock—the bow thruster making the job a cinch—and motored out into the bay. The 75-horsepower Yanmar beneath the cockpit provided plenty of thrust to get the boat moving at hull speed and we noted right away that there was almost no engine vibration and very little engine noise even at high revs.

Out in the bay we rolled out the main, staysail and genoa to see how the new 465 would sail, even though the morning breeze was under eight knots. With the apparent wind forward of the beam the 465 gathered way nicely and was soon sailing along at 4.5 knots. We tacked several times and found in the light breeze that the boat liked being cracked off a bit to keep up speed and forward momentum, so the net tacking angle was just under 100 degrees. Pinched closer to the wind, we got her sailing at under 45 degrees to the true wind, but speed started to drop off and the boat didn't feel as lively as it did at closer to 50 degrees.

After a few tacks, we eased sheets and headed north toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. For some local reason, there is always a better breeze along the Annapolis shore north of the harbor and under the bridge than elsewhere, so we had a pleasant broad reach at over five knots in less than 10 knots of true breeze.

We have put many hundreds of miles on Island Packets over the years yet we are still pleasantly surprised at how easily the Bob Johnson designs slip through the water considering they all have full keels, lots of wetted surface and ample displacement. The key to the easy sailing characteristics is the combination of very fair lines, good balance and the patented Full Foil Keel design.

With a displacement of 34,500 pounds, the 465 is moderately heavy by modern standards which gives the boat a hugely stable feel underfoot and the ability to stand up to a press of sail. With a displacement-length ratio of 279, the design will not tend to exceed hull speed often but because of the easy hull lines the boat will sail at or near hull speed in most ocean conditions, which translates into high average passage speeds. For most cruising families, comfort and high average speeds are more important than sudden, jarring bursts of acceleration.

The 465's rig, like the boat's sisterships, is designed for easy control from the cockpit by a couple or a lone watch stander. With the center cockpit configuration, the main sheet runs to the traveler just aft of the cockpit where the sheet and control lines are accessible to the helmsman so he or she can power up or de-power the mainsail as need be to balance the helm.

The genoa and staysail are both on roller furling units with the control lines and sheets led to winches in the cockpit. Island Packet is the only production builder to use the Hoyt Jib Boom on the staysails of their boats; this Gary Hoyt innovation makes the staysail self tacking and also controls the sail's leech tension, which makes the staysail more efficient when running downwind.

We did not fly a cruising chute during the sail trials but we would certainly recommend that owners carry a spinnaker for days like the one we enjoyed on the Chesapeake.

The deck layout of the new 465 is truly an innovation for Island Packet. By giving the boat a traditional transom—no sugar scoop—designer Johnson has vastly increased the size of the afterdeck and the storage space in the lazarettes. Those who will be equipping their boats for living aboard and voyaging will covet all of this extra stowage space.


The afterdeck is large enough to place a few folding chairs for sundowners or to stow a 10-foot dinghy when sailing offshore, which is a much safer solution than carrying a dinghy in davits. To simplify hoisting and lowering a dinghy, the main boom has been equipped with an internal extension or crane with a block and tackle.

Since Island Packets will be lying to their anchor tackle more than most cruising boats, the foredeck has been laid out for secure and easy anchoring with two anchors at the ready on bow rollers. The anchor windlass is massive and the primary anchor rode—all chain—is equipped with a robust stainless steel chain lock. The chain locker will hold two 300-foot rodes, although that would be an awful lot of weight to crowd into the bow.

Moving forward and aft, we noted that sturdy stainless steel handrails were positioned along the cabin top where you expect to find them when you reach out to secure your balance. Also, security rails have been installed on both sides of the mast so you have a place to brace a hip or backside as you work with both hands.

The 465's cockpit will be the spot you spend most of your time while sailing and living aboard but the afterdeck will beckon for sunning and is big enough to act as a dance floor when it is party time.

