Boats

Island Packet 465

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The Island Packet 465 is evidence that the company sees the benefits of the center-cockpit configuration, as do the owners of the boat I test-sailed off New London, Connecticut, last fall. Mark and Janet Gorrell invited me to join them on their boat’s maiden cruise to see how the first 465 to be launched here in the States (hull #1 went to Europe) performs.

Construction
The hull and deck are hand laminated with proprietary resins and knitted triaxial fiberglass fabrics. Polycore foam is used to stiffen deck and grid moldings. Osmosis-resistant PolyClad 3 gelcoat is used on all exterior surfaces, both above and below the waterline, and is backed with a vinylester laminate. The company offers a 10-year limited warranty against osmotic blistering. The hull-to-deck joint comprises a molded hull flange that’s fixed with stainless-steel bolts and locknuts along with a gasket and urethane adhesive sealant. All deck hardware is backed with aluminum plates.

Deck and Cockpit
The most evident feature on deck is the huge (11 feet by 7 feet) aft deck. Most center-cockpit boats have large aft decks, but it’s obvious that Island Packet worked hard to maximize the space and to keep this area uncluttered. It’s large enough to stow a 10-foot inflatable or a host of sunbathers. The cockpit remains long enough to accommodate a comfortable helm seat plus bench seats that are over 6 feet long and have comfortable angled backs. A fiberglass hard dodger provides excellent protection from spray. As with all Island Packets, the mooring cleats, deck hardware, and short bowsprit, which takes the load of both the headstay and the dual anchors, are ultra beefy. The side decks are easy to navigate, and the antiskid is excellent.

Accommodations
Interior accommodations are as roomy as the deck. At over 7 feet, headroom in the saloon is adequate for an NBA center. The nav station has one of the most comfortable seats I’ve sat on, plus a large table with plenty of stowage. The forward stateroom has a walk-around double bunk with an innerspring mattress, excellent locker space, and a private entrance to the head (also accessible from the saloon), which is equipped with a shower stall similar in size and features to one you’d find on land. The aft cabins are similar in size and layout. The saloon is so wide that the fold-down table also folds open to double its size so both saloon seats (they double as ideal seaberths) can access the table. The galley is bigger than most since the counters are placed to take advantage of room under the raised cockpit. All accommodations space is finished with the high-quality joinery Island Packet is known for.

Under Sail
When you take the 465 out for a test drive in 10 knots of breeze, there’s no mistaking the fact that you’re aboard a 34,000-pound boat with a long full keel and a D/L ratio of 279. These are the features that make Island Packets so popular with their owners. This boat is built to take care of you in a blow and feels as solid as a rock. Sailing low to keep the sails powered up in the light breeze, we tacked through about 110 degrees. Speeds were in the 5-knot range, occasionally spiking to the low 6s. The boat tracked well and had plenty of inertia to power through the lulls. There’s a long way from wheel to rudder, but the Mamba steering does a good job of reducing play in the system.

Under Power
Powering out of a tight slip was a simple bow-thruster affair. Long-keeled boats don’t turn as quickly as boats with fin keels, but a couple of spurts of thruster was all we needed to get the bow pointed in the right direction. There was ample horsepower (75) to cruise at well over 7 knots with the fixed prop, and excellent engine insulation resulted in pleasantly low noise levels.

VITAL STATISTICS
Headroom: Saloon 7’2”, cabins 6’6” ›› Bunks: Forward cabin 6’6”X5’, aft cabin 6’X4’9” ›› Settees: 6’6”X21” ›› Cockpit seats: 7’X21”

Specifications:
Price: $595,000 (as tested, FOB New London, CT) including main, jib, and cutter sails, standard winches, windlass, bow thruster, electronics, ground tackle, commissioning
Builder: Island Packet Yachts,
727-535-6431, www.ipy.com
Designer: Bob Johnson
LOA: 48’9” ›› LWL: 38’1”
Beam: 14’4” ›› Draft: 5’
Displacement: 34,500 lbs
Ballast: 12,000 lbs
Sail Area: 1,122 sq ft
Power: 75-hp Yanmar
Tankage Fuel/water/waste: 160/260/55 gal
Electrical: (5) 100-Ah batteries
(1) 100-amp alternator
Displacement-Length ratio: 279
Sail Area-Displacement ratio: 17
Ballast-Displacement ratio: 35%

OUR TAKE
Pros:
•Interior layout and finish
•Aft deck stowage/sunbathing space
•Sturdy construction

Cons:
•Not particularly acute tacking angles
•Helm feel

Conclusion:
The 465 is not a raceboat. It’s a stout cruising boat with a full keel that’s designed to weather the weather better than lighter cruising boats. The accommodation plan is well designed, spacious, and comfortable. The deck plan provides more usable space than an aft-cockpit boat would, and there’s enough sail area to keep sailing even when the wind is flirting with single digits. If you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that a boat was designed to take care of you, the 465 is well worth a look.

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