The 465 was conceived as a live-aboard, blue water boat so the interior layout and the amenities below decks are laid out with basic offshore seamanship foremost. As you climb down the companionway ladder you will find solid hand holds on both sides.

Once in the saloon, in front of you are two bench settees that are comfortable for lounging while at anchor but importantly are long enough to make excellent sea berths while making overnight passages. The saloon table folds away against the main bulkhead when not in use, again a design feature useful at sea. We noted that behind each settee, large storage lockers were built into the seat backs, which will be great for galley supplies, spare parts and those winter clothes you won't need for a while.

The chart table to port has a large surface area that will fit standard ChartKits and DMA charts. The chart table has plenty of room for the charts you need ready at hand plus all the tools and sundries that tend to collect there.

The electrical panels are above the chart table and visible from anywhere in the saloon, so you can always see which circuits are open and what is happening with the onboard electrical systems. Navigation electronics and radios can be mounted above the chart table where they will be at an easy arm's length.

The chart table is equipped with a swiveling, high-back navigator's chair that has padded armrests. This will be a comfortable spot for doing “desk work” while cruising, for using a laptop computer and catching up with e-mails and weather. At sea, being able to fold down the arms and swivel the set will mean you are secure even when the boat is heeling at 15 degrees. Also, the height of the chair can be adjusted to suit every crewmember.

The galley has been put in the passageway to starboard that leads to the aft cabin. It is a huge and very well conceived galley. There is a large island amidships under the companionway, which also is the forward end of the engine room. The twin sinks here are on centerline so they will drain efficiently on both tacks.

The long counter outboard houses two huge fridge compartments, both of which have large top lids that are filled with at least four inches of high-density insulation. One compartment can be used as a deep freeze while the other can be the day-to-day fridge. A neat cooler drawer has been built into the cabinets where you can store drinks, so you don't have to open the fridge every time you get thirsty. The stove is next to the fridge, and outboard you will find long cabinets with plenty of storage.

The guest cabin forward has an island double berth, its own head and a lot of storage. There is a large cedar-lined drawer under the berth that will be a great place for spare sheets and towels. The ample cabinets and hanging locker will make your guests comfortable and will also provide spillover storage for the master cabin aft.

The master cabin has a large double berth that is angled on the port side so it will be easy to get in and out of without disturbing your bed mate. Along the starboard side there is plenty of storage and cabinet space for all the gear you will need for extended cruising.

Both cabins have their own private heads and each has a separate shower stall and a VacuFlush head.

The finish work in the new 465 is excellent and shows both the designer's concern for creating pleasing, well lit spaces for living and his knowledge of what life aboard a boat is really like at sea as well as at anchor.

BWS thoughts

Over the years we have seen boat builders come and go in the North American marketplace and there are many famous name builders no longer in business. So, it is gratifying to see that Island Packet, which Bob Johnson founded in 1979, is still going strong, still innovating in design and construction techniques, and still delivering high quality blue water boats to their ever growing family of cruisers.

The new 465 does many things well. The deck layout is both attractive and designed for efficient and safe sailing. The huge after deck and lazarette storage will please many new owners. The simple, efficient rig, with the Hoyt Jib Boom, will appeal to those who like to sail and want their sail handling to be easy but effective.

Down below the new 465 has a bright, well-lit saloon that will be a comfortable living room and a great place to entertain friends. The galley is gourmet style but also well set up for cooking at sea. The sleeping cabins are spacious but also fitted with plenty of useful storage spaces.

With an overall length of 48 feet, the new 465 is a large and roomy cruising boat that will serve its owner well whether they are sailing along the coasts or venturing out across the blue water. And when they go to sea, they will go knowing that more than 2,200 Island Packets, built since 1979, have safely sailed the oceans before them.

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. Yanmar
Disp./LOA 279
Sail Area/Disp. 16.9
Island Packet Yachts
Largo, Fla.

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